Formica talbotae

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Formica talbotae
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Formica
Species group: microgyna
Species: F. talbotae
Binomial name
Formica talbotae
Wilson, 1977

Formica talbotae casent0103454 profile 1.jpg

Formica talbotae casent0103454 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

This species is apparently a workerless inquiline. It is found in open prairie, with sandy and well-drained, sloping fields. The density of the nests of its host, Formica obscuripes, is high. The flight season extends from mid-June too late September, with flights occurring in the morning when the temperatures rises above 22°C, and when there is no appreciable wind.

At a Glance • Workerless Inquiline  


The queen is very small, approximately one-half the size of the largest major of the host. They are medium yellowish brown, the scape and the tibiae have abundant suberect hairs, the head (dorsum and ventral surface), mesosoma, petiole, and gaster have abundant erect hairs, somewhat of which are spatulate, especially on the mesosoma. The male is only slightly larger than the female.


Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 47.920535° to 42.456536°.

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 talbotae casent0103454 profile 2.jpg
Paratype of Formica talbotaeQueen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0103454. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by LACM, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


Images from AntWeb

Formica talbotae casent0103455 head 1.jpgFormica talbotae casent0103455 profile 1.jpgFormica talbotae casent0103455 profile 2.jpgFormica talbotae casent0103455 profile 3.jpgFormica talbotae casent0103455 dorsal 1.jpgFormica talbotae casent0103455 label 1.jpg
Paratype of Formica talbotaeQueen (alate/dealate). Specimen code casent0103455. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by LACM, Los Angeles, CA, USA.


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

  • talbotae. Formica talbotae Wilson, 1977: 277, fig. 1 (q.m.) U.S.A.
    • Status as species: Talbot, 1977: 282; Bolton. 1995b: 205; Coovert, 2005: 155.



References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Talbot M. 1977. The natural history of the workerless ant parasite Formica talbotae. Psyche (Cambridge) 83: 282-288.
  • 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., J. Wheeler and P.B. Kannowski. 1994. CHECKLIST OF THE ANTS OF MICHIGAN (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE). Great Lakes Entomologist 26:1:297-310
  • Wilson E. O. 1977. The first workerless parasite in the ant genus Formica (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Psyche (Cambridge) 83: 277-281.