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Nest Quest results page

Please see the up to date results of Nest Quest

Survey results

Date 02/04/2017 - 25/07/2016
Locations 26
Quantity 42


In the UK we have four species of true wood ants: European wood ants (Formica pratensis), Southern wood ants (Formica rufa), Scottish wood ants (Formica aquilonia) and Hairy wood ants (Formica lugubris).


Wood ants are incredible insects that build nests that can harvest the warmth of the sun and which they defend with acid spray. They farm aphids for their honeydew, defending their stock from predator, herding them and even using them as a ‘meat’ resource. Wood ants are an integral part of woodland ecosystems as predators of invertebrate prey, performing important jobs such as dispersing seeds, distributing nutrients around the woodland and as a food source for other wildlife such as birds mammals.


Finding wood ant nests


A typical wood ant nest looks like a dome-like mound of various materials including pine needles, grasses, twigs or mosses. They are usually positioned next to a tree or a tussock of grass and can be found in coniferous, mixed and broadleaved forests. They need the sun to keep their nest warm so will choose somewhere that isn’t too shaded. Before recording it, have a careful look at the surface of the nest to make sure there are ants busy working to confirm it is an active nest. Remember tor write down the location and grid reference of your nest.

Submit your wood ant data here.


To find out more about wood ants, you can go UK Wood Ant Steering Group website

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