Myrmica molesta

Smith, F., 1858, Catalogue of the hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae., London: British Museum, pp. -1--1: 122-123

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Myrmica molesta


35. Myrmica molesta  HNS  . B.M.

Myrmica molesta, Say  HNS  , Bost. Journ. Nat. Hist. i. 293. 6 (1834).

Myrmica domestica, Shuck  HNS  . Mag. Nat. Hist. 628 (1838).

Daniells, Proc. Linn. Soc. ii. 172.

Smith, Brit. Form. 131.

Curtis, Trans. Linn. Soc. xxi. 217. 13.

Nyl. Form. Fr. et d'Alger. 98. 26.

Hab. Britain; France; Brazil (Rio); N.America.

This species has been admitted into the lists of British Ants, but is undoubtedly an importation. The Rev. Hamlet Clark met with a small ant at Rio Janeiro, which he described as being very annoying: it was found everywhere, in-doors and out-of-doors, and upon everything; Mr. Clark brought a number of these to England, which have been carefully examined, and named provisionally Myrmica intrudens  HNS  : this species is undoubtedly M. molesta  HNS  , which has been introduced in merchandise. In this country it appears to be found in houses alone, and in some places has proved very annoying, rendering some of them uninhabitable: such was the case at Kemp Town, Brighton; and many houses in the vicinity of the British Museum swarm with them: in one of these all the sexes were procured from a nest under the kitchen hearth-stone; on turning up the latter it was found to cover a moving mass of ants, which filled the entire space occupied by the stone; countless numbers were destroyed by pouring boiling water on the colony, the females were by this means destroyed, and the pest got rid of. The female is of the same colour as the workers, yellow with the apical portion of the abdomen dusky or black, the thorax being elongate-ovate, not narrowed behind; the male is a minute black insect with colourless wings, the neuration being scarcely perceptible.

The Myrmica molesta  HNS  of Say, I consider identical with our insect, specimens from the United States having been carefully compared; it is described as being equally abundant and annoying in houses in that country, and is probably now of almost universal occurrence, like other insects which attach themselves to the habitations of man: South America is its native country.