This is a common species, which nests in the soil, usually under stones or logs.
A small Formica with its entire surface smooth and polished. The pronotum has 10 or more erect hairs and the scape has numerous, short, delicate, white hairs. Most other body parts are covered with bristly hairs. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)
Widespread in North America.
Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists
Distribution based on AntMaps
Distribution based on AntWeb specimens
Check data from AntWeb
In New Mexico (Mackay and Mackay 2002) - Primarily pine forest, ponderosa pine-riparian, fir forests, spruce and aspen forests, pinyon pine, oak forest, although it occurs in other habitats, including semiarid grasslands.
For New Mexico (Mackay and Mackay 2002) - Brood was collected in nests in July and August. Two dealate females were collected on the soil surface on 6 Aug. 1986. It nests together (possibly enslaved by) with Formica occulta. One colony was nesting together with Lasius pallitarsis, several nests contained colonies of Leptothorax crassipilis. One mixed nest included F. argentea, F. aserva, F. obtusopilosa, F. rubicunda, F. lasioides and Myrmica. These ants are docile, and escape when the nest is excavated.
Nevada, Wheeler and Wheeler (1986) - In Nevada lasioides is well scattered throughout the state, although most (87%) of the records are above 6,000 ft. We have 79 records for this species from 56 localities; 3,800-10,900 ft. Of these records 4 were in the Alpine Biome, 40 in the Coniferous Forest Biome, 8 in the Pinyon-Juniper, and 16 in the Cool Desert (3 in sand dunes and 1 in a disturbed area). Of the nests for which we have descriptions, the majority were under stones; those exposed were surmounted by a low irregular messy pile of soil, which in some cases resembled a crater; such structures ranged from 4 to 30 cm in diameter. This is a rapid-moving and timid species, but residents of populous colonies are sometimes aggressive and their bites are annoying.
This species is a host for the ectoparastic fungus Laboulbenia formicarum (Espadaler & Santamaria, 2012).
The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.
- lasioides. Formica lasioides Emery, 1893i: 664 (w.) U.S.A. Combination in Proformica: Emery, 1912f: 100; in Formica (Proformica): Wheeler, W.M. 1913f: 539; in Formica: Francoeur, 1973: 114. Subspecies of fusca: Wheeler, W.M. 1908g: 409; of neogagates: Wheeler, W.M. 1913f: 539. Revived status as species and senior synonym of vetula: Creighton, 1950a: 457.
- picea. Formica lasioides var. picea Emery, 1895c: 335 (w.) U.S.A. [Junior primary homonym of picea Leach, 1825: 292, above.] Replacement name: vetula Wheeler, W.M. 1912c: 90.
- vetula. Formica lasioides var. vetula Wheeler, W.M. 1912c: 90. Replacement name for picea Emery, 1895c: 335. [Junior primary homonym of picea Leach, 1825: 292.] Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 554 (q.). Combination in F. (Proformica): Wheeler, W.M. 1913f: 540. Subspecies of neogagates: Buren, 1944a: 308. Junior synonym of lasioides: Creighton, 1950a: 458.
- Creighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 104: 1-585 (page 457, Revived status as species, and senior synonym of vetula)
- Emery, C. 1893k. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der nordamerikanischen Ameisenfauna. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 7: 633-682 (page 664, worker described)
- Emery, C. 1912f. Der Wanderzug der Steppen- und Wüstenameisen von Zentral-Asien nach Süd-Europa und Nord-Afrika. Zool. Jahrb. Suppl. 15("Erster Ba Band: 95-104 (page 100, Combination in Proformica)
- Espadaler, X., Santamaria, S. 2012. Ecto- and Endoparasitic Fungi on Ants from the Holarctic Region. Psyche Article ID 168478, 10 pages (doi:10.1155/2012/168478).
- Francoeur, A. 1973. Révision taxonomique des espèces néarctiques du groupe fusca, genre Formica (Formicidae, Hymenoptera). Mém. Soc. Entomol. Qué. 3: 1-316 (page 114, Combination in Formica)
- Mackay, W. P. and E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY.
- Wheeler, G. C. and J. Wheeler. 1986. The ants of Nevada. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles.
- Wheeler, W. M. 1908h. The ants of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. (Part I.). Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 24: 399-485 (page 409, Subspecies of fusca)
- Wheeler, W. M. 1913i. A revision of the ants of the genus Formica (Linné) Mayr. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 53: 379-565 (page 539, Combination in Formica (Proformica), Subspecies of neogagates)