Myrmica constricta

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Myrmica constricta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species group: rugulosa
Species: M. constricta
Binomial name
Myrmica constricta
Karavaiev, 1934

Myrmica constricta casent0913076 p 1 high.jpg

Myrmica constricta casent0913076 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Inhabits rather xerothermic habitats, usually open places with sandy soils, and relatively sparse vegetation in full exposure to the sun. In semi-natural habitats it builds nests in the ground, occasionally under stones, but more often among grass roots, in dry sandy meadows that border rivers, lakes, ponds and seashores. In urban environments it is quite common in lawns and flower borders in city parks and around public buildings. Colonies may consist from several hundred to more than 1500 workers and several queens, and the species can probably form very large populations or super colonies (see notes to Myrmica rugulosa). Nuptial flights are in August-September (Radchenko and Elmes 2010). Pashaei Rad et al. (2018) found this species in Iran on park ground in a Caspian moist littoral area.


Radchenko and Elmes (2010) – A member of the rugulosa complex of the scabrinodis species group (see also Radchenko and Elmes 2004). It most resembles Myrmica rugulosa but differs from the latter by the presence of a small narrow ridge at the base of its scape. Female castes differ from the morphologically similar Myrmica hellenica by having a less developed lobe on the scape base, and males differ from the latter by having shorter standing hairs on the legs (for more details see Seifert et al. 2009) .

Keys including this Species


This species is quite widely, but sporadically distributed in Central and partly southern Europe: Ukraine, Poland, southern Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Romania, Italy, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 59.844° to 38.3°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine (type locality).

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.


Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Source: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010.



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

  • minuta. Myrmica rugulosa var. minuta Karavaiev, 1929b: 204 (w.m.) UKRAINE. [Junior primary homonym of minuta Say, 1836: 294, above.] Replacement name: constricta Karavaiev, 1934: 74.
  • constricta. Myrmica rugulosa var. constricta Karavaiev, 1934: 74. Replacement name for minuta Karavaiev, 1929b: 204. [Junior primary homonym of minuta Ruzsky, 1905b: 670.] Junior synonym of slobodensis: Karavaiev, 1936: 274 (priority incorrect, constricta has seniority); of rugulosa: Arnol’di, 1970: 1840; of hellenica: Radchenko, 2009: 70. Revived status as species: Seifert, et al. 2009: 72. Senior synonym of slobodensis: Seifert, et al. 2009: 72. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 113.
  • slobodensis. Myrmica rugulosa var. slobodensis Arnol'di, 1934: 162 (w.m.) UKRAINE. Senior synonym of constricta: Karavaiev, 1936: 274 (priority incorrect, constricta has seniority). Junior synonym of rugulosa: Arnol'di, 1970b: 1840; of hellenica: Radchenko, 2009: 70; of constricta: Seifert, et al. 2009: 72.

The following notes on V.A. Karavaiev type specimens have been provided by Martynov & Radchenko (2016) based on material held in the Institute of Zoology, Ukrainian Academy of Science:

Myrmica rugulosa Nyl. var. minuta Karawajew, 1929.

Type locality(-ies): “Umgegend von Kiew, jenseits des Dnjepr, Kiefernwald hinter der Nikolskaja Slobodka, 1.VIII.1919 (Nr. 2770), W. Karawajew, ww und einige mm aus dem Nest”.

Original Karawajew label(-s): “Myrmica (Myrmica) / rugulosa var. slobo- / densis Karav. / Никольск. слоб. бл. / Киева. Караваев [= Nikolskaya Slobodka near Kiev Karawajew], 2770” (see also Fig. 5).

Material: SYNTYPES, 12 w (newly mounted, IN 314/6/2), 621 w (in alcohol, IN 314/BAMS1/Karaw52, 53).

Taxonomic Notes

The name M. rugulosa var. minuta Karawajew, 1929b was preoccupied and Karawajew (1934) proposed the replacement name M. rugulosa var. constricta. Simultaneously Arnoldi (1934) also gave the replacement name var. slobodensis for Karawajew’s var. minuta, referring it to “Karavajev 1932.” Most probably Arnoldi expected that a paper by Karawajew would be published in 1932 using this name because he had discussed the matter with Karawajew and in private correspondence (see Karawajew 1936: 274). Later Karawajew (1936) believed that Arnoldi’s name slobodensis had priority and used it instead constricta. However, Arnoldi’s (1934) name Myrmica rugulosa rugulosa var. slobodensis is unavailable (quadrinomen) and therefore the first available use of the name M. rugulosa var. slobodensis was made by Karawajew (1936). Consequently, the name M. rugulosa var. constricta Karawajew, 1934 has priority over slobodensis and the latter must be considered as an unnecessary proposed replacement name. Later Arnoldi considered var. slobodensis (= constricta) to be a junior synonym of M. rugulosa (Arnoldi 1970; see also Radchenko 1994), whereas Radchenko (2009) believed it to be a synonym of M. hellenica Finzi. Most recently, Seifert et al. (2009) showed that M. constricta is morphologically distinct from M. hellenica and can be considered as a good species (see also Radchenko & Elmes 2010).

Pashaei Rad et al. (2018): Myrmica constricta Karavaiev, 1934. Type location Ukraine, CASENT0913076. No prior Iran records listed by Paknia et al. (2008) but Myrmica specioides Bondroit, 1916 appeared in Paknia (2010). The latter, type location France, CASENT0904068 (labelled Bondroit, Paris), appears identical to CASENT0913076. Radchenko and Elmes (2010) gave keys to separate the species. Their Key 5.1, Couplet 15 effectively separates via - scape base gradually curved to “constricta”, and, scape base strongly angled to “specioides”. The definite specioides type (CASENT0904068) has a near straight scape base whereas the constricta type has a distinctly angled scape base. That is the converse of Radchenko and Elmes (2010) statement. The specimen sent to B.T. as ZMGU635 is specioides. That recorded here as Ghatei 55 and the specimen from Iran, Mazandarin (Paknia), on ANTWEB1008079 (as specioides) are constricta.



Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - from the Latin constricta = small, limited in size, or marked by contraction, tightening, or compressed, contracted; as this is a replacement name for minuta, the meaning "small" seems the most reasonable.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Borowiec L. 2014. Catalogue of ants of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and adjacent regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 25(1-2): 1-340.
  • Borowiec L., and S. Salata. 2012. Ants of Greece - Checklist, comments and new faunistic data (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus 23(4): 461-563.
  • Csősz S., B. Markó, and L. Gallé. 2011. The myrmecofauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Hungary: an updated checklist. North-Western Journal of Zoology 7: 55-62.
  • 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.
  • Ebsen J. R., J. J. Boomsma, and D. R. Nash. 2019. Phylogeography and cryptic speciation in the Myrmica scabrinodis Nylander, 1846 species complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and their conservation implications. Insect Conservation and Diversity doi: 10.1111/icad.12366
  • Galkowski C., and P Wegnez. 2010. Myrmica constricta Karavaiev 1934, nouvelle espece pour la France (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Bull. Soc. Ent. Mulhouse 66(3): 41-45.
  • 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.
  • Lapeva-Gjonova, L., V. Antonova, A. G. Radchenko, and M. Atanasova. "Catalogue of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Bulgaria." ZooKeys 62 (2010): 1-124.
  • Martynov A. V., and A. G. Radchenko. 2016. Karawajew’s ant type specimens (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the National Museum of Natural History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Zootaxa 4097 (2): 244–254.
  • Pashaei Rad S., B. Taylor, R. Torabi, E. Aram, G. Abolfathi, R. Afshari, F. Borjali, M. Ghatei, F. Hediary, F. Jazini, V. Heidary Kiah, Z. Mahmoudi, F. Safariyan, and M. Seiri. 2018. Further records of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Iran. Zoology in the Middle East 64(2): 145-159.
  • 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.
  • Seifert B., B. C. Schlick-Steiner,and F. M. Steiner. 2009. Myrmica constricta Karavajev, 1934 - a cryptic sister species of Myrmica hellenica Finzi, 1926 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Soil Organisms 81: 53-76.
  • Tausan I., M. M. Jerpel, I. R. Puscasu, C. Sadeanu, R. E. Brutatu, L. A. Radutiu, and V. Giurescu. 2012. Ant fauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Sibiu County (Transylvania, Romania). Brukenthal. Acta Musei 7(3): 499-520.
  • Weber N. A. 1948. A revision of the North American ants of the genus Myrmica Latreille with a synopsis of the Palearctic species. II. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 41: 267-308.