Myrmica tenuispina is associated with the mountains of Middle Asia and NE Afghanistan, and have been collected on subalpine meadows at altitudes between 2400 and 4100m above mean sea level and nests in the soil and under stones (Bharti et al., 2016)
Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - A member of the tibetana group. M. tenuispina most resembles Myrmica tibetana but differs from it by its much longer propodeal spines. Superficially, workers and queens of M. tenuispina are similar to the species of rubra or smythiesii species groups, but well differs from them by the shape of the frontal carinae that are strongly curved outwards in their anterior third, to form distinctive wide, subsquare frontal lobes; as a result the frons is relatively wide (FI is subequal to that of the species from rubra- or smythiesii- species groups) but FLI is distinctly larger ( > 1.25 vs. < 1.18). On the other hand, the males clearly differ from these groups by having a relatively short scape (SI1 < 0.40) (see also M. tibetana).
Keys including this Species
Tien-Shan, Alai, Pamir, NE Afghansistan
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
This ant has been associated with a butterfly species that has recently been recognized as two distinct species: Polyommatus icarus and Polyommatus celin. Presently it is unclear if this association is between M. tenuispina and one or the other of these species, or both (Obregon et al. 2015).
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- tenuispina. Myrmica laevinodis var. tenuispina Ruzsky, 1905b: 670 (w.) UZBEKISTAN, TAJIKISTAN. [First available use of Myrmica rubra r. laevinodis var. tenuispina Forel, 1904b: 374; unavailable name.] Arnol'di, 1976a: 552 (m.); Radchenko & Elmes, 2002: 35 (q.). Raised to species: Arnol'di, 1976a: 551; Tarbinsky, 1976: 25. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 303.
- Lectotype (designated by Radchenko & Elmes, 2001): worker (upper specimen on a pin with 4 workers), “Tabi-dara - Zagyrdesht, E. Bukhara, 17.vi.97, leg. Kaznakov” (original label in Russian), “Myrmica rubra L. r. laevinodis var. tenuispina Forel det, w, type”, Zoological Museum of the Moscow State University.
- Paralectotypes (designated by Radchenko & Elmes, 2001): 3 workers on a pin with lectotype; 3 workers with the same labels (Zoological Museum of the Moscow State University); 8 workers with the same labels (Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences); 1 worker with the same labels (Museo Civico di Storia Naturale, Genoa); 2 workers, “Kala i Khont, Karategin, E Bukhara, leg. Kaznakov, 21.vi.97” (original label in Russian); “Myrmica rubra L. r. laevinodis var. tenuispina Forel det, w, type” (Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences).
Seifert et al. (2018): The combination Myrmica laevinodis var. tenuispina Ruzsky, 1915 is the first available use of Myrmica rubra laevinodis tenuispina Forel, 1904 and the types are those designated by Forel. Four syntype workers from Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève were investigated, labeled “M. rubra Linné r. laevinodis Nyl. v. tenuispina For type Buchara” [Forel’s handwriting] and a printed label in Cyrillic letters “Tabi dara-Zagyr-desht. v. Bukhara Kaznakov 17 VI. 97”. These specimens belong to the lectotype sample because Radchenko & Elmes (2010) published a lectotype worker in the Zoological Museum of the Moscow State University with the labelling “Tabi-Dara Zagyrdesht V.Buchara, 17. VI. 97, Kaznakov” [in Cyrillic].
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) - from a combination of the Latin words tenuis = thin or slender, and spina = thorn, to describe the shape of the propodeal spines.
- Arnol'di, K. V. 1976a. Ants of the genus Myrmica Latr. from Central Asia and the southern Kazakstan. Zool. Zh. 55: 547-558 (page 552, queen described; page 551, Raised to species)
- 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).
- Forel, A. 1904c . Note sur les fourmis du Musée Zoologique de l'Académie Impériale des Sciences à St. Pétersbourg. Ezheg. Zool. Muz. 8: 368-388 (page 374, First available use of Myrmica rubra r. laevinodis var. tenuispina; unavailable name.)
- Obregon, R., M. R. Shaw, J. Fernandez-Haeger, and D. Jordano. 2015. Parasitoid and ant interactions of some Iberian butterflies (Insecta: Lepidoptera). Shilap-Revista De Lepidopterologia. 43:439-454.
- Radchenko, A. G.; Elmes, G. W. 2002. First descriptions of the sexual forms of seven Himalayan Myrmica species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Vestn. Zool. 36(5): 35-46 (page 35, queen described)
- Radchenko, A.G. & Elmes, G.W. 2010. Myrmica ants of the Old World. Fauna Mundi 3: 1-789.
- 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 670, worker described)
- Seifert, B., Schltz, R., Ritz, M.S., Ritz, C.M. 2018. Cryptic species of the Myrmica tibetana complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) revealed by integrative taxonomy. Myrmecological News, 27: 93-110.
- Tarbinsky, Y. S. 1976. The ants of Kirghizia. Frunze: Ilim, 217 pp. (page 25, Raised to species)