Myrmica schencki

Description

Very similar to Myrmica lobicornis.  Workers and queens of both of these species have the antennal scape sharply angled at the base, with this bend bearing a broad upright flange. However, in M. schencki this flange is more strongly developed, with the width across the frontal lobes consequently smaller.

Similar Species

Myrmica lobicornis

Identification difficulty
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.  If possible, the specimen should be retained until the record is verified.

Habitat

A warmth-loving species that is usually found among sparse vegetation or in short turf on hot, dry, sheltered sites, including dunes, cliffs, unimproved pasture and downland, heaths, banks and railway cuttings.

When to see it

Nests contain winged sexuals by the end of July and during August, with mating flights occurring in August. The species is active at night as well as in the daytime.

Life History

Nests are built usually in soil but occasionally in grass tussocks. Mating swarms have been observed congregating on raised ground or around tall buildings before mating pairs fall to the ground. Mating may also take place on the ground near the nest. Myrmica schencki is predatory, with other ants forming a major part of its diet.

UK Status

Myrmica schencki was added to the British list by Donisthorpe (1915) from Welsh specimens which had previously been wrongly identified. It remains scarce nationally, with most records coming from south eastern England and South Wales.

VC55 Status

Rare or rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland. 

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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