Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Formica exsecta - Narrow-headed Ant

Range & Status

Rare in Devon where it occurs in one area only where it is doing well (John Walters pers. comm.) and the Scottish highlands.

Regional Distribution

Status in Cornwall currently unknown. It was last recorded in 1963 on the north coast

at Yeolmouth near Morwenstow (Spooner, 1968), with unconfirmed records for west

Cornwall (Falk, 1991). The north Cornwall site has been surveyed as part of the Cornwall Biodiversity Action Plan initiative, subsequent to the publication of the first edition of this book, but F. exsecta was not found.

Habitat & Ecology

Recorded on cliff tops, associated in Cornwall with old Yellow Meadow Ant Lasius flavus mounds.


This species was confined to a single small site on the north coast which has been heavily grazed and trodden by sheep.


Listed as a BAP species with a species action plan.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.