Formica xerophila

AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Formica xerophila
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Formica
Species: F. xerophila
Binomial name
Formica xerophila
Smith, M.R., 1939

Formica xerophila casent0005379 profile 1.jpg

Formica xerophila casent0005379 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels


Nests are found in the soil.


This species can be easily recognized by the thick petiole with a blunt apex, as seen in profile. Additionally it is pale brown with a slightly darker gaster. The propodeum is low, about the same level as the lowest point (posterior edge) of the mesonotum. The region between the two faces is broadly rounded. The metasternal process is poorly developed; there are few erect hairs, which are restricted to the clypeus, dorsum of the head and dorsum of the gaster. (Mackay and Mackay 2002)

Keys including this Species


United States: Washington, California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico.

Latitudinal Distribution Pattern

Latitudinal Range: 47.551° to 19.35692°.

Tropical South

Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Nearctic Region: United States (type locality).
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.

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.


In New Mexico (Mackay and Mackay 2002) - This species occurs in habitats that include a variety of arid, semi-arid and pine forest types.


Nevada, Wheeler and Wheeler (1986) - This species has been found only in the southern and western parts of the state. We have 29 records from 20 localities; 4,200 ft.-6,500 ft. One record is from a Sarcobatus Subclimax in the Hot Desert, 3 from the Cool Desert (2 from disturbed habitats), while the majority (19) are from the Pinyon-Juniper Biome. Five nests were under stones, 1 under dead wood; of the exposed nests 5 were surmounted by messy piles of excavated soil and 7 by craters 7-22 cm in diameter with entrances 15-20 mm in diameter.



Mcz-ent00668911 Formica xerophila hef.jpgMcz-ent00668911 Formica xerophila hal.jpgMcz-ent00668911 Formica xerophila had.jpgMcz-ent00668911 Formica xerophila lbs.JPG
Worker. . Owned by Museum of Comparative Zoology.


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

  • xerophila. Formica (Neoformica) moki subsp. xerophila Smith, M.R. 1939f: 583 (w.) U.S.A. Raised to species and senior synonym of grundmanni: Francoeur, 1973: 259.
  • grundmanni. Formica moki subsp. grundmanni Cole, 1943b: 184 (w.) U.S.A. Junior synonym of xerophila: Francoeur, 1973: 259.

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


Francoeur 1973. Figures 455-458.


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.
  • Boulton A. M., Davies K. F. and Ward P. S. 2005. Species richness, abundance, and composition of ground-dwelling ants in northern California grasslands: role of plants, soil, and grazing. Environmental Entomology 34: 96-104
  • Cole A. C., Jr. 1943. A new subspecies of Formica moki Wheeler (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). American Midland Naturalist 29: 183-184.
  • Des Lauriers J., and D. Ikeda. 2017. The ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) of the San Gabriel Mountains of Southern California, USA with an annotated list. In: Reynolds R. E. (Ed.) Desert Studies Symposium. California State University Desert Studies Consortium, 342 pp. Pages 264-277.
  • Francoeur. A. 1973. Revision taxonomique des especes nearctiques du group fusca, genre Formica. Memoires de la Societe Entomologique du Quebec 3: 1-316.
  • Johnson R. Personnal Database. Accessed on February 5th 2014 at
  • Johnson, R.A. and P.S. Ward. 2002. Biogeography and endemism of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Baja California, Mexico: a first overview. Journal of Biogeography 29:1009–1026/
  • Longino, J.T. 2010. Personal Communication. Longino Collection Database
  • Mackay W. P., and E. E. Mackay. 2002. The ants of New Mexico (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Lewiston, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 400 pp.
  • Vásquez-Bolaños M. 2011. Lista de especies de hormigas (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) para México. Dugesiana 18: 95-133
  • Wheeler G. C., and J. Wheeler. 1986. The ants of Nevada. Los Angeles: Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, vii + 138 pp.