AntWiki: The Ants --- Online
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Iberoformica
Tinaut, 1990
Type species
Formica subrufa, now Iberoformica subrufa
1 species
(Species Checklist, Species by Country)

Iberoformica subrufa casent0270631 p 1 high.jpg

Iberoformica subrufa casent0270631 d 1 high.jpg

Specimen Labels

A recent molecular analysis (Muñoz-López et al. 2012) has supported the distinctiveness of Iberoformica relative to Formica.

At a Glance • Monotypic  


Three molecular phylogenetic studies (Blaimer et al. 2015, Sanllorente et al. 2017, and Gomez et al. 2018) have shown that Iberoformica, as represented by the single species Iberoformica subrufa, is a distinctive genus.

Gomez et al. (2018) - The abundant pilosity formed by short and stout setae is the most visible character that defines Iberoformica. Characters that can be used to differentiate Iberoformica and Formica, and in particular species similar to I. subrufa in the Formica fusca group:



  • Nodiform (not squamiform) petiole, becoming almost cylindrical
  • Concave mesonotum that follows smoothly into the dorsal propodeal line, not meeting at an angle
  • Whole body covered with short, thick, truncated white setae


  • Meso and metathorax less developed: metanotal species (details in Tinaut & Ruano, 1992)
  • Gaster with first segment almost rectangular, longer than wide, giving the gaster an elongated appearance


  • Small size, similar to workers
  • Head almost as wide as mesosoma
  • Frontal ridges present, short
  • Petiole high, squamiform and only slightly concave on the apex
  • Gaster long and narrow, narrower than mesosoma width
  • Sagitta pointy
  • Volsella very slender, finger shaped
  • Stipes longer than volsella and lacinia

Formica fusca species group


  • Petiole squamiform
  • Mesonotum concave, followed by a horizontal propodeum, both meeting at an angle
  • Whole body bare, except for some scattered setae present in propodeum and mesonotum, these hairs thinner than those of subrufa


  • Meso and metathorax very developed, similar to the rest of Formica queens (macronotal species)
  • Gaster with first segment wider than long, the gaster not elongated


  • Size bigger than workers and only slightly smaller than queens
  • Head clearly less wide than mesosoma
  • Frontal ridges absent
  • Petiole low, triangular and clearly concave on the apex
  • Gaster about the same width as mesosoma
  • Sagitta blunt, subrectangular
  • Volsella semicircular
  • Stipes approximately the same length as volsella and lacinia

Tinaut (1990) - Obreras con el peciolo de tipo nodiforme y mesonoto concavo; hembras con el mesotorax y el metatorax menos desarrollado que lo normal para el génera y gastro con el primer segmento casi rectangular, lo que le confiere un cierto parecido con las obreras; por ultimo los machos son de tamano similar al de las obreras, nudo peciolar bajo y triangular, sagita muy apuntada y volsella mas esbelta.

AntWeb icon 02.png See images of species within this genus



Distribution and Richness based on AntMaps

Species by Region

Number of species within biogeographic regions, along with the total number of species for each region.

Afrotropical Region Australasian Region Indo-Australian Region Malagasy Region Nearctic Region Neotropical Region Oriental Region Palaearctic Region
Species 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
Total Species 2841 1736 3045 932 835 4379 1741 2862


Association with Other Organisms

All Associate Records for Genus

Click here to show/hide associate data.
Taxon Relationship Associate Type Associate Taxon Associate Relationship Locality Source Notes
Iberoformica subrufa host ant Formica frontalis slave maker Spain Ruano et al., 2018
Iberoformica subrufa mutualist butterfly Glaucopsyche alexis Obregon et al. 2015
Iberoformica subrufa mutualist butterfly Lampides boeticus Obregon et al. 2015
Iberoformica subrufa mutualist butterfly Leptotes pirithous Obregon et al. 2015
Iberoformica subrufa prey spider Zodarion Pekár et al. (2018)

Life History Traits

  • Mean colony size: 181-2048 (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Compound colony type: not parasitic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Nest site: hypogaeic (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Diet class: omnivore (Greer et al., 2021)
  • Foraging stratum: subterranean/leaf litter (Greer et al., 2021)



Worker Morphology

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• Antennal segment count: 12 • Antennal club: absent • Palp formula: 5,3 • Total dental count: 6 • Spur formula: 1 simple, 1 simple • Eyes: >100 ommatidia • Ocelli: present • Scrobes: absent • Pronotal Spines: absent • Mesonotal Spines: absent • Propodeal Spines: absent • Petiolar Spines: absent • Caste: monomorphic • Sting: absent • Metaplural Gland: present • Cocoon: present


All Karyotype Records for Genus

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Taxon Haploid Diploid Karyotype Locality Source Notes
Iberoformica subrufa 26 Spain Lorite et al., 2002b



Gesomyrmex  (7 species, 12 fossil species)


Oecophylla  (15 species, 16 fossil species)


Gigantiops  (1 species, 0 fossil species)


Santschiella  (1 species, 0 fossil species)


Myrmoteras  (41 species, 0 fossil species)


See Phylogeny of Formicinae for details.


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

  • IBEROFORMICA [junior synonym of Formica]
    • Iberoformica Tinaut, 1990a: 282 [as subgenus of Formica]. Type-species: Formica subrufa, by original designation.
    • Iberoformica junior synonym of Formica: Agosti, 1994a: 107.
    • Iberoformica revived from synonymy and raised to genus: Muñoz-López, et al. 2012: 36.

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


Tinaut 1990
Tinaut 1990 p. 283.png
Tinaut 1990 p. 285.png