Myrmica laurae

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Myrmica laurae
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species: M. laurae
Binomial name
Myrmica laurae
(Emery, 1907)

Myrmica laurae P casent0904098.jpg

Myrmica laurae D casent0904098.jpg

Specimen Label


This species is a social parasite in the nests of Myrmica scabrinodis and Myrmica spinosior 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)

Key to Parasitic Myrmica of West Europe and North Africa Queens / Males

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 42.133333° to 42.13306°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Italy (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.


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, as it is also known to parasitise Myrmica spinosior.



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • 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.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Borowiec L. 2014. Catalogue of ants of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and adjacent regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 25(1-2): 1-340.
  • Emery C. 1907. Una formica nuova italiana spettante ad un nuovo genere. Rend. Sess. R. Accad. Sci. Ist. Bologna (n.s.) 11: 49-51
  • Emery C. 1916. Fauna entomologica italiana. I. Hymenoptera.-Formicidae. Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana 47: 79-275.
  • Jansen G., R. Savolainen, K. Vespalainen. 2010. Phylogeny, divergence-time estimation, biogeography and social parasite–host relationships of the Holarctic ant genusMyrmica(Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56: 294-304.
  • Lampe, K.-H., D. Rohwedder and B. Rach. 2006. Insect Types in the ZFMK Collection, Bonn: Hymenoptera
  • Petrov I. Z., et al 2005. A list of currently known ant species (Formicidae, Hymenoptera) of Mt. Stara Planina (Serbia). PROCEEDINGS OF THE BALKAN SCIENTIFIC CONFERENCE OF BIOLOGY IN PLOVDIV (BULGARIA) FROM 19TH TILL 21ST OF MAY 2005.
  • Pisarski B. 1962. Sur Sifolinia pechi Sams. trouvée en Pologne (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Bulletin de l'Académie Polonaise des Sciences. Série des Sciences Biologiques. 10: 367-369.
  • Radchenko A. G., and G. W. Elmes. 2003. A taxonomic revision of the socially parasitic Myrmica ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Palaearctic region. Annales Zoologici (Warsaw) 53: 217-243.
  • Radchenko A. G., and G. W. Elmes. 2010. Myrmica ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Old World. Fauna Mundi 3. Warsaw: Natura Optima Dux Foundation, 790 pp.