Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - M. vandeli inhabits almost exclusively rather warm but humid sites, such as wet meadows, marshes and bogs, where it builds nests usually in moss pads, tussocks of grass and sedge, rarely in the soil under stones. Almost always M. vandeli coexists with Myrmica scabrinodis, though it is generally a much less abundant and widespread species. The parasitic morphological features of the queens and males led Bondroit (1920a: 148) to suggest a socially-parasitic style of life for M. vandeli: “Il est probable que le M. vandeli est une espece parasite”. We have found both pure colonies and colonies of mixed M. scabrinodis and Myrmica vandeli (Elmes et al. 2003; Radchenko et al. 2003; Radchenko 2009) in the central part of its range, where environmental conditions probably are optimal for M. vandeli, we hardly ever located mixed colonies, but at the edges of its distribution (e.g. in Great Britain, Poland or Ukraine) M. vandeli often coexists with M. scabrinodis. This led us to suggest that in poor or new habitat queens of M. vandeli might resort to facultative social parasitism to found colonies, but in optimum habitats it may be able to establish colonies by independent foundation or by colony division.
Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - A member of the sabuleti complex of the scabrinodis species group. It was originally described from queens and males from France and was known only from the type series for more than 50 years, until Kutter (1977) described workers of this species from Switzerland. Elmes and Thomas (1985) showed that it is a quite common free-living species in France that can easily be discriminated from M. scabrinodis (all castes) by morphometrics.
M. vandeli possess several “socially parasitic” features, such as reduced spurs on the mid- and hind tibiae and hairy body, and by this characters is similar to Myrmica bibikoffi and Myrmica hirsuta. On the other hand, workers of M. vandeli appear very similar to those of Myrmica scabrinodis by the shape of alitrunk and waist, by the size and shape of the lobe at the bent of the scape, by the shape of frontal carinae and frontal lobes (including FI and FLI), but differ from the latter by more abundant standing hairs on the body (petiole with> 10, often> 20 hairs vs. < 10, usually ~ 8 hairs), by the presence of at least shallow medial notch on the anterior c1ypeal margin, by the less coarse, almost straight longitudinal rugosity on the alitrunk dorsum (vs. strong reticulation in M. scabrinodis) and by the reduced (to various extents) sculpture of the petiolar and postpetiolar dorsum, and finally, by its reduced tibial spurs. Males of M. vandeli have relatively long scapes and could be confused with Myrmica sabuleti, but they well differ from it by the presence of abundant long standing hairs on the scape and head margins, and by the much shorter hairs on the mid- and hind tibiae. Queens of M. vandeli differ from those of all species of the scabrinodis-group by their large size, very dark, almost black body colour, and especially by the characteristic longitudinally-concentric rugosity on the petiolar node dorsum.
Keys including this Species
- Key to Myrmica of China
- Key to Myrmica of East Europe, West Siberia, northern Kazakhstan, Caucasus, Asia Minor, Turkmenistan and Iran
- Key to Myrmica of Romania
- Key to Myrmica of West Europe and North Africa
- Key to parasitic Himalayan Myrmica
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Palaearctic Region: Austria, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, France (type locality), Germany, Hungary, Iberian Peninsula, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
This species is a host for the fungus Rickia wasmannii (a pathogen) (Espadaler & Santamaria, 2012).
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- vandeli. Myrmica vandeli Bondroit, 1920a: 148, figs. 1, 2 (q.m.) FRANCE. [Also described as new by Bondroit, 1920b: 301.] Kutter, 1977c: 71 (w.). Subspecies of scabrinodis: Weber, 1950b: 211. Revived status as species: Bernard, 1967: 122; Kutter, 1977c: 71; Seifert, 1988b: 33. See also: Elmes & Thomas, 1985: 97; Radchenko & Elmes, 2003a: 230; Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 315.
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) - this species was named for the French biologist Prof. Albert Vandel (1894-1980) who collected the type specimens.
- Bagherian Yazdi, A., Munch, W. & Seifert, B. 2012. A first demonstration of interspecific hybridization in Myrmica ants by geometric morphometrics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecological News 17, 121-131.
- Bernard, F. 1967a . Faune de l'Europe et du Bassin Méditerranéen. 3. Les fourmis (Hymenoptera Formicidae) d'Europe occidentale et septentrionale. Paris: Masson, 411 pp. (page 122, Revived status as species)
- Bondroit, J. 1920a . Notes diverses sur des fourmis d'Europe. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 59: 143-158 (page 148, figs. 1, 2 queen, male described)
- Bondroit, J. 1920b. Supplément aux fourmis de France et de Belgique. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Fr. 88: 299-305 PDF (page 301, also described as new)
- 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).
- Elmes, G. W.; Thomas, J. A. 1985. Morphometrics as a tool in identification: a case study of Myrmica from France (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Actes Colloq. Insectes Soc. 2: 97-108 (page 97, see also)
- Espadaler, X. 2008. Myrmica vandeli Bondroit 1920, an ant species new to Sweden (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Entomologisk Tidskrift, 129(1): 40-42.
- Espadaler, X., Santamaria, S. 2012. Ecto- and Endoparasitic Fungi on Ants from the Holarctic Region. Psyche Article ID 168478, 10 pages (doi:10.1155/2012/168478).
- GALKOWSKI C., 2010a. – Découverte de Myrmica vandeli Bondroit, 1920 dans les Pyrénées Orientales (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Revue de l'Association roussillonnaise d'Entomologie 19 (1) : 11-12.
- Kutter, H. 1977c. Hymenoptera, Formicidae. Insecta Helv. Fauna 6: 1-298 (page 71, worker described, Revived status as species)
- Radchenko, A.; Elmes, G. W.; Czechowska, W.; Stankiewicz, A.; Czechowski, W.; Sielezniew, M. 2003b. First records of Myrmica vandeli Bondroit and M. tulinae Elmes, Radchenko et Aktaç (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) for Poland, with a key for the scabrinodis- and sabuleti-complexes. Fragm. Faun. (Warsaw) 46: 47-57 PDF (page 47, record in Poland)
- Radchenko, A.G. & Elmes, G.W. 2010. Myrmica ants of the Old World. Fauna Mundi 3: 1-789.
- 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 33, Revived status as species)
- Stankiewicz, A. M.; Antonova, V. 2005. Myrmica vandeli Bondroit (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) - a new ant species to Bulgaria. Acta Zool. Bulg. 57: 123-126 (page 123, record in Bulgaria)
- Weber, N. A. 1950c. A revision of the North American ants of the genus Myrmica Latreille with a synopsis of the Palearctic species. III. Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 43: 189-226 (page 211, Variety of scabrinodis)