This species is a social parasite in the nests of Myrmica scabrinodis and possibly Myrmica sabuleti (the identity of the latter host is currently uncertain). It is apparently workerless as no workers have yet been found. One parasitized host nest found at an altitude of 1400m, living under a stone, in a shaded clearing in a Pinus nigra wood. (Radchenko and Elmes 2003)
|At a Glance||• Workerless Inquiline|
A member of the laurae group. M. laurae well differs from most other socially parasitic Myrmica species by combination of the following features: eyes in both sexes with conspicuous hairs, length of the longest hairs 0.035 (queens) - 0.040 mm (males); generally a very hairy species; cubital cell on forewings closed and not partly separated by short vein; males with 12-jointed antennae, antennal scape long and slender, feebly curved at the base; antennal scape of queen not angulate, gradually curved at the base, but with distinct narrow longitudinal ridge. (Radchenko and Elmes 2003)
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
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When Emery (1907) described M. laurae it was presumed to be a social parasite though its host was unknown. Mei (1987) identified the host of M. samnitica (a junior synonym of M. laurae) as Myrmica sabuleti. However, in the non-type series Mei collected from Abruzzo and Lazio, the specimens mounted with them as hosts were Myrmica scabrinodis. The worker specimens of these M. scabrinodis have relatively large scape lobes and could easily be mistaken for M. sabuleti, or alternatively, it is quite possible that M. laurae could use several different host species as does Myrmica karavajevi.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- laurae. Sifolinia laurae Emery, 1907: 49, figs. (q.) ITALY. Combination in Myrmica: Bolton, 1988a: 4. Senior synonym of samnitica: Radchenko & Elmes, 2003a: 224. See also: Emery, 1908f: 550; Kutter, 1973c: 256; Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 181.
- samnitica. Myrmica samnitica Mei, 1987: 457, figs. 1-15 (q.m.) ITALY. Junior synonym of laurae: Radchenko & Elmes, 2003a: 224.
Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.
Radchenko and Elmes (2003) - (n= 14, data of holotype are in brackets): HL 0.95-1.09 (1.03); HW 0.87-1.05 (0.98); SL 0.68-0.79 (0.75); AL 1.50-1.85 (1.76) mm; FI 0.41-0.49 (0.49); FLI 1.05-1.17 (1.10); SI1 0.70-0.75 (0.73); SI2 0.74-0.80 (0.77); PPI 0.62-0.69 (postpetole lost); ESLI 0.35-0.41 (0.41); males (n=6): HL 0.76-0.82; HW 0.77-0.84; SL 0.60-0.67; AL 1.50-1.96 mm; SI1 0.76-0.79; S12 0.78-0.80; PPI 0.70-0.75; ESLI 0.23-0.35.
Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - this species was dedicated to Laura Coggi, the baby daughter of Prof. Alessandro Coggi of Siena, who collected and gave the type specimen to Emery.
- 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)
- Emery, C. 1907. Una formica nuova italiana spettante ad un nuovo genere. Rend. Sess. R. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna (n.s.) 11: 49-51 (page 49, figs. queen described)
- Emery, C. 1908g. Beiträge zur Monographie der Formiciden des paläarktischen Faunengebietes. (Hym.) Teil IV. Parasitische und Gast-Myrmicinen mit Ausnahme von Strongylognathus. Dtsch. Entomol. Z. 1908: 549-558 (page 550, see also)
- 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)
- 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 224, Senior synonym of samnitica)
- Radchenko, A.G. & Elmes, G.W. 2010. Myrmica ants of the Old World. Fauna Mundi 3: 1-789.