Formica canadensis

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Formica canadensis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Formica
Species: F. canadensis
Binomial name
Formica canadensis
Santschi, 1914

Formica canadensis casent0005362 profile 1.jpg

Formica canadensis casent0005362 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Nests are found in the soil, usually with the nest entrance surrounded by mound of soil.


Short, bristly hairs covering most of the surfaces of the body. The sides of the head and cheeks usually have several erect hairs. The scape is without erect hairs (except at the apex) and the legs have few erect hairs. The tibiae have erect hairs only on the flexor surface. The metasternal process is well developed and covered with hairs. This species is shiner than most of the other members of the fusca group, and is usually medium brown with a black gaster. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)

Keys including this Species


Western North America.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 50.72° to 33.126°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: Canada (type locality), United States.

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.


For New Mexico (Mackay and Mackay 2002), forested areas (ponderosa pine, Gamble oak) and surrounding open prairies, as well as areas of clover and milkweed.


This species is a host for the ant Polyergus breviceps (a slave maker) (Trager, 2013; de la Mora et al., 2021).

Association with Other Organisms

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This species is associated with the aphids Aphis asclepiadis, Aphis lugentis, Aphis medicaginis, Aphis pomi, Aphis valerianae, Chaitophorus populifolii, Cinara pseudotsugae, Drepanaphis acerifoliae, Drepanosiphum braggii, Tuberolachnus salignus and Uroleucon ambrosiae (Saddiqui et al., 2019 and included references).



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

  • canadensis. Formica cinerea var. canadensis Santschi, 1914a: 435 (w.q.) CANADA. Wheeler, W.M. 1917a: 550 (q.); Francoeur, 1973: 63 (m.). Combination in F. (Serviformica): Emery, 1925b: 246. Junior synonym of lepida: Smith, M.R. 1961a: 252. Revived from synonymy and raised to species: Francoeur, 1973: 60.

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


Francoeur 1973. Figures 57-72.


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.
  • Cole, A.C. 1936. An annotated list of the ants of Idaho (Hymenoptera; Formicidae). Canadian Entomologist 68(2):34-39
  • Francoeur. A. 1973. Revision taxonomique des especes nearctiques du group fusca, genre Formica. Memoires de la Societe Entomologique du Quebec 3: 1-316.
  • Glasier J. R. N., S. Nielsen, J. H. Acorn, L. H. Borysenko, and T. Radtke. 2016. A checklist of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of Saskatchewan. The Canadian Field-Naturalist 130(1): 40-48.
  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at
  • Knowlton G. F. 1970. Ants of Curlew Valley. Proceedings of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters 47(1): 208-212.
  • Mackay W. P., and E. E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 400 pp.
  • Wali M. K., and P. B. Kannowski. 1975. Prairie ant mound ecology: interrelationships of microclimate, soils and vegetation. In: Prairie: a multiple view, ed. M. K. Wali, pp 155-169. Grand Forks: University of North Dakota Press.
  • Ward P. S. 2005. A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Zootaxa 936: 1-68.