Myrmica bergi

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Myrmica bergi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species group: bergi
Species: M. bergi
Binomial name
Myrmica bergi
Ruzsky, 1902

Myrmica bergi 20560 20560 hal.jpg

Myrmica bergi 20560 20560 had.jpg

Syntype Specimen Label


An ant of dry regions that nests in wet places such as salt marshes, bogs, and along the banks of watercourses.


Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - A member of the bergi complex of the scabrinodis species group that is most similar to Myrmica gallienii, differing from the latter by the shorter propodeal spines, lower petiole, darker colour, etc.; males differ by relatively longer scape.

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 47.86° to 32°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Austria, Azerbaijan, Balearic Islands, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Gibraltar, Iran, Kazakhstan (type locality), Kyrgyzstan, Romania, Russian Federation, Switzerland, Türkiye.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.


Although M. bergi is distributed in semi-arid and even arid regions, within these it dwells exclusively in intrazonal, damp and almost always salted habitats, where it can be very abundant locally. Arnoldi (1934: 161) states that it is "Characteristic for salty bogs". The populations of M. bergi from the steppe zone of southern Ukraine have been most studied (Bondar et al. 1998; Bondar 1999; Bondar, Rusina 2003; Stukalyuk, Radchenko 2008, and personal observations). Here it nests in the reed, sedge and grass associations that border the sea shore (salt marshes and lagoon shores) and surround the numerous salted lakes of differing sizes. Around salted lakes workers can be seen foraging over the caustic encrusted, white, salty deposits even in full sunshine. Nests are built shallowly in the soil but almost always have a large mound of soil above them in which the majority of ants live. Usually the mound is constructed around plant stalks, especially sedges, and in times of flooding the entire colony migrates up the stems where it can construct temporary nest high above the water level, covered with soil and pieces of vegetation (Bondar et ai. 1998), and the foraging workers actively swim, sometimes for several tens of meters. The other studies cited above have shown that colonies can be large and polygynous, containing several thousand workers, and in optimal conditions they can be polycalic comprising several tens of nests. Possibly this may be a local adaptation to high relatedness, it being probably that populations living around isolated lakes are quite inbred. We have seen small colonies nesting more typically in the soil (for scabrinodis-group.species), living in competition with other ant species in short moist, grazed grassland on the raised banks of the river Dnepr where flooding is less likely.

Tarbinsky (1976) studied M. bergi living in Kirgizia; he wrote (lac. cit., p. 46) that it "Lives up to altitude 1600 m, along river and stream banks, near Salix and Hippophae shrubs, or near Phragmites, in semi-shaded places. It nests in sandy soil, sometimes with small mounds, but usually without them. In the morning and evening ants forage on open sand but during the day, in shade under shrubs or Phragmites". In this respect it is quite similar to the Ukrainian populations. However, Tarbinsky (lac. cit.) also said that colonies are "quite large compared to other Myrmica species" (which agrees with our observations) "and monogynous" which is atypical for south Ukrainian populations. Ruzsky (1905) recorded that var. 'barchanica nested in sandy soils with rich vegetation, mainly Populus and Salix.



The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • bergi. Myrmica bergi Ruzsky, 1902b: 473 (w.) KAZAKHSTAN. [Also described as new by Ruzsky, 1902c: 12.] Ruzsky, 1905b: 676 (q.m.); Emery, 1908a: 172 (q.m.). Senior synonym of barchanica: Arnol'di, 1970b: 1839; of kamyschiensis, kirgisica: Seifert, 1988b: 11; of persiana: Radchenko, 1994e: 76. See also: Tarbinsky, 1976: 45; Radchenko, Elmes & Woyciechowski, 2002: 413; Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 101.
  • kirgisica. Myrmica rugosa var. kirgisica Ruzsky, 1903b: 314 (w.) RUSSIA. Subspecies of bergi: Arnol'di, 1970b: 1839. Junior synonym of bergi: Seifert, 1988b: 11.
  • barchanica. Myrmica bergi var. barchanica Ruzsky, 1905b: 678 (w.) RUSSIA. Junior synonym of bergi: Arnol'di, 1970b: 1839.
  • fortior. Myrmica bergi var. fortior Crawley, 1920a: 163 (w.) IRAN. [Junior primary homonym of fortior Forel, above.] Replacement name: persiana Weber, 1947: 474.
  • kamyschiensis. Myrmica kamyschiensis Arnol'di, 1934: 159, figs. 2, 3 (w.) UKRAINE. Karavaiev, 1936: 273 (q.). Subspecies of bergi: Karavaiev, 1936: 272. Junior synonym of bergi: Seifert, 1988b: 11.
  • persiana. Myrmica bergi subsp. persiana Weber, 1947: 474. Replacement name for fortior Crawley, 1920a: 163. [Junior primary homonym of fortior Forel, 1904c: 22.] Junior synonym of bergi: Radchenko, 1994e: 76.

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



Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - this species was named for its collector, Prof. Lev Semenovich Berg, who was a distinguished Russian natural scientist, most famous for his work on marine biology and the theory of nomogenesis (the initials H. L. Berg in Ruzsky 1902b probably means "Herr L. Berg").


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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  • Crawley W. C. 1920. Ants from Mesopotamia and north-west Persia. Entomol. Rec. J. Var. 32: 162-166.
  • Czechowski W., A. Radchenko, W. Czechowska and K. Vepsäläinen. 2012. The ants of Poland with reference to the myrmecofauna of Europe. Fauna Poloniae 4. Warsaw: Natura Optima Dux Foundation, 1-496 pp
  • Czekes Z., Radchenko, A. G., Csősz, S. Szász-Len, A., Tăuşan, I., Benedek, K., and Markó, B. 2013. The genus Myrmica Latreille, 1804 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Romania: distribution of species and key for their identification. Entomologica Romanica 17: 29-50.
  • Dubovikoff D. A., and Z. M. Yusupov. 2018. Family Formicidae - Ants. In Belokobylskij S. A. and A. S. Lelej: Annotated catalogue of the Hymenoptera of Russia. Proceedingss of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences 6: 197-210.
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  • Guénard B., and R. R. Dunn. 2012. A checklist of the ants of China. Zootaxa 3558: 1-77.
  • Jansen G., R. Savolainen, K. Vespalainen. 2010. Phylogeny, divergence-time estimation, biogeography and social parasite–host relationships of the Holarctic ant genusMyrmica(Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 56: 294-304.
  • Paknia O., A. Radchenko, H. Alipanah, and M. Pfeiffer. 2008. A preliminary checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Iran. Myrmecological News 11: 151-159.
  • Radchenko A. G., G. W. Elmes, and M. Woyciechowski. 2002. An appraisal of Myrmica bergi Ruzsky, 1902 and related species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Annales Zoologici (Warsaw) 52: 409-421.
  • Radchenko A. G., and G. W. Elmes. 2010. Myrmica ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Old World. Fauna Mundi 3. Warsaw: Natura Optima Dux Foundation, 790 pp.
  • Ruzsky M. 1902. Neue Ameisen aus Russland. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 17: 469-484.
  • Sadil J. V. 1952. A revision of the Czechoslovak forms of the genus Myrmica Latr. (Hym.). Sb. Entomol. Oddel. Nár. Mus. Praze 27: 233-278.
  • Schultz, R., A. G. Radchenko, and B. Seifert. "A critical checklist of the ants of Kyrgyzstan (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Myrmecologische Nachrichten 8 (2006): 201-207.
  • Stukalyuk S. V. 2016. Crematogaster subdentata Mayr, 1877, a potentially invasive species of ant (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) new to the fauna of Crimea. Entomological Review 95(8)
  • Stukalyuk S. V., and M. V. Netsvetov. 2018. The influence of Crematogaster subdentata Mayr invasion on the structure of ant assemblages (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Crimea. Journal of General Biology 79(4): 294-317.
  • Weber N. A. 1947. A revision of the North American ants of the genus Myrmica Latreille with a synopsis of the Palearctic species. I. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 40: 437-474.