About animals

Small-headed ant swamp


Stem shape at the back:

Formica forsslundi Lohmander, 1949 (=F.nemoralis Dlussky, 1964, = F.fossilabris Dlussky, 1964, = F.brunneonitida Dlussky, 1964)

In the European part, it lives exclusively on high bogs. Builds nests on moss bumps. The nest has a dome with a diameter of up to 70 cm. Usually made of moss particles. In Siberia and the Primorsky Territory, it is confined to steppe and forest-steppe habitats. Hunts for various small insects. Breeds aphids. The aft area is partially guarded. Anthills are single.

Flying winged in July - August.

Habitats: European part of Russia, southern Siberia, Transbaikalia, Primorsky Territory.

(Forschlund ant)

Working. Two-tone. The forehead and nape are reddish-brown; the spot on the top of the chest is brownish-red. Head with a deep notch on the occipital margin (heart-shaped). The color is two-tone. Length 4.5-6.5 mm.

Female. The whole body is smooth and shiny. The front of the head, pronotum, sides of the chest and epinotum are reddish-brown to brown or brown, the rest of the body is brown or brown. Length 5.5-6.3 mm.

Male. The color is black. Length 5.5-6.5 mm.

It is very rare in Belarus. Found in the west and southwest of the Vitebsk region. (Sharkovshchinsky, Lepelsky districts), as well as in the Brest region. (Maloritsky district).

Herpetobiont-builder of domes. It lives exclusively on high bogs. In swamps, builds nests on moss bumps. Domes of nests from pieces of sphagnum stems are small. The nest is a capsule, with a rounded dome with a diameter of up to 70 cm.

Zoophagus. Hunts for various small insects. Has developed forms of trophobiosis with aphids. The aft area is partially guarded. It is an obligate dominant in interspecific associations of anthills.

Family size up to 15,000 adults. In the swamps it forms sparse settlements of solitary anthills.

Flight of winged individuals in mid-July - early August. In Belarus, in mid-July, pupae and adult males were recorded in the nest.

New families are established through temporary social parasitism in F. picea nests.

Very rare, the number is supposedly declining. The species is included in the 2nd edition of the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus (IV category).

1. Blinov V.V. Forshlund Ant / Red Book of the Republic of Belarus: Rare and Endangered Species of Wild Animals. Minsk, 2006. P.276

2. Zakharov A.A., Dlussky G.M. "Brief Specific Essays on Ants Formica" / Zakharov A.A. et al. "Monitoring Ants Formica. Information and Methodological Manual" Moscow, 2013. P.61-79

3. Dlussky G. M. "Ants of the genus Formica". Moscow, 1967. -236s.

4. Zakharov A. A. "Ants of forest communities, their life and role in the forest." Moscow, 2015.440 s.

5. Czechowski W., Radchenko A., Czechowska W. "The ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) of Poland". Warszawa, 2002-200pp.

6. Blinov VV "Community of ants (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) in the natural and anthropogenic landscapes of Belarus" / The dissertation for the degree of candidate of biological sciences. Minsk, 2000.170s.


Europe, Southern Siberia, Mongolia, Tibet, in Asia have a continuous range, in Europe - fragmented due to the fragmentation of characteristic habitats (1, 2). For the first time, one nest of S. forsslundi was found in the Moscow region in 1972 in the Ruzsky district, not far from Lake. Deep (3). In 2000, two nests were found on a raised bog in the PTZ (4). There are indications requiring dwelling in the south of the Moscow Region requiring verification (5).

Features of biology and ecology

The working specimens of C. forsslundi differ well from other forest ants (genus Formica sl) in the heart-shaped shape of the head due to a deep notch at the posterior margin, as well as the absence of hairs on the head, chest, and eyes (fixed at least under 40x magnification ) The body size of working individuals is 5-6 mm (1, 6). To the east of the Urals, S. forsslundi is a eurytopic species, a typical inhabitant of the steppes and forest-steppes. In Europe, lives in mountain meadows, in swamps (1), as well as in dry pine forests (2).

Found in the Voronezh Reserve in an oak forest (8). In Central Russia gravitates to swamps. In Western Europe, builds nests with small mounds using plant debris (1). The material of the nests studied in Central Russia consisted of nibbled grass of cotton grass, sedge, and sphagnum; the nests themselves were located in the central parts of the swamp, with an average distance of nests from the nearest edge of the swamp of about 100 m (2).

Recommendations for the conservation of the species in vivo

Further identification of habitats and their protection from the moment of identification: suspension of actions entailing the destruction of the upland bog, violation of its hydrological or hydrochemical regime, creation of protected areas, ensuring the conservation of the biotope and, if necessary, regulation of visit to the swamp.