Myrmica rugiventris (Smith, M.R.)


Myrmica rugiventris head  Myrmica rugiventris worker
Workers in the genus Myrmica are medium sized and have 12 segmented antenna. They show a slightly arched mesosomal profile with no promesonotal suture, a slightly impressed metanotal groove and spines on their propodeum. Coloration varies but is typically drab and dark (e.g., black, dark brown or dark red). Accurate identification of Nearctic Myrmica species is problematic, especially in the western United States. Many named species are difficult to key out and numerous unnamed species are also known to exist (Jansen et al. 2009).
Francoeur (2007) makes the clearest statement about what we can glean from the published literature concerning Myrmica species: "it is quite difficult to use or interpret published data without voucher specimens." With this in mind, we present information gleaned from published studies with the caveat that we presently have a poor understanding of western United States Myrmica forms. Our intent is to use what we have here as a beginning with the hope that more observations, with vouchered specimens, will be forthcoming to clarify the biology of this and other Myrmica species.
additional biology notes...
United States. Species identification problems in Myrmica makes it difficult to delineate the distribution of individual species. In North America the genus ranges from Canada to Central America. Myrmica rugiventris is known from California and Arizona.
Navajo Reservation Records
Samples being processed.
Additional Notes
General biology of Nearctic Myrmica species: Small to medium sized colonies, often with more than one queen. Nests can be found in downed wood, under or within objects on the ground, in moss, and in the soil. Most are carnivorous and also tend aphids. They may be found in forests, meadows, bogs, along waterways and in some disturbed habitats. Within their range they can be are quite common. Southern North America occurrences of Myrmica are primarily confined to mountain habitats as the genus as a whole is adapted to cool, mesic conditions.
This ant has been found in a variety of habitats including chaparral and transitional woodlands.

Morphological. Workers possess longitudinal rugulae on many different parts of their body.

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Original Combination - Tetramorium rugiventris - Smith, M.R. (1943)

the original species description for Myrmica rugiventris (first page) species description for Myrmica rugiventris (second page) Myrmica rugiventris description (third page) original description for Myrmica rugiventris (fourth page)

Holotype.-United States National Museum No. 56398. Paratypes.-Three in the United States National Museum one in the American Museum of Natural History, and one in the Museum of Comparative Zoology (Harvard).

As reported in Smith (1943).

Type Locality
Prescott, Arizona.

Francoeur, A. 2007. The Myrmica punctiventris and M. crassirugis species groups in the Nearctic region. Pages 153-185 in R. R. Snelling, B. L. Fisher, and P. S. Ward, editors. Advances in ant systematics (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): homage to E. O. Wilson - 50 years of contributions. Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute, vol. 80, Gainesville, FL, 690 p.
Jansen, G., R. Savolainen, and K. Vepsäläinen. 2009. DNA barcoding as a heuristic tool for classifying undescribed Nearctic Myrmica ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). 38:527-536.
Smith, M. R. 1943. Ants of the genus Tetramorium in the United States with the description of a new species. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington. 45:1-5.

A note about these publications. The literature cited here is not meant to be an exhaustive list of papers published about this species.

Page authored by David Lubertazzi and Gary Alpert

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