Formica aerata

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Formica aerata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Formica
Species: F. aerata
Binomial name
Formica aerata
Francoeur, 1973

Formica aerata casent0005359 profile 1.jpg

Formica aerata casent0005359 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Keys including this Species


California, western Nevada, and southern Oregon.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 41.75° to 33.66344°.

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.


Nevada, Wheeler and Wheeler (1986) - Formica aerata is restricted to the midwestern part of the state. We have 61 records from 37 localities; 3,900-8,200 ft., but 75% are between 4,000 ft. and 4,900 ft. Thirty-five of these records are from the Cool Desert, but only 2 are from pure sagebrush habitat; the remainder are scattered thus: 2 from Sarcobatus Subclimax, 4 from cottonwood groves, 8 from disturbed cottonwood groves, 12 from cottonwood riparian, 4 from riparian, and 3 from disturbed habitat. Only 1 was from the Coniferous Forest Biome. Seven nests were under stones, 1 was under slightly buried wood. Four nests were surmounted by messy craters 50-150 mm in diameter and 3 by messy irregular mounds of soil. Workers were fast and timid. They were often seen ascending and descending cottonwood trunks. Workers tended Macrosiphoniella zerothermum (Knowlton and Russell) (Homoptera: Aphididae; det. L.M. Russell) on Artemisia tridentate at Sonoma Stage Sta., Lyon Co., 6,100 ft.

Association with Other Organisms

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  • This species is a host for the ant Polyergus mexicanus (a slave maker) (properly Polyergus umbratus).
  • This species is a host for the aphelinid wasp Aphytis melinus (a parasite) (Universal Chalcidoidea Database) (associate).
  • This species is a associate (details unknown) for the encyrtid wasp Comperiella bifasciata (a associate (details unknown)) (Quevillon, 2018).


Images from AntWeb

Formica aerata casent0005359 head 2.jpg
Worker. Specimen code casent0005359. Photographer April Nobile, uploaded by California Academy of Sciences. Owned by UCDC, Davis, CA, USA.


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

  • aerata. Formica aerata Francoeur, 1973: 116, figs. 183-189 (w.q.) U.S.A.

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


Francoeur 1973. Figures 183-189.


References based on Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics

  • Allred D. M. 1982. Ants of Utah. The Great Basin Naturalist 42: 415-511.
  • Allred, D.M. 1982. The ants of Utah. Great Basin Naturalist 42:415-511.
  • Francoeur A., and R. R. Snelling. 1979. Notes for a revision of the ant genus Formica. 2. Reidentifications for some specimens from the T. W. Cook collection and new distribution data (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Contr. Sci. (Los Angel.) 309: 1-7.
  • Francoeur. A. 1973. Revision taxonomique des especes nearctiques du group fusca, genre Formica. Memoires de la Societe Entomologique du Quebec 3: 1-316.
  • Holway D.A. 1998. Effect of Argentine ant invasions on ground-dwelling arthropods in northern California riparian woodlands. Oecologia. 116: 252-258
  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at
  • Ward P. S. 1987. Distribution of the introduced Argentine ant (Iridomyrmex humilis) in natural habitats of the lower Sacramento Valley and its effects on the indigenous ant fauna. Hilgardia 55: 1-16
  • Wheeler G. C., and J. Wheeler. 1986. The ants of Nevada. Los Angeles: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, vii + 138 pp.