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Formica rufa

Formica rufa
Photo Information
Copyright: Nemes Septimiu (septimiu_nemes) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 111 W: 0 N: 371] (2161)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-06
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cibershot H2
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-01-25 4:05
Viewed: 3659
Points: 48
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Formica rufa

Formica rufa, also known as the southern wood ant or horse ant, is a boreal member of the Formica rufa group of ants, commonly found throughout southern England in both coniferous and broad leaf broken woodland and parkland. They are the largest native ant species of the British isles, workers can measure from 8-10 mm in length. They have large mandibles and like many other higher ant species are able to dispense formic acid from their abdomens as a defence. Formic acid was first extracted in 1671 by the English naturalist John Ray by distilling a large number of crushed ants of this species.

A common diet for a wood ant colony is invertebrates found around the nest, particularly aphids harvested from the surrounding trees, although they are voracious scavengers. Nests of these ants are large, conspicuous, dome-shaped edifices, usually situated in woodland clearings, where the sun's rays can reach them. F. rufa is commonly used in forestry and is often introduced into an area as a form of pest management.
Patrolling formica rufa

F. rufa is highly polygynous and often re-adopts post-nuptial queens from its own mother colony, leading to old, multi gallery nests which may contain well over a hundred egg-producing females. These colonies can often measure several metres in height and diameter. Formica rufa is aggressively territorial, and will often attack and remove other ant species from the area. Nuptial flights take place during the springtime and are often marked by savage battles between neighbouring colonies as territorial boundaries are re-established.

Workers show considerable polymorphism and it has been noted that larger individuals forage further away from the nest.

The species can also establish nests using the mechanism of temporary social parasitism, the hosts being species of the Formica fusca group, notably F. fusca and F. lemani, although incipient F. rufa colonies have also been recorded from nests of F. glebaria, F. cunnicularia and similar species including the Lasius genus.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

siggi, Morigann, marhowie, maurydv, matatur, uleko, haraprasan, jaycee, crs, nglen, ferranjlloret, Dis. Ac., Argus, anel, Apashu has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

salut! ai prins acest mic grup in plina activitate! culorile sunt bune si naturale iar contrastul cu nuanta putin deschisa a lemnului le pune mai mult in evidenta! TFS, toate cele bune!

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2009-01-25 5:45]

Hello Nemes,
Excellent capture, lighting and colors. Very detailed texture, of the ants body sections . The smooth grey-brown BG is perfect for that objects.Best regards Siggi

Hello Nemes

A very good POV for this shot,well illuminated.
You have not only managed a good shot of the ants but also their cooperative behaviour.
The focus and details are sharp showing texture and natural colour.
The notes were very interesting.


Hello Septimiu,
Nice capture of this ant with very fine details. Excellent lighting

Hi Nemes,
Great details & natural color, I like the woods texture here.
Interesting shot - I like the two ants right, working together..
A good example for us humans :)
Well done!

  • Great 
  • eliz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 167 W: 20 N: 271] (1537)
  • [2009-01-25 6:29]

am fotografiat si eu specia asta de furnica. gasisem undeva pe un deal un furnicar imens. avea un diametru de jumate de metru si cred ca misunau sute de mii de jurnici pe el.
a trebuit sa il fotografiez cu 50mm si cum nu am putut tine aparatul la ochi nu prea au iesit in focus.
oricum le-ai surprins intr-o postura interesanta pe cele doua.

p.s. cred ca ar ajuta daca ai da un shadow highlight pe imagine. ai multe detalii pierdute in umbre

Ciao Septimiu,
a beautiful macro of the Formica rufa taken from an excellent POV, the sharpness is very good; just at right moment you have captured the action showing the co-operation in a nice composition on a natural BG.
TFS. Greetings.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-01-25 7:11]

Hello Nemes,
Beautiful photo of these ants. Very sharp and good natural colours. Great texture in the wood. Well chosen POV and composition.

A perfect close up of a working group of Formica with ecological ramifications Nemes, a sharp image with good, lively colours my friend, TFS this fine natural tableau with the detailed notes.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-01-25 7:45]

Hello Septimiu,
Not an Ant I'd like to have in a wooden house!! Excellent capture of these verocious Ants who seem to have found a larva of some sort. Excellent details and colours and very well composed.
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2009-01-25 8:03]

Hello Nemes,
An excellent macro composition with great color and sharpness. Splendid depth of field so all the ant is in focus, great work Nemes, thank you.

Bonito trabajo con una gran claridad de imagen. Alguna zona sombreada podria mejorarse con flash.
Saludos Nemes: Josep Ignasi.

Hi Nemes,
A nice capture of these beautiful wood ants carrying someones ootheca. Sharp details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2009-01-25 8:49]

Felicitari pentru aceasta fotografie reusita!

hello Nemes
great shot of macro
so close with good details
greeting lou

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2009-01-25 10:35]

Hi Septimiu,

A fascinating shot of these ants at work. I love the way the two are sharing a job. The details of these insects are excellent and I love their two-tone colors. I heard of horse flies but never horse ants. A great post.


  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2009-01-25 10:47]

Buna Septimiu,

Fotografia ta cu furnicile ste foarte buna. DOF-ul este excelent ales astfel incat ambele furnici sunt foarte clar redate. Lumina naturala pe care ai avut-o ai folosit-o foarte bine astfel incat si culorile insectelor si cele ale lemnului sunt foarte naturale.

TFS si toate cele bune,

Hi Septimiu, nice capture of these forest ants on the bark with excellent sharp details in a fine composition.
TFS and cheers,

Ps. Thanks a lot for your kind words which you wrote my 300th post too.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-01-25 12:05]

Hi Nemes. Firstly thanks for your interesting notes that you have writen . To go with this picture of the ants. Living in southern WEngland i have seen their nest many times and they can be huge. You have taken a fine close up showing good detail and natural colours. Your picture also shows the wat they work together. well done TFS.

Hello Nemes,
A very interesting document and note. Excellent shoth of these Formica. Good Job!
Greetings. Ferran

Hello Nemes,

nice macro shot of the ants.
Good of sharpness and details.
Beautiful colours.


  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-01-25 23:11]

Hello Septimiu,
This is an excellent macro, one of the best of any species of ant on TN. You have captured these four Formica rufa, especially the central two, with superb sharpness and lighting, showing them at work taking a grub on this piece of rotting wood from a great POV.
Well done and TFS!
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • danar Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 57 W: 0 N: 17] (273)
  • [2009-01-27 16:09]

O imagine superba , in plina de activitate .
merita apreciata , ... imi plac culorile iar lumina ... da o nota de finetze la fotografie .

Felicitari , Septimiu .


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-01-28 4:48]

Hello Nemes,
I missed this interesting shot of Formica rufa. I have an anthill with this species close to my chalet and enjoy watching them. On your picture they seem very busy to carry some larva back. Good light and composition, interesting subject. Thanks for it.
Best regards

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