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Species: Formica rufa   Linnaeus, 1761 

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See Also:

Formica rufa angusticeps, Formica rufa brevisetosa, Formica rufa constricta, Formica rufa obscurata, Formica rufa rufopratensoides, Formica rufa tshugunovi

Taxonomic History (provided by Barry Bolton, 2020)

Extant: 6 valid subspecies

Formica rufa Linnaeus, 1761 PDF: 426 (q.m.) EUROPE. Palearctic. AntCat AntWiki HOL

Taxonomic history

[Not Linnaeus, 1758 PDF: 580 (w.); see Yarrow, 1954c: 313; Yarrow, 1955a PDF: 5.].
Material of the unavailable names Formica bondroiti, Formica emeryi referred here by Yarrow, 1955a PDF: 4.


Found mainly in Europe. Workers are around 8-10mm in size. Mainly found in Woodland Areas.


  Geographic regions (According to curated Geolocale/Taxon lists):
    Americas: Canada, United States
    Europe: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
  Biogeographic regions (According to curated Bioregion/Taxon lists):
    Nearctic, Neotropical, Palearctic


Workers around 5-15mm.

Taxonomic Treatment (provided by Plazi)

Scientific Name Status Publication Pages ModsID GoogleMaps
Formica rufa   Nylander, W., 1846, Adnotationes in monographiam formicarum borealium Europae., Acta Societatis Scientiarum Fennicae 2, pp. 875-944: 902-904, (download) 902-904 4277
Formica rufa   Förster, A., 1850, Hymenopterologische Studien. 1. Formicariae., Aachen: Unknown Publisher: 13-15, (download) 13-15 8138
Formica rufa   Smith, F., 1851, List of the specimens of British animals in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. - Hymenoptera Aculeata., London: British Museum: 8, (download) 8 8200
Formica rufa   Collingwood, C. A., 1979, The Formicidae (Hymenoptera) of Fennoscandia and Denmark., Fauna Entomologica Scandinavica 8, pp. 1-174: 141-143, (download) 141-143 6175
Formica rufa   Smith, F., 1851, List of the specimens of British animals in the collection of the British Museum. Part VI. - Hymenoptera Aculeata., London: British Museum: 1-2, (download) 1-2 8200

Specimen Habitat Summary

Found most commonly in these habitats: 235 times found in Unknown, 78 times found in Forest, 36 times found in heathlands, 13 times found in Anthropogenic, 12 times found in dry grassland, 6 times found in shrubs, 1 times found in Camping, 2 times found in open forest/forest edge, 2 times found in forest edge, 2 times found in Rocks (rocky-calcareous grasslands), ...

Found most commonly in these microhabitats: 4 times nest mound, 2 times Forrajeando, 2 times on the ground, 1 times Forrajenado en el camino, 1 times under log, 1 times under & in large fallen, rotten log, 1 times Sobre Prunus, 1 times small nest mound, 1 times nest mound made of pine needles, 1 times large nest mound, spruce needles, 1 times large nest mound, ...

Collected most commonly using these methods: 185 times Manual catch, 38 times Pitfall trap, 18 times search, 6 times Hand, 3 times Malaise trap, 1 times Window trap, 1 times Alcohol trap, 1 times light trap.

Elevations: collected from 500 - 1500 meters, 821 meters average

Type specimens: Lectotype of Formica rufa rufopratensis: casent0911085; paralectotype of Formica rufa rufopratensis: casent0911084; syntype of Formica gaullei: casent0915378; syntype of Formica rufa meridionalis: casent0911080; syntype of Formica rufa rufopratensis: casent0907599; type of Formica rufa: casent0903276

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