Family Formicidae (Ants) » Myrmica ruginodis Nylander, 1846
Length of queen 5.5-7 mm, male 5-6 mm, worker 4-6 mm. This is a fairly large and abundant orange-brown to reddish-brown coloured ant. The antennal scapes are long and slender with a gentle curve at the base. The area between the spines on the propodeum has ridges across it and the spines are usually long. The easiest character with which to separate it from the similar Myrmica rubra is the petiole node which has a flat dorsal top with a distinct angle to the posterior area. Myrmica ruginodis nests in the ground, in tufts of grass, under stones and in rotten wood. Colonies are usually polygynous with an average of 15 queens and a thousand workers or more. It feeds on honeydew from aphids and scale insects, and drinks nectar from flowers. Mating flights occur in July and August. Found in various habitats including woodland, grasslands and gardens. Common and widespread throughout great Britain, and is probably our most commonest ant.
All taken in South Staffordshire. Winged queen in back garden 7th August 2020. Wingless queen suffered some damage in back garden 22nd July 2017. Workers found on council grass verge 20th August 20217. Photos © Peter Hillman.
Thanks to: Matt Smith, Matt Hamer and Mike Fox from the ‘UK Bees, Wasps and Ants’ Facebook Group (group by BWARS) for helping to accurately identify this species.