Myrmica saposhnikovi

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Myrmica saposhnikovi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species: M. saposhnikovi
Binomial name
Myrmica saposhnikovi
Ruzsky, 1904

Myrmica saposhnikovi P casent0904073.jpg

Myrmica saposhnikovi D casent0904073.jpg

Specimen Label


As emphasised by Kuznetsov-Ugamsky (1927), M. saposhnikovi (together with M. dshungarica) is one of the main elements of the ant fauna in the fir forests of the Central Tien-Shan. It was found in fir forests and subalpine meadows at altitudes between 1000 and 2900 m and also somewhat surprisingly (see the biology section below) " in steppe-like habitats at altitudes less than 600 m.


Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - A member of the lobicornis complex of the lobicornis species group and well differs from the sympatric Myrmica kirghisorum by the very small vertical dent or even ridge at the base of the scape, by the less extended frontal lobes and by its subtriangular petiole without a declined dorsal plate (seen in profile).

Keys including this Species


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 42.65° to 41.508577°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: China, Kazakhstan (type locality), Kyrgyzstan, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation.

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.


Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - M. saposhnikovi has a strange dichotomy in its habitat preferences. On the one hand, it inhabits both fir forests and subalpine meadows (relatively cool habitats) at altitudes over 1000 m; Kuznetsov-Ugamsky (1927: 193-194) noted that “This form together with M. rugosa dshungarica is one of the main elements of the myrmecofauna of the belt of fir forests in the Central Tien-Shan” (our translation from Russian). On the other hand, it lives also in much hotter and drier steppe-like habitats at lower altitudes, as was stated by Ruzsky (1904b). We think it possible that Ruzsky (1904b) included two morphologically similar species in the type series of M. saposhnikovi: one from the mountain forests (Dzhungarian Alatau; the lectotype specimen belongs to this series) and one from the steppes near Dhzarkent. As the Dhzarkent “type” material appears to be lost, it is open to question whether “M. saposhnikovi” is one species with some sort of variable ecology, or whether it contains two hardly distinguishable sibling species, each adapted to different habitats. Unless the Dhzarkent material is found, this question can be resolved only by a combination of ecological and perhaps molecular genetical studies of the different populations in the Middle Asian mountains.



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

  • saposhnikovi. Myrmica lobicornis r. saposhnikovi Ruzsky, 1904b: 3 (w.) KAZAKHSTAN. Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1927e: 194 (q.m.). Subspecies of scabrinodis: Ruzsky, 1905b: 701; Emery, 1908a: 180. Raised to species: Pisarski, 1969b: 296; Arnol'di, 1976a: 553; Tarbinsky, 1976: 35. Senior synonym of bergiana, intermedia: Radchenko, 1994g: 85. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 256.
  • bergiana. Myrmica saposhnikovi subsp. bergiana Tarbinsky, 1976: 38, figs. 37-39 (w.) KYRGYZSTAN. Junior synonym of saposhnikovi: Radchenko, 1994g: 85.

Taxonomic Notes

See Radchenko & Elmes (2009) for notes on type specimens.

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) - named for the well-known Russian geographer and botanist, Professor Vasily Vasilievich Saposhnikov (1861-1924) of Tomsk University.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Chen Z. L., S. Y. Zhou, and J. H. Huang. 2016. Seven species new to science and one newly recorded species of the ant genus Myrmica Latreille, 1804 from China, with proposal of a new synonym (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). ZooKeys 551: 85–128.
  • Guénard B., and R. R. Dunn. 2012. A checklist of the ants of China. Zootaxa 3558: 1-77.
  • Huang Jian-hua, Zhou Shan-yi. 2007. A checklist of family Formicidae of China - Myrmicinae (Part II) (Insecta: Hymenoptera). Journal of Guangxi Normal University : Natural Science Edition 25(1): 91-99.
  • 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.
  • Pisarski B. 1969. Fourmis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de la Mongolie. Fragmenta Faunistica (Warsaw). 15: 221-236.
  • Radchenko A. G., and G. W. Elmes. 2009. Important alterations in the taxonomy of the ant genus Myrmica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae), based on the investigation of the M. Ruzsky’s type specimens, preserved in the Museo Civico di Storia Naturale “Giacomo Doria” in Genoa. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale “Giacomo Doria” 100: 501-525.
  • 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.