Formica rubicunda

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

Formica-rubicunda-MCZ002L.jpg

Formica-rubicunda-MCZ002D.jpg

Specimen Label

This species nests under stones and logs and may occasionally construct thatched nests or earthen mounds. Formica rubicunda enslaves Formica altipetens, Formica bradleyi, Formica fossaceps, Formica lasioides, Formica lepida, Formica montana, Formica neoclara, Formica neogagates, Formica neorufibarbis, Formica obscuriventris, Formica pallidefulva and Formica subsericea. One mixed nest included Formica argentea, Formica aserva, Formica obtusopilosa Formica lasioides and a Myrmica species.


At a Glance • Dulotic  

 

Photo Gallery

  • Foraging worker from Ashburnham, Massachusetts. Photo by Tom Murray.
  • Formica rubicunda and host Formica subsericea, eastern Missouri oak woodland. Photo by James Trager.

Identification

The apex of the petiole, as seen in profile, is sharp. The dorsum of the first tergum of the gaster has abundant hairs, slightly over 0.1 mm in length. The hairs are coarse and thick, but most are abruptly tapered to sharp tips. These hairs are slightly longer and more abundant than those on the pronotum, which tend to be more blunt tipped. The underside of the head usually has four hairs. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)

Keys including this Species

Distribution

Widespread in North America.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 48.63° to 24.83444444°.

   
North
Temperate
North
Subtropical
Tropical South
Subtropical
South
Temperate

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

Distribution based on AntMaps

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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.

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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.

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Habitat

In New Mexico (Mackay and Mackay 2002) - Prairies and open woodlands up to pinyon-juniper and ponderosa pine and aspen forests.

Biology

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, fusca, and pallidefulva species groups. When the workers of the slave-making species have become numerous enough, they start raiding for more slaves.

Formica rubicunda is known to enslave the following species:

Association with Other Organisms

  • This species is a host for the braconid wasp Elasmosoma petulans (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission outside nest).

Flight Period

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

Source: antkeeping.info.

Castes

Worker

Nomenclature

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

  • rubicunda. Formica sanguinea subsp. rubicunda Emery, 1893i: 647, pl. 22, fig. 2 (w.q.) U.S.A. Wheeler, W.M. 1913f: 407 (m.). Combination in F. (Raptiformica): Emery, 1925b: 260. Raised to species: Creighton, 1950a: 468. Junior synonym of subintegra: Wilson & Brown, 1955: 120. Revived from synonymy: Buren, 1968a: 30.

Description

References

References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

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