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Ant - Formica subsericea

Ant - Formica subsericea
Fairfield, Wayne County, Illinois, USA
March 27, 2007
Leafing through the guide, I concluded possibly a species of Dorymyrmex? Several hills in close proximity to each other.

Images of this individual: tag all
Ant - Formica subsericea Ant - Formica subsericea

Moved from fusca group.

Formica subsericea
This is the common eastern US and SE Canada species Formica subsericea. This ant is also occasionally seen throughout its range in mixed nests, as the host of so-called slave-making ants.

for the ID.

Formica sp. (fusca group) - worker
Nest architecture is sometimes misleading. But maybe there were several kinds of ants? If so, this one could be only a vagrant visitor.

I only
observed for about 10 minutes but every ant I saw looked similar and all of the ones I was successful in imaging was the same. I take it the ant and the nest architecture don't seem congruent. I'll go back this week and get more images.

Then the Formica ants...
Are the current inhabitants of the nest. I wouldn't say this kind of architecture is incongruent for them, although they prefer the underside of large, flat stones. But where these are rare, then they are able to build this kind of earth mound, more typical of other genera.

Nearest flat rocks
are about 60 miles away so I would say this area qualifies as a hardship post for them. Thanks.

This species is mound builder
In grassy habitats, it typically builds an irregular mound 1-3 ft. (30-100 cm.) across with numerous entrances. In woodlands their mounds tend to be smaller, often against a log or stump, and the colonies less populous.

Dorymyrmex in Illinois is restricted to deep sand deposits, and builds only a small, single-entrance crater.

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