large size red and black colouration
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Its a wood ant but is there more than one species?
A late reply here. There is certainly more than one species of wood ant in England/Wales (as well as in Scotland), but in the New Forest area of this observation, the wood ant group is represented by a species which has always been known as "Formica rufa" (so-called Southern Wood Ant, even though it ranges right up to N. England). However, in 2010, Seifert showed that in Europe three related taxa exist - F. rufa, F. polyctena, and a stable hybrid of these two, F. polyctena x rufa. Included in his survey were samples from "F. rufa" in England and Wales (I collated the samples for him, collected by myself and others from all over Eng/Wales). His morphological examinations showed that all but three of our samples were of the hybrid polyctena x rufa. The other three were statistically just outside, as rufa and polyctena, but in a pers. comm. Seifert stated that he regarded all our "southern wood ants" as being of the hybrid, with none of the pure parents. He wants to have this confirmed by DNA analysis, which he has so far only managed for the German samples.
Lat/Lng: 50.9, -1.8
OS grid ref: SU1815