Myrmica emeryi

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Myrmica emeryi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species: M. emeryi
Binomial name
Myrmica emeryi
Radchenko & Elmes, 2009

Myrmica emeryi P casent0904099.jpg

Myrmica emeryi D casent0904099.jpg

Specimen Label

Known only from the types, nothing is know about the biology of Myrmica emeryi.


A member of the ritae complex of the ritae species group (see Radchenko and Elmes 1998, 2001a, b; Radchenko et al. 2001, 2006), it most resembles Myrmica margaritae, Myrmica pulchella, and Myrmica sinensis, which are characterised by a very coarse rugosity of the head (frons between frontal carinae level with the eyes with only four coarse longitudinal rugae). M. emeryi has abundant long standing hairs on the alitrunk dorsum and occipital margin of the head, a feature that well differentiates it from M. margaritae, which has only a few standing hairs on these areas. On the other hand, it differs from M. pulchella and M. sinensis by the much less abundant standing hairs on the lateral margins of the head (less than five versus more than 20). Additionally, M. pulchella, unlike M. emeryi, has no reticulation on the head dorsum and alitrunk dorsum. The absence of reticulation on the petiolar and postpetiolar dorsum of M. emeryi clearly distinguishes it from M. sinensis, which has coarse reticulation on these surfaces. (Radchenko and Elmes 2010)

Keys including this Species


It is known only from the type locality, Isl. Pulo Laut, SE of Borneo - the only known location for a Myrmica species from the Southern Hemisphere.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Indo-Australian Region: Borneo, Indonesia (type locality), Malaysia.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Only known from the worker caste.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • emeryi. Myrmica emeryi Radchenko & Elmes, 2009b: 3, figs. 1-5 (w.) BORNEO (Pulo Laut). See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 128.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.


Type Material

Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - The type location is fascinating. The pins with the holotype and paratype specimens both have labels that read "Pulo Laut" ("pula" means "island" in Malaysian), but give no other collection information. When we described this species we wrote “We ... found several localities with the same or similar spelling. All of them are islands situated near Malaysia or Borneo. If any of these localities is correct, then M. emeryi is the most geographically isolated and has the most southern distribution of all known Myrmica Species” (Radchenko and Elmes 2009c). Since then we discovered that Emery (1895b: 451) wrote “Le Myrmica che a primo aspetto, potevano sembrare un elemento nordico non hanno questo significato, la Ritae essendo stata ritrovata a Borneo (Pulo Laut) da Doherty” (The Myrmica [of Burma] that at first sight might seem to be a Nordic element [in that fauna] does not have this interpretation because the ritae have been found again in Borneo (Pulo Laut) by Doherty).

William Doherty (1857-1901) was an American zoologist and collector active in the late 19th century collecting birds and invertebrates (especially butterflies) in the "East Indies". Numerous ant species were collected by him and most were described by Emery, who named three species after him. The type locality for many of Doherty's collections is given as Pulo Laut (off the southeast of Borneo). Based on material from other groups it seems most probable that the M. emeryi specimens were taken in June 1891 by Doherty somewhere on Pulo Laut, near Borneo. These specimens show that ritae-group species can live south of the equator. Quite possibly, when the ant fauna of isolated high mountains of Borneo and elsewhere in Malaysia and Indonesia are better known, more ritae-group species and possibly other unusual forms of Myrmica will be found.


Dedicated to the great myrmecologist Prof. Carlo Emery (1848-1925), in whose collection we found this species.


  • Radchenko, A.G. & Elmes, G.W. 2010. Myrmica ants of the Old World. Fauna Mundi 3: 1-789.