Myrmica scabrinodis Nylander,

Collingwood, C. A., 1979, The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark., Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 8, pp. 1-174: 55

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Myrmica scabrinodis Nylander


9. Myrmica scabrinodis Nylander  HNS  , 1846

Figs. 14, 33,37,49, 55,67.

Myrmica scabrinodis Nylander  HNS  , 1846:930.

Myrmica pilosiscapus Bondroit  HNS  , 1920:301.

Myrmica rugulosoides Forel  HNS  , 1915:29.

Worker: Yellow red to blackish brown according to habitat. The antennal scape is sharply angled and sinuate near the base, often with a slight lateral extension in the larger more deeply sculptured forms. The petiole has a distinctly concave anterior face which meets the truncate dorsal surface at a sharp angle. Head Index: 85.6; Frons Index: 36.8; Frontal Laminae Index: 66.5. Length: 4.0-5.0 mm. Queens. As worker. Length: 5.5-6.5 mm.

Male. Brown to brownish black with profuse long outstanding body and appendage hairs distinctly longer than their appendage width; the antennal scape is short and stout, not longer than the three following funiculus segments. Length: 5.0-6.0 mm.

Distribution. Common throughout Denmark, Fennoscandia and the British IsleRange: Throughout Europe.

Biology. The species has variable habits, being found in a very wide range of habitats. In southern areas it is often associated with the meadow ant Lasius flavus (Fabr.)  HNS  living in part of the mound nest and preying on the L. flavus  HNS  workers but may be equally common in woodland, coastal sand, gravel river banks, peat bogs and moorland. Individual nests are small, situated under stones, in tree stumps or in the ground with a few hundred workers and one or a few queens. The alatae fly in August, pairing occurring in the air.

Note. This species is very variable in size and colour. The smaller samples can be confused with M. rugulosa  HNS  or M. specioides  HNS  but can be distinguished by the sharply truncate petiole and narrower frons. In Northern Britain colonies of very dark, often deeply sculptured workers are frequently seen with the scape having a slight semi-circular extension at the bend. This is equivalent to the form described as M. pilosiscapus Bondroit  HNS  (1920) and redescribed by Sadil (1951), but there is no clear difference in male or female castes between this and the accepted M. scabrinodis  HNS  for a specific distinction. Similarly M. rugulosoides Forel  HNS  (1915) was described as small and weakly sculptured as is frequent in many colonies of this variable species. In some nests large macrergate workers occur with deeper colour and sculpture among the smaller lighter coloured workers while the males of all these variable forms have the constant specific features of long body and appendage hairs and short thick scape.