Myrmica tibetana

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Myrmica tibetana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species group: tibetana
Species complex: tibetana
Species: M. tibetana
Binomial name
Myrmica tibetana
Mayr, 1889

Myrmica tibetana P casent0900303.jpg

Myrmica tibetana D casent0900303.jpg

Specimen Label

Collected in subalpine meadows at altitudes over 3000 m.


Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - A member of the tibetana group. It has, like Myrmica tenuispina, frontal carinae that are strongly curved outwards in their anterior third, and wide, subsquare frontal lobes, but differs from the latter species by its short propodeal spines. We placed M. tibetana and M. tenuispina in the same group because the workers of both species have uniquely shaped frontal carinae and frontal lobes from among the Old World Myrmica species (Radchenko and Elmes 2001b). However the males of these two species have quite different length scapes, those of M. tibetana are distinctly longer than those of M. tenuispina (SI1 > 0.75 versus < 0.40, respectively).

Keys including this Species



Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: Tibet (type locality).
Palaearctic Region: Afghanistan, China.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Queens are unknown.


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

  • tibetana. Myrmica tibetana Mayr, 1889: 279 (w.) TIBET. Ruzsky, 1915a: 440 (m.). See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 304.

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


Type Material

Seifert et al. (2019) - Mayr (1889) gave the following collecting data in his original description: “April 1884, Jumel-Kuku-Gebirge; Mai-Juni 1884 Tibet septentr.” The term “Jumel Kuku Gebirge” is undoubtedly a reading error of the original Cyrillic label. This original label was discarded by Mayr and should have read probably as “Южные Куку Гορы” = “Southern Kuku Mountains”. If handwritten as a script, “Южные” is easily misinterpreted by a person not familiar with Russian language. Reading the travelling report of Przewalski (1954), we found that the Southern Kuku (Nor) Mountains were reached in April 1884 and we assume as most probable collecting site a place near the pass road – approximately at 36.5° N, 99.7° E and 3700 m. We have investigated the lectotype worker labeled “Tibet” [handwriting of H. Stitz], “Myrmica tibetana Mayr” [handwriting of H. Stitz], “Forel ded. 1922”, “Zool. Mus. Berlin”, “Paratypus” [label probably attached by Stitz], “Lectotype Myrmica tibetana Mayr, 1889 [published by Radchenko & Elmes (2010), des. Seifert 2014]”; stored in Berlin Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität. Note: Radchenko & Elmes (2010) published a specimen from ZMHB museum with the above labelling as lectotype but did not physically designate it and they also gave no morphological data to identify it unambiguously. However, as this type is the only specimen of Myrmica tibetana stored in the Berlin collection, we are rather sure to have labeled the right specimen. We further investigated a big series of 13 paralectotype workers, stored in Naturhistorisches Museum Wien, Vienna, labeled “Tibet Coll. G. Mayr”, “tibetana G.Mayr, Type”. One of these specimens shows a label “Lectotype Myrmica tibetana MAYR A.F. -1978” which is invalid as this physical lectotype designation by André Francoeur has not been published.


Radchenko and Elmes (2010) - named for Tibet, the region where the type material was collected.