Common Name: Western Thatching Ant
Formica obscuripes Forel, 1886
Length: ~ 5 mm
Open areas near cotton woods
Time of year seen: March -
Diet: Insects and aphid secretions
The Western Thatching Ant is common in areas where cotton woods grow.
They prefers to nest in open locations close to shrubs and trees.
Nests are constructed from small elongate pieces of nearby vegetation
including grass, stems and twigs. Nest size averages 20cm in
height by 91cm in diameter. Larger nests up to 3.4m in diameter
and 46cm high have been reported. Body coloration is
infuscated (darkened with a blackish tinge) and the majors have heads
wider then they are long. Winged forms appear to be rare in nests
and emerge individually or in small groups and fly away. (Wheeler et al,