Iberoformica subrufa

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Iberoformica subrufa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Iberoformica
Species: I. subrufa
Binomial name
Iberoformica subrufa
(Roger, 1859)

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Specimen Labels

Evolutionary Relationships

Proformica longiseta

Polyergus rufescens

Polyergus samurai

Iberoformica subrufa

Formica cunicularia

Formica gerardi

Formica frontalis

Formica sanguinea

Based on Gomez, Lorite, P. et al. 2018. Note that this study was restricted to species near Formica gerardi.

Common within favored habitats within its range. This is an ant of open areas with abundant exposure to sunlight, including forest clearings and in scrub habitats.

At a Glance • Brachypterous Queen  




Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Palaearctic Region: China, France, Gibraltar, Iberian Peninsula, Portugal, Spain (type locality).

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb


Cavia (1990) - An endemic of the Iberian Peninsula (Bernard, 1968), although its distribution covers a wide attitudinal range, from almost sea level to 1400 meters (Haro, 1982; Tinaut, 1981). Nests are shallow (average 23 cm) with a population between 181 and 2048 workers and usually a single queen (Cavia, 1988). Workers are medium size (4.2 - 5.6 mm in length) that exhibit diurnal foraging activity, with two peaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon with a decrease at noon. Throughout the year is active between March and November (Cavia, 1988).

The diet of the ant Formica subrufa in Sant Llorenç del Munt i Serra de l'Obac Natural Park has been studied. Prey transported to the nest are arthropod carcasses, mainly other ants, but also of other insect groups, and also some seeds. Prey collection efficacy ranges from 10 to 16%. Formica subrufa also feeds on nectar and sap from some plants, i.e. spurge flax (Daphne gnidium), pine (Pinus pinea), evergreen oak (Quercus ilex) and box (Buxus sempervirens). Liquid food collection efficacy is 46%. Globally, the percentage of ants that enter the nest with food is up to 50%.

Associations with other Organisms


This ant has been observed tending larvae of Lampides boeticus and has also been associated with the butterflies Glaucopsyche alexis, Leptotes pirithous, and a species that has recently been split into two species: Polyommatus icarus and Polyommatus celin (Obregon et al. 2015).


Pekár et al. (2018) - This ant is preyed upon by numerous spider species in the genus Zodarion (Araneae: Zodariidae). All members of this genus are specialized ant predators that exclusively prey on ants.


Queen is brachypterous, i.e. short, non-functional wings are present at adult emergence (Tinaut & Ruano 1992).


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

  • subrufa. Formica subrufa Roger, 1859: 236 (w.) SPAIN. Emery, 1909b: 200 (q.m.); Tinaut, 1990a: 283 (m.). Combination in F. (Serviformica): Santschi, 1919e: 247; in F. (Iberoformica): Tinaut, 1990a: 282; in Iberoformica: Muñoz-López, et al. 2012: 36. Subspecies of fusca: Emery & Forel, 1879: 451; Wheeler, W.M. 1908g: 409. Status as species: André, 1882b: 181; Nasonov, 1889: 20; Ruzsky, 1902d: 13; Emery, 1909b: 199; Wheeler, W.M. 1913f: 531; Santschi, 1919e: 247; Bernard, 1967: 301; Collingwood, 1978: 93; Tinaut, 1990a: 282.

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


Roger 1859
Roger 1859 p. 237.png


  • n = 26 (Spain) (Lorite et al., 2002b).