Myrmica weberi

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Myrmica weberi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species: M. weberi
Binomial name
Myrmica weberi
Elmes & Radchenko, 2009

Myrmica weberi casent0913089 p 1 high.jpg

Myrmica weberi casent0913089 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

This species is probably restricted to the Southern slopes of the Central Himalaya (Nepal, India and Bhutan), where it lives between 2000 and 3000m. The collection data suggests that Myrmica weberi might be a rather reclusive species that nests under moss, dead wood and rocks, mostly foraging close to the ground and litter (Radchenko & Elmes, 2010; Bharti et al., 2016).

Identification

Radchenko and Elmes (2010) – A member of the ritae complex of the ritae species group. It most resembles Myrmica indica and Myrmica alperti, but differs from them by the distinctly smaller size, the thinner and longer propodeal spines, by the more developed reticulation on the head dorsum, etc. Additionally, it differs from M. indica by the shape of frontal carinae that curve outwards to merge with the rugae, which surround antennal sockets, and from M. alperti - by the sharply pointed apically propodeal lobes.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: Bhutan, India, Nepal (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • weberi. Myrmica weberi Elmes & Radchenko, 2009: 112, fig. 1 (w.q.) NEPAL. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 321.

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

Description

Worker

Head distinctly longer than broad, with very feebly convex sides, nearly straight occipital margin and narrowly rounded occipital corners, its upper latero-ventral corners pointed; anterior clypeal margin very feebly convex, notched medially. Mandibles with 8–9 teeth. Frontal carinae curved outwards to merge with the rugae, which surround antennal sockets. Frons wide, frontal lobes not extended, somewhat raised vertically (i. e. perpendicular to the head surface). Scape of moderate length, usually shorter or only slightly longer than head length, gradually and weakly curved at the base. Alitrunk long and low, with very feebly convex promesonotal dorsum (seen in profile), promesonotal suture indistinct (seen from above); metanotal groove ranges from nearly absent to well developed, but always shallow and not very distinct; metapleural lobes projecting apically to form sharp teeth. Propodeal spines very long, not widened at the base, thin, slender, straight and sharply pointed. Petiole long, low and narrow, with long node; its anterior surface concave, node dorsum very feebly convex; postpetiole fig-shaped (seen from above), longer than high, its anterior surface not steep, almost straight and slightly transversally depressed in the middle, node dorsum narrowly rounded (seen in profile). Spurs on middle and hind tibiae well developed and pectinate.

Elmes and Radchenko 2009 1.jpg

Anterior (lower) half of frons with coarse longitudinal rugae, at least 6 between frontal carinae level with the eyes, remainder of head dorsum (posterior to eyes) with coarse reticulation. Clypeus with coarse longitudinal rugae, mandibles rugulose. Whole alitrunk dorsum with coarse reticulation extending to upper parts of propleura and sides of propodeum, mesopleura with almost straight longitudinal rugae, and remainder of sides with coarse sinuous longitudinal rugae. Petiole with coarse, short, sinuous longitudinal rugae and some reticulation, postpetiole with less coarse longitudinal, slightly sinuous rugosity. Surface on body between rugae smooth and shiny.

Occipital margin with some fairly long, suberect hairs, sides of head above eyes without or at most with 1–2 such hairs; alitrunk and waist with sparse long hairs. Scape and tibiae with subdecumbent hairs.

Alitrunk and head black to blackish-brown, gaster dark brown, though appendages distinctly lighter, brownish-yellow, contrasting with dark colour of body.

Queen

Generally resembles workers by body sculpture, by the shape of head, propodeal spines and waist, by the character of pilosity on the body and appendages, and by colour. Scutum is distinctly convex, alitrunk is relatively high. It is relatively small, even smaller than the largest workers.

Measurements (mm) of queen: HL 1,16, HW 0,98, FW 0,42, FLW 0,45, SL 1,11, AL 1,96, HTL 1,06, PL 0,69, PW 0,32, PH 0,38, PPL 0,46, PPW 0,47, PPH 0,48, ESL 0,62, ESD 0,60, AH 1,16, SCL 1,36; SCW 0,92.

Type Material

Holotype worker, NPL28 (No. 11 — Elmes coll. label), Nepal, Sankhawalava Maghang, Kharka, Makalu Barun Conservation Area, 27°36'18.5 N 87°7'30 E, 2634 m, 7.11.2005 (Alpert, Alonso and Subedi), CK–3, yak meadow under rocks, under stones (Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel). Paratypes: 15 workers and 1 queen with same label as holotype; 7 workers, NPL25, Nepal, Sankhawalava Maghang, Kharka, Makalu Barun Conservation Area, 27°35'36.6N 87°7'20.7E, 2548 m, 5.11.2005 (D. Emmett and Subedi), MK 21–283, Winkler trap; 3 workers, NPL 31, Nepal, Sankhawalava Makalu Barun Conservation Area, MK–4, 27°35'24.8 N 87°7'18.7E, 2563 m, 3.11.2005 (G. Alpert), on rock under moss, large colony with 2 queens; 3 workers, NPL 32, Nepal, Sankhawalava Makalu Barun Conservation Area, MK–6, 27°35'24.8 N 87°7'18.7 E, 2563 m, 3.11.2005 (G. Alpert), open meadow, under logs; 7 workers, NPL 33, Nepal, Sankhawalava, Makalu Barun Conservation Area, MK W17, 7.11.05, Winkler trap; (SIZK, Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel, ELMES); 1 worker, India, Darjeeling Distr., Tiger Hill, 2500 m, 27.05.1975 (W. Wittmer), “M. indica Weber det. Radchenko and Elmes” (Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel); 1 worker, Kosi, Chauki, 2°11–12'N 87°27–28'E 2000–3000 m, 22–24.06.01, Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel Exped. Npl. 2001 (Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel); 1 worker, Bhutan, Nolding, 41 km O Wangdi, 2800 m, Nat.-Hist. Museum Basel — Bhutan Expedition, 1972, “M. indica Weber det Radchenko and Elmes” (SIZK); 1 worker, NPL2.1, Nepal, Rigmo, H. Tabata, 7.06.1978, “M. indica Weber det Radchenko and Elmes” (ELMES).

Etymology

Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - this species was dedicated to the well-known American myrmecologist, Prof. Neil A. Weber, who wrote the first monographic review on genus Myrmica.

References