Myrmica tenuispina

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Myrmica tenuispina
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species: M. tenuispina
Binomial name
Myrmica tenuispina
Ruzsky, 1905

Myr laevinodis var. tenuispina 20550 20550 hal.jpg

Myr laevinodis var. tenuispina 20550 20550 had.jpg

Syntype Specimen Label

Myrmica tenuispina is associated with the mountains of Middle Asia and NE Afghanistan, and have been collected on subalpine meadows at altitudes between 2400 and 4100m above mean sea level and nests in the soil and under stones (Bharti et al., 2016)


Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - A member of the tibetana group. M. tenuispina most resembles Myrmica tibetana but differs from it by its much longer propodeal spines. Superficially, workers and queens of M. tenuispina are similar to the species of rubra or smythiesii species groups, but well differs from them by the shape of the frontal carinae that are strongly curved outwards in their anterior third, to form distinctive wide, subsquare frontal lobes; as a result the frons is relatively wide (FI is subequal to that of the species from rubra- or smythiesii- species groups) but FLI is distinctly larger ( > 1.25 vs. < 1.18). On the other hand, the males clearly differ from these groups by having a relatively short scape (SI1 < 0.40) (see also M. tibetana).

Keys including this Species


Tien-Shan, Alai, Pamir, NE Afghansistan

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 41.508577° to 40.38639°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: India.
Palaearctic Region: Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan (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.


This ant has been associated with a butterfly species that has recently been recognized as two distinct species: Polyommatus icarus and Polyommatus celin. Presently it is unclear if this association is between M. tenuispina and one or the other of these species, or both (Obregon et al. 2015).



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

  • tenuispina. Myrmica laevinodis var. tenuispina Ruzsky, 1905b: 670 (w.) UZBEKISTAN, TAJIKISTAN. [First available use of Myrmica rubra r. laevinodis var. tenuispina Forel, 1904b: 374; unavailable name.] Arnol'di, 1976a: 552 (m.); Radchenko & Elmes, 2002: 35 (q.). Raised to species: Arnol'di, 1976a: 551; Tarbinsky, 1976: 25. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 303.

Type Material

Seifert et al. (2018): The combination Myrmica laevinodis var. tenuispina Ruzsky, 1915 is the first available use of Myrmica rubra laevinodis tenuispina Forel, 1904 and the types are those designated by Forel. Four syntype workers from Musee d'Histoire Naturelle Genève were investigated, labeled “M. rubra Linné r. laevinodis Nyl. v. tenuispina For type Buchara” [Forel’s handwriting] and a printed label in Cyrillic letters “Tabi dara-Zagyr-desht. v. Bukhara Kaznakov 17 VI. 97”. These specimens belong to the lectotype sample because Radchenko & Elmes (2010) published a lectotype worker in the Zoological Museum of the Moscow State University with the labelling “Tabi-Dara Zagyrdesht V.Buchara, 17. VI. 97, Kaznakov” [in Cyrillic].

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) - from a combination of the Latin words tenuis = thin or slender, and spina = thorn, to describe the shape of the propodeal spines.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Bharti H. 2011. List of Indian ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Halteres 3: 79-87.
  • Bharti H., S. Sasi, and A. Radchenko. 2016. Biogeography and ecology of Myrmica species (Formicidae: Myrmicinae) in Himalayan regions. Sociobiology 63(3): 956-975.
  • Dlussky G. M., O. S. Soyunov, and S. I. Zabelin. 1990. Ants of Turkmenistan. Ashkabad: Ylym Press, 273 pp.
  • Guénard B., and R. R. Dunn. 2012. A checklist of the ants of China. Zootaxa 3558: 1-77.
  • Radchenko A. G., and G. W. Elmes. 2001. A taxonomic revision of the ant genus Myrmica Latreille, 1804 from the Himalaya (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Entomologica Basiliensia 23: 237-276.
  • Radchenko A. G., and G. W. Elmes. 2002. First descriptions of the sexual forms of seven Himalayan Myrmica species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Vestnik Zoologii 36(5): 35-46.
  • 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., and G. W. Elmes. "A taxonomic revision of the ant genus Myrmica Latreille, 1804 from the Himalaya (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Entomologica Basiliensia 23 (2001): 237-276.
  • Schultz, R., A. G. Radchenko, and B. Seifert. "A critical checklist of the ants of Kyrgyzstan (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Myrmecologische Nachrichten 8 (2006): 201-207.
  • 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.