The Wood Ant is also known as the ‘southern wood ant’ because it is mainly found in the south of England. It can be found in open woodlands in glades and sometimes on the edges of woodlands in open sunny spots. It lives in a huge colony which can contain over two hundred and fifty thousand ants. A colony can have over a hundred queen ants that produce eggs and thousands of female workers that collect food, keep the nest clean and look after the young.
The Wood Ant is a large reddish coloured ant with a black head and black abdomen. It is about one centimetre long and its body is divided into three distinct parts: the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. Its head is small and has two long antennae. The thorax is the middle part of the body which holds three pairs of thin jointed legs. The Wood Ant also has a tiny 'waist' between the thorax and the abdomen.
Wood Ants often build huge dome-like nests near to old tree stumps and the nests can be over a metre in height and over two metres wide. The ants make their nests out of thousands of pine needles, twigs and leaf stalks. Wood Ants are quite aggressive and will bite humans and animals if they feel threatened or if their nests have been disturbed.