Formica picea

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Revision as of 10:15, 29 July 2023 by SShattuck (talk | contribs) (Update distribution based on regional taxon lists)
Formica picea
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Formica
Species: F. picea
Binomial name
Formica picea
Nylander, 1846

Formica picea casent0173868 profile 1.jpg

Formica picea casent0173868 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Nests have been found in moss hummocks in boreal regions in Russia (Zryanin & Zryanina, 2007).



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: 69.555° to 42.383333°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: India, Nepal, Pakistan.
Palaearctic Region: Andorra, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Finland (type locality), Georgia, Greece, Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Kazakhstan, Poland, Russian Federation, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

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.


Association with Other Organisms

Explore-icon.png Explore: Show all Associate data or Search these data. See also a list of all data tables or learn how data is managed.
  • This species is a host for the ant Formica sanguinea (a slave maker).
  • This species is a host for the ant Formica aquilonia (a temporary parasite) (Chernenko et al., 2013; de la Mora et al., 2021).
  • This species is a host for the ant Formica caucasicola (a temporary parasite) in Georgia (Seifert, 2021).
  • This species is a host for the ant Formica forsslundi (a temporary parasite) (de la Mora et al., 2021; Seifert, 2018).
  • This species is a host for the ant Formica lugubris (a temporary parasite) (Chernenko et al., 2013; de la Mora et al., 2021).
  • This species is a host for the phorid fly Aenigmatias lubbocki (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission outside nest).
  • This species is a host for the trematode Dicrocoelium dendriticum (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; indirect transmission; transmission outside nest).



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

  • picea. Formica picea Nylander, 1846a: 917 (w.q.) FINLAND. [Junior primary homonym of picea Leach, 1825: 292, above.] First available replacement name: candida Smith, F. 1878b: 11; designated by Bolton, 1995b: 201. Forel, 1914b: 1 (m.). Junior synonym of gagates: Nylander, 1856b: 65; Smith, F. 1858b: 6; Dalla Torre, 1893: 198. Revived from synonymy as subspecies of fusca: Emery, 1909b: 195. Revived status as species: Bondroit, 1912: 352. Subspecies of fusca: Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1929a: 19. Status as species: Emery, 1916b: 254; Emery, 1925b: 249; Karavaiev, 1929b: 213; Karavaiev, 1936: 231; Dlussky, 1965a: 31; Dlussky, 1967a: 61; Dlussky & Pisarski, 1971: 153; Pisarski, 1975: 42; Tarbinsky, 1976: 183; Kutter, 1977c: 250; Kupyanskaya, 1990: 186. Senior synonym of candida: Emery, 1925b: 249; Karavaiev, 1936: 231; Dlussky, 1967a: 61; of glabra White: Donisthorpe, 1918a: 9; Dlussky, 1967a: 61; of transkaucasica: Emery, 1909b: 195; Donisthorpe, 1918a: 9; Karavaiev, 1936: 231; Dlussky, 1965a: 31; Dlussky, 1967a: 61; of inplana, lochmatteri, orientalis: Dlussky, 1965: 31; of piceoinplana: Dlussky, 1967a: 61. Material of the following unavailable names referred here: filchneri by Emery, 1909b: 195; piceoorientalis by Dlussky, 1965a: 31; transcaucasicogagates by Dlussky, 1967a: 61. Returned to valid species with picea as retained name: Seifert, 2004: 31. See also: Radchenko, 2007: 35.
  • glabra. Formica glabra White, W.F. 1884: 253 (w.) GREAT BRITAIN. [Unresolved junior primary homonym of glabra Gmelin, above.] Junior synonym of gagates: Dalla Torre, 1893: 188; of picea Nylander: Donisthorpe, 1918a: 9; Dlussky, 1967a: 61.
  • orientalis. Formica fusca subsp. orientalis Ruzsky, 1915a: 427, fig. 5 (w.) TIBET. Junior synonym of picea Nylander: Dlussky, 1965a: 31.
  • inplana. Formica (Serviformica) picea var. inplana Emery, 1925b: 249 (w.) TIBET. [First available use of Formica fusca subsp. picea var. inplana Ruzsky, 1915a: 426; unavailable name.] Subspecies of fusca: Ruzsky, 1936: 92. Junior synonym of picea Nylander: Dlussky, 1965a: 31.
  • piceoinplana. Formica (Serviformica) picea var. piceoinplana Emery, 1925b: 249 (w.) CHINA. [First available use of Formica fusca subsp. picea var. piceoinplana Ruzsky, 1915a: 426; unavailable name.] Junior synonym of picea Nylander: Dlussky, 1967a: 61.
  • lochmatteri. Formica (Serviformica) picea var. lochmatteri Stärcke, 1935: 265, fig. 4 (w.q.) CHINA/KASHMIR? Junior synonym of picea Nylander: Dlussky, 1965a: 31.

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



Seifert (2004): Mean size distinctly smaller than Serviformica average: CS 1.22 mm. Head and scape significantly longer than in F. candida: CL / CW1.4 1.123, SL / CS1.4 1.030 (Tab. 1). Frontal triangle as shining as the adjacent surfaces. Cuticular surface of head, mesosoma and gaster as result of reduced pubescence and weak microsculpture shining; a denser pubescence is usually developed only on propodeum and petiole. However, pubescence and microsculpture significantly denser than in F. candida: on dorsal surface of first gaster tergite, average distance of transverse microripples 6.8 µm (RipD) and of pubescence hairs 74 µm (PDG). Clypeus, procoxae, ventral parts of meso- and metacoxae and all ventral and dorsal gaster sclerites with quite numerous and very long erect setae which are longer than in F. candida, GHL / CS 12.1 %. Setae numbers a little larger than in F. candida: Seen in lateral profile, hind vertex with 3 - 16 and central vertex with 2 - 7 setae. Both sides of pronotum usually with 5 - 17 and of mesonotum with 3 - 11 long, erect setae. Propodeum occasionally and petiole scale usually with single short setae. Flexor sides of both hind tibiae with a sum of 2 - 6 semierect to subdecumbent setae. Petiole scale variable, on the average narrower than in F. candida; its dorsal margin in frontal view fully convex or with a straight or concave median part; scale in lateral view not very thick with a tapering apex. Colouration pattern similar to situation in F. candida. For morphometric details of 62 worker specimens see Tab. 1.

Nylander 1846. Page 917


  • n = 26, 2n = 52 (Switzerland) (Hauschteck-Jungen & Jungen, 1976).


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • AntArea. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at
  • Antarea (Personal Communication - Rumsais Blatrix- 27 April 2018)
  • Antarea (at on June 11th 2017)
  • ArtDatabanken Bugs (via GBIG)
  • Azuma M. 1955. A list of ants (Formicidae) from Hokkaido Is. Hyogo Biology 3:79-80.
  • Bernadou A., V. Fourcassié, and X. Espadaler. 2013. A preliminary checklist of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Andorra. Zookeys 277: 13-23.
  • Bernadou, A., G. Latil, V. Fourcassié, and X. Espadaler. "Les formigues de la Vall del Madriu-Perafita-Claror : diversitat i distribució." Hàbitats, 13 (2006): 10-21.
  • Blatrix R., C. Lebas, C. Galkowski, P. Wegnez, P. Pimenta, and D. Morichon. 2016. Vegetation cover and elevation drive diversity and composition of ant communities (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in a Mediterranean ecosystem. – Myrmecological News 22: 119-127.
  • Boer P. 2019. Species list of the Netherlands. Accessed on January 22 2019 at
  • Borowiec L. 2014. Catalogue of ants of Europe, the Mediterranean Basin and adjacent regions (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus (Wroclaw) 25(1-2): 1-340.
  • Borowiec L., and S. Salata. 2012. Ants of Greece - Checklist, comments and new faunistic data (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Genus 23(4): 461-563.
  • Boven J. K. A. 1947. Liste de détermination des principales espèces de fourmis belges (Hymenoptera Formicidae). Bulletin et Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique 83: 163-190.
  • Boven J. van 1949. Notes sur la faune des Hautes-Fagnes en Belgique. Bulletin et Annales de la Société Entomologique de Belgique 85: 135-143.
  • Czechowski W., A. Radchenko, W. Czechowska and K. Vepsäläinen. 2012. The ants of Poland with reference to the myrmecofauna of Europe. Fauna Poloniae 4. Warsaw: Natura Optima Dux Foundation, 1-496 pp
  • 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.
  • Donisthorpe H. 1929. The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) taken by Major R. W. G. Hingston, M.C., I.M.S. (ret.), on the Mount Everest Expedition, 1924. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (10)4: 444-449.
  • Dubovikoff D. A., and Z. M. Yusupov. 2018. Family Formicidae - Ants. In Belokobylskij S. A. and A. S. Lelej: Annotated catalogue of the Hymenoptera of Russia. Proceedingss of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences 6: 197-210.
  • Else G., B. Bolton, and G. Broad. 2016. Checklist of British and Irish Hymenoptera - aculeates (Apoidea, Chrysidoidea and Vespoidea). Biodiversity Data Journal 4: e8050. doi: 10.3897/BDJ.4.e8050
  • Emery C. 1895. Beiträge zur Kenntniss der nordamerikanischen Ameisenfauna. (Schluss). Zoologische Jahrbücher. Abteilung für Systematik, Geographie und Biologie der Tiere 8: 257-360.
  • Emery C. 1916. Fauna entomologica italiana. I. Hymenoptera.-Formicidae. Bullettino della Società Entomologica Italiana 47: 79-275.
  • Entomological Society of Latvia. 2003. (Accessed on December 1st 2013).
  • Formidabel Database
  • GRETIA. 2017. Bilan annuel de l'enquete sur la repartition des fourmis armoricaines. 23 pages.
  • Garcia Garcia F., and A. D. Cuesta-Esgura. 2017. First catalogue of the ants of Burgos province, Spain (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Boletín de la Sociedad Entomológica Aragonesa 60: 245–258.
  • Glaser F. 2009. Die Ameisen des Fürstentums Liechtenstein. (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Amtlicher Lehrmittelverlag, Vaduz, 2009 (Naturkundliche Forschung im Fürstentum Liechtenstein; Bd. 26).
  • Gouraud C. 2015. Bilan de l’année 2014 : Atlas des fourmis de Loire-Atlantique (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Atlas des Formicidae de Loire-Atlantique, compte rendu de la première année d’étude (2014)
  • Gratiashvili N., Barjadze S. 2008. Checklist of the ants (Formicidae Latreille, 1809) of Georgia. Proceedings of the Institute of Zoology (Tbilisi) 23: 130-146.
  • Gulzar A. 2014. Classification and Distribution of ants in Kashgar, Xinjiang. Master's Thesis Shaanxi Normal University, 75 pages.
  • Guénard B., and R. R. Dunn. 2012. A checklist of the ants of China. Zootaxa 3558: 1-77.
  • Hayashida K., and S. Maeda. 1960. Studies on the ecological distribution of ants in Akkeshi. Journ. Sc. Hokkaido Univ., IV. Zool., 14 (3) : 305-319.
  • Holgersen H. 1944. The ants of Norway (Hymenoptera, Formicidae). Nytt Magasin for Naturvidenskapene 84: 165-203.
  • Jeffery H. G. 1931. The Formicidae (or ants) of the Isle of Wight. Proceedings of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society 2: 125-128. 
  • Karavaiev V. 1912. Ameisen aus dem paläarktischen Faunengebiete. Rus. Entomol. Obozr. 12: 581-596.
  • Karavaiev V. 1926. Beiträge zur Ameisenfauna des Kaukasus, nebst einigen Bemerkungen über andere palaearktische Formen. (Schluss). Konowia 5: 187-199.
  • Kholin S. K., and A. N. Kupianskaya. 2006. The ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Muravyov-Amursky Peninsula. A.I. Kurentsov's Annual Memorial Meetings 17: 114-119.
  • Kozisek T. 1987. Ants (Formicoidea) of the Abrod State Nature Reserve. Ochrana Prírody 8: 205-208.
  • Kupianskaia A.N. 1990. Murav'I (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) Dal'nego Vostoka SSSR (1989). Vladivostok. 258 pages.
  • Lapeva-Gjonova, L., V. Antonova, A. G. Radchenko, and M. Atanasova. "Catalogue of the ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Bulgaria." ZooKeys 62 (2010): 1-124.
  • Lauterer P. 1968. Notes on the occurrence of four rare species of ants in Moravia. Ac. Rer. Natur. Mus. Nat. Slov., Bratislava 54(1): 95-98.
  • Lebas C., C. Galkowski, P. Wegnez, X. Espadaler, and R. Blatrix. 2015. The exceptional diversity of ants on mount Coronat (Pyrénées-Orientales), and Temnothorax gredosi(Hymenoptera, Formicidae) new to France. R.A.R.E., T. XXIV (1): 24 – 33
  • Li Z.h. 2006. List of Chinese Insects. Volume 4. Sun Yat-sen University Press
  • Lomnicki J. 1928. Spis mrówek Lwowa i okolicy. Ksiegi Pamiatkowej (Lecia Gimn. IV Jana Dlugosza Lwowie) 50: 1-10.
  • Maavara V. 1953. Ants of Estonian SSR. ABIKS loodusevaatlejale 10: 1-44.
  • 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.
  • Mani M. S., and S. Singh. 1962. Entomological survey of Himalaya. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 59(1): 84-85.
  • Mann W. M. 1911. On some Northwestern ants and their guests. Psyche (Cambridge) 18: 102-109.
  • Markó B., B. Sipos, S. Csősz, K. Kiss, I. Boros, and L. Gallé. 2006. A comprehensive list of the ants of Romania (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecologische Nachrichten 9: 65-76.
  • Menozzi C. 1939. Formiche dell'Himalaya e del Karakorum raccolte dalla Spedizione italiana comandata da S. A. R. il Duca di Spoleto (1929). Atti della Società Italiana di Scienze Naturali e del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Milano. 78: 285-345.
  • Neumeyer R., and B. Seifert. 2005. Commented check list of free living ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) species of Switzerland. Bulletin de la Societe Entomologique Suisse 78: 1-17.
  • Nielsen M. G. 2011. A check list of Danish ants and proposed common names. Ent. Meddr. 79: 13-18.
  • Odegaard F. 2013. New and little known ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in Norway. Norwegian Journal of Entomology 60, 172–175.
  • Paukkunen J., and M. V. Kozlov. 2015. Stinging wasps, ants and bees (Hy menoptera: Aculeata) of the Murmansk region, Northwest Russia. — Entomol. Fennica. 26: 53–73.
  • Petal J. M. 1963. Faune des fourmis de la reserve de tourbiere en projet a Rakowskie Bagno pres de Frampol (voivodie de Lublin). Annales Universitatis Mariae Curie-Sk?odowska 58(7): 143-174.
  • Petal J. M. 1967. Contribution a la connaissance des fourmis (Formicidae, Hymenoptera) de la region de Lublin. VII. Associations des fourmis des milieux de tourbieres, de forets et de dunes aux environs de Libiszow (dist. De Parczew). Annales Universitatis Mariae Curie-Sklodowska Lublin-Polonia 22(9): 117-130.
  • Pisarski B. 1969. Fourmis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) de la Mongolie. Fragmenta Faunistica (Warsaw). 15: 221-236.
  • Radchenko A. G. 2007. The ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the collection of William Nylander. Fragmenta Faunistica (Warsaw) 50: 27-41.
  • Rasheed M. T., I. Bodlah, A. G. Fareen, A. A. Wachkoo, X. Huang, and S. A. Akbar. 2019. A checklist of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Pakistan. Sociobiology 66(3): 426-439.
  • Reznikova Z. I. 2003. Distribution patterns of ants in different natural zones and landscapes in Kazakhstan and West Siberia along a meridian trend. Euroasian Entomological Journal 2(4): 235-342.
  • Ruzsky M. 1916. On zoological research in Yeniseisk province, work of summer of 1915. Izv. Imp. Tomsk. Univ. 65 (3rd p part: 1-21.
  • Ruzsky M. 1920. Ants of Kamchatka. Izv. Inst. Issled. Sib. 2: 76-80
  • Ruzsky M. 1946. Ants of Tomsk province and contiguous localities. Tr. Tomsk. Gos. Univ. 97: 69-88
  • Röszler P. 1950. Die Ameisenwelt des Nagy Pietrosz, 2305 m (Ungarn) und Umgebung. Zool. Anz. 145: 210-225.
  • Schar S., G Talavera, X. Espadaler, J. D. Rana, A. A. Andersen, S. P. Cover, and R. Vila. 2018. Do Holarctic ant species exist? Trans-Beringian dispersal and homoplasy in the Formicidae. Journal of Biogeography 00: 1-12.
  • Seifert, B.. "The "Black Bog Ant" Formica picea Nylander, 1846 a species different from Formica candida Smith, 1878 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)." Myrmecologische Nachrichten 6 (2004): 29-38.
  • Siberian Zoological Museum. Website available at Accessed on January 27th 2014.
  • Smith F. 1941. A list of the ants of Washington State. The Pan-Pacific Entomologist 17(1): 23-28.
  • Sonnenburg H. 2005. Die Ameisenfauna (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) Niedersachsens und Bremens. Braunschweiger Naturkundliche Schriften 7: 377-441.
  • Sushko G. G. 2013. The ants (hymenoptera, formicidae) bogs Belarusian Lakeland. Proceedings of the international. scientific-practical. conference, Vitebsk, 21-22 November 2013 - Vitebsk, 2013. - P. 215-216.
  • Tanquary M. C. 1912. A preliminary list of ants from Illinois. Trans. Ill. Acad. Sci. 4: 137-142.
  • Vepsalainen K., R. Savolainen, J. Tiainen, and J. Vilen. 2000. Successional changes of ant assemblages: from virgin and ditched bogs to forests. Ann. Zool. Fennici 37: 135-149.
  • Wegnez P., and F. Mourey. 2016. Formica uralensis Ruzsky, 1895 une espèce encore présente en France mais pour combien de temps ? (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Bulletin de la Société royale belge d’Entomologie 152: 72-80.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1906. Fauna of New England. 7. List of the Formicidae. Occasional Papers of the Boston Society of Natural History 7: 1-24
  • Wheeler W. M. 1906. Fauna of New England. 7. List of the Formicidae. Occasional Papers of the Boston Society of Natural History 7: 1-24.
  • 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.
  • Wheeler W. M. 1929. Ants collected by Professor F. Silvestri in Formosa, the Malay Peninsula and the Philippines. Bollettino del Laboratorio di Zoologia Generale e Agraria della Reale Scuola Superiore d'Agricoltura. Portici 24: 27-64.
  • Zryanin V. A., and T. A. Zryanina. 2007. New data on the ant fauna Hymenoptera, Formicidae in the middle Volga River Basin. Uspekhi Sovremennoi Biologii 127(2): 226-240.