podzol mound ant

(Formica podzolica)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not listed

podzol mound ant

 

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Occurrence

Common

Flight/Season

 

Habitat

Cold coniferous forests

Size

Worker: to 5 16 (4 to 8 mm)

Male: 3 16 to ½ (5 to 13 mm)

Queen: 3 16 to ½ (5 to 13 mm)

          Photo by Alfredo Colon

Identification

Podzol mound ant occurs in two unconnected areas of North America. The eastern range is the northern United States and southern Canada west to Minnesota and south to Ohio. The western range is the mountainous west from Alaska and northern Canada to northern Mexico. It is found mostly in cold coniferous forests.

Workers are to 5 16 (4 to 8 mm) long, black, and somewhat shiny. Winged males and queens are about the same size, 3 16 to ½ (5 to 13 mm) long.

The head is broadly rounded in outline. The rear margin is rounded, not distinctly concave. The eyes are large. The facial plate above the mouth (clypeus) is not notched. The finger-like sensory mouth part (maxillary palp) is long and has six segments. The basal segment of each antennae (scape) is long, but is shorter than the length of the head.

The first body segment behind the head (mesosoma) has two distinct elevated areas (bumps). It is covered with three exoskeletal plates, the pronotum and mesonotum covering the thorax, and the propodeum covering the first segment of the abdomen that is fused to the thorax. The pronotum and and mesonotum form one smooth convex bump, the propodeum a second convex bump. The second abdominal segment (petiole) is narrow and waist-like, and has a single raised bump (node). The remainder of the abdomen (gaster) is bulbous. The head, mesosoma, legs, and first three segments of the gaster are covered with silvery appressed hairs. The fourth segment of the gaster is bare or almost bare. There are single rows of erect golden hairs at the end of each segment. On the first segment there are also usually 10 to 25, sometimes just 1 to 3, erect hairs not including the row at the end. Those are each shorter than or equal to the distance between them.

 
Similar
Species

 


Larval Food

 

 
Adult Food

 

 
Life Cycle

 

 
Behavior

Podzol mound ant builds large mounds in the acidic, infertile soil of coniferous and boreal forests. The mounds stand out from the surrounding forest because they are covered with pale, acid-bleached subsoil.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 24, 27, 29, 30.


Comments

What’s in a Name?
Podzol is a type of soil found in coniferous and boreal forests. In includes an acid-bleached, 1½ to 3 thick layer of subsoil beneath a 2 to 4 thick layer of decomposing organic material.


Taxonomy

Order:

Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies)

 

Suborder:

Apocrita (wasps, ants and bees)

 

No Rank:

Aculeata (ants, bees and stinging wasps)

 

Superfamily:

Formicoidea (ants)

 

Family:

Formicidae (ants)

 

Subfamily:

Formicinae

 

Tribe:

Formicini

 

Genus:

Formica

 

No Rank:

Fusca Group

 
Synonyms

 

 
Common
Names

podzol mound ant


 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Gaster

The bulbous part of the abdomen of ants, bees, and wasps. In ants it usually begins at segment three.

 

Palp

Short for pedipalp. A segmented, finger-like process of an arthropod; one is attached to each maxilla and two are attached to the labium. They function as sense organs in spiders and weapons in scorpions. Plural: palpi.

 

Scape

On plants: An erect, leafless stalk growing from the rootstock and supporting a flower or a flower cluster. On insects: The basal segment of the antenna.

 

 

 

 

 

       

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Alfredo Colon


  podzol mound ant   podzol mound ant
       
  podzol mound ant   podzol mound ant
       
  podzol mound ant    

       
       
       

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  Fusca-group Ants (Formicidae: Formica podzolica) Wresting with a Leaf
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on May 19, 2011

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (19 May 2011). Thank you to James Trager (@Bugguide.net) for identifying preserved specimens from this colony!

 
     
  Fusca-group Ants (Formicidae: Formica podzolica) on Soil-turned Mound
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Published on Jun 21, 2011

Photographed at the Turtle River State Park, North Dakota (20 June 2011). Thank you to James Trager (@Bugguide.net) for identifying preserved specimens sampled from this colony.

 
     

 

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Alfredo Colon
7/9/2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

podzol mound ant


     
     
 

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