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Ants of the genus Rossomyrmex are slave-makers that invade nests of genus Proformica to steal brood that will grow up as slaves (Marikovsky, 1974; Ruano & Tinaut, 1999). This genus was first described from the Caucasian steppes (Arnoldi,1928, 1932) with the species R. proformicarum. No further information on this genus appeared for 40 years, until 1974, when the biology of this species was studied by Marikovsky (1974) in the Tian-Shan slopes, near Almaty (Kazakhstan). Tinaut (1981) described workers and queens of a new species : R. minuchae, found in Sierra Nevada (Granada, Spain) thousands of kilometers away from the Central Asian steppes, the only place where the genus was known until then. The third species of the genus, R. quandratinodum, was described in the Chinese region of Urumchi (Xinjiang) (Xia & Zheng, 1995), located in the western part of China and corresponding to a small region between Mongolia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.




Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps

Species by Region

Number of species within biogeographic regions, along with the total number of species for each region.

Afrotropical Region Australasian Region Indo-Australian Region Malagasy Region Nearctic Region Neotropical Region Oriental Region Palaearctic Region
Species 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5
Total Species 2839 1735 3036 932 834 4378 1708 2836


Association with Other Organisms

All Associate Records for Genus

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Taxon Relationship Associate Type Associate Taxon Associate Relationship Locality Source Notes
Rossomyrmex anatolicus slave maker ant Proformica korbi host Tinaut et al., 2010; Ruano et al., 2013; de la Mora et al., 2021
Rossomyrmex minuchae slave maker ant Proformica longiseta host Ruano & Tinaut, 1999; D'Ettorre & Heinze, 2001; Errard et al., 2006; Ruano et al., 2013; de la Mora et al., 2021
Rossomyrmex proformicarum slave maker ant Proformica epinotalis host D'Ettorre & Heinze, 2001; Ruano et al., 2013; de la Mora et al., 2021
Rossomyrmex quandratinodus slave maker ant Proformica sp. host Tinaut et al., 2010; Ruano et al., 2013; de la Mora et al., 2021

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 23-200 (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Compound colony type: dulosis (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Nest site: hypogaeic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Diet class: omnivore (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging stratum: subterranean/leaf litter (Greer et al., 2021)


Tinaut 2007-5.jpg


Worker Morphology

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• Antennal segment count: 12 • Antennal club: absent • Palp formula: 6,4 • Total dental count: 4-6 • Spur formula: 1 simple, 1 simple • Eyes: >100 ommatidia • Scrobes: absent • Pronotal Spines: absent • Mesonotal Spines: absent • Propodeal Spines: absent • Petiolar Spines: absent • Caste: none or weak • Sting: absent • Metaplural Gland: present • Cocoon: present



Gesomyrmex  (7 species, 12 fossil species)


Oecophylla  (15 species, 16 fossil species)


Gigantiops  (1 species, 0 fossil species)


Santschiella  (1 species, 0 fossil species)


Myrmoteras  (41 species, 0 fossil species)


See Phylogeny of Formicinae for details.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • ROSSOMYRMEX [Formicinae: Formicini]
    • Rossomyrmex Arnol'di, 1928c: 299. Type-species: Rossomyrmex proformicarum, by original designation.