Myrmica ruginodis Nylander

Collingwood, C. A., 1979, The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark., Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 8, pp. 1-174 : 53

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Myrmica ruginodis Nylander


6. Myrmica ruginodis Nylander   HNS , 1846 Figs. 7,26,42,52,58.

Myrmica ruginodis Nylander   HNS , 1846:929.

Worker. Pale to dark reddish brown. Propodeal spines long and robust; area between their bases laterally striate, frontal triangle smooth and shining. Head and alitrunk coarsely longitudinally rugulose. Antennal scapes long and slender, gently and obliquely curved near their base. Petiole in profile massive with truncate dorsal area and abrupt step posteriorly to its junction with the postpetiole gives the easiest distinction from M. rubra (L.)   HNS . Head Index: 77.5; Frons Index: 48.3; Frontal Laminae Index: 91.3. Length: 4.0-6.0 mm.

Queen. As worker. Length: 5.5-7.0 mm (microgynes 4.5-5.5 mm).

Male. Large and robust, characteristically paler than M. rubra   HNS , with long slender antennal scapes and clearly elongate funiculus segments. The frontal triangle and space between the frontal ridges are smooth and shining. Tibial and tarsal hairs are short, sparse and subdecumbent. Length: 5.0-6.0 mm.

Distribution. Common throughout Denmark and all Fennoscandia and all Brit: regional areas. - Range: throughout Northern Eurasia to Japan.

Biology. This common species is abundant throughout the woodlands and high moorlands of North Europe to the North Cape. Brian and Brian (1949) showed that this species occurred in two incompletely dimorphic races, one polygynous with many small queens approaching the microgyne condition and one monogynous with single large queens which they termed var. microgyna   HNS and var. macrogyna   HNS respectively; microgyna   HNS was found to readily accept strange queens and to occur'in more stable habitats often forming groups of nests as is common with M. rubra   HNS : macrogyna   HNS is more aggressive and hostile to strange queens, has more populous nests and is more generally distributed, predominating in woodland and more transitory habitats (Brian and Brian, 1955). Both forms occur in Scandinavia but cannot in conventional taxonomy be regarded as either distinct species or biotopic subspecies because of wide overlap in morphology and habitat. Mating flights occur in August near or on the ground.