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UK Nature  > Ants  > Myrmica rubra

Scientific Name:   Myrmica rubra
Common Name:   Common Red Ant

Myrmica rubra, more commonly known as the Common Red Ant, is very often found under stones and logs in the garden, and also in soil and lawns. Approximately 6 mm long, they are mainly red in colour, with slightly darker pigmentation on the head. The males are a little darker than the others. Lasius ants always have just a single segment waist, whereas Myrmica have two segments.

They nest under walls and old tree stumps or even paving slabs. Like all British ants it lives in colonies. Most of the inhabitants of a colony are females and have no wings. These do all the work, gathering food and tending the eggs.

It is active throughout the year, but winged adults swarm in late summer during hot and humid weather; these 'flying ants' mate and eventually disperse to form new colonies. Red ant workers have a surprisingly painful sting and will attack if disturbed. Common and widespread in the UK.
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