Myrmica ravasinii Finzi, 1923



Status. A rare species of limited distribution. According to IUCN criteria categorized as Endangered EN B1a+B2a.

Brief description. A rather large–sized ant, the length of the body of worker individuals is 5,9–6,5 mm, that of females is 7,8–8,1 mm. The length of the body of males is 6,5–7,0 mm. The head and the prothorax of worker ants are reddish, the abdomen is almost black. The sexual individuals are nearly homogeneously dark brown or black.

Distribution. Albania, former Yugoslavia, Turkey, Armenia.

Distribution in Armenia. Recorded only in Central Armenia in the neighbourhoods of the Arzakan and Aghavnadzor villages (Kotayk Province).

Habitats. Forest outskirts, glades in oakeries at the altitudes of 1700–1800 m above sea level.

Biological traits. Social insects, the colonies may consist of several hundred to several thousand individuals. They build their nests under the stones. The winged sexual individuals were found in August. They feed on invertebrates and their dead bodies, as well as on honey–dew excreted by aphids.

Population size and its trends. A rare species, only several colonies are known. Trends in changes of abundance are unknown.

Major threats. Deforestation, forest treatment with insecticides.

Conservation measures. Protected in Arzakan–Meghradzor Sanctuary.

Suggested conservation measures. Enforcement of protection in the sanctuary, restriction of use of insecticides in forests.

© A. Chanchanyan

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Araqelyan, 1994

Compiler. H. Khachatryan