Myrmica aimonissabaudiae

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Myrmica aimonissabaudiae
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species: M. aimonissabaudiae
Binomial name
Myrmica aimonissabaudiae
Menozzi, 1939

Myrmica aimonissabaudiae P casent0904554.jpg

Myrmica aimonissabaudiae D casent0904554.jpg

Specimen Label

Synonyms

This species has a widespread distribution in Himalaya, occupying a variety of habitats, under stones, rotten wood, near the foot of trees, riverine habitats and nests in open meadow mostly in Pinus, Cedrus and Juniperus forests. The nests of this species are polydomous, with the internal temperature ranging from 14°C to 28°C, and thrive well in disturbed habitats with considerable anthropogenic activities. Large nests were observed to contain more than 200 workers including alates (both males and gynes) were observed in June and as late up to first week of August. The altitudinal range for the species in Himalaya is 1300m to 3500m above mean sea level. (Bharti et al., 2016)

A little more is known about the ecology of M. aimonissabaudiae compared to most other Himalayan species because it appears to be one of the most common, based on published data and material in collections. It has been found at quite a range of altitudes, 1300 to 3450 m (most of Menozzi's material was collected between 2200 m and 2600 m), in both natural and disturbed habitats. The latter includes fields and parks where it prefers relatively wet places being quite common in irrigated fields; Menozzi (1939: 289) particularly mentions that it was found near oasi in the middle of quite arid regions. More recent records suggest that M. aimonissabaudiae is most abundant in semi-natural habitats where nests have been found in open grasslands with or without shrubs, and in deciduous and coniferous forests, where it nests both in the ground and in rotten wood (Philip Ward, pers. comm.). Based on these reports it appears to occupy a niche similar to that of Myrmica ruginodis in Europe.

Identification

A member of the rugosa complex of the rugosa species group. It most resembles two other Himalayan species – Myrmica rugosa and Myrmica hecate - particularly by the distinct (but not coarse) sculpture on the nodes of the petiole and postpetiole. However it differs from the former by having much better developed reticulation on the head dorsum, and from the latter by its less multidentate mandibles (7-9 teeth on the masticatory margin of mandibles vs. > 10 in M. hecate). (Radchenko and Elmes 2010)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

NE Afghanistan, NE Pakistan, India: Kashmir, Himahal Pradesh, West Bengal (Darjeeling), Sikkim, Meghalaya; Nepal, Bhutan.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan (type locality).
Palaearctic Region: Afghanistan.


Distribution based on AntMaps

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Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

This species is host to two inquilines, Myrmica ereptrix and Myrmica latra.

Castes

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • aimonissabaudiae. Myrmica aimonissabaudiae Menozzi, 1939a: 286, figs. 1, 3 (w.q.) PAKISTAN. Collingwood, 1961a: 56 (m.). Senior synonym of dicaporiaccoi: Radchenko & Elmes, 2001a: 248. [Misspelled as amedeussabaudiae by Menozzi, 1939a: 286.] See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 82.
  • dicaporiaccoi. Myrmica dicaporiaccoi Menozzi, 1939a: 289, figs. 5, 6 (w.) PAKISTAN. Junior synonym of aimonissabaudiae: Radchenko & Elmes, 2001a: 248.

Type Material

Myrmica aimonissabaudiae

  • Lectotype of (designated by Radchenko & Elmes, 2001): worker, “Karakorum, Gund, Valle Sind, 2080m, 9.iv.1929” (MSNM).
  • Paralectotypes (designated by Radchenko & Elmes, 2001): 3 workers, “Karakorum, Gund, Valle Sind, 2080m, 9.iv.1929” (MSNM); 1 gyne, “Askol, Braldo, 3100m, 10.viii.1929” (MSNM).

Myrmica dicaporiaccoi

  • Lectotype of (designated by Radchenko & Elmes, 2001), worker, “Sped. Karakorum, Shigar, 23.viii.29, 2200m” (MSNM).

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.

Description

Worker

Etymology

Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - the name derives from the first name Aimone combined with Sabaudi (meaning Savoyan). It is dedicated to the leader of the Italian Expedition to the Karakorum, 1929, which collected the type material.

References