Myrmica wardi

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Their Stories Are Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Myrmica wardi
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species: M. wardi
Binomial name
Myrmica wardi
Radchenko & Elmes, 1999

Myrmica wardi P casent0900305.jpg

Myrmica wardi D casent0900305.jpg

Specimen Label

According to the available information, Myrmica wardi was found in meadows with sparse willow trees, Prunus, Acer and fir species among woody shrubs with Rosa sp., and in stony grasslands. All recorded colonies were nesting in the soil. Most specimens were collected while foraging over low vegetation displaying the same behaviour of the European Myrmica rubra, which it could resemble in other habits (Radchenko & Elmes, 2010). However, according to the current information, this species was also collected at few places from open grasslands without any dense vegetation or forest cover, and the nests were not as deep as in M. rubra, the depth varied from 6-8 inches. Additionally, a couple of nests were found in shady places, where it was found to be sympatric with Myrmica cachmiriensis. The temperature of nesting site ranged from 15°C to 25°C and relative humidity from 39% to 69%. Alates were collected during the months of July and August. Altitudinal range for this species is 1670m-3450m above mean sea level. (Bharti et al., 2016)

Philip Ward (pers. comm.) collected this species in Kashmir at altitudes of 2190-3450 m in the same regions, but at lower altitudes than Myrmica rhytida (mean 2700 m vs. 3600 m). It lives mainly in open woodland, such as meadows with sparse trees (willow, pear, maple and fir), woody shrubs with Rosa spp., and stony grasslands and pastures having a low sward. A few nests were found in the soil, but most specimens were collected while foraging, which suggests that this species does not often use stones as nest sites (many ants are collected by people turning-over stones). Foragers freely climbed over low vegetation, perhaps being indicative of foraging habits similar to the European Myrmica rubra. (Radchenko & Elmes, 2010)

Identification

Radchenko and Elmes (2010) – A member of the cachmiriensis complex of the rugosa species group. It most resembles Myrmica cachmiriensis, its workers differ by the much denser longitudinal rugulosity on the head dorsum with densely punctated surface between the rugae, by the darker colour of the body, by the presence of much longer, well visible subdecumbent hairs on head sides, etc. Males differ by their distinctly higher petiole (PI) = 1.33-1.36 vs. 1.40-1. 64), and by the reduced rugulosity and presence of punctures on the sides of the alitrunk (those of M. cachmiriensis are densely but not coarsely rugulose). Based on the identifications made by some of the earlier myrmecologists, we guess that this species often has been confused with other Himalayan Myrmica species.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Known only from the type localities in India (Kashmir and Himahal Pradesh States) and Pakistan.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: India, Pakistan (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Nomenclature

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

  • wardi. Myrmica wardi Radchenko & Elmes, 1999a: 38, fig. 4 (1-10) (w.q.m.) PAKISTAN. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 320.

Description

References