PhilT69's picture

Wood Ant

Observed: 25th September 2011 By: PhilT69PhilT69’s reputation in InvertebratesPhilT69’s reputation in InvertebratesPhilT69’s reputation in Invertebrates

The ant's nest a large mound of fir-needles and twigs, with small lumpy balls of greyish solidified mud (?). The ants (each about 6 or 7mm in length) not very active on a wet day. Seen in large fir plantation.

Species interactions

No interactions present.


PhilT69's picture

Thanks, Syrphus -

my reference books dont mention this: thats why I value iSpot so much!

Phil T.

Syrphus's picture

It is fairly recent work, and

It is fairly recent work, and a bit nerdy, but the science seems fairly persuasive. There are all sorts of surprises emerging in the ant world when folk look in very fine detail, and especially when you look at DNA and surface hydrocarbons. The rufa/polyctena paper is at if you have time on your hands, and stand by for some unsuspected woodant species to be described from C Europe in coming years.



recording wildlife with The Recorder's Year on

PhilA's picture

I second Syrphus' comments.

I second Syrphus' comments. The analysis by Seifert in his rufa/polyctena hybrid paper (linked by Syrphus) so far only includes morphological diagnosis for all but the German samples, which have also had DNA analysis. These latter showed close agreement between the two approaches, so it will be of interest to await the outcome of the planned (but delayed) DNA work on the other European samples, including a large number from England/Wales. Incidentally, Seifert has said (pers comm) that although his table does show GB samples under "rufa" and "polyctena" (2 and 1, resp) he regards this as a statistical effect only, and that all our southern wood ants will actually agree with the hybrid.