podzol mound ant

(Formica podzolica)

Conservation Status
podzol mound ant
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

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.

 
     
 

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)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Cold coniferous forests

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

 

 
     
 

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.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

 

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

 

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 27, 29, 30.

 
  2/11/2019      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Common

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Hymenoptera (ants, bees, wasps, and sawflies)  
 

Suborder

Apocrita (wasps, ants and bees)  
 

Infraorder

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

 
       
 

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.

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

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 insects, and as 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   podzol mound ant
       
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Other Videos
 
  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
8/12/2019

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

podzol mound ant


Alfredo Colon
7/9/2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

podzol mound ant


     
     
 
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Created: 2/11/2019

Last Updated:

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