Myrmica scabrinodis

Description

A common red ant found in many habitats with variation in colour from yellow red to blackish brown according to habitat.  Examination of the base of the scapes is required to separate it from other Myrmica species. Adult workers are typically 4 to 5 mm in length.

Similar Species

Can be confused with a number of other Myrmica species but most notably Myrmica sabuleti.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

The antennal scape is sharply angled and sinuate near the base, often with a slight lateral extension in the larger more deeply sculptured forms. / The petiole has a distinctly concave anterior face which meets the truncate dorsal surface at a sharp angle.

Recording advice

Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required and the specimen should be examined with a microscope. In the comments box, state the key or ID method used and describe the size and identifying characters.

Habitat

Found in many habitats but rarely in woods, very dry grasslands or around human habitations. High nest densities can be found in boggy areas. Nests are in soil, under stones, or in grass tussocks and sometimes in the sides of Lasius flavus mounds.

When to see it

Mating flights typically occur between July and September. Adult workers can be found from early spring through to autumn.

Life History

This ant typically feeds on small arthropods. Myrmica scabrinodis is not known to tend aphids. Also thought to steal and eat brood from other ants in particular the Yellow Meadow Ant Lasius flavus, especially where nests may be adjoined.

UK Status

Common. Found throughout the British Isles and not regarded as scarce or threatened.

VC55 Status

Apparently uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland though greater recoding is likely to prove otherwise. The last VC55 record was in 2015.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map