DISTRIBUTION-Formica argentea

Garson, Gleanlea, Grahamdale, Helca Island, Lake Katherine, Northwest Angle Provincial Forest, Richer, Rosa, Sandilands, Spruce Woods Provincial Forest, Spruce Wood Provincial Park
(Wheeler et al., 1989)


Key characteristics to the species of Formica fusca group of Manitoba (Jeff Shaddock (unpublished) and modified from Francoeur (1973) and Wheeler and Wheeler (1986))

1.Metasternum lacks lobes
2.Mesometasternal profile composed of a convexity followed by a straight or convex line that lacks hairs (in profile view)
3.Gena between eye and mandible (i.e. below eye) without coarse punctures; or if present, they are restricted to the region just below the eye
4.Hairs lacking around spinasternal cavity
5.Pubescence dense to very dense on first four gastric segments
6.Large, elongate punctures absent on genae behind and beneath the eyes
7.Colour: blackish-brown to brown

  • Photo Credit: Shannon Hartman © AntWeb 2002 - 2013
  • Photo Credit: Shannon Hartman © AntWeb 2002 - 2013

  • Taxonomic Classification

          Phylum: Arthropoda
          Subphylum: Hexapoda
               Class: Insecta
               Subclass: Pterygota
               Infraclass: Neoptera
                     Order: Hymenoptera
                     Suborder: Apocrita
                     Infraorder: Aculeata
                              Superfamily: Vespoidea
                              Family: Formicidae
                              Subfamily: Formicinae
                              Tribe: Formicini
                                 Genus: Formica
                                 Species: Formica argentea

    Specific Biology

    F. argentea is a species of open habitats, including disturbed prairies, bare areas in suburban and campus lawns (but only where no mass grading of soil has occurred in the past), and pastures. It nests in soil.
    Natural History:
    This species has a silvery look and jaunty, rapid gait that is easily recognized once experienced. The nests are often in bare places such as eroded banks in grazed prairies, the margins or mid-strips of dirt roads, or areas of parks and lawns worn away by foot traffic. It is a scavenger, opportunistic predator and gatherer of sweets, not uncommonly grabbing scraps from the trash piles of other ants such as mound-building congeners. Mating flights occur, as with the closely related F. subsericea, on sunny mornings following rain, late June to July.

    Source: Ant Web