Western Thatching Ant

Location: Dinosaur Provincial Park, AB
Date: Apr. 3, 2010

       Photo 1

Western Thatching Ant

Common Name:  Western Thatching Ant

Latin Name:  Formica obscuripes Forel, 1886
                        (J. Glasier, det.)

Length:  ~ 5 mm

Range:  Alberta

Habitat:  Open areas near cotton woods

Time of year seen:  March - October (Additional Sightings)

Diet: Insects and aphid secretions

Other: 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, 1944)  


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