Formica dakotensis

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



Specimen Label


This ant nests in mounds, often thatched with detritus, or under stones. It enslaves F. fusca, F. lepida, F. montana, F. subsericea and F. pallidefulva. Like most species of Formica, this species tends aphids. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)

At a Glance • Temporary parasite  



Workers, females (and even males) of this species are easily recognized as the node of the petiole is flat or has a slightly concave apex, as seen from the front or back. The sides of the node are nearly straight and parallel. The palpi are remarkably short. The female is smooth and shining, and smaller than the largest workers.

Keys including this Species


Canada, Alberta. United States, widely distributed.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: Canada, United States (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


In New Mexico (Mackay and Mackay 2002) - Grasslands up to ponderosa pine forests.


Temporary hosts for F. dakotensis are Formica fusca, Formica lepida, Formica montana, Formica pallidefulva and Formica subsericea.

Nevada, Wheeler and Wheeler (1986) - Our 8 records are from 7 localities, which are widely scattered north of the Hot Desert. Two are in the Coniferous Forest Biome, 1 in the ectotone above, and 1 in the Alpine Biome. Five nests were under stones and 1 was under a dead sagebrush trunk.




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

  • dakotensis. Formica dakotensis Emery, 1893i: 652, pl. 22, fig. 5 (w.) U.S.A. Wasmann, 1902a: 4 (q.m.); Wheeler, W.M. 1913f: 462 (q.). Senior synonym of saturata, wasmanni (and its junior synonym specularis): Creighton, 1950a: 484; of montigena: Brown, 1957f: 167.
  • montigena. Formica montigena Wheeler, W.M. 1904f: 374 (w.q.m.) U.S.A. Subspecies of dakotensis: Wheeler, W.M. 1913f: 463; Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, E.W. 1944: 260. Junior synonym of dakotensis: Brown, 1957f: 167.
  • wasmanni. Formica dakotensis var. wasmanni Forel, 1904a: 153 (footnote) (w.q.m.) U.S.A. Synonym of specularis: Wheeler, W.M. 1913f: 464 (Wheeler gives specularis as senior name but wasmanni has priority). Junior synonym of dakotensis: Creighton, 1950a: 484.
  • specularis. Formica specularis Wheeler, W.M. 1908g: 408 (q.) U.S.A. [First available use of Formica fusca subsp. subpolita var. specularis Emery, 1893i: 663; unavailable name.] Junior synonym of wasmanni: Wheeler, W.M. 1913f: 464 (Wheeler incorrectly gives seniority to specularis). Junior synonym of dakotensis: Creighton, 1950a: 484.
  • saturata. Formica dakotensis var. saturata Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 542 (w.) U.S.A. Junior synonym of dakotensis: Creighton, 1950a: 484.



  • n = 26 (Crozier, 1975).


  • Brown, W. L., Jr. 1957f. Distribution and variation of the ant Formica dakotensis Emery. Entomol. News 68: 165-167 PDF (page 167, Senior synonym of montigena)
  • Creighton, W. S. 1950a. The ants of North America. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 104: 1-585 (page 484, Senior synonym of saturata and wasmanni (and its junior synonym specularis))
  • Emery, C. 1893k. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der nordamerikanischen Ameisenfauna. Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Syst. Geogr. Biol. Tiere 7: 633-682 (page 652, pl. 22, fig. 5 worker described)
  • Higgins, R. J. and B. S. Lindgren. 2015. Seral changes in ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) assemblages in the sub-boreal forests of British Columbia. Insect Conservation and Diversity. 8:337-347. doi:10.1111/icad.12112
  • Mackay, W. P. and E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, NY.
  • Talbot, M. 1972 [1971]. Flights of the ant Formica dakotensis Emery. Psyche (Camb.) 78: 169-179 (page 169, see also) PDF
  • Wasmann, E. 1902a. Neues über die zusammengesetzten Nester und gemischten Kolonien der Ameisen. [part]. Allg. Z. Entomol. 7: 1-5 (page 4, queen, male described)
  • Wheeler, G. C. and J. Wheeler. 1986. The ants of Nevada. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles.
  • Wheeler, W. M. 1913i. A revision of the ants of the genus Formica (Linné) Mayr. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 53: 379-565 (page 462, queen described)