Myrmica discontinua
Northern Sierra Nevada, California, USA

photograph © Alex Wild 2004

The identification of Myrmica ants to species can be difficult as there are a great many species that are very similar to each other.  One of the more reliable characters for distinguishing species is the shape of the long first segment of the antennae where it meets the head.  Here a worker of the western North American species M. discontinua shows her antennae.

USA, CA, Nevada Co.: Sagehen Creek Field Station. 12.vii.2004, 39º26'N 120º14'W, 1900m.
Wet meadow/lodgepole pine forest, nest under stone.  #AW2423, voucher specimens deposited in ALWC and MHNG.

This image is copyrighted by the photographer and cannot be used without permission. To obtain permission to use this image, please email Alex Wild. (alwild (at)  Most of the photographs on are reduced from their original size and compressed for more efficient web transmission.  In some cases, higher quality versions are available.

This image was captured with a Canon EOS D60, with a Canon 65/2.8 MPE 1-5x Macro lens.