Forest Ant
( Formica sp. )


2010-0213-EB450001-HYM01291-Formica_sp[1436h43s,F,I,nest-site]{EXD}-G.jpg

PHOTO COMMENT

IDENTIFICATION
Identification:Formica sp.
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name:Forest Ant
Life Stage:(I) indeterminate/irrelevant

PHYLOGENY

Phylum:Arthropoda
Class:Insecta
Superorder:Holometabola
Order:Hymenoptera
Suborder:Apocrita
Family:Formicidae
Subfamily:Formicinae
Tribe:Formicini
Genus:Formica sp.
Taxon Code:HYM00032
ITIS/TSN:154211

LOCATION DETAILS
Location Name
Redwood Regional Park, EBRPD, Redwood Regional Park, EBRPD, Redwood Regional Park, EBRPD, 7867 Redwood Rd, Oakland
County:Alameda County
ECI Site#:CAEB450001
Park/Forest Code:Redwood Regional Park, EBRPD

RECOGNITION
Description
4-8 mm workers have conspicuous ocelli, double row of bristles on flexor (ventral) surface of middle and hind tibiae, mesosoma with bumpy (stair-stepped) profile, dorsal surface of propodeal profile as long or longer than the posterior, declivitous face. Antennae 12-segmented (13 in males), palp formula 6,4.
Body Length
Workers - 4-8mm, stretched out, from border of clypeus to tip of abdomen. Some are weakly polymorphic. Alates - 5-13mm (males and female about the same length in each species).

BIOLOGY
Food
Predatory with a sweet tooth. Attack and kill or scavenge all manner of arthropods and less often earthworms, and avidly seek honeydew and extrafloral nectar, often foraging high in trees to gather these sweets.
Habitat
Known as wood (or forest) ants, field ants or mound ants, depending on habitat preference and nesting habits of the various species. Most prefer non-flooded, open woodlands, openings in temperate forest, or grasslands. A few (mostly northern) species are more or less specialists in openings in boreal forests, fens or bogs, riparian areas, and a small number of species can (but do not always) live in the full shade of closed canopy deciduous or mixed forests. Nests are built in soil or less often in rotten wood on the ground. The nest may be elevated above the surface as a mound constructed of earth and/or plant fragments.
Nesting Preferences
Colonies are nearly always founded by individual queens in these host groups, but some may form small groups, or re-enter a (probably related) colony of their own species.
Range
Northern Hemisphere, Warm Temperate to Subarctic Zones.
Active Period
Active from the first warm days of spring till frost, but often with an unexplained lull in activity in August. Mating flights late June through early August.

CREDITS
Photographer
Eddie Dunbar
Insect Sciences Museum of California

References
BugGuide .
ITIS ITIS TSN#.


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