Formica

Workers are 2.5-8 mm long, and the body is brownish black to black, sometimes with reddish-brown head. Antennae are 12-segmented and without a club; the epinotum is without spines, and the pedicel is one-segmented. They forage during the day, and are general scavengers and predators on other insects and nectar feeders, and they collect honeydew from aphids. Some species are social parasites and young queens enter the nest of other ants and kill the resident queen. Many species build mounds over the nest, and colonies may contain 100 000 workers. In the urban environment, they nest in turfgrass and around the foundation ofbuildings.

Allegheny mound ant, Formica exectoides Workers are 3-6 mm long and the head is reddish brown and about as wide as long. The thorax and legs are reddish brown, and the gaster may be blackish brown. Nests are in the ground and are usually as mounds 1 m high and 2 m wide. Nests in natural habitats are usually along the edge of forested areas or in clearings. In the urban environment, nests may be along railroad tracks or in undisturbed sites in suburban areas. Worker ants remove vegetation in the area surrounding the mound. Workers are active from April to September and feed primarily on live and dead insects, and honeydew. Workers are aggressive and, ifthe nest or the mound is disturbed, workers will attack the intruder; they will actively bite. This species is native to North America, and occurs in northeastern states, south to Georgia and west to Iowa and Kansas.

Formica francoeuri (= F. pilicornis) Workers are 3-7 mm long and have a blackish-red head and gaster, and usually a red thorax. There are many erect setae on the legs, scapes, and gaster. Nests in natural areas are in soil, often under cover. In the urban environment, nests are in cracks in sidewalks and along the sides of buildings. They forage for honeydew from aphids and mealybugs on plants and trees. This species occurs in western USA.

Common black ant, Formica fusca Workers are 4.5-7.0 mm long and black; the legs are blackish brown. The gula, occiput, and mid-femora have erectsetae, and there are occasionally one or two setae on the pronotum. Nests in natural habitats are in the ground, usually in banks, under stones, and in tree stumps. In the urban environment, nests may be along hedgerows and along the edge of undisturbed areas. Workers forage singly and are predators of other insects, but also feed on nectar from flowers, and aphid honeydew. Colonies are usually small, with up to about 500 workers and 1-3 queens. Winged forms are developed in June and July, and they emerge in July and early August. This species may be native to Europe, but it is nearly cosmopolitan. Itoccurs nearly throughoutNorth America. Itis common in southern England, Wales, and southwest Ireland, and it is local in north England and Scotland. It extends from Fennoscandia to Italy and from Portugal to Japan.

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