Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
Formica erratica Latreille HNS , 1798:44.
Worker . Dark brown to black: head wedge shaped widening posteriorly; clypeus with median notch as wide as or wider than deep. Dorsum of alitrunk and appendages without standing hairs. Body covered with adpressed white pubescence and very finely punctured. Antennae 12 segmented, palp formula 6,4. Length: 2.6-4.2 mm.
Queen. As worker but with enlarged flattened alitrunk. Length: 4.5-5.5 mm.
Male. Dark brown to black; clypeus notched; scapes long, overreaching occipital border; head wedge shaped; external genitalia prominently exposed. Subgenital plates as wide as or wider than enclosed median area. Length: 3.5-5.0 mm.
Distribution. Present in Scandinavia only on the islands of Gotland and Gland. It occurs on sandy heaths and along the coast in South England and in the Channel Isles. - Range: throughout Central Europe from Spain to the Caucasus and from the mountains of South Italy to North Germany.
Biology. This is a small black ant, agile and aggressive on disturbance. Colonies usually contain several hundred workers and many queens. Nests are constructed under stones or in bare ground in dry sunny places and loose earth solaria for brood incubation are often constructed during the early summer. This species is partly aphidicolous and partly carnivorous. Alatae are developed in June with flights occurring during July.