Formica Rufa the Red Wood Ant.
Formica Rufa also commonly know as a southern wood ant or red wood ants is a very aggressive species of ant. It is a very active species of ant which is pretty big in size. Formica Rufa is fully capable of spraying formic acid at predators and other enemies from just a few feet away.
Where Formica Rufa likes to nest.
Red wood ants like to nest in forests and woodlands hence the name. They can build large ant nests by gathering thousands of pine needles. The nest in which the Formica rufa stay in are very noticeable by the lump of pine needles on the ground. They love to nest on logs and old tree stumps. Some Formica rufa nests can be a few metres high.
About Formica Rufa Worker Ants.
Formica rufa worker ants can be found foraging away from the nest of up to 50 metres. Red wood worker ants love to collect resin found in pine trees, they will also walk over the resin to help kill off and prevent fungi and bacteria.
After One Year of Colony Growth.
Just after one year of the colony growing the nest of Formica Rufa Red Wood Ants can be very large. These type of ants are very good predators and can consume up to 9 million insects in one year. The red wood ants play a crucial role in helping to protect our forests and the ecosystem.
Formica Rufa, Red Wood Ant and Formica Sp.
Where They Live
Wood ants can be found all across the south end of Britain including Northern Europe.
Formica Rufa Habitat
Red wood ants love to nest in woodlands and on the edges of less dense plantations.
What They Eat
Formica Rufa loves to eat other large insects and even other types of ant species. They can be very aggressive and protect their home. Wood ants will also farm honeydew from aphids and protect them in return.
The size of The Colony
Well established Formica colonies can have up to 100,000 worker ants and around 100 queen ants. On rare occasions, some nests have been reported to having 500,000 worker ants.
Formica Rufa Queen Ant
The Formica rufa queen ant is usually around 12 to 15 mm in size. She is mostly dark with red and black colouring. This species of the queen is polygyny which means the colony can have more than one queen ant. The queen can live up to 15 years or more.
Formica Rufa Worker Ants
Workers of the Formica rufa species tend to be 8 to 10mm in size. They are also dark with red and black colouring.
Keeping Formica Rufa as a Pet
Formica Rufa also known as the Red Wood Ant is on the protected species list and is not very suitable as a pet. This species would also be very hard to look after because of their huge requirements for food, pine needles and resin. Some other wood ant species related to Formica rufa make a more suitable pet to keep.