KNOWN RANGE OF MYRMICA SEMIPARASITICA
(FORMICIDAE : HYMENOPTERA)
Francoeur1 and Kaloyan Ivanov2
du Québec à Chicoutimi (firstname.lastname@example.org)
State University (email@example.com)
The ant Myrmica semiparasitica was
described recently based on only two samples (Francoeur 2007).
One included males and alate gynes recovered from Myrmica
species swarms on top of mount Rigaud, Québec (Leprince
and Francoeur 1986). The other includes ergates of M. punctiventris
and M. semiparasitica extracted in 1982 by S.P. Cover
(MCZ, Harvard University) from a colony in Long Island, Suffolk
County, New York. New survey data extend this territory towards
the western side of the deciduous forest biome.
The species was discovered in
surveys made in Ohio by the second author. The Ohio material,
consisting of two queens and four ergates, was collected by
sifting forest leaf litter and subsequent extraction with Winklers.
Only three samples, out of more than 120 collected, were found
to contain individuals of M. semiparasitica. All collection
sites were located within the boundaries of the Cleveland Metroparks
system in the northeastern part of the state.
The Ohio records are as follows:
Ohio, Cuyahoga Co., Brecksville Reservation, KI933, 41°18'52''N
81°37'0''W, altitude 284m, 8 July 2005, one ergate; Brecksville
Reservation, KI956, 41°18'14''N 81°36'31''W, altitude
276m, 16 July 2005, 1 female and three ergates; Euclid Creek
Reservation, KI1750, 41°33'25''N 81°32'6''W, altitude
237m, 22 May 2007, 1 female.
All sampling locations fell within
mixed mesophytic forest stands dominated by oak (Quercus
rubra, Q. alba), maple (Acer rubrum, A. saccharum),
and hickory (Carya spp.), with scattered individuals
of American elm (Ulmus americana), basswood (Tilia
americana), and black cherry (Prunus serotina). All
sites were characterized by an open understory composed of graminoids,
Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum), Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus
quinquefolia), some ferns and tree seedlings. In all cases
the depth of the litter layer did not exceed 25 mm, and almost
no bare ground and no rock cover of any kind were present within
the sampling locations.
In all three cases M. punctiventris
(the probable host of M. semiparasitica) ergates were
found in the samples containing M. semiparasitica (16,
9 and 15 individuals were collected respectively); no other
Myrmica species were present in the samples.
The species is also reported from
Illinois by Laura Rericha, an ecologist working for the Forest
Preserve District of Cook Co. In 2002, she collected M. semiparasitica
from a remnant, dry-mesic white oak woodland bluff along the
Mazon River, in Grundy County. The sample includes several ergates,
one queen and one weakly ergatogynal individual. Repeated yearly
visits to the site did not reveal any other colony of the species,
nor M. punctiventris or M. pinetorum (pers.
comm. to Francoeur).
These new data confirm that Oak
woodland is the habitat preferendum of M. semiparasitica.
Its presently known territory covers the northern half of the
eastern deciduous biome. Since the range of the host species
covers the southern half as well (Antweb; Smith 1979), it is
expected that M. semiparasitica will be discovered
much further south in the future.
M. punctiventris at http://www.antweb.org
A. 2007. The ant species groups Myrmica punctiventris
and M. crassirugis in the Nearctic region (Hymenoptera:
Formicidae: Myrmicinae), pp. 153-185. In Snelling, R. R., B.
L. Fisher, and P. S. Ward. (eds.). Advances in ant systematics
(Hymenoptera: homage to E. O. Wilson – 50 years of contributions.
Memoirs of the American Entomological Institute 80: 1-670.
D.J. and Francoeur, A. 1986. Hilltop swarming by ants (Hymenoptera:
Formicidae) in southwestern Quebec and interspecific competition
at the swarm marker. Annals of the Entomological Society of
America 79: 865-869.
D.R. 1979. Formicidae. pp. 1323-1467. In Krombein, K.V., Hurd,
P.D. Smith, D.R. & Burks, B.D. Catalog of Hymenoptera in
America North of Mexico. Volume 2. Apocrita (Aculeta). Smithsonian
Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 2209 p.
stand at Brecksville Reservation (KI 956) (photo by K. Ivanov)