Formica cunicularia, Serviformica cunicularia
1 000 rub.

Formica cunicularia, or Serviformica cunicularia (Formica cunicularia, or Serviformica cunicularia)

Phylum arthropoda
Class — insecta
Order — hymenoptera
Family — formicidae

Genus – formica


In Formica cunicularia, the worker is an ashy grey black color and is usually 4.0–6.5 mm long. The males are found to have a uniformly dark body and are 8.0–9.0 mm long. The queen is yellowish red to dark black and is 7.5–9.0 mm.


Formica cunicularia is a species of ant found all over Europe. They are especially common in western Europe and southern England, but they can be found from southern Scandinavia to northern Africa and from Portugal to the Urals.


These ants live in small colonies of around 5000 individuals.

Formica cunicularia have the ability to discern between multiple shades of a color and they are particularly good at distinguishing two different greens. This is probably because they often live in very green rich environments.

Formica cunicularia will follow irregular paths while they forage, but will follow a straight path home when finished. They do this by a process called path integration where they analyze their total distance and direction on their foraging trips so that they can follow that straight path home. That isn't the only mechanism that explains their homing behavior though. They can also find a path home based on visual cues in their surroundings. An interesting facet of their homing behavior is that they will combine these two methods when in unfamiliar terrain.

Formica cunicularia is a host of the slave-making ant Polyergus rufescens.

Usually timid and fugitive, but populous nests with large workers may be very aggressive during nest defence. Not territorial.


These ants are predaceous but are often scavengers.

When found in arid and semi-arid regions, these ants feed primarily on seeds and as such, their anthills have a much higher density of seeds, but due to the seed preference of the ants there is less seed diversity.


They nest under stones or in small earth mounds. Nests moderately populous, usually containing 1000 - 1800 workers, sometimes weakly polygynous, but polydomous colonies unknown (as in all members of the group).

Sexuals are present in nests during July and often August, frequently only one sex in a nest.

In captivity

This species can be recommended for beginners.

Various types of formicariums with sizes comparable to the size of the colony are suitable for keeping. Sand or a mixture of sand and earth can be used as a filler for ground formicariums.

The temperature can be kept within room temperature (22-27 oC), and the humidity should be at about 70-80%. Once a day or every other day, the soil (if available) in the formicarium should be slightly moistened. It is important to make sure that the nest does not get direct sunlight.

Adult ants should be fed carbohydrate food (sugar syrup (sugar with water) - about 1:1) and larvae-protein (various invertebrates). It is not recommended to give ants insects from the street, they can be infected with a tick or various parasites. Use feed insects from the pet store, or which you breed yourself.

Wintering for this species is mandatory.