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Common Red Ant (Myrmica ruginodis)

Taxonomy
Kingdom:Phylum:Class:Order:Family:Genus:Species:
AnimaliaArthropodaInsectaHymenopteraFormicidaeMyrmicaM. ruginodis

Only few people do realize there are two species of Common Red Ants. Myrmica ruginodis looks a lot like Myrmica rubra, but there is one striking difference. The two stings on Myrmica ruginodis are longer. They are about as long as the distance between the tips of these stings. In Myrmica rubra the stings are always shorter. Other features and habits are about the same in both species. The nest of Myrmica ruginodis however has one egg-producing queen only. This species has two nuptial flights. The first takes place in July, the second in the beginning of September. Usually there are nests with larger workers and nests entirely comprised of smaller workers. The larger workers are aggressive and a nuisance. The smaller workers are less active and less aggressive.

The areas where the two species live overlap. However in drier areas with higher temperatures Myrmica rubra is predominant. In cooler areas, like Northern Europe, or at higher altitudes Myrmica ruginodis is the common species. It is the main species of Myrmica in Scotland and the only one on Shetland. It has not reached Northern America, though.

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