One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A large reddish-brown European ant found chiefly in woodland, living in nest mounds which it defends by spraying formic acid at the attacker.
Formica rufa, family Formicidae
- ‘They are large reddish wood ants, Formica rufa, the Formica referring to the formic acid they squirt at intruders.’
- ‘Once enchanted, the victim will be fed on lizards, wood ants and snakes.’
- ‘The Harvard University professor is reluctant to guess which of the 150 species of wood ant you may have seen.’
- ‘Penny Webb often leads guided walks through the woods here and takes Helen to the huge mounds that are home to the hairy wood ant.’
- ‘In the present study, we investigated patterns of aggression and nest mate recognition in the wood ant, Formica paralugubris.’
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