No Common Name Formica subsericea Say, 1836    
Kingdom Animalia   >   Phylum Arthropoda   >   Class Insecta   >   Order Hymenoptera   >   Family Formicidae   >   Genus Formica   

Status:

An abundant and familiar ant species across much of North America east of the Rocky Mts., Formica subsericea is found throughout Maryland, in a wide variety of habitats, from open forest, to brushy fields, to suburban yards. All but the most urbanized places likely have populations of this ant. Colonies are usually in soil, and are often marked by a large, flat area of excavated soil on the top, sometimes even resembling a low mound (Ellison et al., 2012).

Description:

Note slightly silky sheen and rounded rear of head (J. Trager/BugGuide).

Relationships:

This ant is a frequent host for a number of social parasites in the genus Formica. In the Formica sanguinea species group, Formica pergandei, F. rubicunda, and F. subintegra frequently enslave this species by stealing brood, which they use to increase the workforce of their own colonies (a behavior known as dulosis). All of the aforementioned ants may also use young colonies of subsericea to found new colonies, by dispatching the subsericea queen and taking over the colony (a condition known as temporary social parasitism). Formica exsectoides also sometimes uses this species to found new colonies.

There are 21 records in the project database.

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Formica subsericea specimen. Contributed by Erin Prado. Photo by AntWeb Data. (MBP list)

Formica subsericea in Harford Co., Maryland (5/16/2016). Photo by Shannon Schade. (MBP list)

Formica subsericea in Harford Co., Maryland (5/16/2016). Photo by Shannon Schade. (MBP list)

A Formica subsericea in Howard Co., Maryland (4/26/2014). Photo by Ashley Bradford. (MBP list)

A Formica subsericea in Baltimore City, Maryland (9/3/2015). Determined by James C. Trager/BugGuide. Photo by Thomas Wilson. (MBP list)

Formica subsericea in Wicomico Co., Maryland (6/8/2014). Photo by Jim Brighton. (MBP list)

A Formica subsericea in Prince George's Co., Maryland (5/17/2014). Verified by James C. Trager/BugGuide. Photo by Mark Etheridge. (MBP list)

A Formica subsericea in Garrett Co., Maryland (5/23/2020). Determined by James C. Trager and MrILoveTheAnts/BugGuide. Photo by Jim Moore. (MBP list)

Formica subsericea in Howard Co., Maryland (4/26/2014). Photo by Tim Foard. (MBP list)

A Formica subsericea in Howard Co., Maryland (4/18/2017). Determined by James C. Trager/BugGuide. Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Formica subsericea in Howard Co., Maryland (4/18/2017). Determined by James C. Trager/BugGuide. Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Formica subsericea in Howard Co., Maryland (4/18/2017). Determined by James C. Trager/BugGuide. Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Formica subsericea in Caroline Co., Maryland (6/24/2017). Determined by James C. Trager/BugGuide. Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Formica subsericea in Caroline Co., Maryland (3/30/2019). Determined by James C. Trager/BugGuide. Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)

A Formica subsericea in Caroline Co., Maryland (3/30/2019). Determined by James C. Trager/BugGuide. Photo by Bill Hubick. (MBP list)


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