Myrmica constricta

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Myrmica constricta
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Species group: rugulosa
Species: M. constricta
Binomial name
Myrmica constricta
Karavaiev, 1934

Myrmica constricta casent0913076 p 1 high.jpg

Myrmica constricta casent0913076 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


Inhabits rather xerothermic habitats, usually open places with sandy soils, and relatively sparse vegetation in full exposure to the sun. In semi-natural habitats it builds nests in the ground, occasionally under stones, but more often among grass roots, in dry sandy meadows that border rivers, lakes, ponds and seashores. In urban environments it is quite common in lawns and flower borders in city parks and around public buildings. Colonies may consist from several hundred to more than 1500 workers and several queens, and the species can probably form very large populations or super colonies (see notes to Myrmica rugulosa). Nuptial flights are in August-September. (Radchenko and Elmes 2010)


Radchenko and Elmes (2010) – A member of the rugulosa complex of the scabrinodis species group (see also Radchenko and Elmes 2004). It most resembles Myrmica rugulosa but differs from the latter by the presence of a small narrow ridge at the base of its scape. Female castes differ from the morphologically similar Myrmica hellenica by having a less developed lobe on the scape base, and males differ from the latter by having shorter standing hairs on the legs (for more details see Seifert et al. 2009) .

Keys including this Species


This species is quite widely, but sporadically distributed in Central and partly southern Europe: Ukraine, Poland, southern Finland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Romania, Italy, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Italy, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Switzerland, Ukraine (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb




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

  • minuta. Myrmica rugulosa var. minuta Karavaiev, 1929b: 204 (w.m.) UKRAINE. [Junior primary homonym of minuta Say, 1836: 294, above.] Replacement name: constricta Karavaiev, 1934: 74.
  • constricta. Myrmica rugulosa var. constricta Karavaiev, 1934: 74. Replacement name for minuta Karavaiev, 1929b: 204. [Junior primary homonym of minuta Ruzsky, 1905b: 670.] Junior synonym of slobodensis: Karavaiev, 1936: 274 (priority incorrect, constricta has seniority); of rugulosa: Arnol’di, 1970: 1840; of hellenica: Radchenko, 2009: 70. Revived status as species: Seifert, et al. 2009: 72. Senior synonym of slobodensis: Seifert, et al. 2009: 72. See also: Radchenko & Elmes, 2010: 113.
  • slobodensis. Myrmica rugulosa var. slobodensis Arnol'di, 1934: 162 (w.m.) UKRAINE. Senior synonym of constricta: Karavaiev, 1936: 274 (priority incorrect, constricta has seniority). Junior synonym of rugulosa: Arnol'di, 1970b: 1840; of hellenica: Radchenko, 2009: 70; of constricta: Seifert, et al. 2009: 72.

The following notes on V.A. Karavaiev type specimens have been provided by Martynov & Radchenko (2016) based on material held in the Institute of Zoology, Ukrainian Academy of Science:

Myrmica rugulosa Nyl. var. minuta Karawajew, 1929.

Type locality(-ies): “Umgegend von Kiew, jenseits des Dnjepr, Kiefernwald hinter der Nikolskaja Slobodka, 1.VIII.1919 (Nr. 2770), W. Karawajew, ww und einige mm aus dem Nest”.

Original Karawajew label(-s): “Myrmica (Myrmica) / rugulosa var. slobo- / densis Karav. / Никольск. слоб. бл. / Киева. Караваев [= Nikolskaya Slobodka near Kiev Karawajew], 2770” (see also Fig. 5).

Material: SYNTYPES, 12 w (newly mounted, IN 314/6/2), 621 w (in alcohol, IN 314/BAMS1/Karaw52, 53).

Notes. The name M. rugulosa var. minuta Karawajew, 1929b was preoccupied and Karawajew (1934) proposed the replacement name M. rugulosa var. constricta. Simultaneously Arnoldi (1934) also gave the replacement name var. slobodensis for Karawajew’s var. minuta, referring it to “Karavajev 1932,” Most probably Arnoldi expected that a paper by Karawajew would be published in 1932 using this name because he had discussed the matter with Karawajew and in private correspondence (see Karawajew 1936: 274). Later Karawajew (1936) believed that Arnoldi’s name slobodensis had priority and used it instead constricta. However, Arnoldi’s (1934) name Myrmica rugulosa rugulosa var. slobodensis is unavailable (quadrinomen) and therefore the first available use of the name M. rugulosa var. slobodensis was made by Karawajew (1936). Consequently, the name M. rugulosa var. constricta Karawajew, 1934 has priority over slobodensis and the latter must be considered as an unnecessary proposed replacement name. Later Arnoldi considered var. slobodensis (= constricta) to be a junior synonym of M. rugulosa (Arnoldi 1970; see also Radchenko 1994), whereas Radchenko (2009) believed it to be a synonym of M. hellenica Finzi. Most recently, Seifert et al. (2009) showed that M. constricta is morphologically distinct from M. hellenica and can be considered as a good species (see also Radchenko & Elmes 2010).

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 the Latin constricta = small, limited in size, or marked by contraction, tightening, or compressed, contracted; as this is a replacement name for minuta, the meaning "small" seems the most reasonable.