As emphasised by Kuznetsov-Ugamsky (1927), M. saposhnikovi (together with M. dshungarica) is one of the main elements of the ant fauna in the fir forests of the Central Tien-Shan. It was found in fir forests and subalpine meadows at altitudes between 1000 and 2900 m and also somewhat surprisingly (see the biology section below) " in steppe-like habitats at altitudes less than 600 m.
Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - A member of the lobicornis complex of the lobicornis species group and well differs from the sympatric Myrmica kirghisorum by the very small vertical dent or even ridge at the base of the scape, by the less extended frontal lobes and by its subtriangular petiole without a declined dorsal plate (seen in profile).
Keys including this Species
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
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Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - M. saposhnikovi has a strange dichotomy in its habitat preferences. On the one hand, it inhabits both fir forests and subalpine meadows (relatively cool habitats) at altitudes over 1000 m; Kuznetsov-Ugamsky (1927: 193-194) noted that “This form together with M. rugosa dshungarica is one of the main elements of the myrmecofauna of the belt of fir forests in the Central Tien-Shan” (our translation from Russian). On the other hand, it lives also in much hotter and drier steppe-like habitats at lower altitudes, as was stated by Ruzsky (1904b). We think it possible that Ruzsky (1904b) included two morphologically similar species in the type series of M. saposhnikovi: one from the mountain forests (Dzhungarian Alatau; the lectotype specimen belongs to this series) and one from the steppes near Dhzarkent. As the Dhzarkent “type” material appears to be lost, it is open to question whether “M. saposhnikovi” is one species with some sort of variable ecology, or whether it contains two hardly distinguishable sibling species, each adapted to different habitats. Unless the Dhzarkent material is found, this question can be resolved only by a combination of ecological and perhaps molecular genetical studies of the different populations in the Middle Asian mountains.
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- saposhnikovi. Myrmica lobicornis r. saposhnikovi Ruzsky, 1904b: 3 (w.) KAZAKHSTAN. Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1927e: 194 (q.m.). Subspecies of scabrinodis: Ruzsky, 1905b: 701; Emery, 1908a: 180. Raised to species: Pisarski, 1969b: 296; Arnol'di, 1976a: 553; Tarbinsky, 1976: 35. Senior synonym of bergiana, intermedia: Radchenko, 1994g: 85. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 256.
- bergiana. Myrmica saposhnikovi subsp. bergiana Tarbinsky, 1976: 38, figs. 37-39 (w.) KYRGYZSTAN. Junior synonym of saposhnikovi: Radchenko, 1994g: 85.
See Radchenko & Elmes (2009) for notes on type specimens.
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) - named for the well-known Russian geographer and botanist, Professor Vasily Vasilievich Saposhnikov (1861-1924) of Tomsk University.
- 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 553, Raised to species)
- Emery, C. 1908a. Beiträge zur Monographie der Formiciden des paläarktischen Faunengebietes. Dtsch. Entomol. Z. 1908: 165-205 (page 180, Subspecies of scabrinodis)
- Lyu, D.-P. 2006. Review of the genus Myrmica in Korea (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology 9: 189-202.
- Pisarski, B. 1969b. 175. Myrmicidae und Formicidae. Ergebnisse der zoologischen Forschungen von Dr. Z. Kaszab in der Mongolei (Hymenoptera). Faun. Abh. (Dres.) 2(2 29: 295-316 (page 296, Raised to species)
- Radchenko, A. G. 1994i. Survey of the species of the lobicornis group of the genus Myrmica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) from central and eastern Palearctic. Zool. Zh. 73(1 11: 81-92 (page 85, Senior synonym of bergiana and intermedia)
- Radchenko, A., Elmes, G.W. 2009. Important alterations in the taxonomy of the ant genus Myrmica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), based on the investigation of the M. Ruzsky's type specimens, preserved in the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale "Giacomo Doria" in Genoa. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale Giacomo Doria (Genova) 100: 501-525.
- Radchenko, A.G. & Elmes, G.W. 2010. Myrmica ants of the Old World. Fauna Mundi 3: 1-789.
- Ruzsky, M. 1904b. Ants of the Dzungarian Ala Tau. Izv. Imp. Tomsk. Univ. 30(5th p part: 1-6 (page 3, worker described)
- 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 701, Subspecies of scabrinodis)
- Tarbinsky, Y. S. 1976. The ants of Kirghizia. Frunze: Ilim, 217 pp. (page 35, Raised to species)
- Teranishi, C. 1940. Works of Cho Teranishi. Memorial Volume. . Osaka: Kansai Entomological Society, 312 + (posthumous section) 95 pp. (page 15, queen described)