Myrmica aloba

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Myrmica aloba
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species group: scabrinodis
Species: M. aloba
Binomial name
Myrmica aloba
Forel, 1909

Myrmica aloba P casent0907652.jpg

Myrmica aloba D casent0907652.jpg

Specimen Label

Synonyms

M. aloba is almost exclusively an Iberian form that is associated with hot, but moist grassland conditions, where it nests in very similar places to Myrmica scabrinodis living in cooler climates. In the extreme south-west of Europe near Cape St. Vincent in Portugal, we observed many populous nests living in the tops of large grass tussocks in river flood meadows that are grazed by cattle. They have been found on marshy grassland in north Portugal, where they were hosts to the Large Blue Butterfly Phengaris alcon (Denis et Schiffermiiller) (I. Wynhoff, pers. comm.). In Spain in summer they are often found foraging on rocks near dried-up water-courses, lakes and springs. In the mountains of Soria we have found nests living in soil on cattle meadows near a spring. Here M. aloba lived sympatrically with M. scabrinodis and both species appeared to be hosts to Ph. alcon. The ecological separation of these species on such sites has not yet been studied in detail, but it seemed that M. aloba avoided the very boggy conditions close to the spring, where some M. scabrinodis nests were observed. Sexuals were found in nests from the end of July until mid-September, which indicates that M. aloba swarms in late summer. (Radchenko and Elmes 2010)

Identification

Radchenko and Elmes (2010) – A member of the scabrinodis complex of the scabrinodis species group. It is most similar to Myrmica scabrinodis: the female castes of the two species have a strongly curved (though not angularly bent) scape, but M. aloba differs from M. scabrinodis by the absence of a lobe on the bend of the scape having at most only a small longitudinal ridge. Males were described relatively recently (Tinaut and Espadaler 1987) based on nest samples containing both workers and males; the males of M. aloba are very similar to those of M. scabrinodis by the length of scape and character of pilosity on the scape and legs.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Balearic Islands, China, France, Iberian Peninsula, Portugal, Spain (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

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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.

  • aloba. Myrmica scabrinodis var. aloba Forel, 1909c: 103 (w.) SPAIN. Santschi, 1925g: 340 (q.); Finzi, 1926: 95 (w.); Tinaut & Espadaler, 1987: 61 (m.). Subspecies of rugulosoides: Finzi, 1926: 95. Raised to species: Santschi, 1931b: 340; Santschi, 1936c: 199. Senior synonym of albuferensis: Santschi, 1931b: 340; of rolandi: Seifert, 1988b: 29. See also: Collingwood & Yarrow, 1969: 56; Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 84.
  • rolandi. Myrmica rolandi Bondroit, 1918: 101 (w.q.) FRANCE. Subspecies of sulcinodis: Santschi, 1919e: 244; Menozzi, 1922b: 325; of scabrinodis: Emery, 1921f: 40; Santschi, 1925g: 340; Santschi, 1931b: 344. Revived status as species: Finzi, 1926: 89; Bernard, 1967: 115. Junior synonym of aloba: Seifert, 1988b: 29.
  • albuferensis. Myrmica albuferensis Lomnicki, 1925b: 2 (w.) SPAIN (Balearic Is.). Junior synonym of rolandi: Finzi, 1926: 89; Bernard, 1956b: 257; of aloba: Santschi, 1931b: 340; Seifert, 1988b: 29.

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

Description

Worker

Forel 1909 aloba.png

Etymology

M. aloba: from a combination of loba derived from the Greek = lobe [of ear] and the prefix α (a) = not or without, to indicate the mostly absent (or extremely reduced) lobe on the bend of the scape compared to its close relative M. scabrinodis.

References

  • Collingwood, C. A.; Yarrow, I. H. H. 1969. A survey of Iberian Formicidae (Hymenoptera). EOS. Rev. Esp. Entomol. 44: 53-101 (page 56, see also)
  • Ebsen, J.R., Boomsma, J.J. & Nash, D.R. 2019. Phylogeography and cryptic speciation in the Myrmica scabrinodis Nylander, 1846 species complex (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), and their conservation implications. Insect Conservation and Diversity (DOI 10.1111/icad.12366).
  • Finzi, B. 1926. Le forme europee del genere Myrmica Latr. Primo contributo. Boll. Soc. Adriat. Sci. Nat. Trieste 29: 71-119 (page 95, male described, Variety of rugulosoides)
  • Forel, A. 1909c. Fourmis d'Espagne récoltées par M. O. Vogt et Mme Cécile Vogt, Docteurs en médecine. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 53: 103-106 (page 103, worker described)
  • Radchenko, A.G. & Elmes, G.W. 2010. Myrmica ants of the Old World. Fauna Mundi 3: 1-789.
  • Santschi, F. 1925g. Fourmis d'Espagne et autres espèces paléarctiques (Hymenopt.). EOS. Rev. Esp. Entomol. 1: 339-360 (page 340, queen, male described)
  • Santschi, F. 1931c. Notes sur le genre Myrmica (Latreille). Rev. Suisse Zool. 38: 335-355 (page 340, Raised to species, Senior synonym of albuferensis)
  • Santschi, F. 1936c. Liste et descriptions de fourmis du Maroc. Bull. Soc. Sci. Nat. Maroc 16: 198-210 (page 199, Raised to species)
  • Seifert, B. 1988b. A taxonomic revision of the Myrmica species of Europe, Asia Minor, and Caucasia (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Abh. Ber. Naturkundemus. Görlitz 62(3): 1-75 (page 29, Senior synonym of rolandi)
  • Tinaut, A.; Espadaler, X. 1987. Description [sic] del macho de Myrmica aloba Forel, 1909 (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Nouv. Rev. Entomol. (n.s.) 4: 61-69 (page 61, male described)