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Cairngorms National Park

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Guide to the Wood Ants of the UK

Cairngorms Nature

29th July, 2021

This guide is aimed at anyone who wants to learn more about mound-building woodland ants in the UK and how to identify the three ‘true’ Wood Ant species: Southern Red Wood Ant, Scottish Wood Ant and Hairy Wood Ant. The Blood-red Ant and Narrow-headed Ant (which overlap with the Wood Ants in their appearance, habitat and range) are also included here. The Shining Guest Ant is dependent on Wood Ants for survival so is included in this guide to raise awareness of this tiny and overlooked species.

A further related species, Formica pratensis is not included in this guide. It has been considered extinct on mainland Britain since 2005 and is now only found on Jersey and Guernsey in the British Isles.

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