Formica podzolica

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

Formica podzolica casent0005373 profile 1.jpg

Formica podzolica casent0005373 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

Nests are found under stones or logs, or in soil with small mounds (up to 50 cm diameter), sometimes with a covering of pebbles or thatching, in rocky loam soils. It is a host for the slavemaking species Formica aserva (Ruano et al., 2018; Savolainen & Deslippe, 2001; de la Mora et al., 2021), Formica pergandei, Formica subintegra and Polyergus mexicanus (Trager, 2013; de la Mora et al., 2021).

At a Glance • Polygynous  

Photo Gallery

  • Male Formica podzolica from a mound of small pebbles and Tsuga needles at base of a birch tree, sniffing the wind before taking flight. This is the second most abundant ant in the sandy soils of urban, park, and roadside settings of Northern Door Co. Wisconsin (after Lasius neoniger, and with all others far behind). There were several dealate queens of this species at various localities later in the day. Photo by James Trager, 11:00hr, 25 July 2016.
  • Worker at the nest entrance, Door Co. Wisconsin. Photo by James Trager.


Keys including this Species


Widespread in North America. Mexico: Chihuahua.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 69.333333° to 31.4°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

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

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.


In New Mexico (Mackay and Mackay 2002) - Urban areas, meadows, pinyon-juniper, up to ponderosa pine-riparian, fir, aspen, sand spruce forests.


For New Mexico (Mackay and Mackay 2002) - Brood was present in July and August, sexuals in August, and dealate females were collected in July and August (with first brood). These ants nest together with Lasius, with the brood of the 2 genera mixed. One mixed nest included Formica argentea, Formica aserva, Formica obtusopilosa, Formica lasioides and Myrmica, another contained Camponotus pennsylvanicus, two nests were together with Myrmica. It is enslaved by Formica aserva, Formica pergandei and Polyergus mexicanus.

Association with Other Organisms

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  • This species is a mutualist for the aphid Aphis asclepiadis (a trophobiont) (Mooney et al., 2008; Nielsen et al., 2009; Abdala-Roberts et al., 2012; Saddiqui et al., 2019).
  • This species is a mutualist for the aphid Aphis valerianae (a trophobiont) (Petry et al., 2012; Saddiqui et al., 2019).
  • This species is a host for the braconid wasp Neoneurus mantis (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission outside nest).
  • This species is a host for the braconid wasp Neoneurus mantis (a parasitoid) (Quevillon, 2018) (encounter mode primary; direct transmission; transmission outside nest).
  • This species is a prey for the Microdon fly Microdon cothurnatus (a predator) (Quevillon, 2018).

Flight Period

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec


Life History Traits

  • Queen number: polygynous (Bennett, 1987; Frumhoff & Ward, 1992)



Mcz-ent00670329 Formica podzolica hef.jpgMcz-ent00670329 Formica podzolica hal.jpgMcz-ent00670329 Formica podzolica had.jpgMcz-ent00670329 Formica podzolica lbs.JPG
Worker. . Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.


Mcz-ent00670343 Formica podzolica qu hef.jpgMcz-ent00670343 Formica podzolica qu hal.jpgMcz-ent00670343 Formica podzolica qu had.jpgMcz-ent00670343 Formica podzolica qu lbs.JPG
Queen. . Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.


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

  • podzolica. Formica podzolica Francoeur, 1973: 162, figs. 272-287 (w.q.m.) CANADA. Junior synonym of subsericea: Wheeler, G.C. & Wheeler, J. 1986g: 92. Revived from synonymy: Bolton, 1995b: 201.

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


Francoeur 1973. Figures 272-287.


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.
  • Boucher P., C. Hebert, A. Francoeur, and L. Sirois. 2015. Postfire succession of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) nesting in dead wood of northern boreal forest. Environ. Entomol. 44(5): 1316-1327: DOI: 10.1093/ee/nvv109
  • Deslippe, R.J. and R. Savolainen. 1995. Mechanisms of Competition in a Guild of Formicine Ants. Oikos 72(1):67-73
  • Ellison A. M., S. Record, A. Arguello, and N. J. Gotelli. 2007. Rapid Inventory of the Ant Assemblage in a Temperate Hardwood Forest: Species Composition and Assessment of Sampling Methods. Environ. Entomol. 36(4): 766-775.
  • Francoeur, A. 1997. Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the Yukon. Pages 901– 910 in H.V. Danks and J.A. Downes (Eds.), Insects of the Yukon. Biological Survey of Canada (Terrestrial Arthropods), Ottawa.
  • 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. E. Nielsen, J. Acorn, and J. Pinzon. 2019. Boreal sand hills are areas of high diversity for Boreal ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Diversity 11, 22; doi:10.3390/d11020022.
  • 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.
  • Higgins J. W., N. S. Cobb, S. Sommer, R. J. Delph, and S. L. Brantley. 2014. Ground-dwelling arthropod responses to succession in a pinyon-juniper woodland. Ecosphere 5(1):5.
  • Higgins R. J., and B. S. Lindgren. 2010. Ants of British Columbia (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). 1-6.
  • Ivanov, K. 2019. The ants of Ohio (Hymenoptera, Formicidae): an updated checklist. Journal of Hymenoptera Research 70: 65–87.
  • Lafleur B., W. F. J. Parsons, R. L. Bradley, and A. Francoeur. 2006. Ground-Nesting Ant Assemblages and Their Relationships to Habitat Factors Along a Chronosequence of Postfire-Regenerated Lichen-Spruce Woodland. Environmental Entomology. 35(6): 151-1524.
  • Lesica P., and P. B. Kannowski. 1998. Ants Create Hummocks and Alter Structure and Vegetation of a Montana Fen. Am. Midl. Nat. 139: 58–68
  • Longino, J.T. 2010. Personal Communication. Longino Collection Database
  • MacKay W. P. 1993. Succession of ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on low-level nuclear waste sites in northern New Mexico. Sociobiology 23: 1-11.
  • Mackay, W. P., Lowrie, D., Fisher, A., Mackay, E. E., Barnes, F. 1988. The ants of Los Alamos County, New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Pp. 79-131 in: Trager, J. C. (ed.) Advances in myrmecology. Leiden: E. J. Brill, xxvii + 551 pp.
  • Mackay W. P. and Mackay, E. E. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 400 pp.
  • Nielsen, M.G. 1987. The ant fauna (Hymenoptera:Formicidae) in northern and Interior Alaska. Entomological News 98(2):74-88
  • Savolainen, R. and R.J. Deslippe. 1996. Slave addition increases sexual production of the facultative slave-making ant Formica subnuda. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 38:145-148
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133
  • Wheeler G. C., J. N. Wheeler, and P. B. Kannowski. 1994. Checklist of the ants of Michigan (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). The Great Lakes Entomologist 26(4): 297-310
  • Wheeler, G.C., J. Wheeler and P.B. Kannowski. 1994. CHECKLIST OF THE ANTS OF MICHIGAN (HYMENOPTERA: FORMICIDAE). Great Lakes Entomologist 26:1:297-310