Formica exsectoides

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Formica exsectoides
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Formica
Species: F. exsectoides
Binomial name
Formica exsectoides
Forel, 1886

Formica exsectoides casent0104768 profile 1.jpg

Formica exsectoides casent0104768 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


This species nests in large mound nests. It enslaves Formica fusca and Formica subsericea. Colonies can be large, including over 1,600 individual nests. It is extremely aggressive when the nest is disturbed. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)

At a Glance • Polygynous  

Photo Gallery

  • Worker. Photo by Tom Murray.
  • Foraging worker.
  • Myles Standish State Forest, Massachusetts.
  • Wixaboxet, Rhode Island.
  • Haystack Mountain, Massachusetts.
  • A newly established small nest from Ashburnham, Massachusetts. Photo by Tom Murray.


A member of the Formica exsecta group. Large, bicolored (red head and mesosoma, black gaster) ants with a dull surface. The larger workers can be separated as the vertex of the head is concave. The dorsum of the promesonotum is usually without hairs, at least in the largest workers. The propodeum and petiole are often without erect hairs. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)


Widespread in United States.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: Canada, United States (type locality).
Neotropical Region: Mexico.
Formica exsectoides Distribution.png

Check distribution from AntMaps.

Distribution based on specimens

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The above specimen data are provided by AntWeb. Please see Formica exsectoides for further details


In New Mexico (Mackay and Mackay 2002) - Mountain meadows through juniper woodlands and grasslands, up to ponderosa pine forests.




The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • exsectoides. Formica exsectoides Forel, 1886b: xxxviii (w.q.) U.S.A. Emery, 1893i: 653 (m.). Senior synonym of davisi, hesperia: Creighton, 1950a: 513. See also: Wheeler, W.M. 1913f: 481; Smith, D.R. 1979: 1456.
  • davisi. Formica exsectoides var. davisi Wheeler, W.M. 1913f: 396 (in key) (w.q.) U.S.A. [Formica exsectoides subsp. exsectoides var. davisi Wheeler, W.M. 1913f: 484; unavailable name.] Junior synonym of exsectoides: Creighton, 1950a: 513.
  • hesperia. Formica exsectoides var. hesperia Wheeler, W.M. 1913f: 396 (in key) (w.) U.S.A. [Formica exsectoides subsp. exsectoides var. hesperia Wheeler, W.M. 1913f: 484; unavailable name.] Subspecies of exsectoides: Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 544. Junior synonym of exsectoides: Creighton, 1950a: 513.



  • Creighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 104: 1-585 (page 513, Senior synonym of davisi and hesperia)
  • Emery, C. 1893k. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der nordamerikanischen Ameisenfauna. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 7: 633-682 (page 653, male described)
  • Forel, A. 1886b. Espèces nouvelles de fourmis américaines. Ann. Soc. Entomol. Belg. 30:xxxviii-xlix. (page xxxviii, worker, queen described)
  • Mackay, W. P. and E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY.
  • Smith, D. R. 1979. Superfamily Formicoidea. Pp. 1323-1467 in: Krombein, K. V., Hurd, P. D., Smith, D. R., Burks, B. D. (eds.) Catalog of Hymenoptera in America north of Mexico. Volume 2. Apocrita (Aculeata). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Pr (page 1456, see also)
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1913i. A revision of the ants of the genus Formica (Linné) Mayr. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 53: 379-565 (page 481, see also)