Formica manchu

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Formica manchu
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Formica
Subgenus: Coptoformica
Species: F. manchu
Binomial name
Formica manchu
Wheeler, W.M., 1929

Formica manchu casent0906309 p 1 high.jpg

Formica manchu casent0906309 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels


In Siberia and Tibet it is one of the most abundant Coptoformica species with a rather wide habitat spectrum. It is mainly found in grassy open habitats, both natural or grazed, fully open or with shrubs, from xerothermous to rather moist conditions. In Siberia it frequently occupies clearings or margins of the Larix Taiga. It forms both monodomous and polydomous colonies. Alates were observed from 26 June to 21 August. (Seifert & Schultz, 2021)

At a Glance • Temporary parasite  


Seifert (2000) - E Palaearctic distribution between 96°E (Kansk) and 130°E (Yakutsk) and 36°N (N Tibet) to 62°N (Yakutsk).


The Reinig Line faunal divide separates East Siberian, Inner Mongolian, Chinese and Tibetan species from those of Central Siberia, West Siberia and the Turanian region (DE LATTIN, 1967). In ants, the Reinig Line is crossed only by a cold resistant species including Camponotus herculeanus, Formica exsecta, Formica gagatoides, Formica lugubris, Formica manchu, Formica picea, Formica pisarskii, Formica uralensis, Lasius flavus, Leptothorax acervorum and Tetramorium sibiricum (DLUSSKY, 1967; FRANCOEUR, 1983; SEIFERT, 2000, 2021a, 2021b).

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 62.033889° to 47.45°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: China (type locality), Mongolia, Russian Federation.

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.


As a member of the subgenus Coptoformica this species is likely to be a temporary parasite of another species of Formica, but its host is unknown.

Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Source: Seifert & Schultz, 2021.



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

  • manchu. Formica (Coptoformica) exsecta subsp. manchu Wheeler, W.M. 1929f: 10 (w.) CHINA.
    • Status as species: Seifert, 2000a: 534; Seifert & Schultz, 2021: 196.
  • beijingensis. Formica beijingensis Wu, 1990: 2, figs. 1, 15 (w.) CHINA.
    • Junior synonym of manchu: Seifert & Schultz, 2021: 196.

Unless otherwise noted the text for the remainder of this section is reported from the publication that includes the original description.



Head more narrowed behind than in the typical Formica exsecta, so that the distance between the posterior corners is decidedly shorter than the width of the head at its anterior corners. The occipital excision is therefore narrower though quite as deep as in the type. Clypeus more flattened, not carinate posteriorly. Maxillary palpi as long as in the type. Epinotum with more rounded and convex base, which is as long as the declivity and passing into it without a distinct angle. Petiolar scale much narrower above than in the typical exsecta, its sides nearly parallel, the excision of the superior border quite as sharp and deep, semicircular.

Seifert 2000. Fig. 17.

Body, especially the gaster, more opaque than in typical exsecta. Pilosity even less developed on the gaster. Color darker, the head black, except the cheeks, sides, gula and mandibles which are brownish red. The thorax, coxae and petiole are also brownish red, but the spot on the pronotum is black and more extensive than in typical exsecta. Gaster black; antennae and legs dark brown or in some specimens reddish brown.

Seifert (2000) - Medium-sized species (CL 1375 ± 76, 1193-1542; CW 1282 ± 71, 1128-1458). Head significantly longer than in other species (CL/CW 1.067 ± 0.016, 1.036-1.103). Scape rather long (SL/CL 1.013 ± 0.018, 0.966-1.048). Setae only present on anterior clypeus (ClySet 1.67 ± 0.56, 1-3). Lateral semierect setae in the ocellar triangle rarely present (OceSet 12%). Eye hairs strongly developed (EyeHL 27.9 ± 6.8, 12-29). Pubescence disctance in the occellar triangle large (sqrtPDF 5.95 ± 0.50, 4.95-6.92). Craniad profile of forecoxae without or very few subdecumbent setae (nCOXA 1.30 ± 0.91, 0-3.5). Dorsal mesosoma, lateral metapleuron and ventrolateral propodeum only exceptionally with single standing setae (nMET 0.04 ± 0.26, 0-1.5). Outer edge of the hind tibial flexor side with subdecumbent setae (nHTFL 4.78 ± 1.90, 1.0-9.0). Semierect setae on gaster tergites beginning at the posterior border of second to third tergite (TERG 2.91 ± 0.29, 2-3), anterior part of sculptured surface of third tergite always with setae. Pubescence distance on first gaster tergite very large (sqrtPDG 7.57 ± 0.59, 6.46-8.84).


Seifert (2000) - (Not seen, description according to Agosti 1989): “[...] Clypeus only at the anterior margin with a number of standing setae that have the same length as pubescence hairs. Eyes with standing setae. Head, mesosoma, petiole, and gaster without standing setae [few small setae are most probably present at the hind margin of third or fourth gaster tergite, B. S.], instead a homogeneous, long, subdecumbent pubescence is present. Hind tibiae with long, subdecumbent pubescence. Head surface shagreened with homogeneously scattered, fine, smooth, and shining punctures [...]”. Some morphometric data can be predicted from the average correlations between queen and worker data observed in Coptoformica and from transformation of some data of Agosti: ML 2315, CL/CW 1.030, SL/CL 0.960, EyeHL 46, nCOXA 1, TERG 3.5, nHTFL 5.5, sqrtPDF 5.3, sqrt PDG 7.5.

Type Material

Described from several specimens taken by Messrs. P. H. and S. H. Dorsett at Boketu, Manchuria.

Seifert (2000) - Manchuria: Boketu (= Buchatu = P’o-k’o-t’u; 48°45’N, 121°58’E). Syntypes 9 workers (Museum of Comparative Zoology) [investigated].


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Dlussky G. M., and B. Pisarski. 1970. Formicidae aus der Mongolei. Ergebnisse der Mongolisch-Deutschen Biologischen Expeditionen seit 1962, Nr. 46. Mitteilungen aus dem Zoologischen Museum in Berlin 46: 85-90.
  • Dlussky, G. M.. "Ants of the genus Formica L. of Mongolia and northeast Tibet (Hymenoptera, Formicidae)." Annales Zoologici (Warsaw) 23 (1965): 15-43.
  • Malozemova L. A. 1972. Ants of steppe forests, their distribution by habitats, and perspectives of their utilization for protection of forests (north Kazakhstan). [In Russian.]. Zoologicheskii Zhurnal 51: 57-68.
  • Pisarski B. 1969. Fourmis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de la Mongolie. Fragmenta Faunistica (Warsaw). 15: 221-236.
  • Schultz R., and B. Seifert. 2007. The distribution of the subgenus Coptoformica Müller, 1923 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in the Palaearctic Region. Myrmecological News 10: 11-18.
  • Shilenkov V. G., A. A. Pankratov, and E. V. Sofronova. 2012. Preliminirary notes on species composition of Magdansky Reserve. Baikal Zoological Journal 3: 30-34.
  • Smith F. 1863. Catalogue of hymenopterous insects collected by Mr. A. R. Wallace in the islands of Mysol, Ceram, Waigiou, Bouru and Timor. Journal and Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London. Zoology 7: 6-48.
  • Terayama. M. 2004. Geological and ecological distribution of Japanese ants communities. (translated from Japanese) Reports of the Saitama Prefecture Animal Research Association. 48:24
  • Zhigulskaya Z. A. 2009. The ants of the Chuya Depression and the Yustyd river basin in Southeastern Altai. Contemporary Problems of Ecology 2009 2(3): 210-215.