Two hairy wood ants on a branch

Hairy wood ant

Hairy wood ants are inhabitats of coniferous woodland, where they construct impressive nest mounds. These large structures are built out of pine needles and other forest floor debris. In Britain they are found in upland areas of Scotland, northern England and north to central-Wales. Hairy wood ant colonies in Ireland appear to be very inbred, because young queens rarely fly far enough to mate with males from another population.

Scientific name: Formica lugubris

Rank: Species

Common names:

European wood ant

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The Hairy wood ant can be found in a number of locations including: Europe, United Kingdom, Wales. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Hairy wood ant distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

BBC News about Hairy wood ant

  • GPS used to preserve ants' nests Conservationists in Northumberland have used satellite technology to pinpoint 69 rare ants' nests before work to fell thousands of trees begins