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.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 66.45896° to 34.01916667°.

Tropical South

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

Countries Occupied

Number of countries occupied by this species based on AntWiki Regional Taxon Lists. In general, fewer countries occupied indicates a narrower range, while more countries indicates a more widespread species.

Estimated Abundance

Relative abundance based on number of AntMaps records per species (this species within the purple bar). Fewer records (to the left) indicates a less abundant/encountered species while more records (to the right) indicates more abundant/encountered species.


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


Temporary hosts for F. dakotensis are Formica glacialis, Formica fusca, Formica lepida, Formica montana, Formica pallidefulva, Formica subaenescens 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.

Association with Other Organisms

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  • This species is a mutualist for the aphid Chaitophorus populicola (a trophobiont) (Jones, 1927; Saddiqui et al., 2019).
  • This species is a mutualist for the aphid Cinara apini (a trophobiont) (Jones, 1927; Saddiqui et al., 2019).



Images from AntWeb

Formica dakotensis casent0102158 head 1.jpgFormica dakotensis casent0102158 profile 1.jpgFormica dakotensis casent0102158 dorsal 1.jpgFormica dakotensis casent0102158 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0102158. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by MSNG, Genoa, Italy.
Formica dakotensis casent0005385 head 1.jpgFormica dakotensis casent0005385 profile 1.jpgFormica dakotensis casent0005385 dorsal 1.jpgFormica dakotensis casent0005385 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0005385. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by UCDC, Davis, CA, USA.


The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's Online Catalogue of the Ants of the World.

  • 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).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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  • Buren W. F. 1944. A list of Iowa ants. Iowa State College Journal of Science 18:277-312
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  • Glasier J. R. N., S. Nielsen, J. H. Acorn, L. H. Borysenko, and T. Radtke. 2016. A checklist of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Saskatchewan. The Canadian Field-Naturalist 130(1): 40-48.
  • Glasier, J. Alberta Ants. AntWeb.
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  • Gregg, R.T. 1963. The Ants of Colorado.
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  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at
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  • Longino, J.T. 2010. Personal Communication. Longino Collection Database
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  • Talbot M. 1976. A list of the ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Edwin S. George Reserve, Livingston County, Michigan. Great Lakes Entomologist 8: 245-246.
  • Wheeler G. C., J. N. Wheeler, and P. B. Kannowski. 1994. Checklist of the ants of Michigan (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The Great Lakes Entomologist 26(4): 297-310
  • Wheeler G. C., and E. W. Wheeler. 1944. Ants of North Dakota. North Dakota Historical Quarterly 11:231-271.
  • Wheeler G. C., and J. Wheeler. 1986. The ants of Nevada. Los Angeles: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, vii + 138 pp.
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  • Wheeler W. M. 1913. A revision of the ants of the genus Formica (Linné) Mayr. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology 53: 379-565.
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  • Wheeler, G.C. and J. Wheeler. 1988. A checklist of the ants of Wyoming. Insecta Mundi 2(3&4):230-239
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