Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Week 20: Wood ants ('Formica rufa' group)

Wood ants were @SpeciesofUK from 21st to 27th April, 2013.

What is a wood ant? Well, first, what is an ant? Ants (Formicidae) are social insects that form complex colonies.[1]

There are possibly more than 20,000 species of ants (they're still all being classified) in a multiplicity of subfamilies.[2] It’s thought that ants make up at least 15% of terrestrial animal biomass. They're a rampantly successful group of animals![3]

Wood ants
[Source: Flickr Creative Commons © Walter-Wilhelm]

Wood ants are part of the Formica ant genus, a genus that is also made up of other mound ants, thatching ants and field ants. Wood ants as a general rule live in wooded areas and create impressive thatched mounds.[4]