AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Rossomyrmex proformicarum
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Rossomyrmex
Arnol'di, 1928
Type species
Rossomyrmex proformicarum
4 species
(Species Checklist, Species by Country)

Rossomyrmex proformicarum casent0178514 profile 1.jpg

Rossomyrmex proformicarum

Rossomyrmex proformicarum casent0178514 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen Label

Evolutionary Relationships

  (2 genera)

  (10 genera)

  (9 genera)


  (15 species)

  (282 species)

  (1 species)

  (3 species)

  (29 species)

  (118 species)

  (4 species)

Gesomyrmex, Oecophylla

  (9 genera)

Gigantiops, Myrmoteras, Santschiella

  (8 genera)

Based on Ward et al. 2016.

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


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

• 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


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.


  • [[Media:Tinaut 2007.pdf| Tinaut, A. 2007. A new species of the genus Rossomyrmex Arnoldi, 1928 from Turkey. Graellsia 63: 1*Agosti, D. 1991. Revision of the oriental ant genus Cladomyrma, with an outline of the higher classification of the Formicinae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Syst. Entomol. 16: 293-310 (page 295, Rossomyrmex in Formicinae, Formica genus group.)
  • Agosti, D. 1994b. The phylogeny of the ant tribe Formicini (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) with the description of a new genus. Syst. Entomol. 19: 93-117 (page 112, diagnosis, review of genus)
  • Arnol'di, K. V. 1928c. Studien über die Systematik der Ameisen. III. Rossomyrmex. Neue Gattung der Ameisen und ihre Beziehungen zu den anderen Gattungen der Formicidae. Zool. Anz. 75: 299-310 (page 299, Rossomyrmex as genus)
  • Bolton, B. 2003. Synopsis and Classification of Formicidae. Mem. Am. Entomol. Inst. 71: 370pp (page 130, Rossomyrmex in Formicinae, Formicini)
  • Donisthorpe, H. 1943h. A list of the type-species of the genera and subgenera of the Formicidae. [concl.]. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 11(10): 721-737 (page 725, Rossomyrmex in Formicinae, Formicini)
  • Rabeling, C. 2020. Social Parasitism. In: Starr, C. (ed.) Encyclopedia of Social Insects. Springer, Cham. (doi:10.1007/978-3-319-90306-4_175-1).