Myrmica serica

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Myrmica serica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species: M. serica
Binomial name
Myrmica serica
Wheeler, W.M., 1928

Myrmica serica casent0248686 p 1 high.jpg

Myrmica serica casent0248686 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

In Taiwan this species lives in forests at about 2000 m. Here M. serica builds nests in open clearings, under stones, in and under pieces of wood and in tree stumps in a way reminiscent of Myrmica ruginodis or Myrmica rubra in European woodland. Nests were moderately sized though one or two could have contained as many as a 1000 workers, some nests were polygynous but at most only 2-3 queens per nest were observed. These ants were not particularly aggressive but we were stung several times and the sting seemed no more or less painful than that of any other similarly sized Myrmica species. A nuptial flight occurred in early August, it seemed that mating took place high above the trees, rather like a M. rubra swarm. In Vietnam Katsujuki Eguchi (pers. com.) found them at an altitude of between 1800 and 2200 m living in similar conditions to that observed in Taiwan. In Shaanxi province of China they live at somewhat lower altitudes (c. 1200 m) which probably reflected the cooler climate further north. (Radchenko and Elmes 2010)


Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - A member of the ritae complex of the ritae species group. The sculpture of the head dorsum of the workers is not very coarse, the frons between frontal carinae level with the eyes having at least six sinuous rugae, which discriminates it the sympatric Myrmica pulchella and Myrmica sinensis that have only four very coarse rugae on the frons; Myrmica pararitae has almost straight, not sinuous rugosity on the head dorsum, and M. serica is distinctly smaller than Myrmica titanica.

Keys including this Species


Central and southern China, Taiwan, northern Vietnam; it seems the commonest and widespread ritae-group species.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: Taiwan, Vietnam.
Palaearctic Region: China (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • serica. Myrmica margaritae var. serica Wheeler, W.M. 1928c: 8 (w.) CHINA. Radchenko & Elmes, 1998: 9 (m.); Weber, 1950b: 223 (q.). Subspecies of ritae: Weber, 1950b: 222. Raised to species: Radchenko, 1994a: 44. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 275.

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 “Land of Serica” the Greek/Roman name for a poorly known Kingdom in East Asia, that gave its name to the Latin serica = silk, so that the old name for China became synonymous with “The Land of Silk”.


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.
  • Elmes G. W., and A. G. Radchenko. 1998. Ants of the genus Myrmica from Taiwan (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Chinese Journal of Entomology 18: 217-224.
  • 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.
  • Ogata K. 2005. Asian ant inventory and international networks. Report on Insect inventory Project in Tropic Asia TAIIV: 145-170.
  • Radchenko A. G., S. Zhou, and G. W. Elmes. 2001. New and rare Myrmica species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from southern China. Annales Zoologici (Warsaw) 51: 211-219.
  • Radchenko A. G., and G. W. Elmes. 1998. Taxonomic revision of the ritae species-group of the genus Myrmica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Vestnik Zoologii 32(4): 3-27.
  • 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.
  • Radchenko A.G., G.W. Elmes, and B.T. Viet. 2006. Ants of the genus Myrmica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Vietnam, with a description of a new species. Myrmecologische Nachrichten 8: 35-44.
  • Radchenko, A. G., Zhou S.-Y. and G. W. Elmes. 2001. New and rare Myrmica species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from Southern China. Annales Zoologici 51(2): 211-219.
  • Terayama M. 2009. A synopsis of the family Formicidae of Taiwan (Insecta: Hymenoptera). Research Bulletin of Kanto Gakuen University. Liberal Arts 17:81-266.
  • Terayama, M. 2009. A synopsis of the family Formicidae of Taiwan (Insecta; Hymenoptera). The Research Bulletin of Kanto Gakuen University 17: 81-266.
  • Terayama. M. and Inoue. N. 1988. Ants collected by the members of the Soil Zoological Expedition to Taiwan. ARI Reports of the Myrmecologists Society (Japan) 18: 25-28
  • Terayama. M. and Y. Watanabe. 1994. Ant fauna of the Zhongyang Mountains in Taiwan. Abstracts of papers presented at 33th Annual Meeting of the Myrmecological Society of Japan held on September 1st and 2nd, 1990, at the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo. ARI Reports of the Myrmecologists Society (Japan) 18: 32
  • Weber N. A. 1950. A revision of the North American ants of the genus Myrmica Latreille with a synopsis of the Palearctic species. III. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 43: 189-226.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1928. Ants collected by Professor F. Silvestri in China. Bollettino del Laboratorio di Zoologia Generale e Agraria della Reale Scuola Superiore d'Agricoltura. Portici 22: 3-38.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1930. A list of the known Chinese ants. Peking Natural History Bulletin 5: 53-81.