Formica querquetulana

Every Ant Tells a Story - And Scientists Explain Their Stories Here
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Formica querquetulana
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Formica
Species group: microgyna
Species: F. querquetulana
Binomial name
Formica querquetulana
Kennedy & Dennis, 1937

Formica querquetulana casent0005289 profile 1.jpg

Formica querquetulana casent0005289 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels

In Nevada (Wheeler and Wheeler, 1986), where this species has only been collected a few times, it has been encountered in the Alpine Biome at 11,200 ft.; only strays were found and they were mixed with strays of Formica microgyna. Formica fusca has been reported as the host for F. querquetulana.

At a Glance • Temporary parasite  

 

Photo Gallery

  • Formica querquetulana drinking honeydew from tiny cream-colored aphids on a thistle. Photo by James C. Trager at Gray Summit, Missouri.
  • Formica querquetulana drinking honeydew from tiny cream-colored aphids on a thistle. Photo by James C. Trager at Gray Summit, Missouri.

Identification

The worker of this species lacks erect hairs on the scape (except at the apex), the dorsum of the head has several erect hairs (usually more than 20 in the outline of head, viewed from the side, counting the ones on the clypeus), the mesosoma, including the propodeum has several erect, blunt-tipped, or even spatulate hairs, the apex of the petiole has several erect hairs, erect hairs are scattered across dorsum of the first tergum. The tibiae are without erect hairs, except for a row of bristles on the flexor surface.

The queen is a tiny specimen, about 2/3 the size of the largest worker. The scape is without erect hairs, the tibiae lack erect hairs, except for a row of bristles on the flexor surface. The dorsum of the mesosoma has a number of erect hairs, erect hairs are abundant on the propodeum, dorsum of the petiole, and dorsum of the first tergum. Many of the hairs are blunt-tipped or even spatulate. The female is medium to yellowish brown, with a slightly darker gaster.

This species is distinctive, and is unlikely to be confused with any of the others. The presence of numerous erect, blunt-tipped hairs on the mesosoma, especially the propodeum, will separate it from all other similar species, except Formica difficilis. It can be separated from F. difficilis by the lack of erect hairs on the posterior lateral corner of the head.

Note that color varies within this species, with smallest workers being quite dingy and the larger workers relatively brightly-colored.

Keys including this Species

Distribution

New England westward to Montana, Nevada, and California.

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).


Distribution based on AntMaps

AntMapLegend.png

Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb

Biology

Castes

Worker

Nomenclature

The following information is derived from Barry Bolton's New General Catalogue, a catalogue of the world's ants.

  • querquetulana. Formica querquetulana Kennedy & Dennis, 1937: 536, figs. 10-15 (w.q.) U.S.A.

Description

References

  • Kennedy, C. H.; Dennis, C. A. 1937. New ants from Ohio and Indiana, Formica prociliata, F. querquetulana, F. postoculata and F. lecontei, (Formicidae: Hymenoptera). Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 30: 531-544 (page 536, figs. 10-15 worker, queen described)
  • Wheeler, G. C. and J. Wheeler. 1986. The ants of Nevada. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles.