Change View
Cite this page

Citing AntWeb


To cite this page, please use the following:

· For print:      Citation: AntWeb. Version 8.64.2. California Academy of Science, online at Accessed .

· For web:

Genus: Formica   Linnaeus, 1758 


Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2021)

Extant: 175 valid species, 15 valid subspecies

Fossil: 53 valid species, 2 valid subspecies

Formica Linnaeus, 1758 PDF: 579. Type-species: Formica rufa, by subsequent designation of Curtis, 1839: 752. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

Formica in Camponotinae: Forel, 1878c PDF: 373 [Camponotidae]; Emery & Forel, 1879 PDF: 450 [Camponotidae]; Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 192.
Formica in Camponotinae, Camponotini: Forel, 1886h PDF: 205.
Formica in Formicinae, Formicini: Ashmead, 1905c PDF: 384; Bondroit, 1918 PDF: 41; Wheeler, 1922: 699; Emery, 1925d PDF: 241; all subsequent authors except the following.
Formica in Formicinae, Formica genus group: Agosti, 1991 PDF: 295.
Genus Formica references
Mayr, 1855 PDF: 300 (diagnosis, Austria species key); Smith, 1858a PDF: 1 (diagnosis); Mayr, 1861 PDF: 46 (Europe species key); Roger, 1863b PDF: 12 (catalogue); Mayr, 1863a PDF: 410 (catalogue); Mayr, 1865 PDF: 8 (diagnosis); Forel, 1874 PDF: 51 (Switzerland species key); Forel, 1878c PDF: 373 (diagnosis); André, 1882c PDF: 176 (Europe & Algeria species key); Cresson, 1887 PDF: 255 (U.S.A. catalogue); Provancher, 1887: 232 (Canada species key); Nasonov, 1889: 61 (Russia species key); Dalla Torre, 1893 PDF: 192 (catalogue); Emery, 1893k PDF: 643 (North America species key); Forel, 1894c PDF: 402 (India species key); Bingham, 1903 PDF: 334 (India species key); Ruzsky, 1905b: 318 (Russian Empire species key); Wasmann, 1906 PDF: 8 (Luxemburg species key); Emery, 1909b PDF: 180 (Palaearctic species key); Bondroit, 1910 PDF: 482 (Belgium species key); Wheeler, 1913i PDF: 387 (subgenera, species groups, all species keys); Stitz, 1914 PDF: 88 (Central Europe species key); Donisthorpe, 1915f: 244 (Britain species key); Emery, 1916a PDF: 257 (Italy species key); Wheeler, 1916r: 594 (U.S.A., Connecticut species key); Bondroit, 1917a PDF: 174 (France Formica rufa group, key); Bondroit, 1918 PDF: 41 (France & Belgium species key); Wheeler, 1922: 699 (subgenera key); Emery, 1925d PDF: 241 (diagnosis, subgenera key, catalogue); Emery, 1925d PDF: 244 Formica (Neoformica) diagnosis, catalogue; Emery, 1925d PDF: 245 Formica (Serviformica) diagnosis, catalogue; Emery, 1925d PDF: 251 Formica (Formica) diagnosis, catalogue; Emery, 1925d PDF: 258 Formica (Raptiformica) diagnosis, catalogue; Lomnicki, 1925a PDF: 171 (Poland species key); Kuznetsov-Ugamsky, 1926c PDF: 93 (Turkestan species key); Karavaiev, 1927d: 282 (Ukraine species key); Donisthorpe, 1927c: 284 (Britain species key); Arnol'di, 1933a: 603 (Russia species key); Karavaiev, 1936: 220 (Ukraine species key); Menozzi, 1939a PDF: 321 (Himalaya & Tibet species key); Stitz, 1939: 306 (Germany species key); Creighton, 1940a PDF: 1 (North America Formica rufa subspecies key); Kratochvíl, 1941b PDF: 103 (Central Europe species key); Novák & Sadil, 1941 PDF: 103 (Central Europe species key); Cole, 1942 PDF: 375 (U.S.A., Utah species key); Holgersen, 1943c PDF: 175 (Norway species key); Holgersen, 1944a PDF: 200 (Norway species key); Buren, 1944a PDF: 299 (U.S.A., Iowa species key); Van Boven, 1947b PDF: 187 (Belgium species key); Creighton, 1950a PDF: 456 (North America species key); Chapman & Capco, 1951 PDF: 197 (Asia checklist); Yarrow, 1954a PDF: 229 (Britain Formica fusca group); Yarrow, 1955a PDF: 29 (Britain Formica rufa group, key); Wilson & Brown, 1955 PDF: 108 (Formica sanguinea & Formica neogagates groups, synopsis); Boven, 1959: 12 (Netherlands species key); Betrem, 1960b: 75 (Formica rufa group, key); Gregg, 1963: 498 (U.S.A., Colorado species key); Wheeler & Wheeler, 1963: 205 (U.S.A., North Dakota species key); Cotti, 1963: 1 (Formica rufa group, bibliography 1930-61); Dlussky, 1964 PDF: 1026 (former U.S.S.R. Formica (Coptoformica) species key); Collingwood, 1964b PDF: 109 (Britain species key); Brown, 1965d PDF: 181 (Formica integra subgroup); Dlussky, 1965a PDF: 15 (Mongolia and Tibet species key); Dlussky, 1967a PDF: 39 (Palaearctic species key); Dlussky, 1967b PDF: 80 (*Baltic Amber species key); Bernard, 1967a PDF: 285 (diagnosis, Western Europe species key); Buren, 1968a PDF: 36 (Nearctic Formica sanguinea group species key); Boven, 1970b: 34 (Netherlands species key); Dlussky & Pisarski, 1971 PDF: 145 (Poland species key); Francoeur, 1973 PDF: 272 (Nearctic Formica fusca group, revision, key); Bolton & Collingwood, 1975: 6 (Britain species key); Tarbinsky, 1976 PDF: 177 (Kyrghyzstan species key); Van Boven, 1977 PDF: 94 (Belgium species key); Kutter, 1977c: 236 (Switzerland species key); Arnol'di & Dlussky, 1978: 552 (former European U.S.S.R. species key); Collingwood, 1978 PDF: 93 (Iberian Peninsula species key); Collingwood, 1979 PDF: 112 (Fennoscandia & Denmark species key); Smith, 1979: 1448 (North America catalogue); Douwes, 1979 PDF: 187 (Formica rufa group systematics); Kupyanskaya, 1980 PDF: 95 (Far Eastern Russia species key); Allred, 1982: 446 (U.S.A., Utah species key); Kupyanskaya, 1984: 103 (Far Eastern Russia Formica truncorum complex, key); Snelling & Buren, 1985 PDF: 71 (Nearctic Formica sanguinea group, key); Gösswald, 1985: 274 (Germany species key); Wheeler & Wheeler, 1986g PDF: 76 (U.S.A., Nevada species key); Nilsson & Douwes, 1987: 74 (Norway species key); Agosti & Collingwood, 1987b PDF: 285 (Balkans species key); Gösswald, 1989: 49 (Formica rufa group taxonomy); Agosti & Bolton, 1990b PDF: 149 (characters); Wu, 1990 PDF: 4 (China species key); Dlussky et al., 1990 PDF: 138 (Turkmenistan species key); Kupyanskaya, 1990a: 174 (Far Eastern Russia species key); Morisita et al., 1991: 31 (Japan species key); Atanassov & Dlussky, 1992: 255 (Bulgaria species key); Agosti, 1994b PDF: 106 (diagnosis, review of genus); Radchenko, 1994b: 112 (South Siberia species key); Arakelian, 1994 PDF: 89 (Armenia species key); Bolton, 1994: 50 (synoptic classification); Bolton, 1995a PDF: 1049 (census); Bolton, 1995b: 190 (catalogue); Douwes, 1995: 94 (Sweden species key); Kupyanskaya, 1995: 353 (Far Eastern Russia species key); Wu & Wang, 1995a: 138 (China species key); Seifert, 1996b: 201 (Central Europe species key); Skinner & Allen, 1996: 41 (Britain species key); Collingwood & Prince, 1998: 25 (Portugal species key); Tinaut & Martínez-Ibañez, 1998d PDF: 36 (Iberian Peninsula Formica rufa, Formica sanguinea & Formica exsecta groups, key); Seifert, 2000a PDF: 563 (Palaearctic Formica (Coptoformica) species key); Czechowski et al., 2002 PDF: 148 (Poland species key); Chang & He, 2002a PDF: 51 (northwest China species key); Seifert, 2002 PDF: 267 (Formica cinerea group revision key); Mackay & Mackay, 2002 PDF: 277 (U.S.A., New Mexico species key); Bolton, 2003 PDF: 127 (synopsis); Radchenko, 2005b PDF: 188 (North Korea species key); Seifert, 2007: 176 (North and Central Europe species key); Trager et al., 2007 PDF: 627 (Formica pallidefulva group key); Dlussky, 2008a PDF: 57 (Europe Eocene amber species key); Terayama, 2009 PDF: 224 (Taiwan species key); Seifert & Schultz, 2009b PDF: 258 (Formica rufibarbis group key); Czechowski et al., 2012: 371 (Poland species key); Dlussky & Putyatina, 2014 PDF: 254 (Croatian Miocene species, revision); Dlussky et al., 2015 PDF (diagnosis for fossil imprints); Cantone, 2017 PDF: 156 (brief male diagnosis); Romiguier et al., 2018 10.1186/s1186/s12862-018-1159-4 PDF: 40 (Palearctic species phylogenomics); Richter et al., 2020 10.26049/ASP78-1-2020-06 PDF: 133 (cranial anatomy); Seifert, 2021 10.25849/myrmecol.news_031:133 PDF: 138 (Palearctic Formica rufa group diagnosis, species complexes), 140 (Palearctic Formica rufa group key to workers); Radchenko et al., 2021 10.3897/jhr.82.64599 PDF: 237 (Rovno amber species)

Taxon Page Images:

Formica obscuripes mound ants gather honeydew from aphids. Sagehen Creek, California, USA.
Image © Alex Wild. // Distribution


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Africa: Canary Islands, Morocco
    Americas: Canada, Honduras, Mexico, United States
    Asia: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, China, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, South Korea, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
    Europe: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Balearic Islands, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Channel Islands, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hungary, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Afrotropical, Australasia, Indomalaya, Nearctic, Neotropical, Palearctic
  Native biogeographic regions (according to species list records):
    Indomalaya, Nearctic, Neotropical, Palearctic

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Formica   Smith, F., 1851, List of the specimens of British animals in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. - Hymenoptera Aculeata., London: British Museum: 4, (download) 4 8200
Formica   Jerdon, T. C., 1851, A catalogue of the species of ants found in southern India., Madras Journal of Literature and Science 17, pp. 103-127: 119, (download) 119 4764
Formica   Collingwood, C. A., 1979, The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark., Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 8, pp. 1-174: 111-120, (download) 111-120 6175
Formica   Smith, F., 1851, List of the specimens of British animals in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. - Hymenoptera Aculeata., London: British Museum: 1, (download) 1 8200
Formica   Ward, P. S., 2005, A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 936, pp. 1-68: -1, (download) -1 21008
Pheidole megacephala   Emery, C., 1915, Les Pheidole du groupe megacephala (Formicidae)., Revue de Zoologie Africaine 4, pp. 223-250: 235, (download) 235 3875
Formica   Nylander, W., 1846, Adnotationes in monographiam formicarum borealium Europae., Acta Societatis Scientiarum Fennicae 2, pp. 875-944: 892-894, (download) 892-894 4277
Formica   Ward, P. S., 2005, A synoptic review of the ants of California (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)., Zootaxa 936, pp. 1-68: 29, (download) 29 21008
Formica   Förster, A., 1850, Hymenopterologische Studien. 1. Formicariae., Aachen: Unknown Publisher: 9, (download) 9 8138
Formica   Jerdon, T. C., 1851, A catalogue of the species of ants found in southern India., Madras Journal of Literature and Science 17, pp. 103-127: 103, (download) 103 4764

See something amiss? Send us an email.