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Overview

Brief Summary

Biology

The mound-nests of this species are large, isolated and thatched (5), and a single colony can consist of more than 250,000 individual workers that aggressively defend the territory (5). Wood ants are carnivorous, and workers carry a wide variety of prey back to the nest along trails that extend throughout the territory (5). Studies of the southern wood ant have shown that around 60,000 food items are taken to the nest each day (5). The workers also tend aphids for the sugary 'honeydew' that they exude from the anus; the aphids gain protection from predators in return for this service (5). Southern wood ant workers have been observed climbing up 30-metre tall Scots pine trees (Pinus sylvestris) in order to obtain this honeydew (5), and it has been shown that every season, workers take a massive quarter of a tonne of honeydew back into the colony (5). At the beginning of spring each year, unfertilised eggs are produced, and these develop into males. Other eggs that are produced at this time and are fed more become queens, while others develop as workers. During June, usually on a warm humid day, huge numbers of winged reproductive males and queens leave the nest en masse and engage in a mating flight. After mating, the male soon dies; the queen sheds her wings, and searches for a suitable location to establish a new nest (5).
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Description

The southern wood ant can generally be distinguished from similar wood ants by the fact that it lacks a fringe of hairs on the eyes and the rear margin of the head (5). The wood ants are the largest of the British ants; and all are generally reddish in colour (5). In contrast to workers, reproductive females (queens) and males have well-developed thoraxes and wings that separate from the body after mating. Furthermore, males have obvious sex organs that protrude from the abdomen (5).
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Comprehensive Description

Taxonomic History

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Biology

Open mixed & coniferous forests, forest openings and edges
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FORMICA RUFA. HNS

Formica rufa, Linn HNS . Faun. Suec. 1721. Syst. Nat. i. 963, 4. Ny-land, Adno. Mon. Form. Boreal, 902, 5. Foerster, Hym. Stud. Form. 13, 3.

Formica polyctena, Foerster HNS , Hym. Stud. Form. 15, 4, Var.?

Formica congerens, Foerster HNS , Hym. Stud. Form. 17, 5, [[ male ]], [[ queen ]].

  • Smith, F. (1851): List of the specimens of British animals in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. - Hymenoptera Aculeata. London, British Museum: 8-8, URL:http://antbase.org/ants/publications/8200/8200.pdf
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1. Formica rufa HNS , Pl. III. figs. 1, 7, 8, 9. B.M.

Formica rufa, Linn. HNS Faun. Suec. no. 1721; Syst. Nat. i. 962.3.

Scop. Ins. Cam. 313. 836.

Fabr. Syst. Ent. 391. 4; Ent. Syst. ii. 351. 8; Syst. Piez. 398. 11.

Schrank, Ins. Austr. no. 834.

Rossi, Faun. Etrus. ii. 113. 836.

Don. Brit. Ins. xiv. 76. t. 496 [[queen]].

Oliv. Encycl. Meth. vi. 493. 14.

Latr. Hist. Nat. Fourm. 143. pl. 5. f. 28. A. B. [[male]] [[queen]] [[worker]].

Dumer. Consid. gen. 211. t. 32. f. 2 [[queen]].

Jurine, Hym. 272.

St. Farg. Hym. i. 201. 3.

Curtis, Brit. Ent. xvi. t. 752 [[male]] [[queen]] [[worker]].

Zett. Ins. Lapp. 449. 5.

Brulle, Exped. Sc. de Moree, iii. 327. 727.

Nyl. Form. Fr. et d'Alger. 60. 14; Adno. Mon. Form. Bor. 902. 5.

Foerst, Hym. Stud. Form. 13. 3.

Schenck, Beschr. Nass. Ameis. 25.

Smith, Brit. Form, Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond. iii. n. s. 100.1.

Mayr. Form. Austr. 56. 9; Ungar. Ameis. 9. 9.

Formica dorsata, Panz. HNS Faun. Germ. 54. 1 [[queen]].

Formica obsoleta, Zett. HNS Ins. Lapp. 449. 5 [[queen]] [[worker]].

Formica lugubris, Zett. HNS idem, 6 [[male]].

Formica polyctena, Foerst HNS . Hym. Stud. Form. 15. 4.

Schenck, Beschr. Nass. Ameis. 28.

Formica truncicola, Foerst HNS . Hym. Stud. Form. 21.

Formica piniphila, Schenck HNS , Beschr. Nass. Ameis. 28.

Hab. Europe.

This species is popularly known as the Wood-ant, from the circumstance of its forming the heaped-up nests of leaves, sticks and similar materials, usually in woods, but colonies are frequently met with in other situations; indeed it sometimes takes possession of the decaying trunk of a tree, and has been observed in a wall built of turf; but woods are its common habitat. The nests of this species are the habitat of several Coleoptera, which probably resort to them as suitable situations in which to undergo their metamorphoses; of such, Cetonia aurata and Clythra quadripunctata are examples: besides these, there are also found in the nests a number of species belonging to the family Staphylinidse, and as these are carried into the nests by the ants themselves, there can he little doubt, as they are not only suffered to live, but are carefully tended to and protected by the ants, that they are in some way conducive to the welfare of the communities, probably emitting, like the Aphidae, secretions which are supplied by the working ants to their young brood. In the nest are also occasionally found colonies of the allied genus Myrmica HNS ; M. nitidula HNS and M. muscorum HNS are sometimes met with, and we have twice found a colony of M. laevinodis HNS living in perfect harmony with the rightful owners in the very heart of the nest.

  • Smith, F. (1858): Catalogue of the hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London, British Museum: 2-3, URL:http://antbase.org/ants/publications/8127/8127.pdf
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1. Formica rufa HNS .

The Wood Ant B. M.

Formica rufa, Linn HNS .

Faun. Suec. 1721. Scop. Ins. Carn. 836. Be Geer, Ins. 2, 1053, i. t 41, f. 1, 2. Fab. Syst. Ent. 391, 4. Schrank, Ins. Aust. 834. Eourc. Ent. Paris, ii. 452,4. Rossi, Faun. Etrus. ii. 113,936. Christ. 510, t 60, f. 7,8. Don. Brit. Ins. 14, 76, t 496. Lat. Fourm. 143, t. 5, f. 28. Jurine, Hym. 272. St. Farg. Hist. Nat. Ins. i. 201, 3. Curtis, Brit. Ent. 16, t 752 Zett. Ins. Lapp. 448, 3.

Formica dorsata, Panz HNS .

Faun. Germ. 54,1. [[ queen ]].

Formica Herculanea, Sam. HNS

Comp. 69, t. 8, f. 10.

Formica maxima HNS , Ray, Hist Ins.

The Hill-Ant, Gould's Ants, ii. 1.

La Fourmi brune, a corcelet fauve, Geoff. Ins. ii. 428, 4.

Hub. Fourm. 320.

Hab. - Britain.

  • Smith, F. (1851): List of the specimens of British animals in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. - Hymenoptera Aculeata. London, British Museum: 1-2, URL:http://antbase.org/ants/publications/8200/8200.pdf
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F. thorace compresso toto ferrugineo, capite abdomi neque nigris.

Habitat in Europae acervis acerosis sylvaticis; in Ame rica septentrionali. Kalm.

  • Linnaeus, C. (1758): Systema naturae. Regnum Animale. 10 th ed. Lipsiae, W. Engelmann: 580-580, URL:http://hdl.handle.net/10199/15420
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178. Formica rufa HNS .

Formica rufa, Linn. HNS Faun. Suec. no. 1721.

Hab. Europe and North America.

  • Smith, F. (1858): Catalogue of the hymenopterous insects in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. Formicidae. London, British Museum: 51-51, URL:http://antbase.org/ants/publications/8127/8127.pdf
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58. Formica rufa Linne HNS , 1761

Figs. 169, 171,229-235.

Formica rufa Linne HNS , 1761:426; Yarrow, 1954 (redescription).

Worker. Bicoloured red and brownish black with variable degree of depth and size of dorsal dark patch on head and promesonotum. Eyes usually with a few microscopic hairs. Long erect hairs more or less abundant on gula, clypeus, dorsum of head, alitrunk, scale and gaster but never on scape nor on posterior border of occiput. Occasional to few suberect hairs on extensor surfaces of hind tibiae and femora. Frontal triangle reflecting light but often in part with micropunctures. Frons somewhat shining with widely spaced indistinct fine punctures and scattered coarse punctures; coarse and fine punctures widely spaced on disc of first gaster tergite. Funiculus segments two and three always less than twice as long as wide. Length: 4.5-9.0 mm.

Queen. Bicoloured with whole of scutum, gaster and part of occipital area of head normally dark. Scutellum and gaster distinctly shining, never dull. No erect hairs on posterior border of occiput and normally entirely absent on basal face of [[...]] Pubescence on gaster short and sparse. Micropunctures interspersed with [[...]] punctures on disc of first gaster tergite always widely spaced. Length: 9.5-11.0 mm.

Male. Black with most of appendages and genitalia paler. Eyes with few or many erect hairs. Genae below eyes normally without outstanding hairs. Dorsum of head and alitrunk with suberect hairs. Sparse suberect hairs visible at dorsolateral margins of all gaster tergites. Upper margin of hind femora without row of short hairs. Frontal triangle shining with or without micropunctures. Length: 9.0-11.0 mm.

Distribution. Generally common throughout Denmark and Fennoscandia north to approximately latitude 63°. - Locally common in South England and Wales, more local in North England.

Biology. This is the common wood ant of most of lowland Europe building large hill nests of leaves and twigs. Nests may be isolated or in small groups, normally with many queens, up to 100 or more. Various estimates of numbers of workers in a populous nest range from 100,000 to 400,000. This is an aggressive acid squirting but somewhat clumsy species. Foraging trails radiating from a large nest may be up to 100 m or more usually orientated toward suitable aphid bearing trees. Prey is taken somewhat unselectively from both trees and forest floor with any insect, arthropod or earthworm taken back as food to the nest although the main diet as with all species of this group is aphid honey dew. These ants mass in tight clusters on the top of the mound in the early spring sunshine. The first queen laid eggs develop into alate sexuals which fly off the nest early in the summer from May until early July. New nests arise from colony splitting in the spring but occasionally single queens may secure adoption in nests of Formica fusca HNS .

A monogynous form of F. rufa HNS occurs in continental Europe and probably locally in Sweden but has never been found in England. This is the Formica rufa rufa HNS of Gosswald (1941). Average worker size of this form is generally large and samples are usually conspicuously hairy. Many males from such isolated colonies in the Netherlands may have one or more coarse hairs protruding from the genae below the eyes and very occasionally queens may have very short sparse hairs on the basal face of the gaster but all such individuals have the widely spaced puncturation of true F. rufa HNS and although workers may have a few hairs on the upper surface of the hind femora they never form a close fringe as in other species. This form has also sometimes been referred to as F. piniphila Schenck HNS , 1852. Although generally monogynous, similar hairy specimens occur on the coastal dunes of the Netherlands in polygynous colonies.

  • Collingwood, C. A. (1979): The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark. Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 8, 1-174: 141-143, URL:http://antbase.org/ants/publications/6175/6175.pdf
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5. F. rufa Linn HNS .

Fn. Suec. 1721 [[ male ]] [[ queen ]]. Latr. Fourm. 143, pl. V, fig. 28. [[ worker ]] [[ queen ]] [[ male ]]. Fabr. Piez. 398, 11. Lepelet. S: t Farg. Hym. 201, 3. Dahlb. mscrpt, et Skand. Ins. 277, 185 commixta cum F. cunicularia HNS ?). F. obsoleta Zett HNS . Ins. Lapp. 449, 5. [[ queen ]] [[ worker ]] (teste Dahlb.) F. dorsata Panz HNS . Fn. fasc. 54, f. 1. [[ queen ]]. F. lugubris Zett HNS . 1. c. 449, 6. [[ male ]].

Operaria: testaceo vel rufo-ferruginea nuda, levissime cinereo micans, fronte cum occipite et abdomine castaneo-fuscis; clypei pronotique mediis, palpis, an tennis et pedibus nonnihil fuscescentibus; abdominis basi et ano ruio-maculalis; squama sursum rolundatim latiori vel subiriangulariter rotundata.

Femina: ferrugiueo-rufa nuda; fronte cum occipite, thorace supra (praeter metanotum) el abdomine polito (praeter basin, ventrem et anum) castaneo-nigris; clypei medio, palpis, antennarum flagellis, mesosterno saltern ad partem et tibiis tarsisque fuscescentibus; squama lata subtriangulariter fere rotundata margine supero inaequali; alis albescenti hyalinis a basi ad medium parum infuscatis, nervis fusco cinereis, stigmate fusco.

Mas: fusco-niger, parum cinereo nitens, sparse pubescens, pedibus et gcnitalibus plus minus rufescenlibus; oculis parce tenuiter pilosulis; squama subquadrata humili crassa, supra vix vel parurn concaviuscula; valvula veutrali pilosula saepe rufescente.

In nostris terris usque in Lapponia vulgaris silvarum pinearura incola. Acervos cumulatos magnos supra nidum congerit. Infestata ferocissime se defendit. Examinat in Fennia praesertim inter d. 10 - 20 m. Junii. Fennis audit haec et affines Kusiainen, Wiholainen, Suecis Stackmyra & cet.

[[ worker ]]. Long, circa 2 1 / 2 lin. coloribus ut in diagnosi. Caput infra linea media longitudinali tenui impressa, fundo nigrescente; palpis fere ut in F, herculeana formatis fuscis, mandibulis subocto-denticulatis, clypeo convexiusculo in medio leviter carinato, atrinque ad basin mandibularum foveola impressa, margine infero integro; lamina frontali marginibus minime reflexis. Antenna long. circ. 1 1 / 4 lin., scil, scapus 2 / 3 lin. et flagellum 3 / 4 lin. Oculi parvi parum prominuli, nigri; ocelli minuti. Pro- et metathorax, pulvinar commune anterius thoracis efficientes, immersione dorsali compressioneque laterali a metathorace, humiliorem thoracis partem efficiente, discreti. Pronotum interdum macula fuscescente. Metathoracis longitudo dorsalis duplo brevior est quam longitudo apicis declivis. Pro- et mesosternum linea mediana tenuiter canaliculata; hoc praeterea fossula plana oblonga utrinque. Squama sursum rotundatim dilatata margine vix vel parum inaequali, Abdomen longitudine thoracis cum petiolo, rotundato-ovatum, leviter cinerascenti-micans, omnino fere nudum (pilis tantum parvis parcissimis in discis segmentorum), ventre anoque pilis conspersis distinctioribus; segmentis apice obsoletissime pallescentibus.

[[ queen ]]. Long. 3 3 / 4 - 4 lin. Caput fere sicut in [[ worker ]] constructum, latitudine thoracis, sed oculis parce pilosulis. Palpi et antennarum flagellum fusca, scapo quoque interdum fuscescente, ut in [[ worker ]]. Thorax subovatus, lineis tribus mesonoti fere ut in herculeana [[ male ]]. Alae ut supra; anticae 4 1 / 4 lin. longae. Pedes coxis, trochanteribus femoribusque rufo-ferrogineis, femoribus interdum et coxis antice fuscescentibus; tibiis tarsisque parum fuscescentibus. Abdomen longitudine thoracis subglobosum supra et infra parum deplanatum, valde politum, punctura tantum microscopica subtilissima; basis abdominis versus petiolum truncata, ventre, apicibus segmentornm et ano rufo-ferrugineis atque ut in [[ worker ]] sparsim parce pilosis.

[[ male ]]. Long. 3 1 / 2 - 3 3 / 4 lin. Caput parvum a latere visum oblongo-ovatum, mandibulis bidenliculatis, oculis magnis oblongis (nec ut in F. herculeana [[ male ]] ovali-rotundatis) prominulis, parce pilosulis, area frontali triangulan nitidiuscula. Pleura, metanotum, squama et abdomen praesertimque venter plus minus nitidis. Alae ut in diagnosi feminae. Pedes aut ferrugineo-testacei coxis plus minus fuscis vel femoribus tantum fuscescentibus vel toti fuscescente. Abdomen longitudine thoracis cum capite. Reliqua ut in diagnosi.

  • Nylander, W. (1846): Adnotationes in monographiam formicarum borealium Europae. Acta Societatis Scientiarum Fennicae 2, 875-944: 902-904, URL:http://antbase.org/ants/publications/4277/4277.pdf
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Distribution

Throughout SLO
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Range

In the UK, the southern wood ant is a local species occurring predominantly in southern England and Wales. Although it seems to be increasing in numbers in the south of England, the range is shrinking southwards (4). The species has become locally extinct in parts of the former range in the north and east of England, the Midlands and north Wales. Outside of the UK, this species is found throughout the Palaearctic (4).
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Physical Description

Diagnostic Description

Taxonomic Treatment

Nylander, W., 1846:
  Fn. Suec. 1721 [[ male ]] [[ queen ]]. Latr. Fourm. 143, pl. V, fig. 28. [[ worker ]] [[ queen ]] [[ male ]]. Fabr. Piez. 398, 11. Lepelet. S: t Farg. Hym. 201, 3. Dahlb. mscrpt, et Skand. Ins. 277, 185 commixta cum F. cunicularia ?). F. obsoleta Zett . Ins. Lapp. 449, 5. [[ queen ]] [[ worker ]] (teste Dahlb.) F. dorsata Panz . Fn. fasc. 54, f. 1. [[ queen ]]. F. lugubris Zett . 1. c. 449, 6. [[ male ]].
 Operaria: testaceo vel rufo-ferruginea nuda, levissime cinereo micans, fronte cum occipite et abdomine castaneo-fuscis; clypei pronotique mediis, palpis, an tennis et pedibus nonnihil fuscescentibus; abdominis basi et ano ruio-maculalis; squama sursum rolundatim latiori vel subiriangulariter rotundata.
 Femina: ferrugiueo-rufa nuda; fronte cum occipite, thorace supra (praeter metanotum) el abdomine polito (praeter basin, ventrem et anum) castaneo-nigris; clypei medio, palpis, antennarum flagellis, mesosterno saltern ad partem et tibiis tarsisque fuscescentibus; squama lata subtriangulariter fere rotundata margine supero inaequali; alis albescenti hyalinis a basi ad medium parum infuscatis, nervis fusco cinereis, stigmate fusco.
 Mas: fusco-niger, parum cinereo nitens, sparse pubescens, pedibus et gcnitalibus plus minus rufescenlibus; oculis parce tenuiter pilosulis; squama subquadrata humili crassa, supra vix vel parurn concaviuscula; valvula veutrali pilosula saepe rufescente.
 In nostris terris usque in Lapponia vulgaris silvarum pinearura incola. Acervos cumulatos magnos supra nidum congerit. Infestata ferocissime se defendit. Examinat in Fennia praesertim inter d. 10 - 20 m. Junii. Fennis audit haec et affines Kusiainen, Wiholainen, Suecis Stackmyra & cet.
 [[ worker ]]. Long, circa 2 1 / 2 lin. coloribus ut in diagnosi. Caput infra linea media longitudinali tenui impressa, fundo nigrescente; palpis fere ut in F, herculeana formatis fuscis, mandibulis subocto-denticulatis, clypeo convexiusculo in medio leviter carinato, atrinque ad basin mandibularum foveola impressa, margine infero integro; lamina frontali marginibus minime reflexis. Antenna long. circ. 1 1 / 4 lin., scil, scapus 2 / 3 lin. et flagellum 3 / 4 lin. Oculi parvi parum prominuli, nigri; ocelli minuti. Pro- et metathorax, pulvinar commune anterius thoracis efficientes, immersione dorsali compressioneque laterali a metathorace, humiliorem thoracis partem efficiente, discreti. Pronotum interdum macula fuscescente. Metathoracis longitudo dorsalis duplo brevior est quam longitudo apicis declivis. Pro- et mesosternum linea mediana tenuiter canaliculata; hoc praeterea fossula plana oblonga utrinque. Squama sursum rotundatim dilatata margine vix vel parum inaequali, Abdomen longitudine thoracis cum petiolo, rotundato-ovatum, leviter cinerascenti-micans, omnino fere nudum (pilis tantum parvis parcissimis in discis segmentorum), ventre anoque pilis conspersis distinctioribus; segmentis apice obsoletissime pallescentibus.
 [[ queen ]]. Long. 3 3 / 4 - 4 lin. Caput fere sicut in [[ worker ]] constructum, latitudine thoracis, sed oculis parce pilosulis. Palpi et antennarum flagellum fusca, scapo quoque interdum fuscescente, ut in [[ worker ]]. Thorax subovatus, lineis tribus mesonoti fere ut in herculeana [[ male ]]. Alae ut supra; anticae 4 1 / 4 lin. longae. Pedes coxis, trochanteribus femoribusque rufo-ferrogineis, femoribus interdum et coxis antice fuscescentibus; tibiis tarsisque parum fuscescentibus. Abdomen longitudine thoracis subglobosum supra et infra parum deplanatum, valde politum, punctura tantum microscopica subtilissima; basis abdominis versus petiolum truncata, ventre, apicibus segmentornm et ano rufo-ferrugineis atque ut in [[ worker ]] sparsim parce pilosis.
 [[ male ]]. Long. 3 1 / 2 - 3 3 / 4 lin. Caput parvum a latere visum oblongo-ovatum, mandibulis bidenliculatis, oculis magnis oblongis (nec ut in F. herculeana [[ male ]] ovali-rotundatis) prominulis, parce pilosulis, area frontali triangulan nitidiuscula. Pleura, metanotum, squama et abdomen praesertimque venter plus minus nitidis. Alae ut in diagnosi feminae. Pedes aut ferrugineo-testacei coxis plus minus fuscis vel femoribus tantum fuscescentibus vel toti fuscescente. Abdomen longitudine thoracis cum capite. Reliqua ut in diagnosi.
 

Smith, F.:
  Formica rufa, Linn. Faun. Suec. no. 1721; Syst. Nat. i. 962.3.
  Scop. Ins. Cam. 313. 836.
  Fabr. Syst. Ent. 391. 4; Ent. Syst. ii. 351. 8; Syst. Piez. 398. 11.
  Schrank, Ins. Austr. no. 834.
  Rossi, Faun. Etrus. ii. 113. 836.
  Don. Brit. Ins. xiv. 76. t. 496 [[queen]].
  Oliv. Encycl. Meth. vi. 493. 14.
  Latr. Hist. Nat. Fourm. 143. pl. 5. f. 28. A. B. [[male]] [[queen]] [[worker]].
  Dumer. Consid. gen. 211. t. 32. f. 2 [[queen]].
  Jurine, Hym. 272.
  St. Farg. Hym. i. 201. 3.
  Curtis, Brit. Ent. xvi. t. 752 [[male]] [[queen]] [[worker]].
  Zett. Ins. Lapp. 449. 5.
  Brulle, Exped. Sc. de Moree, iii. 327. 727.
  Nyl. Form. Fr. et d'Alger. 60. 14; Adno. Mon. Form. Bor. 902. 5.
  Foerst, Hym. Stud. Form. 13. 3.
  Schenck, Beschr. Nass. Ameis. 25.
  Smith, Brit. Form, Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond. iii. n. s. 100.1.
  Mayr. Form. Austr. 56. 9; Ungar. Ameis. 9. 9.
  Formica dorsata, Panz. Faun. Germ. 54. 1 [[queen]].
  Formica obsoleta, Zett. Ins. Lapp. 449. 5 [[queen]] [[worker]].
  Formica lugubris, Zett. idem, 6 [[male]].
  Formica polyctena, Foerst . Hym. Stud. Form. 15. 4.
  Schenck, Beschr. Nass. Ameis. 28.
  Formica truncicola, Foerst . Hym. Stud. Form. 21.
  Formica piniphila, Schenck , Beschr. Nass. Ameis. 28.
  Hab. Europe.
  This species is popularly known as the Wood-ant, from the circumstance of its forming the heaped-up nests of leaves, sticks and similar materials, usually in woods, but colonies are frequently met with in other situations; indeed it sometimes takes possession of the decaying trunk of a tree, and has been observed in a wall built of turf; but woods are its common habitat. The nests of this species are the habitat of several Coleoptera, which probably resort to them as suitable situations in which to undergo their metamorphoses; of such, Cetonia aurata and Clythra quadripunctata are examples: besides these, there are also found in the nests a number of species belonging to the family Staphylinidse, and as these are carried into the nests by the ants themselves, there can he little doubt, as they are not only suffered to live, but are carefully tended to and protected by the ants, that they are in some way conducive to the welfare of the communities, probably emitting, like the Aphidae, secretions which are supplied by the working ants to their young brood. In the nest are also occasionally found colonies of the allied genus Myrmica ; M. nitidula and M. muscorum are sometimes met with, and we have twice found a colony of M. laevinodis living in perfect harmony with the rightful owners in the very heart of the nest.
  Formica rufa, Linn. Faun. Suec. no. 1721.
  Hab. Europe and North America.
 

Förster, A.:
  Linn. Fn. Snec. 1721. [[male]] [[queen]]. Latr. Fourm. 143. pl. V. lig. 28. [[ worker ]] [[queen]] [[male]]. Fabr. Piez. 398, 11. Lep. de St. Farg. Hym. 201. 3. F. obsoleta Zett. Jns. Lapp. 449, 5. g [[queen]]. F. dorsata Panz. Fn. fasc. 54. f. i, [[queen]]. F. lugubris Zett. 1. c. 449, 6. [[male]]. Nyl. Adn. p. 902, 5. [[male]] [[queen]] [[ worker ]].
  Operaria t Testaceo vel rufo-ferruginea, nuda, levissime cinereo-micans, fronte cum occipite et abdomine castaneo-fuscis; elypei pronotique mediis, palpis, antennis et pedibus nonnibil fuscescentibus; abdominis basi et ano rufo-maculatis; squama sursum rotundatim latiori vel subtriangulariter rotundata. - (Nyl.) Long. 2 1/2 lin.
  Femina: Ferrugineo-rufa, nuda; fronte cum oeeipite, thorace supra (praeter metanotum) et abdomine polito (praeter basin, ventrem et anum) castaneo-nigris; clypei medio, palpis, autennarum flagellis, mesosterno saltcm ad partem tibiis tarsisque fuscescentibus; squama lata suhtriangulariter fere rotundata, margine supero inaequali; alis albescenti-hyalinis, a basi ad medium parum infuscatis, nervis fusco-cinereis, stigmate fusco. Long. 3 3/4-4 lin.
  Maat Fusco-niger, parum cinereo-nitens, sparse pubescens, pedibus et genitalibus plus minus rufescentibus; oculis parce tenuiter pilosulis; squama subquadrata bumili crassa, supra vix vel parum coneaviuscula; valvula ventrali pilosula saepe rufescente. - (Xyl.) Long. 3 1/2 -3 3/4 Iin.
  Bei dem Arbeiter hat der Kopf vorn eine zarte, eingedrückte Längslinie , die Taster sind braun. Die Mandibeln ungefähr 8- zähnig , der Clypeus etwas gewölbt , in der Mitte schwach gekielt, der Mundrand ganz; die Stirnlappen ohne gebogene Ränder . Die Augen wenig vorstehend, klein, die Nebenaugen ebenso. Der Vorder- und Mittelbrustrücken hochgewölbt , der Hinterbrustrücken niedriger, der erstere bisweilen mit bräunlicher Makel. An dem Hinterbrustruecken ist der Basaltheil doppelt kürzer als der abschüssige Theil. Vorder- und Mittelbrust haben eine zarte Mittelrinne, letztre überdies noch auf beiden Seiten eine flache, verlängerte Grube. Die Schuppe oben breit, der Rand etwas eingebogen. Der Hinterleib schwach grauschimmernd, fast ganz nackt, d. h. ohne längere abstehende Borstenhaare ( bloß in der Mitte der Segmente stehen sehr kleine, aber sehr zerstreut), auf der Bauchseite und an der Spitze des Hinterleibs treten sie aber deutlicher und gedrängter hervor. Der Hinterrand aller Segmente blaß häutig .
  Bei dem Weibchen ist der Kopf fast wie bei dem Arbeiter gebildet, die Taster schmutzig gelbbräun- lich, die Fühlergeißel braun, der Schaft roth, bisweilen bräunlich . Kopf und Mittelleib äußerst fein lederartig-runzlig, dicht punktirt, und mit sehr kurzer, feiner, anliegender Behaarung, daher matt, nicht glänzend (mit Ausnahme des Schildchens), auch ohne Spur von BorstenhaarenDer Clypeus sehr fein längsrunzlig , und mäßig dicht punktirt, mit völlig glatten Seitengruben, in der Mitte der Länge nach bräunlich und etwas glänzend . Das Stirnfeld glatt, glän- zend, die eingedrückte Gesichtslinie beinahe etwas unterbrochen, gleich über der Mitte mit grubenartig erweitertem Eindruck, aber nicht ganz deutlich bis zu dem mittlem Nebenauge hinaufreichend. Die Augen kahl. Die Stirnlamellen wie bei dem Arbeiter. Der Mittelbrustrücken mit 3 vertieften Linien. Die Flügel durchsichtig, von der Basis bis über die Mitte hinaus bräun- lich, mit blaßgelblichen oder blaßbräunlichgelben Adern; die erste Diskoidalzelle nach oben Cd. h. gegen den Vorderrand hin) schmal, kaum halb so breit wie an der Basis. Die Beine roth, Tibien und Tarsen ein wenig bräunlich . Die Schuppe nach oben ziemlich breit, von der Seite etwas schief zugerundet und an der Spitze in der Mitte entweder gar nicht oder nur schwach ausgerandet. Die übrigen Segmente fast kugelig, und wie das Schildchen sehr glänzend , was von der feineren Sculptur der viel mehr zerstreuten Punktirung und Behaarung herrührt . Dieser Glanz sticht gegen den mattglänzenden Kopf und Mittelleib sehr ab. Das 2te Segment an der Basis, die Bauchseite mehr oder weniger und die Spitze des Hinterleibs roth, der Hinterrand der Segmente röthlich , und nur wenig häutig durchscheinend. Auf dein Rücken fehlen die Borstenbaare gänzlich , aber auf der Bauchseite und an der Hinterleibsspitze treten solohe kurze und feine Haare deutlich hervor.
  Das Männchen hat nach Nylander zweizähnige Mandibeln, große längliche , vorstehende, spärlich behaarte Augen und ein glattes Stirnfeld. Die Brustseiten, der Hinterbrustrücken , die Schuppe und der Hinterleib, besonders der Bauch mehr oder weniger glänzend . Die Flügel wie bei dem Weibchen. Die Beine entweder rothgelb mit bräunlichen Hüften , oder auch mit bräunlichen Schenkeln, oder die Beine sind ganz bräunlich .
  Von dieser Art, die wegen Mangel größerer und zusammenhängender Nadelholz Waldungen hier selten vorkommt, besitze ich nur Weibchen. Sie wird in der Nähe der Stadt durch Beraubung der Nester, aus welchen die Puppen hinweggenommen werden um verschiedene Singvögel damit zu füttern , häufig zur Auswanderung getrieben oder gänzlich zerstört . Obgleich diese Weibchen in allen Stücken mit der Nylanderschen Beschreibung übereinstimmen , so weichen sie doch in 2 Stücken ab, nämlich , die Augen sind an meinen Exemplaren nicht behaart, und das Schildchen ist nicht matt, sondern ebenso glänzend wie der Hinterleib, lieber den Glanz des Schildchens spricht sich Nylander nicht aus, weder in der Diagnose noch in der weiteren Beschreibung, woraus doch wohl zu entnehmen, daß es sich von dem Vorder- und Mittelbrustrücken nicht unterscheidet.
  Wenn daher beide Punkte bei der rufa Nyl. nicht doch mit unserer Beobachtung übereinstimmen , dann dürfte unsre Art wohl als neu zu betrachten seyn. Ich erhielt meine Exemplare aus einem Neste, welches die bei Nylander angeführten Eigenschaften hatte, nämlich große kegelförmige Haufen bildete. Die Schwärmzeit , welche in Finnland zwischen dem 10.-20. Juni fallt, habe ich hier noch nicht beobachtet.
 

Smith, F.:
  The Wood Ant B. M.
  Faun. Suec. 1721. Scop. Ins. Carn. 836. Be Geer, Ins. 2, 1053, i. t 41, f. 1, 2. Fab. Syst. Ent. 391, 4. Schrank, Ins. Aust. 834. Eourc. Ent. Paris, ii. 452,4. Rossi, Faun. Etrus. ii. 113,936. Christ. 510, t 60, f. 7,8. Don. Brit. Ins. 14, 76, t 496. Lat. Fourm. 143, t. 5, f. 28. Jurine, Hym. 272. St. Farg. Hist. Nat. Ins. i. 201, 3. Curtis, Brit. Ent. 16, t 752 Zett. Ins. Lapp. 448, 3.
  Faun. Germ. 54,1. [[ queen ]].
  Formica Herculanea, Sam.
  Comp. 69, t. 8, f. 10.
  Formica maxima , Ray, Hist Ins.
  The Hill-Ant, Gould's Ants, ii. 1.
  La Fourmi brune, a corcelet fauve, Geoff. Ins. ii. 428, 4.
  Hub. Fourm. 320.
  Hab. - Britain.
  Formica rufa, Linn . Faun. Suec. 1721. Syst. Nat. i. 963, 4. Ny-land, Adno. Mon. Form. Boreal, 902, 5. Foerster, Hym. Stud. Form. 13, 3.
  Formica polyctena, Foerster , Hym. Stud. Form. 15, 4, Var.?
  Formica congerens, Foerster , Hym. Stud. Form. 17, 5, [[ male ]], [[ queen ]].
 
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Records

 

(Map 69): Bulgaria ( Agosti and Collingwood 1987a ); Danubian Plain ( Bobev 1972 , Wesselinoff 1973 , 1979 , Vatov and Bobev 1976 , Vesselinov 1981 ); Eastern Danubian Plain: Razgrad, Ruse, Dobrich ( Ronketi and Penev 1966 ); Predbalkan ( Wesselinoff 1973 ); Central Predbalkan: Dermantsi vill. (Lukovit) ( Atanassov 1934 , 1936 ), Aglen vill. (Lukovit) ( Atanassov 1934 ); Eastern Predbalkan: Targovishte ( Ronketi and Penev 1966 ); Stara Planina Mts ( Bobev 1972 , Wesselinoff 1973 , 1979 , Atanassov 1974 , Vatov and Bobev 1976 , Vesselinov 1981 , Atanassov and Dlusskij 1992 ); Western Stara Planina Mt.: Sokolets peak, Milanovo vill., Zgorigrad vill. ( Atanassov 1934 ); Central Stara Planina Mts: Kostinya river valley, Botev peak (Ray hut) ( Atanassov 1936 ), Boatin reserve (under Tetevenska baba peak), Tsarichina reserve (under Vezhen peak), Dermenka hut (Troyan Balkan) ( Atanassov 1983 ); Eastern Stara Planina Mts ( Bobev 1972 , Vatov and Bobev 1976 , Vesselinov 1981 , Wesselinoff 1979 ): Byala vill. (Sliven) ( Atanassov 1936 ); Viskyar Mt. ( Wesselinoff 1973 ); Verila Mt. ( Wesselinoff 1973 ); Zemen Gorge: Zemen marsh ( Atanassov 1936 ); Sofia Basin: Sofia ( Lapeva-Gjonova and Atanasova 2004 , Antonova and Penev 2006 ), near Vladaya village ( Antonova and Penev 2008 ); Lyulin Mt. ( Atanassov 1934 , Wesselinoff 1973 ); Vitosha Mt. ( Atanassov 1934 , 1936 , 1952 , 1974 , 1979 , Wesselinoff 1967 , 1973 ): Knyazhevo ( Atanassov 1934 ), Dragalevtsi ( Atanassov 1936 ); Plana Mt.: Plana vill., Tsiganka peak (Pasarel vill.), Alino vill. ( Wesselinoff 1967 , 1973 , Vagalinski and Lapeva-Gjonova in press ); Sredna Gora Mts ( Bobev 1972 , Wesselinoff 1973 , 1979 , Vatov and Bobev 1976 , Vesselinov 1981 ); Ihtimanska Sredna Gora Mt.: Benkovski peak ( Atanassov 1934 ); Lozenska Planina Mt. ( Wesselinoff 1967 , Vassilev and Evtimov 1973 , Lapeva-Gjonova 2004b ); Sakar-Tundzha district: along Tundzha river ( Wesselinoff 1973 ); Strandzha Mt. ( Bobev 1972 , Vatov and Bobev 1976 , Wesselinoff 1979 , Vesselinov 1981 ); Osogovo-Belasitsa group ( Wesselinoff 1973 , Vatov and Bobev 1976 ); Belasitsa Mt. ( Atanassov 1964 , 1974 , Wesselinoff 1974 , Lapeva-Gjonova 2004b ); Krupnik-Sandanski-Petrich Valley: Luda Mara river valley ( Atanassov 1964 ), Sandanski ( Gateva 1975 ); Rila-Pirin group ( Bobev 1972 , Vatov and Bobev 1976 ); Rila Mt. ( Wesselinoff 1973 , 1979 , Atanassov 1974 , Vesselinov 1981 , Atanassov and Dlusskij 1992 ): Rilska river valley ( Forel 1892 ), Borovets ( Atanassov 1934 ), Parangalitsa reserve ( Wesselinoff 1968 ), Govedartsi vill., Borovets, Raduil, Kostenets ( Otto et al. 1962 ), Ibar reserve ( Atanassov 1983 ), Panichishte ( Lapeva-Gjonova 2004b ); Pirin Mt. ( Vesselinov 1981 , Wesselinoff 1973 , 1979 ):Razlog, Bansko, Dobrinishte, Gotse Delchev ( Otto et al. 1962 ); Slavianka Mt. ( Atanassov 1974 ); Rhodopi Mts ( Wesselinoff 1973 , Gateva 1978 , Atanassov 1983 , Atanassov and Dlusskij 1992 ); Western Rhodopi Mts ( Bobev 1972 , 1973 , Atanassov 1974 ): Selishte, Vishteritsa, Eleshnitsa ( Otto et al. 1962 ), Yundola ( Otto et al. 1962 , Bechev and Stoyanova 2004 ), Chepelare, Golyam Beglik dam, Smolyan ( Gateva 1975 ), Zdravets hut, Byala cherkva resort, Ravnishta hut, Skalni mostove, Varhovrah hut ( Bechev and Stoyanova 2004 ), Rakitovo, Batak, Peshtera ( Lapeva-Gjonova in press (a) ); Eastern Rhodopi Mts ( Bobev 1972 , Vatov and Bobev 1976 ); Northern Black Sea coast: Varna, Balchik ( Ronketi and Penev 1966 ).

 

Conservation Status:

 

Lower Risk/near threatened (IUCN); Protected ( Bulgarian Biodiversity Act (2002) , Annex 2 and 3).

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Lapeva-Gjonova, Albena

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Lahoul, frontiere du Thibet (Major Sage). Identique aux individus europeens. Une [[ queen ]] de petite taille.

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Forel, A.

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Fn. Suec. 1721 [[ male ]] [[ queen ]]. Latr. Fourm. 143, pl. V, fig. 28. [[ worker ]] [[ queen ]] [[ male ]]. Fabr. Piez. 398, 11. Lepelet. S: t Farg. Hym. 201, 3. Dahlb. mscrpt, et Skand. Ins. 277, 185 commixta cum F. cunicularia ?). F. obsoleta Zett . Ins. Lapp. 449, 5. [[ queen ]] [[ worker ]] (teste Dahlb.) F. dorsata Panz . Fn. fasc. 54, f. 1. [[ queen ]]. F. lugubris Zett . 1. c. 449, 6. [[ male ]].

 

Operaria: testaceo vel rufo-ferruginea nuda, levissime cinereo micans, fronte cum occipite et abdomine castaneo-fuscis; clypei pronotique mediis, palpis, an tennis et pedibus nonnihil fuscescentibus; abdominis basi et ano ruio-maculalis; squama sursum rolundatim latiori vel subiriangulariter rotundata.

 

Femina: ferrugiueo-rufa nuda; fronte cum occipite, thorace supra (praeter metanotum) el abdomine polito (praeter basin, ventrem et anum) castaneo-nigris; clypei medio, palpis, antennarum flagellis, mesosterno saltern ad partem et tibiis tarsisque fuscescentibus; squama lata subtriangulariter fere rotundata margine supero inaequali; alis albescenti hyalinis a basi ad medium parum infuscatis, nervis fusco cinereis, stigmate fusco.

 

Mas: fusco-niger, parum cinereo nitens, sparse pubescens, pedibus et gcnitalibus plus minus rufescenlibus; oculis parce tenuiter pilosulis; squama subquadrata humili crassa, supra vix vel parurn concaviuscula; valvula veutrali pilosula saepe rufescente.

 

In nostris terris usque in Lapponia vulgaris silvarum pinearura incola. Acervos cumulatos magnos supra nidum congerit. Infestata ferocissime se defendit. Examinat in Fennia praesertim inter d. 10 - 20 m. Junii. Fennis audit haec et affines Kusiainen, Wiholainen, Suecis Stackmyra & cet.

 

[[ worker ]]. Long, circa 2 1 / 2 lin. coloribus ut in diagnosi. Caput infra linea media longitudinali tenui impressa, fundo nigrescente; palpis fere ut in F, herculeana formatis fuscis, mandibulis subocto-denticulatis, clypeo convexiusculo in medio leviter carinato, atrinque ad basin mandibularum foveola impressa, margine infero integro; lamina frontali marginibus minime reflexis. Antenna long. circ. 1 1 / 4 lin., scil, scapus 2 / 3 lin. et flagellum 3 / 4 lin. Oculi parvi parum prominuli, nigri; ocelli minuti. Pro- et metathorax, pulvinar commune anterius thoracis efficientes, immersione dorsali compressioneque laterali a metathorace, humiliorem thoracis partem efficiente, discreti. Pronotum interdum macula fuscescente. Metathoracis longitudo dorsalis duplo brevior est quam longitudo apicis declivis. Pro- et mesosternum linea mediana tenuiter canaliculata; hoc praeterea fossula plana oblonga utrinque. Squama sursum rotundatim dilatata margine vix vel parum inaequali, Abdomen longitudine thoracis cum petiolo, rotundato-ovatum, leviter cinerascenti-micans, omnino fere nudum (pilis tantum parvis parcissimis in discis segmentorum), ventre anoque pilis conspersis distinctioribus; segmentis apice obsoletissime pallescentibus.

 

[[ queen ]]. Long. 3 3 / 4 - 4 lin. Caput fere sicut in [[ worker ]] constructum, latitudine thoracis, sed oculis parce pilosulis. Palpi et antennarum flagellum fusca, scapo quoque interdum fuscescente, ut in [[ worker ]]. Thorax subovatus, lineis tribus mesonoti fere ut in herculeana [[ male ]]. Alae ut supra; anticae 4 1 / 4 lin. longae. Pedes coxis, trochanteribus femoribusque rufo-ferrogineis, femoribus interdum et coxis antice fuscescentibus; tibiis tarsisque parum fuscescentibus. Abdomen longitudine thoracis subglobosum supra et infra parum deplanatum, valde politum, punctura tantum microscopica subtilissima; basis abdominis versus petiolum truncata, ventre, apicibus segmentornm et ano rufo-ferrugineis atque ut in [[ worker ]] sparsim parce pilosis.

 

[[ male ]]. Long. 3 1 / 2 - 3 3 / 4 lin. Caput parvum a latere visum oblongo-ovatum, mandibulis bidenliculatis, oculis magnis oblongis (nec ut in F. herculeana [[ male ]] ovali-rotundatis) prominulis, parce pilosulis, area frontali triangulan nitidiuscula. Pleura, metanotum, squama et abdomen praesertimque venter plus minus nitidis. Alae ut in diagnosi feminae. Pedes aut ferrugineo-testacei coxis plus minus fuscis vel femoribus tantum fuscescentibus vel toti fuscescente. Abdomen longitudine thoracis cum capite. Reliqua ut in diagnosi.

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Nylander, W.

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Formica rufa, Linn. Faun. Suec. no. 1721.

 

Hab. Europe and North America.

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Smith, F.

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Formica rufa, Linn. Faun. Suec. no. 1721; Syst. Nat. i. 962.3.

 

Scop. Ins. Cam. 313. 836.

 

Fabr. Syst. Ent. 391. 4; Ent. Syst. ii. 351. 8; Syst. Piez. 398. 11.

 

Schrank, Ins. Austr. no. 834.

 

Rossi, Faun. Etrus. ii. 113. 836.

 

Don. Brit. Ins. xiv. 76. t. 496 [[queen]].

 

Oliv. Encycl. Meth. vi. 493. 14.

 

Latr. Hist. Nat. Fourm. 143. pl. 5. f. 28. A. B. [[male]] [[queen]] [[worker]].

 

Dumer. Consid. gen. 211. t. 32. f. 2 [[queen]].

 

Jurine, Hym. 272.

 

St. Farg. Hym. i. 201. 3.

 

Curtis, Brit. Ent. xvi. t. 752 [[male]] [[queen]] [[worker]].

 

Zett. Ins. Lapp. 449. 5.

 

Brulle, Exped. Sc. de Moree, iii. 327. 727.

 

Nyl. Form. Fr. et d'Alger. 60. 14; Adno. Mon. Form. Bor. 902. 5.

 

Foerst, Hym. Stud. Form. 13. 3.

 

Schenck, Beschr. Nass. Ameis. 25.

 

Smith, Brit. Form, Trans. Ent. Soc. Lond. iii. n. s. 100.1.

 

Mayr. Form. Austr. 56. 9; Ungar. Ameis. 9. 9.

 

Formica dorsata, Panz. Faun. Germ. 54. 1 [[queen]].

 

Formica obsoleta, Zett. Ins. Lapp. 449. 5 [[queen]] [[worker]].

 

Formica lugubris, Zett. idem, 6 [[male]].

 

Formica polyctena, Foerst . Hym. Stud. Form. 15. 4.

 

Schenck, Beschr. Nass. Ameis. 28.

 

Formica truncicola, Foerst . Hym. Stud. Form. 21.

 

Formica piniphila, Schenck , Beschr. Nass. Ameis. 28.

 

Hab. Europe.

 

This species is popularly known as the Wood-ant, from the circumstance of its forming the heaped-up nests of leaves, sticks and similar materials, usually in woods, but colonies are frequently met with in other situations; indeed it sometimes takes possession of the decaying trunk of a tree, and has been observed in a wall built of turf; but woods are its common habitat. The nests of this species are the habitat of several Coleoptera, which probably resort to them as suitable situations in which to undergo their metamorphoses; of such, Cetonia aurata and Clythra quadripunctata are examples: besides these, there are also found in the nests a number of species belonging to the family Staphylinidse, and as these are carried into the nests by the ants themselves, there can he little doubt, as they are not only suffered to live, but are carefully tended to and protected by the ants, that they are in some way conducive to the welfare of the communities, probably emitting, like the Aphidae, secretions which are supplied by the working ants to their young brood. In the nest are also occasionally found colonies of the allied genus Myrmica ; M. nitidula and M. muscorum are sometimes met with, and we have twice found a colony of M. laevinodis living in perfect harmony with the rightful owners in the very heart of the nest.

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Smith, F.

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Linn. Fn. Snec. 1721. [[male]] [[queen]]. Latr. Fourm. 143. pl. V. lig. 28. [[ worker ]] [[queen]] [[male]]. Fabr. Piez. 398, 11. Lep. de St. Farg. Hym. 201. 3. F. obsoleta Zett. Jns. Lapp. 449, 5. g [[queen]]. F. dorsata Panz. Fn. fasc. 54. f. i, [[queen]]. F. lugubris Zett. 1. c. 449, 6. [[male]]. Nyl. Adn. p. 902, 5. [[male]] [[queen]] [[ worker ]].

 

Operaria t Testaceo vel rufo-ferruginea, nuda, levissime cinereo-micans, fronte cum occipite et abdomine castaneo-fuscis; elypei pronotique mediis, palpis, antennis et pedibus nonnibil fuscescentibus; abdominis basi et ano rufo-maculatis; squama sursum rotundatim latiori vel subtriangulariter rotundata. - (Nyl.) Long. 2 1/2 lin.

 

Femina: Ferrugineo-rufa, nuda; fronte cum oeeipite, thorace supra (praeter metanotum) et abdomine polito (praeter basin, ventrem et anum) castaneo-nigris; clypei medio, palpis, autennarum flagellis, mesosterno saltcm ad partem tibiis tarsisque fuscescentibus; squama lata suhtriangulariter fere rotundata, margine supero inaequali; alis albescenti-hyalinis, a basi ad medium parum infuscatis, nervis fusco-cinereis, stigmate fusco. Long. 3 3/4-4 lin.

 

Maat Fusco-niger, parum cinereo-nitens, sparse pubescens, pedibus et genitalibus plus minus rufescentibus; oculis parce tenuiter pilosulis; squama subquadrata bumili crassa, supra vix vel parum coneaviuscula; valvula ventrali pilosula saepe rufescente. - (Xyl.) Long. 3 1/2 -3 3/4 Iin.

 

Bei dem Arbeiter hat der Kopf vorn eine zarte, eingedrückteLängslinie , die Taster sind braun. Die Mandibeln ungefähr 8- zähnig , der Clypeus etwas gewölbt , in der Mitte schwach gekielt, der Mundrand ganz; die Stirnlappen ohne gebogene Ränder . Die Augen wenig vorstehend, klein, die Nebenaugen ebenso. Der Vorder- und Mittelbrustrückenhochgewölbt , der Hinterbrustrücken niedriger, der erstere bisweilen mit bräunlicher Makel. An dem Hinterbrustruecken ist der Basaltheil doppelt kürzer als der abschüssige Theil. Vorder- und Mittelbrust haben eine zarte Mittelrinne, letztre überdies noch auf beiden Seiten eine flache, verlängerte Grube. Die Schuppe oben breit, der Rand etwas eingebogen. Der Hinterleib schwach grauschimmernd, fast ganz nackt, d. h. ohne längere abstehende Borstenhaare ( bloß in der Mitte der Segmente stehen sehr kleine, aber sehr zerstreut), auf der Bauchseite und an der Spitze des Hinterleibs treten sie aber deutlicher und gedrängter hervor. Der Hinterrand aller Segmente blaßhäutig .

 

Bei dem Weibchen ist der Kopf fast wie bei dem Arbeiter gebildet, die Taster schmutzig gelbbräun- lich, die Fühlergeißel braun, der Schaft roth, bisweilen bräunlich . Kopf und Mittelleib äußerst fein lederartig-runzlig, dicht punktirt, und mit sehr kurzer, feiner, anliegender Behaarung, daher matt, nicht glänzend (mit Ausnahme des Schildchens), auch ohne Spur von BorstenhaarenDer Clypeus sehr fein längsrunzlig , und mäßig dicht punktirt, mit völlig glatten Seitengruben, in der Mitte der Länge nach bräunlich und etwas glänzend . Das Stirnfeld glatt, glän- zend, die eingedrückte Gesichtslinie beinahe etwas unterbrochen, gleich über der Mitte mit grubenartig erweitertem Eindruck, aber nicht ganz deutlich bis zu dem mittlem Nebenauge hinaufreichend. Die Augen kahl. Die Stirnlamellen wie bei dem Arbeiter. Der Mittelbrustrücken mit 3 vertieften Linien. Die Flügel durchsichtig, von der Basis bis über die Mitte hinaus bräun- lich, mit blaßgelblichen oder blaßbräunlichgelben Adern; die erste Diskoidalzelle nach oben Cd. h. gegen den Vorderrand hin) schmal, kaum halb so breit wie an der Basis. Die Beine roth, Tibien und Tarsen ein wenig bräunlich . Die Schuppe nach oben ziemlich breit, von der Seite etwas schief zugerundet und an der Spitze in der Mitte entweder gar nicht oder nur schwach ausgerandet. Die übrigen Segmente fast kugelig, und wie das Schildchen sehr glänzend , was von der feineren Sculptur der viel mehr zerstreuten Punktirung und Behaarung herrührt . Dieser Glanz sticht gegen den mattglänzenden Kopf und Mittelleib sehr ab. Das 2te Segment an der Basis, die Bauchseite mehr oder weniger und die Spitze des Hinterleibs roth, der Hinterrand der Segmente röthlich , und nur wenig häutig durchscheinend. Auf dein Rücken fehlen die Borstenbaare gänzlich , aber auf der Bauchseite und an der Hinterleibsspitze treten solohe kurze und feine Haare deutlich hervor.

 

Das Männchen hat nach Nylander zweizähnige Mandibeln, großelängliche , vorstehende, spärlich behaarte Augen und ein glattes Stirnfeld. Die Brustseiten, der Hinterbrustrücken , die Schuppe und der Hinterleib, besonders der Bauch mehr oder weniger glänzend . Die Flügel wie bei dem Weibchen. Die Beine entweder rothgelb mit bräunlichenHüften , oder auch mit bräunlichen Schenkeln, oder die Beine sind ganz bräunlich .

 

Von dieser Art, die wegen Mangel größerer und zusammenhängender Nadelholz Waldungen hier selten vorkommt, besitze ich nur Weibchen. Sie wird in der Nähe der Stadt durch Beraubung der Nester, aus welchen die Puppen hinweggenommen werden um verschiedene Singvögel damit zu füttern , häufig zur Auswanderung getrieben oder gänzlichzerstört . Obgleich diese Weibchen in allen Stücken mit der Nylanderschen Beschreibung übereinstimmen , so weichen sie doch in 2 Stücken ab, nämlich , die Augen sind an meinen Exemplaren nicht behaart, und das Schildchen ist nicht matt, sondern ebenso glänzend wie der Hinterleib, lieber den Glanz des Schildchens spricht sich Nylander nicht aus, weder in der Diagnose noch in der weiteren Beschreibung, woraus doch wohl zu entnehmen, daß es sich von dem Vorder- und Mittelbrustrücken nicht unterscheidet.

 

Wenn daher beide Punkte bei der rufa Nyl. nicht doch mit unserer Beobachtung übereinstimmen , dann dürfte unsre Art wohl als neu zu betrachten seyn. Ich erhielt meine Exemplare aus einem Neste, welches die bei Nylander angeführten Eigenschaften hatte, nämlichgroßekegelförmige Haufen bildete. Die Schwärmzeit , welche in Finnland zwischen dem 10.-20. Juni fallt, habe ich hier noch nicht beobachtet.

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Formica rufa, Linn . Faun. Suec. 1721. Syst. Nat. i. 963, 4. Ny-land, Adno. Mon. Form. Boreal, 902, 5. Foerster, Hym. Stud. Form. 13, 3.

 

Formica polyctena, Foerster , Hym. Stud. Form. 15, 4, Var.?

 

Formica congerens, Foerster , Hym. Stud. Form. 17, 5, [[ male ]], [[ queen ]].

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The Wood Ant B. M.

 

Faun. Suec. 1721. Scop. Ins. Carn. 836. Be Geer, Ins. 2, 1053, i. t 41, f. 1, 2. Fab. Syst. Ent. 391, 4. Schrank, Ins. Aust. 834. Eourc. Ent. Paris, ii. 452,4. Rossi, Faun. Etrus. ii. 113,936. Christ. 510, t 60, f. 7,8. Don. Brit. Ins. 14, 76, t 496. Lat. Fourm. 143, t. 5, f. 28. Jurine, Hym. 272. St. Farg. Hist. Nat. Ins. i. 201, 3. Curtis, Brit. Ent. 16, t 752 Zett. Ins. Lapp. 448, 3.

 

Faun. Germ. 54,1. [[ queen ]].

 

Formica Herculanea, Sam.

 

Comp. 69, t. 8, f. 10.

 

Formica maxima , Ray, Hist Ins.

 

The Hill-Ant, Gould's Ants, ii. 1.

 

La Fourmi brune, a corcelet fauve, Geoff. Ins. ii. 428, 4.

 

Hub. Fourm. 320.

 

Hab. - Britain.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Nests are found in open woodland in glades or rides or at the woodland edge (4).
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Associations

Animal / guest
nymph of Alydus calcaratus is a guest in nest of Formica rufa

Animal / guest
larva of Clytra quadripunctata is a guest in nest of Formica rufa
Other: major host/prey

Animal / parasite / endoparasite
larva of Corrigia vitta endoparasitises Formica rufa
Remarks: Other: uncertain

Animal / parasite
queen (newly mated) of Formica rufa parasitises nest of Formica fusca
Other: minor host/prey

Animal / honeydew feeder
adult of Formica rufa feeds on honeydew Cinara piceae

Animal / honeydew feeder
adult of Formica rufa feeds on honeydew Cinara pinea

Animal / honeydew feeder
adult of Formica rufa feeds on honeydew Periphyllus testudinaceus

Animal / honeydew feeder
adult of Formica rufa feeds on honeydew Betulaphis quadrituberculata

Animal / honeydew feeder
adult of Formica rufa feeds on honeydew Glyphina betulae

Animal / honeydew feeder
adult of Formica rufa feeds on honeydew Lachnus roboris

Animal / honeydew feeder
adult of Formica rufa feeds on honeydew Symidobius oblongus

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Animal / guest
Formicoxenus nitidulus is a guest in nest of Formica rufa

Animal / associate
fruitbody of Lindtneria trachyspora is associated with nest of Formica rufa

Animal / predator
larva of Microdon analis is predator of pupa of Formica rufa

Animal / guest
nymph of Notochilus limbatus is a guest in nest of Formica rufa

Animal / guest
Xylocoris formicetorum is a guest in nest of Formica rufa

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Evolution and Systematics

Functional Adaptations

Functional adaptation

Collective body heat warms nest: wood ants
 

Wood ants heat their nests using collective body heat from large groups.

     
  "The surface of the nest of wood ants (Formica rufa) has numerous holes which serve as entrances and ventilation holes; at night and in cold weather the ants plug the holes to keep heat in. The workers also keep the slope of the nest at the right angle to obtain maximum amount of solar heat. The ants bring extra warmth into their nests as live heaters by basking in the sun in large numbers and taking the heat energy collected in their bodies into the nest." (Pallasmaa 1995:35)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Pallasmaa, J. 1995. Animal architecture. Helsinki: Museum of Finnish Architecture. 126 p.
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Functional adaptation

Nest maximizes solar heat absorption: wood ants
 

Wood ants maximize solar heat absorption by their nest via the optimum angle of orientation.

     
  "The surface of the nest of wood ants (Formica rufa) has numerous holes which serve as entrances and ventilation holes; at night and in cold weather the ants plug the holes to keep heat in. The workers also keep the slope of the nest at the right angle to obtain maximum amount of solar heat. The ants bring extra warmth into their nests as live heaters by basking in the sun in large numbers and taking the heat energy collected in their bodies into the nest." (Pallasmaa 1995:35)
  Learn more about this functional adaptation.
  • Pallasmaa, J. 1995. Animal architecture. Helsinki: Museum of Finnish Architecture. 126 p.
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Formica rufa group

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 1
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Formica rufa

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 26
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LR/nt
Lower Risk/near threatened

Red List Criteria

Version
2.3

Year Assessed
1996
  • Needs updating

Assessor/s
Social Insects Specialist Group

Reviewer/s

Contributor/s

History
  • 1994
    Vulnerable
    (Groombridge 1994)
  • 1990
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN 1990)
  • 1988
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
  • 1986
    Vulnerable
    (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
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Status

Classified as Lower Risk-near threatened (LR/nt) in the IUCN Red List (3) and classified in Great Britain as Local (4).
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Threats

Although the reasons for the decline are not fully understood (5), it is thought that loss of woodland habitat and unsuitable management practices leading to overgrowth of sunny areas, as well as disturbance by humans and livestock may be involved (4).
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Management

Conservation

The southern wood ant is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) priority species, the Species Action Plan aims to maintain a network of populations throughout the UK range. A number of colonies occur within National Nature Reserves (NNRs), and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and so will be afforded a degree of protection (4).
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Wikipedia

Formica rufa

Formica rufa, also known as the red wood ant, southern wood ant or horse ant, is a boreal member of the Formica rufa group of ants, and is the type species for that group. It is native to Europe and Anatolia[2] but is also found in North America,[3] in both coniferous and broad-leaf broken woodland and parkland.[3] Workers are bicolored red and brownish-black, with a dorsal dark patch on the head and promensonotum,[3] and are polymorphic, measuring 4.5–9 mm in length.[3] They have large mandibles and like many other ant species they are able to spray formic acid from their abdomens as a defence.[3] Formic acid was first extracted in 1671 by the English naturalist John Ray by distilling a large number of crushed ants of this species.[4]

Description[edit]

A caterpillar being bitten by F. rufa.
Patrolling Formica rufa

Nests of these ants are large, conspicuous, dome-shaped mounds of grass, twigs, or conifer needles,[3] often built against a rotting stump, usually situated in woodland clearings where the sun's rays can reach them. Large colonies may have 100,000 to 400,000 workers and 100 queens.[3] Formica rufa is highly polygynous and often re-adopts post-nuptial queens from its own mother colony, leading to old, multi gallery nests which may contain well over a hundred egg-producing females. These colonies can often measure several metres in height and diameter. Formica rufa is aggressively territorial, and will often attack and remove other ant species from the area. Nuptial flights take place during the springtime and are often marked by savage battles between neighbouring colonies as territorial boundaries are re-established.[5] New nests are established by budding from existing nests in the spring,[3] or by the mechanism of temporary social parasitism, the hosts being species of the Formica fusca group, notably F. fusca and F. lemani, although incipient Formica rufa colonies have also been recorded from nests of F. glebaria, F. cunnicularia and similar species including the Lasius genus. A rufa queen will oust the nest's existing queen, lay eggs, and the existing workers will care for her offspring until the nest is taken over.

Diet[edit]

A Formica rufa nest
F. rufa nest in meadow near Rila, Bulgaria

The ant's primary diet is aphid honeydew, but they also prey on invertebrates such as insects and arachnids;[3] they are voracious scavengers. Foraging trails may extend 100 m.[3] Larger workers have been observed to forage further away from the nest.[6] Formica rufa is commonly used in forestry and is often introduced into an area as a form of pest management.

Behavior[edit]

Worker behavior[edit]

It has been observed that worker ants in Formica rufa practice parental care or perform cocoon nursing. A worker ant will go through a sensitive phase, where it becomes accustomed to a chemical stimuli emitted by the cocoon. The sensitive phase occurs at an early and specific period. An experiment was conducted by Moli et al. to test how worker ants react to different types of cocoon: homospecific and heterospecific cocoons. If the worker ant is brought up in the absence of cocoons, they will show neither recognition nor nursing behavior. Both types of cocoons will in fact be opened up by the workers and devoured for nutrients. When accustomed to only the homospecific cocoons, the workers will collect both types of cocoons but only place and protect the homospecific cocoons. The heterospecific cocoons will be neglected and abandoned in the nest and eaten. Lastly, if heterospecific cocoons were injected with extract from the homospecific cocoons, the workers will tend to both types of cocoons equally. This demonstrates that a chemical stimulus from the cocoons seem to be of paramount importance in prompting adoption behavior in worker ants. However, the specific chemical / stimuli has not been identified.[7]

Foraging behavior[edit]

The foraging behavior of wood ants will change according to the environment. Wood ants have been shown to tend and harvest aphids and prey on and compete with other predators for food resources. They tend to prey on the most plentiful members of the community whether they are in the canopies of trees or in the forest foliage. Wood ants seem to favor prey that lives in local canopies near their nest; however, when food resources dwindle, they will seek other trees that are further from the nests and explore more trees instead of exploring the forest floor more thoroughly.[8] This makes foraging for food significantly less efficient, but the rest of the nest will not go out of their way to help the foraging ants.[9]

Kin behavior[edit]

Wood ants have shown aggressive behavior towards their own species in select situations.[10][9] Intraspecific competition usually occurs early in the spring between workers of competing nests. It has been found that this aggression may be linked to the protection of maintaining territory and trail. By observing skirmishes and trail formation of wood ants, Skinner has noted that the territory surrounding each nest differs between seasons. Permanent foraging trails would be reinforced each season and if another ant from an alien species crossed it, hostile activity would occur. He concludes that most likely, the territory changes based on foraging patterns influenced by seasonal changes.[9]

Ants will recognize their nest - mates through chemical signals. Failure in recognition will cause the colony integrity to decay. It has been found that heavy metals accumulated through the environment alter the aggression levels.[11] This could be due to a variety of factors such as changes in physiological effect or changes in resource levels. The ants in these territories tend to be less productive and efficient. If there was an increased resource competition, one would expect an increase level of aggression, but this is not the case.

An experiment was conducted by Moli to perceive how the wood ant diet can affect nest mate recognition. Formica rufa was housed in a lab under an artificial diet for either seven or 30 days in the presence of homo - colonial queens. After the allotted time, the workers were placed back into their original nests to observe either acceptance or rejection. The wood ants that were kept in the lab for only seven days were recognized; however, the nest mates attacked the wood ants that were kept in the lab for 30 days. Furthermore, a greater degree of aggression was witnessed for those that were heterospecific compared to those that were homospecific. Moli concluded that workers would constantly learn the chemical cues emitted and that the diet of the ants will affect the colony odor and in relation, nest mate identification.[12]

Colony structure[edit]

Different types of Formica rufa group species have demonstrated different types of social interaction. Some groups are highly polygynous, with multiple queen colonies forming large networks of connected nests. Others are monogynous, with single queen colonies. Different Formica rufa from different regions have been recorded as having traits of being both polygynous and monogynous. The females in the Formica rufa colonies that are monogynous will separate by flight and establish new nests. Queens in polygynous nest will form new nests in the vicinity of the original nest with the help of workers.[13] Research has show that through evolution, polygyny may have arisen through monogamy. One possibility is that monogynous nests due to environmental and physiological conditions may take up new queens.[14][15] It has been observed that sometimes in monogamous nests, daughters will be recruited as new reproductive and the nest will become polygynous.[16]

Nest splitting[edit]

Wood ants typically have multiple nests so they can move around in case of drastic changes in the environment. This splitting of nests will cause the creating of multiple daughter nests. There are several reasons as to why wood ants would move such as a change in availability of food resources, attack by the population of another colony or a change in the state of the nest itself. During this time, workers, queens and the brood will be transferred from the original nest to the daughter nest in a bilateral direction. The goal is to move to the daughter nest; however, sometimes, the transporting ants may bring an individual back to the original nest. The splitting process can last between a week to over a month long.[17]

Population[edit]

Turnover rate of wood ant nests is very quick. Within a period of 3 years, Dr. Klimetzek counted 248 nests. Furthermore, there was no evidence that a correlation existed between nest age and mortality. It was recorded that smaller nests had lower life expectancy compared to larger nests. The size of the nests would increase as the nest age grew.[18]

Bee paralysis virus[edit]

In 2008, the Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) was reported for the first time in this species and another species of ant, Camponotus vagus. CPPV affects bees, ants, and mites.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Social Insects Specialist Group (1996). Formica rufa. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006.
  2. ^ "Formica rufa". 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Robinson, William H. (2005). Urban Insects and Arachnids: A Handbook of Urban Entomology. Cambridge University Press. p. 247. ISBN 0521812534. 
  4. ^ Charles Earle Raven (1986). John Ray, naturalist : his life and works. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-31083-0. 
  5. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/naturestop40/ep1/s39.shtml
  6. ^ Wright PJ, Bonser R & Chukwu UO (2000). "The size-distance relationship in the wood ant Formica rufa". Ecological Entomology 25 (2): 226–233. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2311.2000.00253.x. 
  7. ^ Moli, Francesco Le, and Maria Passetti. "Olfactory Learning Phenomena and Cocoon Nursing Behaviour in the Ant Formica Rufa L." Italian Journal of Zoology 45.4 (1978): 389-97. Print
  8. ^ Lenoir, L. "Response of the Foraging Behaviour of Red Wood Ants (Formica Rufa Group) to Exclusion from Trees." Agricultural and Forest Entomology 5.3 (2003): 183-89. Print
  9. ^ a b c Skinner, G. J., and J. B. Whittaker. "An Experimental Investigation of Inter-Relationships Between the Wood-Ant (Formica Rufa) and Some Tree-Canopy Herbivores." Journal of Animal Ecology 50 (1981): 313-26. Print
  10. ^ Elton, Charles. "Territory Among Wood Ants (Formica Rufa L.) at Picket Hill." Journal of Animal Ecology 1 (1932): 69-76. Web. <http://www.jstor.org/stable/996>
  11. ^ Sorvari, Jouni, and Tapio Eeva. "Pollution Diminishes Intra-specific Aggressiveness between Wood Ant Colonies." Science of The Total Environment 408.16 (n.d.): 3189- 192. Web. <http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0048969710003797#>
  12. ^ Le Moli, F., and A. Mori. "Field Experiments on Environmental Sources of Nestmate Recognition in Two Species of Thegroup (Hymenoptera Formicidae)." Ethology Ecology & Evolution 1.4 (1989): 329-39. Web. <http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08927014.1989.9525503#.UmoUHJQadvY>
  13. ^ Bernasconi, Christian, Arnaud Maeder, Daniel Cherix, and Pekka Pamilo. "Diversity and Genetic Structure of the Wood Ant Formica Lugubris in Unmanaged Forests." Ann. Zool. Fennici (n.d.): 189-99. Print
  14. ^ Goropashnaya, Anna V., Vadim B. Fedorov, and Pekka Pamilo. "Recent Speciation in the Formica Rufa Group Ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae): Inference from Mitochondrial DNA Phylogeny." Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 32.1 (2004): 198-206. Print
  15. ^ Maeder, Arnaud, Anne Freitag, and Daniel Cherix. "Species- and Nestmate Brood Discrimination in the Sibling Wood Ant Species Formica Paralugubris and Formica Lugubris." Ann. Zool. Fennici 42 (2005): 201-12. Web
  16. ^ Gyllenstrand, N., P. Seppa, and P. Pamilo. "Genetic Differentiation in Sympatric Wood Ants, Formica Rufa and F. Polyctena." Insectes Sociaux 51.2 (2004): 139-45. Web. <http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00040-003-0720-2>
  17. ^ Mabelis, A.A. "Nest Splitting By the Red Wood Ant (Formica Polyctena Foerster)." Netherlands Journal of Zoology 29.1 (1978): 109-25. Web. <http://ingentaconnect.com.libproxy.wustl.edu/content/brill/njz/1978/00000029/00000001/art00005>
  18. ^ Klimetzek, D. "Population Studies on Hill Building Wood-ants of the Formica Rufa-group." Oecologia 48.3 (1981): 418-21. Web. <http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00346504#page-1>
  19. ^ Detection of Chronic bee paralysis virus (CBPV) genome and its replicative RNA form in various hosts and possible ways of spread.
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