Tuesday 21 May
Black bog ant (Formica candida)
What’s the World’s Favourite Species?Find out here.
Black bog ant fact file
- Find out more
- Print factsheet
Black bog ant description
This rare, medium-sized ant is black and shiny (4).
- F. transkaucasica. Top
- Stage in an insect's development when huge changes occur, which reorganise the larval form into the adult form. In butterflies the pupa is also called a chrysalis.
- National Biodiversity Network Species Dictionary (May 2002) http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nbn/
- Pinchen, B.J. (2003) Pers. Comm.
- UK BAP (August 2002): http://www.ukbap.org.uk
- Falk, S (1991) A review of the scarce and threatened bees, wasps and ants of Great Britain. Nature Conservancy Council, Peterborough
- Shirt, D. B. (Ed) (1987) British Red Data Books Part 2: Insects. Nature Conservancy Council, Peterborough.
- Pinchen, B.J. (2001) Action for Biodiversity; BAP Aculeates. English Nature Research Report Number 402. English Nature, Peterborough.
- view the contents of, and Material on, the website;
- download and retain copies of the Material on their personal systems in digital form in low resolution for their own personal use;
- teachers, lecturers and students may incorporate the Material in their educational material (including, but not limited to, their lesson plans, presentations, worksheets and projects) in hard copy and digital format for use within a registered educational establishment, provided that the integrity of the Material is maintained and that copyright ownership and authorship is appropriately acknowledged by the End User.
Black bog ant biology
The nest, which is small and conical in shape, is made from Sphagnum moss and grasses, and is typically located in wet boggy areas (4), often inside tussocks of purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea) (6). The nests often become saturated or submerged for short periods, despite being built above the water level of the bog (4). Nests typically contain a single queen and up to 1000 workers (4). In many species of ant, the pupae are surrounded by a cocoon in order to prevent desiccation; black bog ant pupae often lack cocoons, perhaps because the nest is so moist that desiccation is unlikely (4).Top
Black bog ant range
In the UK, this species has always been rare (5), records are restricted to sites in the New Forest in Hampshire, the Dorset heaths and a locality in south Wales (2); an old record from the Isle of Wight may be erroneous (3). Elsewhere, it is found from the Pyrenees, reaching east to Japan, and from the Apennines in the south to Arctic Sweden (4).Top
Black bog ant habitat
Usually found in lowland Sphagnum bogs; this species is typically found in the transitional zone where wet heath meets valley mire or bog (2).Top
Black bog ant status
Classified as Endangered in Great Britain (3).Top
Black bog ant threats
Main threats to this species include the loss of boggy and wet habitats (4), particularly through drainage (5), resulting in the lowering of the water table and conditions becoming too dry for the ant (3). At sites where the water table is lowered, invasion of the habitat by trees and scrub will lead to the loss of black bog ant colonies; excessive year-round grazing by livestock also appears to be detrimental (2). Prolonged periods of drought, pollution of watercourses and regular heathland fires will result in the loss of colonies (2).Top
Black bog ant conservation
The black bog ant is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) priority species, and a Species Action Plan has been produced to coordinate its conservation. It is also included in English Nature's Species Recovery Programme, which has funded research into the species. Studies have investigated the effects of grazing on the black bog ant, in order to find the optimal grazing regimes to maintain populations of the ant (6).Top
Information supplied and authenticated by Bryan Pinchen (independent ecologist).Top
MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.
Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials
Copyright in this website and materials contained on this website (Material) belongs to Wildscreen or its licensors.
Visitors to this website (End Users) are entitled to:
End Users shall not copy or otherwise extract, alter or manipulate Material other than as permitted in these Terms and Conditions of Use of Materials.
Additional use of flagged material
Green flagged material
Certain Material on this website (Licence 4 Material) displays a green flag next to the Material and is available for not-for-profit conservation or educational use. This material may be used by End Users, who are individuals or organisations that are in our opinion not-for-profit, for their not-for-profit conservation or not-for-profit educational purposes. Low resolution, watermarked images may be copied from this website by such End Users for such purposes. If you require high resolution or non-watermarked versions of the Material, please contact Wildscreen with details of your proposed use.
Creative commons material
Certain Material on this website has been licensed to Wildscreen under a Creative Commons Licence. These images are clearly marked with the Creative Commons buttons and may be used by End Users only in the way allowed by the specific Creative Commons Licence under which they have been submitted. Please see http://creativecommons.org for details.
Any other use
Please contact the copyright owners directly (copyright and contact details are shown for each media item) to negotiate terms and conditions for any use of Material other than those expressly permitted above. Please note that many of the contributors to ARKive are commercial operators and may request a fee for such use.
Save as permitted above, no person or organisation is permitted to incorporate any copyright material from this website into any other work or publication in any format (this includes but is not limited to: websites, Apps, CDs, DVDs, intranets, extranets, signage, digital communications or on printed materials for external or other distribution). Use of the Material for promotional, administrative or for-profit purposes is not permitted.