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Myrmica is a genus of ants within the subfamily Myrmicinae.[2] It is widespread throughout the temperate regions of the Holarctic and high mountains in Southeast Asia.[2][3]

Myrmica species
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Myrmicini
Genus: Myrmica
Latreille, 1804
Type species
Formica rubra[1]
c. 200 species
  • Dodecamyrmica Arnol'di, 1968
  • Nothomyrmica Wheeler, W.M., 1915
  • Paramyrmica Cole, 1957
  • Sifolinia Emery, 1907
  • Sommimyrma Menozzi, 1925
  • Symbiomyrma Arnol'di, 1930

The genus consists of around 200 known species, and additional subspecies,[2] although this figure is likely to rise as soon as Chinese and Neartic fauna lists are revised.[4][5]


The genus contains a number of inquiline species (commensal symbionts), other Myrmica species that manage to invade the nest of their host. Subsequently, they use hormones to manipulate the host colony in such a way that eggs of the host queen develop into workers, and parasite brood into sexuals. Hence, the parasite is not able to sustain a colony of its own, but uses host resources instead.[6][7]

Similarly, larvae of the butterfly genus Maculinea (a junior synonym of Phengaris, family Lycaenidae) and of the southern armyworm, live inside Myrmica nests where they are either directly fed by ants or prey upon ant brood. This parasitism is employed primarily by specific species such as Phengaris arion forming predatory relationships.[8]

Myrmica species cultivating aphids
Myrmica species workers drinking sugared water



  • Latreille, P.A. 1804: Tableau méthodique des insectes. Classe huitième. Insectes, Insecta. Nouveau Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturelle, 24: 129-200.
  • Lepeletier de Saint-Fargeau. 1835: Histoire naturelle des insectes. Hyménoptères. I. Librairie Encyclopédique de Roret, Paris. 574 pp.
  • Roger. 1863: Verzeichniss der Formiciden-Gattungen und Arten. Berliner Entomologische Zeitschrift, 7(suppl.): 1-65.
  • Dours. 1873: Catalogue synonymique des Hyménoptères de France. Memoires de la Société Linneenne du Nord de la France, 3: 1-230.
  • Radchenko & Elmes. 1998: Taxonomic revision of the ritae species-group of the genus Myrmica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Vestnik Zoologii, 32.
  • Radchenko & Elmes. 2001: A taxonomic revision of the ant genus Myrmica Latreille, 1804 from the Himalaya (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Entomologica Basiliensia, 23: 237-276.
  • Wei, Zhou & He. 2001: A taxonomic study of the genus Myrmica Latreille from China (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica, 26(4): 560-564.
  • Radchenko A.G. & G.W. Elmes. 2003: A taxonomic revision of the socially parasitic Myrmica ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Palaearctic region. Annales Zoologici, 53(2): 217-243.
  • Radchenko A.G., G.W. Elmes & A. Alicata. 2006: Taxonomic revision of the schencki-group of the ant genus Myrmica Latreille (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from the Palaearctic region. Annales Zoologici, 56(3): 499-538.


  1. ^ Bolton, B. (2015). "Myrmica". AntCat. Retrieved 10 January 2015.
  2. ^ a b c "Genus: Myrmica". AntWeb. Retrieved 13 October 2013.
  3. ^ Fauna europaea
  4. ^ Wei, C.; Zhou, S.-Y.; He, H.; Liu, M.-T. 2001. A taxonomic study of the genus Myrmica Latreille from China. (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Acta Zootaxonomica Sinica 26:560-564.
  5. ^ Weber, N. A. 1947 A revision of the North American ants of the genus Myrmica Latreille with a synopsis of the Palearctic species Annals of the Entomological Society of America 40:437-474.
  6. ^ Himender Bharti, Alexander Radchenko, Sishal Sasi Socially-parasitic Myrmica species (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Himalaya, with the description of a new species
  7. ^ Jenni Leppänen, Kari Vepsäläinen, and Riitta Savolainen Phylogeography of the ant Myrmica rubra and its inquiline social parasite
  8. ^ Sielezniew, Marcin; Dario Patricelli, Izabela Dziekańska, Francesca Barbero, Simona Bonelli, Luca Pietro Casacci , Magdalena Witek & Emilio Balletto (2010). "The First Record of Myrmica lonae (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) as a Host of the Socially Parasitic Large Blue Butterfly Phengaris (Maculinea)* arion(Lepidoptera: Lycaenidae)" Sociobiology. 56: 465–475
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]

External linksEdit

  •   Media related to Myrmica at Wikimedia Commons