Myrmica rugulosa

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Myrmica rugulosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species group: rugulosa
Species: M. rugulosa
Binomial name
Myrmica rugulosa
Nylander, 1849

Myrmica rugulosa casent0172742 profile 1.jpg

Myrmica rugulosa casent0172742 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Prefers nesting in meadows with dryer soils. Its soil nests can be difficult to find as the nest entrance (and the only indication there is a nest) is an small unmarked hole.


Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - This species typifies the rugulosa complex of the scabrinodis species group (see also Radchenko and Elmes 2004). It is one of the smallest European Myrmica species. Populations do not appear to vary morphologically to any great extent. M. rugulosa most resembles Myrmica constricta but differs from it by the complete absence of a longitudinal ridge at the base of scape. On the other hand, it can be confused with Myrmica gallienii (especially small specimens of that species), but it differs from the latter by its somewhat more angularly curved scape and much more developed reticulated sculpture on the head dorsum. Moreover, the other castes differ: queens of M. rugulosa are much smaller and the length of the second funicular segment of males is subequal to the third whereas in M. gallienii males it is > l.5 times longer than the third one.

Collingwood (1979) - Pale reddish yellow with dilute sculpture. Head distinctly longer than broad; petiole narrowly rectangular from above, simply angled in side view with very short truncate dorsal area. Antennal scapes sharply but evenly bent near base, without trace of an angular projection or process. Frontal triangle mostly smooth but partly striate at apex in Fennoscandian samples. Head Index: 80.2; Frons Index: 52.7; Frontal Laminae Index: 95.4. Length: 3.0-4.3 mm.

Keys including this Species


Europe (absent from British Isles and Iberian Peninsula), Caucasus. All old records of this species east of Ural Mts. belong to M. gallienii.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland (type locality), Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - M. rugulosa is an oligotopic thermophilous species that is mainly found in dry meadows, particularly meadows with a very sandy soil. In the more continental parts of its range it is also found in suitable mountain meadows, open scrubby woodland, forest clearings, glades and edges providing its nests sites are open to direct sunlight. Generally it avoids sites with heavy, damp soils. Despite its preference for warm (often hot) microhabitats it is a “northern” species and does not live in steppes and dry Mediterranean biotopes. It is quite tolerant of anthropogenic pressure and is often found inhabiting pastures, gardens and orchards in rural areas, and lawns, parks and roadside edges in urban areas. We have observed a very large population in Jutland, Denmark that appeared to be one super-colony occupying the entire floor area of a large abandoned sand quarry.

Despite its relative abundance in North and Central Europe there has been relatively little ecological study of M. rugulosa. It appears that in the habitats where it normally lives its main competitor is Lasius niger, with which it interacts by passive behavior and foraging at different times (e.g. Czechowski 1979; De Vroey 1980a; Galle et al. 1998). Individual nests may contain up to several thousands of workers and are nearly always polygynous, we have data from only four nests excavated in Jutland (see above), that had a mean size of 1200 workers and 19 queens. Nests are built in the soil and usually there are no above-ground indications (spoil heaps, solaria etc.) of its presence other than small barely visible entrance holes. Consequently it can be difficult to find the nests of M. rugulosa, a good tip is to search after heavy rainfall when often one can see freshly excavated sand on the soil surface.

Ødegaard et al. 2015. Figure 2.

One of the most studied aspects of M. rugulosa has been the chemical structure of its recruitment and trail pheromones (Attygalle et al. 1983; Cammaerts, 1980a; Cammaerts and Cammaerts 1981; Cammaerts et al. 1982). Otherwise, it has been reported to be a host to Myrmica karavajevi in Sweden (Douwes 1977). Nuptial flights have been recorded in August and September.

Collingwood (1979) - This is a small slender species, in Scandinavia found locally nesting in lowland sandy heath or open pasture frequently near the coast, but more generally distributed in Europe ascending to 1000 m in the Central Pyrenees. The nests are deep in the ground with circular crater like openings to the outside. The species is polygynous and a single colony may contain many thousands of workers. These tend to forage in files unlike most other Myrmica species which forage singly.

Association with other Organisms

  • This species is a host for the ant Myrmica karavajevi (a workerless inquiline).
  • This species is a host for the nematode Diploscapter lycostoma (a parasite) (Wahab, 1962).


Ødegaard et al. (2015) - A total of eleven colonies where found (September 2014) in a dry, disturbed meadow along the roadside. The colonies were placed in rather packed, sandy soil mixed with gravel, 0–50 cm below the ground (Figure 2). The colonies were very large compared to other Myrmica Latreille, 1804 species and consisted of several thousand individuals. A few alate males and queens were found together with the workers in six of the colonies.





The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • rugulosa. Myrmica rugulosa Nylander, 1849: 32 (w.q.) FINLAND. Mayr, 1855: 405 (m.); Lomnicki, 1924: 817 (gynandromorph). Subspecies of rubra: Forel, 1874: 77; Emery & Forel, 1879: 40; of scabrinodis: Forel, 1892i: 315; Ruzsky, 1905b: 690; Emery, 1908a: 177; Emery, 1916b: 120. Status as species: André, 1883a: 317; Ruzsky, 1902d: 30; Bondroit, 1918: 100; Finzi, 1926: 91; Karavaiev, 1929b: 203; Holgersen, 1940: 185; Boven, 1947: 175; Bernard, 1967: 115; Kutter, 1977c: 68; Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 532; Collingwood, 1979: 54; Seifert, 1988b: 11; Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 89. Senior synonym of clandestina: Mayr, 1855: 405; of sulcinodorugulosa: Radchenko, 1994e: 75. See also: Radchenko, 2007: 28; Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 244.
  • clandestina. Myrmica clandestina Foerster, 1850a: 63 (w.) GERMANY. Schenck, 1852: 85 (q.m.). Junior synonym of rugulosa: Mayr, 1855: 405.
  • sulcinodorugulosa. Myrmica rugulosa var. sulcinodorugulosa Nasonov, 1889: 35 (w.) LATVIA, ESTONIA, RUSSIA. Junior synonym of rugulosa: Radchenko, 1994e: 75.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - name derived from the diminutive of the Latin word rugosus = wrinkle or full of wrinkles, to describe its fine, rugulose sculpture.


  • André, E. 1883a. Les fourmis. [part]. Pp. 281-344 in: André, Edm. 1881-1886. Species des Hyménoptères d'Europe et d'Algérie. Tome Deuxième. Beaune: Edmond André, 919 + 48 pp. (page 317, Status as species)
  • Arnol'di, K. V. 1970b. Review of the ant genus Myrmica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the European part of the USSR. Zool. Zh. 4 49: 1829-1844 (page 1840, Senior synonym of slobdensis (and its junior synonym constricta))
  • Arnol'di, K. V.; Dlussky, G. M. 1978. Superfam. Formicoidea. 1. Fam. Formicidae - ants. Pp. 519-556 in: Medvedev, G. S. (ed.) Keys to the insects of the European part of the USSR. Vol. 3. Hymenoptera. Part 1. Opredeliteli Faune SSSR 119:3-584. (page 523, Status as species)
  • Atanassov, N.; Dlussky, G. M. 1992. Fauna of Bulgaria. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Fauna Bûlg. 22: 1-310 (page 89, Status as species)
  • Bernard, F. 1967a [1968]. Faune de l'Europe et du Bassin Méditerranéen. 3. Les fourmis (Hymenoptera Formicidae) d'Europe occidentale et septentrionale. Paris: Masson, 411 pp. (page 115, Status as species)
  • Bondroit, J. 1918. Les fourmis de France et de Belgique. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 87: 1-174 (page 100, Status as species)
  • Boven, J. K. A. van. 1947b. Liste de détermination des principales espèces de fourmis belges (Hymenoptera Formicidae). Bull. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 83: 163-190 (page 175, Status as species)
  • Collingwood, C. A. 1979. The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. Fauna Entomol. Scand. 8: 1-174 (page 54, Status as species)
  • Ebsen, J.R., Boomsma, J.J. & Nash, D.R. 2019. Phylogeography and cryptic speciation in the Myrmica scabrinodis Nylander, 1846 species complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and their conservation implications. Insect Conservation and Diversity 12: 467-480 (doi:10.1111/icad.12366).
  • Emery, C. 1908a. Beiträge zur Monographie der Formiciden des paläarktischen Faunengebietes. Dtsch. Entomol. Z. 1908: 165-205 (page 177, Race/subspecies of scabrinodis)
  • Emery, C. 1916a [1915]. Fauna entomologica italiana. I. Hymenoptera.-Formicidae. Bull. Soc. Entomol. Ital. 47: 79-275 (page 120, Race/subspecies of scabrinodis)
  • Emery, C.; Forel, A. 1879. Catalogue des Formicides d'Europe. Mitt. Schweiz. Entomol. Ges. 5: 441-481 (page 40, Race/subspecies of rubra)
  • Finzi, B. 1926. Le forme europee del genere Myrmica Latr. Primo contributo. Boll. Soc. Adriat. Sci. Nat. Trieste 29: 71-119 (page 91, Status as species)
  • Forel, A. 1874. Les fourmis de la Suisse. Systématique, notices anatomiques et physiologiques, architecture, distribution géographique, nouvelles expériences et observations de moeurs. Neue Denkschr. Allg. Schweiz. Ges. Gesammten Naturwiss. 26: 1-452 (page 77, Race/subspecies of rubra)
  • Forel, A. 1892j. Die Ameisenfauna Bulgariens. (Nebst biologischen Beobachtungen.). Verh. K-K. Zool.-Bot. Ges. Wien 42: 305-318 (page 315, Race/subspecies of scabrinodis)
  • Holgersen, H. 1940. Myrmekologiske notiser I. Nor. Entomol. Tidsskr. 5: 183-187 (page 185, Status as species)
  • Karavaiev, V. 1929c. Beitrag zur Ameisenfauna der Wälder in der Umgegend von Brjansk. Zb. Prats Zool. Muz. 7:59-63 [= Tr. Vseukr. Akad. Nauk Fiz.-Mat. Vidd. 13:57-61]. (page 203, Status as species)
  • Kutter, H. 1977c. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Insecta Helv. Fauna 6: 1-298 (page 68, Status as species)
  • Lomnicki, J. 1924. O trzech gynandromorfach mrówki wscieklicy marszczystej (Myrmica rugulosa Nyl.). Kosmos (Warsaw) 49: 817-830 (page 817, gynandromorph described)
  • Mayr, G. 1855. Formicina austriaca. Beschreibung der bisher im österreichischen Kaiserstaate aufgefundenen Ameisen, nebst Hinzufügung jener in Deutschland, in der Schweiz und in Italien vorkommenden Arten. Verh. Zool.-Bot. Ver. Wien 5: 273-478 (page 405, male described; Senior synonym of clandestina)
  • Nylander, W. 1849 [1848]. Additamentum alterum adnotationum in monographiam formicarum borealium. Acta Soc. Sci. Fenn. 3: 25-48 (page 32, worker, queen described)
  • Ødegaard, F., K.M. Olsen, A. Staverløkk, and J. O. Gjershaug. 2015. Towards a new era for the knowledge of ants (Hymenoptera,Formicidae) in Norway? Nine species new to the country. Norwegian Journal of Entomology. 62:80-99.
  • 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 75, Senior synonym of sulcinodorugulosa)
  • Radchenko, A.G. & Elmes, G.W. 2010. Myrmica ants of the Old World. Fauna Mundi 3: 1-789.
  • Ruzsky, M. 1902d. Material on the ant fauna of the Caucasus and the Crimea. Protok. Obshch. Estestvoispyt. Imp. Kazan. Univ. 206(su suppl: 1-33 (page 30, Status as species)
  • Ruzsky, M. 1905b. The ants of Russia. (Formicariae Imperii Rossici). Systematics, geography and data on the biology of Russian ants. Part I. Tr. Obshch. Estestvoispyt. Imp. Kazan. Univ. 38(4-6 6: 1-800 (page 690, Race/subspecies of scabrinodis)
  • Seifert, B. 1988b. A taxonomic revision of the Myrmica species of Europe, Asia Minor, and Caucasia (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Abh. Ber. Naturkundemus. Görlitz 62(3): 1-75 (page 11, Status as species)
  • Wahab, A. 1962. Untersuchungen uber Nematoden in den drusen des kopfes der Ameisen (Formicidae). Zeitschrift fur Morphologie und Okologie der Tiere 52: 33–92.