Formica pergandei

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Formica pergandei
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Formica
Species: F. pergandei
Binomial name
Formica pergandei
Emery, 1893



Specimen Label


Formica pergandei is found in woods, woodland edges, semi-open or open areas near woodland edges, and prairies (Coovert 2005, Nemec et al. 2012). It nests under rotten logs or large branches or in soil. It is a slave-maker and starts its colonies in the nests of host species, including members of the F. fusca, F. pallidefulva, F. neogagates, F. microgyna, and F. rufa species groups, often in combination (Fisher and Cover 2007). Reproductives were found in a nest in August (Mackay and Mackay 2002).

At a Glance • Slave-maker  


The metanotal impression of this species is deep, the head is usually broader than long, the eyes of the majors fail to reach the sides of the head, and there are usually 1 - 4 hairs on the underside of the head. The hairs on the gaster are abundant, but are approximately as abundant (and of the same length) as the hairs on the pronotum. The length of the scape is less than or equal to the length of the head. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)


Canada, Quebec. United States: northeastern US, west to North Dakota and south to New Mexico.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
Formica pergandei 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 pergandei for further details


In New Mexico (Mackay and Mackay 2002) - Aspen forests, disturbed areas.


This species is a member of a group of Formica species that were formerly placed in the subgenus Raptiformica. All species are facultative slavemakers, i.e., species which usually or often have slaves but can get along without them. The colony-founding female forces her way into a small colony of another species of Formica, somehow gets rid of its queen and workers and appropriates its nest and brood. The workers emerging from this brood accept the intruding queen as their own. The enslaved species belong to the Formica neogagates, F. fusca, and F. pallidefulva species groups. When the workers of the slave-making species have become numerous enough, they start raiding for more slaves.

This slave-maker enslaves colonies of Formica difficilis, Formica fusca and Formica pallidefulva, among others.




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

  • pergandei. Formica pergandei Emery, 1893i: 646, pl. 22, fig. 1 (w.) U.S.A. Combination in F. (Raptiformica): Emery, 1925b: 259. Junior synonym of subintegra: Wilson & Brown, 1955: 120. Revived from synonymy and senior synonym of sublucida: Buren, 1968a: 28. See also: Snelling, R.R. & Buren, 1985: 72.
  • sublucida. Formica sublucida Creighton, 1950a: 472 (w.q.) U.S.A. [First available use of Formica sanguinea subsp. rubicunda var. sublucida Wheeler, W.M. 1913f: 408; unavailable name.] Junior synonym of subintegra: Wilson & Brown, 1955: 120; of pergandei: Buren, 1968a: 28.



  • Apple, J.L., Lewandowski, S.L. & Levine, J.L. 2014. Nest relocation in the slavemaking ants Formica subintegra and Formica pergandei: a response to host nest availability that increases raiding success. Insectes Sociaux, 61, 347–356 (doi 0.1007/s00040-014-0359-1).
  • Buren, W. F. 1968a. Some fundamental taxonomic problems in Formica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). J. Ga. Entomol. Soc. 3: 25-40 (page 28, revived from synonymy, and senior synonym of sublucida)
  • Coovert, G. A. 2005. The ants of Ohio (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bulletin of the Ohio Biological Survey 15:1–202.
  • Emery, C. 1893k. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der nordamerikanischen Ameisenfauna. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 7: 633-682 (page 646, pl. 22, fig. 1 worker described)
  • Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 259, Combination in F. (Raptiformica))
  • Mackay, W. P. and E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY.
  • Nemec, K.T., Trager, J.C. & Allen, C.R. 2012. Five new records of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) for Nebraska. The Prairie Naturalist 44, 63–65.
  • Snelling, R. R.; Buren, W. F. 1985. Description of a new species of slave-making ant in the Formica sanguinea group (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Great Lakes Entomol. 18: 69-78
  • Wilson, E. O.; Brown, W. L., Jr. 1955. Revisionary notes on the sanguinea and neogagates groups of the ant genus Formica. Psyche (Camb.) 62: 108-129 (page 120, junior synonym of subintegra)