Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Clickable Guide
Moths Butterflies Flies Caterpillars Flies Dragonflies Flies Mantids Cockroaches Bees and Wasps Walkingsticks Earwigs Ants Termites Hoppers and Kin Hoppers and Kin Beetles True Bugs Fleas Grasshoppers and Kin Ticks Spiders Scorpions Centipedes Millipedes

Calendar

TaxonomyBrowse
Info
ImagesLinksBooksData

Species Formica obscuripes - Thatching ant

Western Thatching Ant - mound - Formica obscuripes red and black ant - Formica obscuripes black winged ant - Formica obscuripes Ant identification - Formica obscuripes Ant Mound - Formica obscuripes Mound ant - Formica obscuripes Formica neorufubarbis? - Formica obscuripes black ant with orange head - Formica obscuripes
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
Superfamily Formicoidea (Ants)
Family Formicidae (Ants)
Subfamily Formicinae
Tribe Formicini
Genus Formica (Wood ants, mound ants, & field ants)
No Taxon (rufa group)
Species obscuripes (Thatching ant)
Explanation of Names
Formica obscuripes Forel, 1886

obscuripes - blackish (dark) legs
thatching - characteristic domed nest of fine twigs, petioles, rachises, or conifer needles
Numbers
Note relatively abundant erect bristle on all surfaces of hind tibiae.
Size
workers 4-7.5 mm
queens 10-11 mm
males 9-11 mm
Identification
- workers weakly polymorphic, with narrow headed, uniformly dark colored minors and major workers with a broad, and contrastingly bright red head
- bristles on all surfaces of hind tibiae (but few or none on scapes (cf. F. oreas)
- cross section of clypeus gently curved or curved with broadly obtuse medial angle (cf. trapezoidal cross section of F. obscuriventris clypeus)
Range
See "Habitat"
Habitat
Habitat changes from east to west -- Sandy prairie and oak savanna (Michigan to Minnesota, also Iowa and way-northern Missouri), dry-mesic tallgrass prairie (Nebraska, Dakotas, Canadian prairie provinces), mid-grass prairie, usually +/- riparian grassland (western Dakotas to New Mexico), sagebrush/rabbitbrush steppe (Alberta to New Mexico and Great Basin), conifer woodland and forest (northern, incl. Canadian Rockies to Washington and British Columbia).
Food
Thes are predators of a variety of other arthropods and avid collectors of honeydew and extrafloral nectar. May attack and prey on other ants, particularly other Formica.
Remarks
This is perhaps the best-known member of the Formica rufa group in North America, and thus the only one with a common name
Print References
Wheeler, G. C.; Wheeler, J. 1963. The ants of North Dakota. Grand Forks, North Dakota: University of North Dakota Press, viii + 326 pp.