Status: Not Listed
Wood ants, also called mound ants or field ants (and not to be confused with carpenter ants), are known for their interesting nest structures built in fields and open woodlands. Not all members of the genus assemble large aboveground nests, but those that do are fantastic builders. A colony of these tiny invertebrates can produce a dome-shaped nest that can reach nearly 10 feet in diameter and 4.5 feet in height. Nests are thatched with twigs, stems, grass blades, and conifer needles. The resulting formations soak up sunlight and keep the ants warm.
Various species of wood ants are probably found throughout the United States. However, little is known about each species and their conservation status.
Many of these ants protect insects called aphids, because aphids produce honeydew, a sticky liquid that the ants like to eat. For the most part, though, wood ants are predators of defoliating insects, so they’re considered to be beneficial to their ecosystems.
Wood ants can be quite sneaky. Some colonies raid the nests of other wood ant species and take away their young. The stolen ants are raised as workers in the robbers’ colonies and never know the difference.
Ecology, The Ecological Society of America
Klotz, J. H. (2008). Urban ants of North America and Europe: identification, biology, and management. Ithaca: Comstock Pub. Associates.
As many Americans gather this week with family and friends to mark Thanksgiving, we want to take the time to recognize the different meanings this day holds for Indigenous Peoples.Read More
Promoting more-inclusive outdoor experiences for allRead the Story
A groundbreaking bipartisan bill aims to address the looming wildlife crisis before it's too late, while creating sorely needed jobs.Read More
A Year of Staying Close: Winners of Our 2021 Photo ContestSee the Winners
More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.