DISTRIBUTION-Formica dakotensis

Hartney, Rosa, St. Malo
(Wheeler et al., 1989)


Key characteristics to the species of Formica rufa Group of Manitoba (Jeff Shaddock (unpublished) and adapted from Wheeler and Wheeler (1963))

1.Crest of petiole much thinner; in profile the anterior face slopes rearward to the crest even when the latter is blunt; gastric pubescence usually appressed and never reflected
2.Scapes usually without erect hairs, but if erect hairs are present then body hairs are not of uniform length
3.Petiolar scale seen from behind with a flat or broadly concave crest, the sides of the upper half of the scale parallel, tapering inward only in the lower half scale

  • Photo Credit: © AntWeb 2002 - 2013
  • Photo Credit:© 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 dakotensis

    Specific Biology

    In Minnesota and Canada, F. dakotensis is typical in spruce bogs, nesting in Sphagnum peat hummocks. In a prairie patch within an oak woodland in SW Iowa, it was be found by Rericha (unpublished) at the base of shrubs in an area with a perched water table and acidic soil. In Colorado, to the west of Boulder, I found it in a seepy, lower portion of a grassy slope with scattered shrubs and pines at about 7000'. In North Dakota, it was reported by the Wheelers (1963) from grasslands, without further qualification. Natural History:
    The dome mound of F. dakotensis consists mostly of small-fragment, vegetable thatch or detritus. In prairie systems, some soil is mounded up and forms the basal foundation for the outer thatch layer. The small queen of this species points to possible temporary social parasitism. I have yet to collect this ant in Missouri, but a photograph of ants on a mound readily identifiable as this species, from a public prairie in northwestern Missouri, was sent to me by a state conservation agent.

    Source: Ant Web