Radchenko & Elmes, 1999
Myrmica rhytida is found at an altitudinal range of 2800m and 4200m in Himalaya. Nests are built in the soil (often under stones) and in birch logs. It inhabits alpine meadows often containing juniper species, dry alpine scrub and birch trees and at the edges of birch forests at an altitude where Rhododendron begin to appear. The nest temperature at one of the collection site (Sagnam) was 31°C and relative humidity 41%. It is primarily distributed above timberline in cold desert regions of Himalaya, with low pluviosity. There are records of sympatry between M. rhytida and Myrmica wardi, but M. rhytida tend to live at higher altitudes in comparison to the latter (mean of 3600m vs. 2700m). There are records of this species tending root aphids inside several of its nests (P.S. Ward). The foraging behaviour of M. rhytida appears to be quite cryptic, it stays close to the soil surface and was never found foraging on plants. In this respect it behaviour is reminiscent of that of the northern European Myrmica lobicornis. (Radchenko & Elmes, 2010; Bharti et al., 2016).
The saddle-shape alitrunk of the workers of M. rhytida suggest that it might be close to species from the cachmiriensis-complex of the rugosa species group. Both workers and queens differ from the species of the cachmiriensis-complex (Myrmica wardi, Myrmica ordinaria and Myrmica cachmiriensis) by the distinctly coarser rugosity of head dorsum, alitrunk, petiole and postpetiole. However, rugosa-group species are typified by males having short antennal scape whereas the scape of M. rhytida males is long. Probably it could be placed inits own separate species group, but for now we list it under species whose taxonomic position is uncertain. (Radchenko and Elmes 2010)
Keys including this Species
Known only from the type localities from India (Kashmir).
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- rhytida. Myrmica rhytida Radchenko & Elmes, 1999a: 41, fig. 5 (1-10) (w.q.m.) INDIA. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 224.
- Bharti, H., Sasi, S., Radchenko, A. 2016. Biogeography and ecology of Myrmica species (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) in Himalayan regions. Sociobiology 63, 956-975 (DOI 10.13102/sociobiology.v63i3.1145).
- Radchenko, A. G.; Elmes, G. W. 1999a. Ten new species of Myrmica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from the Himalaya. Vestn. Zool. 33(3): 27-46 PDF (page 41, fig. 5 (1-10) worker, queen, male described)
- Radchenko, A.G. & Elmes, G.W. 2010. Myrmica ants of the Old World. Fauna Mundi 3: 1-789.