- Myrmica rubra
Myrmica rubra Two workers Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropoda Class: Insecta Order: Hymenoptera Family: Formicidae Genus: Myrmica Species: M. rubra Binomial name Myrmica rubra
Myrmica rubra, also known as the European fire ant or common red ant, is a species of ant of the genus Myrmica, found all over Europe and in some parts of North America and Asia. They are mainly red in colour, with slightly darker pigmentation on the head. The ants live under stones, fallen trees, and in soil. They are aggressive ants, often attacking rather than running away, and are equipped with a stinger, though lack the ability to spray formic acid like the genus Formica.
Their colonies have a polygyne form, and can have up to one hundred queens per nest. They are also polydomous, with many nest sites per individual colony. These queens will have gathered together after their nuptial flight and will have formed a nest and laid their eggs in it. The queens can live up to fifteen years. Nuptial flights take place normally in late July to mid-August in Europe. Hundreds of young queens and males take to the air to mate together. Afterwards, the males die and the queens shed their wings to make a new colony. No nuptial flights have been witnessed yet from this species where it is living in North America.
They are very common in Europe and live in meadows and gardens. They live on a diet of honeydew excreted by aphids, and, being very aggressive like to eat many types of insect and other invertebrates. They will attack any creature that disturbs their nest, but are not as aggressive as the red imported fire ant.
- ^ a b "European fire ant". Featured Creatures. University of Florida/Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. http://entomology.ifas.ufl.edu/creatures/urban/ants/Myrmica_ruba.htm. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- ^ "Myrmica rubra (insect)". issg.org. http://www.issg.org/database/species/ecology.asp?si=1014&fr=1&sts=. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- ^ "Species of ant". antnest.co.uk. http://antnest.co.uk/species2.html. Retrieved 2008-06-25.
- AntBlog has further information on Myrmica rubra.
- Brief report from the University of Maine on the management of Myrmica rubra in the U.S., with extensive additional references
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