Formica querquetulana

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Formica querquetulana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Formica
Species group: microgyna
Species: F. querquetulana
Binomial name
Formica querquetulana
Kennedy & Dennis, 1937

Formica querquetulana casent0005289 profile 1.jpg

Formica querquetulana casent0005289 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

In Nevada (Wheeler and Wheeler, 1986), where this species has only been collected a few times, it has been encountered in the Alpine Biome at 11,200 ft.; only strays were found and they were mixed with strays of Formica microgyna. F. querquetulana is known to be enslaved by Formica pergandei and be a temporary host for Formica subaenescens.

At a Glance • Temporary parasite  

Photo Gallery

  • Formica querquetulana drinking honeydew from tiny cream-colored aphids on a thistle. Photo by James C. Trager at Gray Summit, Missouri.
  • Formica querquetulana drinking honeydew from tiny cream-colored aphids on a thistle. Photo by James C. Trager at Gray Summit, Missouri.


The worker of this species lacks erect hairs on the scape (except at the apex), the dorsum of the head has several erect hairs (usually more than 20 in the outline of head, viewed from the side, counting the ones on the clypeus), the mesosoma, including the propodeum has several erect, blunt-tipped, or even spatulate hairs, the apex of the petiole has several erect hairs, erect hairs are scattered across dorsum of the first tergum. The tibiae are without erect hairs, except for a row of bristles on the flexor surface.

The queen is a tiny specimen, about 2/3 the size of the largest worker. The scape is without erect hairs, the tibiae lack erect hairs, except for a row of bristles on the flexor surface. The dorsum of the mesosoma has a number of erect hairs, erect hairs are abundant on the propodeum, dorsum of the petiole, and dorsum of the first tergum. Many of the hairs are blunt-tipped or even spatulate. The female is medium to yellowish brown, with a slightly darker gaster.

This species is distinctive, and is unlikely to be confused with any of the others. The presence of numerous erect, blunt-tipped hairs on the mesosoma, especially the propodeum, will separate it from all other similar species, except Formica difficilis. It can be separated from F. difficilis by the lack of erect hairs on the posterior lateral corner of the head.

Note that color varies within this species, with smallest workers being quite dingy and the larger workers relatively brightly-colored.

Keys including this Species


New England westward to Montana, Nevada, and California.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 45.67° to 35.61°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: 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.




Images from AntWeb

Formica querquetulana casent0104870 head 1.jpgFormica querquetulana casent0104870 profile 1.jpgFormica querquetulana casent0104870 dorsal 1.jpgFormica querquetulana casent0104870 label 1.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0104870. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by CAS, San Francisco, CA, USA.


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

  • querquetulana. Formica querquetulana Kennedy & Dennis, 1937: 536, figs. 10-15 (w.q.) U.S.A.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Allred D. M. 1982. Ants of Utah. The Great Basin Naturalist 42: 415-511.
  • Allred, D.M. 1982. The ants of Utah. Great Basin Naturalist 42:415-511.
  • Carroll T. M. 2011. The ants of Indiana (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Master's Thesis Purdue university, 385 pages.
  • Coovert G. A. 2005. The Ants of Ohio (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Ohio Biological Survey, Inc. 15(2): 1-207.
  • Coovert, G.A. 2005. The Ants of Ohio (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Ohio Biological Survey Bulletin New Series Volume 15(2):1-196
  • Ellison A. M., and E. J. Farnsworth. 2014. Targeted sampling increases knowledge and improves estimates of ant species richness in Rhode Island. Northeastern Naturalist 21(1): NENHC-13–NENHC-24.
  • Frye J. A., T. Frye, and T. W. Suman. 2014. The ant fauna of inland sand dune communities in Worcester County, Maryland. Northeastern Naturalist, 21(3): 446-471.
  • Ivanov, K. 2019. The ants of Ohio (Hymenoptera, Formicidae): an updated checklist. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 70: 65–87.
  • Kennedy C. H., and C. A. Dennis. 1937. New ants from Ohio and Indiana, Formica prociliata, F. querquetulana, F. postoculata and F. lecontei, (Formicidae: Hymenoptera). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 30: 531-544.
  • Longino, J.T. 2010. Personal Communication. Longino Collection Database
  • Lubertazi, D. Personal Communication. Specimen Data from Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard
  • MacGown, J.A. and JV.G. Hill. Ants of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee and North Carolina).
  • Munsee J. R., W. B. Jansma, and J. R. Schrock. 1986. Revision of the checklist of Indiana ants with the addition of five new species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Indiana Academy of Science 95: 265-274.
  • 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 J. Wheeler. 1986. The ants of Nevada. Los Angeles: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, vii + 138 pp.
  • Wheeler, G.C. and J. Wheeler. 1988. A checklist of the ants of Montana. Psyche 95:101-114
  • Wheeler, G.C., J. Wheeler and P.B. Kannowski. 1994. CHECKLIST OF THE ANTS OF MICHIGAN (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE). Great Lakes Entomologist 26:1:297-310