Myrmica luteola Kupyanskaya, 1990

Chen, Zhilin, Zhou, Shanyi & Huang, Jianhua, 2016, Seven species new to science and one newly recorded species of the ant genus Myrmica Latreille, 1804 from China, with proposal of a new synonym (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), ZooKeys 551, pp. 85-128: 93

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Myrmica luteola Kupyanskaya, 1990


Taxon classification Animalia ORDO FAMILIA

Myrmica luteola Kupyanskaya, 1990  Figures 1-4

Myrmica luteola  Kupyanskaya, 1990: 103, Figs 16, 17 (w.q.) RUSSIA; 2003: 239; Radchenko and Elmes 2010: 197.

Myrmica zhengi  Ma & Xu, 2011: 795, figs 1−5 (w.m.) CHINA. syn. n.

Material examined.

Myrmica zhengi  : paratypes, 4 workers: Foping Nature Reserve (33°42'N, 107°48'E), Shaanxi Province, China. 23.vii.2006, leg. Libin Ma, No. G060078;GoogleMaps  3 workers: Qin Ling , Shaanxi Province, China. 27.vii.2006, leg. Zhao Tan, No. G060158;  1 worker, identification and presentation by Alexander G. Radchenko, but lack of collecting information. 

Differential diagnosis.

As Radchenko and Elmes (2010) noted, this species is very easy to distinguish from all other Myrmica  species due to its unique features, i.e. strongly reduced and simple non-pectinate spurs on the middle and hind tibiae, and somewhat developed ventral petiolar and postpetiolar processes. Moreover, the workers show another feature that very rarely occurs in Myrmica  species: the base of the first gastral tergite is distinctly longitudinally striated. Ma and Xu (2011) described Myrmica zhengi  from Shaanxi perhaps without reading the papers by Kupyanskaya (1990) and Radchenko et al. (2003a, 2010). These three important references are also not cited by Ma & Xu, so that they missed the key features. After a careful comparison of the five workers paratype and one queen paratype of Myrmica zhengi  with the original morphological descriptions and the identified specimens of Myrmica luteola  by Prof. Alexander G. Radchenko (Museum and Institute of Zoology Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland), we found no differences between them; therefore, we propose Myrmica zhengi  as a junior synonym of Myrmica luteola  .