Formica candida

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Formica candida
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Formicinae
Tribe: Formicini
Genus: Formica
Species: F. candida
Binomial name
Formica candida
Smith, F., 1878

Formica candida casent0173328 profile 1.jpg

Formica candida casent0173328 dorsal 1.jpg

Specimen labels



Keys including this Species


Distribution based on Regional Taxon Lists

Oriental Region: India.
Palaearctic Region: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, China, Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Germany, Japan, Kyrgyzstan (type locality), Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Distribution based on AntMaps


Distribution based on AntWeb specimens

Check data from AntWeb



Formica candida collect honeydew. Novgorodova (2015b) investigated ant-aphid interactions of a dozen honeydew collecting ant species in Western Siberia pine and aspen-birch-pine forests (54°7´N, 83°06´E, 200 m, Novosibirsk) and mixed-grass-cereal steppes with aspen-birch groves (53°44´N, 78°02´E, 110 m, near Karasuk) in the Novosibirsk Region and coniferous forests in the northeastern Altai (north end of Lake Teletskoe, 51°48´N, 87°17´E, 434 m). All of the ants studied had workers that showed high fidelity to attending particular aphid colonies, i.e, individual foragers that collect honeydew tend to return to the same location, and group of aphids, every time they leave the nest. F. candida showed some specialization beyond this in larger colonies (<1,000 workers). Some ants specialized on attending specific aphid colonies and primarily guarding the aphids from potential enemies. F. candida tended Symydobius oblongus (Heyden) and Aphis craccivora Koch.

This species is a host for the ant Polyergus nigerrimus (a slave maker).



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

  • candida. Formica candida Smith, F. 1878b: 11 (q.) KYRGYZSTAN. [Smith's description is repeated by Bingham, 1903: 335 (footnote).] Probable synonym of picea Nylander: Emery, 1925b: 249. Junior synonym of picea Nylander: Dlussky, 1967a: 61. Hence candida first available replacement name for Formica picea Nylander, 1846a: 917 [Junior primary homonym of Formica picea Leach, 1825: 292 (now in Camponotus).]: Bolton, 1995b: 192. Valid species, not synonymous with picea Nylander: Seifert, 2004: 35. Current subspecies: nominal plus formosae.



  • n = 6, 2n = 52 (Japan) (Imai, 1969) (as F. picea).


  • Bingham, C. T. 1903. The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Hymenoptera, Vol. II. Ants and Cuckoo-wasps. London: Taylor and Francis, 506 pp. (page 335, (footnote) queen redescribed)
  • Dlussky, G. M. 1967a. Ants of the genus Formica (Hymenoptera, Formicidae, g. Formica). Moskva: Nauka Publishing House, 236 pp. (page 61, junior synonym of picea Nylander. Hence candida is first available replacement name for Formica picea Nylander, 1846:917.)
  • Emery, C. 1925d. Hymenoptera. Fam. Formicidae. Subfam. Formicinae. Genera Insectorum 183: 1-302 (page 249, Probable synonym of picea Nylander)
  • Leach, W. E. 1825. Descriptions of thirteen species of Formica and three species of Culex found in the environs of Nice. Zool. J. Lond. 2: 289-293 (page 292, junior primary homonym of Formica picea; (now in Camponotus))
  • Novgorodova, T. A. 2015b. Organization of honeydew collection by foragers of different species of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): Effect of colony size and species specificity. European Journal of Entomology. 112:688-697. doi:10.14411/eje.2015.077
  • Seifert, B. 2004. The "Black Bog Ant" Formica picea Nylander, 1846 - a species different from Formica candida Smith, 1878 (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Myrmecol. Nachr 6: 29-38 (page 34, status separation from Formica picea)
  • Smith, F. 1878b. Scientific results of the Second Yarkand Mission; based upon the collections and notes of the late Ferdinand Stoliczka, Ph.D. Hymenoptera. Calcutta: Superintendent of Government Printing (Government of India), 22 pp. (page 11, queen described)