M. karavajevi is probably the most widespread of the workerless Myrmica social parasites. It is nowhere common, and usually myrmecologists can find one or two infested colonies and no more, despite repeated searching.
|At a Glance||• Workerless Inquiline|
Keys including this Species
- Key to Myrmica of East Europe, West Siberia, northern Kazakhstan, Caucasus, Asia Minor, Turkmenistan and Iran
- Key to Myrmica of Romania
- Key to Myrmica of West Europe and North Africa
S. England to Ukraine, Czechoslovakia to Finland (Collingwood 1979).
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Palaearctic Region: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine (type locality), United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
Radchenko and Elmes (2003) - It is catholic in its choice of host species and is perhaps a generalist social parasite specialising on species from the scabrinodis-group of Myrmica. Arnoldi (1930, 1933) found it with Myrmica scabrinodis; in England its host was Myrmica sabuleti; Elmes found it with M. scabrinodis in France; in Poland host species was Myrmica gallienii (Pisarski 1962 noted as host species M. rugulosa, misidentification, material examined); in Finland it hosts appear to be M. scabrinodis and Myrmica lonae while we found M. karavajevi near St. Petersburg in a nest of M. lonae. Similarly, the host worker on the same pin as a S. winterae queen (GENEVA) was Myrmica gallienii (although determined as M. ruginodis by Kutter). One common feature is that all its hosts live in warm but relatively wet places in marshes, meadows and forest glades. The host colony of M. sabuleti from England lived in rather cool damp conditions, which begs the question whether a cryptic ecomorph of M. sabuleti, with biology similar to M. zonae, exists in England (Elmes, unpublished).
Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - Jansen et al. (2010) based on a molecular phylogenetic study showed that M. karavajevi belongs to the same clade (scabrinodis-group) as its recorded hosts, but it appears to have had a common ancestor with its host species a long time ago. Thus it obeys Emery's rule in a loose sort of way: its multiple host use could be explained either by a sudden switch to more generalist behaviour after the extinction of its first host species or by its tracking of daughter species evolved from the original host species (Savolainen and Vepsalainen 2003). The great age of M. karavajevi and its relationship to its host species, illustrated by Jansen et al. (2010), suggests that the latter is more probable.
Collingwood (1979) - This ant has been recorded sometimes in large numbers and sometimes as one or two individuals in nests of various Myrmica host species including Myrmica rugulosa, Myrmica scabrinodis and Myrmica sabuleti. A colony in Dorset, England, was observed for over 4 years during which time alate queens and males of the parasite were present each season together with workers and worker brood of the host, indicating that egg laying queens of both parasite and Myrmica host were surviving together in the same nest. In Norway 2 dealate queens were caught in pitfall traps in July 1974 suggesting that after mating, fertilised queens wander over the ground in search of a colony of the host species.
Myrmica karavajevi is known from nests of the following species:
A workerless inquline.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- karavajevi. Symbiomyrma karavajevi Arnol'di, 1930c: 269, figs. 1-4 (q.m.) UKRAINE. [Also described as new by Arnol'di, 1933a: 41.] Combination in Symbiomyrma: Seifert, 1994: 15; Seifert, 1996b: 236; in Sifolinia: Samsinak, 1964: 156; in Myrmica: Bolton, 1988a: 4; Radchenko & Elmes, 2003a: 231. Senior synonym of pechi: Samsinak, 1964: 156; of faniensis, winterae: Seifert, 1994: 15. See also: Kutter, 1973c: 256 (misspelled as karawajewi); Collingwood, 1979: 58; Radchenko & Elmes, 2003a: 231; Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 163.
- pechi. Sifolinia pechi Samsinak, 1957: 167, 2 figs. (q.) CZECHOSLOVAKIA. Pisarski, 1962: 367 (m.). Junior synonym of karavajevi: Samsinak, 1964: 156.
- faniensis. Myrmica faniensis Boven, 1970a: 127, figs. 1, 2 (q.) BELGIUM. Junior synonym of karavajevi: Seifert, 1994: 15. See also: Kutter, 1973c: 256; Boven, 1977: 114; Bolton, 1988a: 4.
- winterae. Sifolinia winterae Kutter, 1973c: 263, figs. 1, 2, 8, 9, 13-15 (q.m.) SWITZERLAND. Combination in Myrmica: Bolton, 1988a: 4. Junior synonym of karavajevi: Seifert, 1994: 15.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
(n=31): HL 0.78-0.89; HW 0.73-0 .84; SL 0.71-0.80; AL 1.16-1.44 mm; FI 0.42-0.49; FLI 1.03-1.07; SI1 0.83-0.92; SI2 0.89-1.00; PPI 0.55-0.62; ESLI 0.26-0.33; males (n=12): HL 0.66-0.79; HW 0.65-0.73; SL 0.63-0.79; AL 1.14-1.28 mm; SI1 0.91-1.01; SI2 0.97-1.10; PPI 0.54-0.63; ESLI 0.09-0.16.
Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - this species was dedicated to the famous Ukrainian myrmecologist Prof. Vladimir Afanasievich Karawajew.
- Arnol'di, K. V. 1930c. Studien über die Systematik der Ameisen. VI. Eine neue parasitische Ameise, mit Bezugnahme auf die Frage nach der Entstehung der Gattungsmerkmale bei den parasitären Ameisen. Zool. Anz. 91: 267-283 PDF (page 269, figs. 1-4 queen, male described.)
- Arnol'di, K. V. 1933b. On a new genus of ant, in connection with the origin of generic traits of parasitic ants. Rus. Entomol. Obozr. 25: 40-51 (page 41, also described as new)
- Bolton, B. 1988a. A new socially parasitic Myrmica, with a reassessment of the genus (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Syst. Entomol. 13: 1-11 (page 4, Combination in Myrmica)
- Collingwood, C. A. 1979. The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. Fauna Entomol. Scand. 8: 1-174 (page 58, see also)
- Espadaler, X.; Zabalegui, I.; Calvo Sanchez, F. 2004. Primer registro de Myrmica karavajevi (Arnoldi, 1930) en la Península Ibérica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Heteropterus Rev. Entomol. 4: 81-83 PDF
- Kutter, H. 1973d. Über die morphologischen Beziehungen der Gattung Myrmica zu ihren Satellitengenera Sifolinia Em., Symbiomyrma Arnoldi und Sommimyrma Menozzi (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Mitt. Schweiz. Entomol. Ges. 46: 253-268 (page 256, see also (misspelled as karawajewi); )
- Radchenko, A. G. 1994a. Taxonomic structure of the ant genus Myrmica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Eurasia. Report 1. Zool. Zh. 73(6 6: 39-51 (page 41, Revived from synonymy, and raised to species)
- Radchenko, A. G. 1994d. Identification table for ants of the genus Myrmica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from central and eastern Palearctic. Zool. Zh. 73(7-8 8: 130-145 (page 137, (in key) Revived from synonymy, and raised to species)
- Radchenko, A. G. 1994h. Survey of the species of the rubra, rugosa, arnoldii, luteola and schencki groups of the genus Myrmica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from central and eastern Palearctic. Zool. Zh. 73(1 11: 72-80 (page 74, Revived from synonymy, and raised to species)
- Radchenko, A. G.; Elmes, G. W. 2003a. A taxonomic revision of the socially parasitic Myrmica ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Palaearctic region. Ann. Zool. (Warsaw) 53: 217-243 (page 231, see also)
- Radchenko, A.G. & Elmes, G.W. 2010. Myrmica ants of the Old World. Fauna Mundi 3: 1-789.
- Samsinák, K. 1964. Zur Kenntnis der Ameisenfauna der Tschechoslowakei (Hym.). Cas. Cesk. Spol. Entomol. 61: 156-158 (page 156, Combination in Sifolinia, Senior synonym of pechi)
- Vankerkhoven, F., Vanstraelen, Z. & Dekoninck, W. 2011. Rediscovery of the parastic ant Myrmica karavajevi (Arnoldi, 1930) in Belgium (Formicidae, Hymenoptera). Bulletin S.R.B.E./K.B.V.E. 147: 185-187.