Myrmica lemasnei

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Myrmica lemasnei
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species: M. lemasnei
Binomial name
Myrmica lemasnei
Bernard, 1967

This species is a workerless inquiline. In France it was found in pine forest, at altitude 900 m, under a granite stone in a soil, in the nest of Myrmica spinosior; in Spain found in oak forest, at altitude 800 m in a M. spinosior nest (Espadaler 1981).

At a Glance • Workerless Inquiline  


Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - A member of the karavajevi group, but its nomenclature is somewhat uncertain. Bernard described M. lemasnei from a single dealate queen that he said he collected together with Le Masne in April 1939, from a nest of M. spinosior (misidentified as Myrmica sabuleti) living in forest on the Coll de l'Ouillat (900 m. a.s.l.) in the French Pyrenees near the Spanish border.

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

Keys including this Species


Pyrenees Mountains.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 42.566667° to 42.566667°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: France (type locality), Iberian Peninsula, Spain.

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.




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

  • lemasnei. Myrmica lemasnei Bernard, 1967: 123, fig. 127 (q.) FRANCE. Combination in Sifolinia: Kutter, 1973c: 253; in Symbiomyrma: Seifert, 1994: 16; in Myrmica: Bolton, 1988a: 4; Radchenko & Elmes, 2003a: 232. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 183.

Taxonomic Notes

Radchenko and Elmes (2003) - This is clearly a good species, but its nomenclature is somewhat uncertain. The problem is that the holotype appears to be lost and the original description of Bernard (1968) does not fully conform to the later specimens and description given by Kutter (1973). Bernard's collection is stored in the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelles, Paris and specialists from that museum kindly checked his collection but could not locate the type specimen. It is possible that Le Masne had a collection but if he did, we have no idea where it might be.

Bernard described M. lemasnei from a sing1e dealate queen, collected by Le Masne in a nest of Myrmica sabuleti in the forest in French Pyrenees near the Spanish border (coil de l'Ouillat, 900 m, April 1939). In contrast, Kutter (1973: 258) stated that the holotype was collected in 1950 and "now seems to be lost", but gave no further reasons for his statements. However, Kutter made a very clear redescription of queens of S. lemasnei and gave a first description of males, based on 8 queens and 3 male "cotypes", collected by Le Masne in July 1956 from Col de l'Ouillet, the type locality for M. lemasnei (note: according to the Code of Zoological Nomenclature these males can not considered as types). Kutter (1973) transferred M. lemasnei to the genus Sifolinia based on his (later collected) specimens and characters in Bernard's original description, such as petiole and postpetiole having ventral lobes, a relatively small body size, a rounded head and socially parasitic lifestyle. We investigated 1 male "cotype" sensu Kutter and one of the queens from same series and found them to totally agree with Kutter's description, as did 2 queens collected by Espadaler, from northern Spain, and identified by him as S. lemasnei (Espadaler 1981).

While Kutter's specimens are a good species, now placed once more in Myrmica, the question remains whether it is the same species that Bernard described? It is quite possible that Le Masne by chance collected one species of social parasite in 1939 and a second in 1956. Alternatively we could simply dismiss Bernard's original description as being poor and inadequate and accept Kutter's later description, except for one significant statement. Bernard (1968:124) wrote: " . . . base du scape en angle presque droit, legerement reorde mais bien moins que celui de sabuleti . . . " (" . . .antennal scape curved at about right angle, with fine ridge, but it is much smaller than that in M. sabuleti . . . "). This would make it quite different from S. lemasnei sensu Kutter, which, like M. karavajevi and M. kabylica, has antennal scape that is gradually curved at the base and without any trace of a longitudinal ridge or lobe. Unfortunately, the photograph of the holotype (Bernard 1968) is of poor quality and does not help to resolve this. On the other hand, there are clear inconsistencies in Bernard's description which might support the contention that the description of the scape is simply a further error: for example, (i) in the text the size said to be 3 mm, but in the corresponding figure shows it to be 3.9 mm (the latter is more probable), (ii) the propodeal spines are described as blunt, but in Figs 120, 127 (ibid.) they are distinctly pointed and (iii) under "collected material" the specimen was noted as a worker although the description and photograph are clearly that of a queen.

For the time being, we suggest that the pragmatic solution to this problem is to accept Kutter's treatment of M. lemasnei. When it is certain that Bernard's original holotype is lost, a neotype from Kutter's later series could be designated. If someone should find the holotype and demonstrate that it is not "M. lemasnei" sensu Kutter, then Bernard's holotype of M. lemasnei should be redescribed and the Kutter's material would be an un-named species. 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=3): HL 0.88-0.90; HW 0.82-0.85; SL 0.77-0.79; AL 1.40-1.44 mm; FI 0.45-0.49; FLI 1.03-1.05; SI1 0.86-0.90; SI2 0.91-0.95; PPI 0.56-0.60; ESLI 0.31-0.332; male: HL 0.77; HW 0.74; SL 0.75; AL 1.32 mm; SI1 0.97; SI2 1.01; PPI 0.65; ESLI about 0.00 (propodeal practically unarmed).


Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - this species is dedicated to the French myrmecologist Prof. Georges Le Masne.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bernard F. 1967. Faune de l'Europe et du Bassin Méditerranéen. 3. Les fourmis (Hymenoptera Formicidae) d'Europe occidentale et septentrionale. Paris: Masson, 411 pp.
  • Borowiec L. 2014. Catalogue of ants of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and adjacent regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 25(1-2): 1-340.
  • Casevitz-Weulersse J., and C. Galkowski. 2009. Liste actualisee des Fourmis de France (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Bull. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 114: 475-510.
  • Garcia Garcia F. 2015. First record for Catalonia of Myrmica lemasnei Bernard, 1967 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Iberomyrmex 7: 24-25.
  • Lebas C., and C. Galkowski. 2016. Myrmica hirsuta Elmes, 1978, a new species from France (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Bull. Soc. Linn. Bordeaux 151, 44(2/3): 239-244.