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A Master Bibliography of Ant Literature

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Introduction | Downloads | Online Searchs | Registration
Credits| Contributions | Updating


Ant head FORMIS
is a composite of several ant literature databases.  It contains citations for a large fraction of the world's ant literature (about 77,000 references).  FORMIS contains all known ant taxonomic literature (through 1996).  It also contains comprehensive bibliographies of leaf-cutting ants, fire ants, and Russian wood ants.  FORMIS also contains extensive ant literature before the 1970s.  About 40% of citations contain abstracts.  For further details please see contributions and credits.

This database is designed to allow convenient searches of titles, keywords and abstracts when available (online searches or downloads).  Citations from this database can be exported to create specialty databases or personal reprint indexes.  FORMIS is only updated every year or two, so it is not a source for the most recent ant literature.

Please note that about half of the citations in this database have been verified against the original.   All citations that are not tagged as having been verified should be checked against the original before use in publications.

Expansion and updating FORMIS will require the cooperation of its users.  Please read the information on the updating page.  For additional questions about the database please contact Dr. Dan Wojcik or Dr. Sanford Porter.


Ant head FORMIS 2024a
can be downloaded and used on both Windows or Macintosh computers.  About 350 MB of hard disk space is required.

This database is distributed in an EndNote® format.

Download FORMIS:

FORMIS 2024a.enl file and data folder (~300 MB)
FORMIS 2024a.enlp package (~180 MB)
FORMIS 2024a.enlx compressed file (~75 MB)

One or more of these formats should be compatible with EndNote versions 8 through 21 on both PCs and Macs. Contact Dr. Porter if you have technical problems (see link above).

Online Searches

Ant head FORMIS 2012 can be searched on the Web courtesy of the Florida Center for Library Automation (

Link to external database

Search Notes and Quirks:
  1. An asterisk (*) can be used in searches to indicate truncation of a search term (e.g.; forag* will return forager, foragers, foraging, etc.).
  2. Putting quotes around a phrase will search for that phrase (e.g.; "polygyne queens")
  3. The Keyword(s) option will search for authors, years, keywords, etc. So a search for Brown 1978 will return papers published by Brown in 1978 as well as other papers having Brown and 1978 somewhere in the record.
  4. Sorting by Year will sort all Journal Articles but Books, Book Sections, Reports and Theses will be sent to the bottom of list with no order.
  5. Choosing "Advanced" in the blue menu bar across the top will allow other options but searching in the "Limit by Year" fields only works on Journal Articles.


Ant headPlease register as a user of FORMIS by joining the FORMIS-L listserv.  This is a closed mailing list that will only be used a couple of times a year to distribute information about FORMIS.  To join, send an e-mail to  The subject line can be left blank or not, but the first line of text must be: SUBSCRIBE FORMIS-L YOUR NAME.  But please substitute your real name for "YOUR NAME" in the previous command.  (Additional lines of text in the message will not hurt, but will generate unrecognized command warnings.)  Upon joining the list you will receive a message of confirmation which will also explain how to unsubscribe.  Registering is very important because it will encourage us to continue updating FORMIS and help us justify the value of FORMIS to our bosses.


Ant headCompiled by:  Dr. Daniel P. Wojcik ( and Dr. Sanford D. Porter.

Daniel Wojcik assumed the role of Editor of FORMIS in June 2000 and FORMIS has more than doubled in size under his efforts.  Sanford Porter continues to serve as an Associate Editor.  Previous versions of FORMIS (1993-1999) were compiled and edited by Dr. Porter.

Major Contributors:

Cesare Baroni Urbani Univeritat Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Barry Bolton The Natural History Museum, London, UK
William L. Brown Cornell University, Ithica, New York, , USA (Deceased)
Michel Chapuisat University of Lausaunne, Lausaunne, Switzerland
Daniel Cherix Museum of Zoology, Lausaunne, Switzerland
Harold G. Fowler UNESP Rio Claro, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Bert Hölldobler University of Wuerzburg, Wuerzburg, Germany
Laurent Keller University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland
Vladelin Kipyatkov St. Petersburg State University, St. Petersburg, Russia
D.S. Malyshev St. Petersburg, Russia
Rolf E. Meier Mannedorf, Switzerland
Luc Passera University of Paul-Sabatier, Toulouse, France
Sanford D. Porter USDA-ARS, CMAVE, Gainesville, Florida, USA (Retired)
F.M. Schlittler UNESP, Rio Claro, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Steve O. Shattuck Australian National Insect Collection, CSIRO Canberra, Australia
USDA-National Agriculture Library Beltsville, Maryland, USA
Philip S. Ward University of California at Davis, Davis, California, USA
Edward O. Wilson Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA
Daniel P. Wojcik USDA-ARS, CMAVE, Gainesville, Florida, USA (Retired)

Other Contributors:

Personal Citations:  Argentina:  A.G. Farji-Brener, Australia:  R.H. Crozier, A. McArthur, Austria:  F. Glaser, Belgium:  J.C. de Biseau, J. Billen, C. Detrain, B. Gobin, Brazil:  C.R.F. Brandao, J.H.C. Delabie, Finland:  P. Punttila, France:  R. Blatrix, R. Boulay, P. D'Etorre, C. Errard, V. Fourcassie, A. Lenoir, J.L. Mercier. C. Peeters, A. Pezon, Germany:  J. Heinze, B. Holldobler, J. Moog, O. Rueppell, K, Schilder, Italy:  C. Baroni Urbani, Japan:  U. Yoshihiro, Mexico:  R. Jusino-Atresino, New Caledonia:  H. Jourdan, J. Chazeau, Russia:  G.M. Dlussky, V. Kipyatkov, A.A. Zakharov, Spain:  X. Espadaler, P. Lorite, Switzerland:  M. Chapuisat, A. Freitag, L. Keller, R. Meier, J. S. Pedersen, United Kingdom:  A.F.G. Bourke, United States:  A.A. Callcott, J.C. Cokendolpher, J.R. King, J. Klotz, P. Krushelnycky, L.W. Morrison, D. Oi, S.D. Porter, S.K. Robson, J.O. Schmidt, W.R. Tschinkel, R.K. Vander Meer, E. Vargo, J.T. Vogt, P.S. Ward, R.M. Weseloh, J. K. Wetterer, D.P. Wojcik.

Special Contributions:  R.J. Lavigne gave permission to use citations and annotation from An Annotated Bibliography of the Harvester Ants, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis (Cresson) and Pogonomyrmex owyheei Cole).  Terry Krueger checked back issues of the Annals of the Entomological Society of America (to 1996), Environmental Entomology (to 1996), Economic Entomology (to 1996), and Insectes Sociaux (to 1996).  Daniel P. Wojcik has checked all issues of the Florida Entomologist (to 1998).  V. Fourcassié provided ant citations from Actes Colloq. Insectes Soc. (1988-1999).  A. Van Pelt provided 400 citations from his personal literature files.  The Japanese Ant Database Group provided more than 100 new citations dealing with Japan (1999).  D. Agosti provided web links to about 600 taxonomic PDF files online at the American Museum of Natural History.


Ant headGeneral Contributions

UCD Ant Literature Database (about 4000 citations).  Philip S. Ward, Steve O. Shattuck, William L. Brown, Jr.  These references are a subset of 8467 non-taxonomic references collected incidentally while assembling a database of ant taxonomic literature.  About 60% of the selected references came from William L. Brown's reprint files.  The specialized database on the literature of ant systematics (ANTBIB) is available in dBase and EndNote formats.  A printed version is also available from the University of California Press.  Work is in progress to incorporate ANTBIB into FORMIS.

AGRICOLA (about 6412 citations).  National Agricultural Library, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.  NAL is to be especially commended for their policy of allowing non-profit scientific use of citations from their database.  AGRICOLA references are especially valuable because they are keyworded and many of the foreign language titles have been translated into English.  Recent citations may also include abstracts.

Biblio Fourmis (about 1600 citations).  Daniel Cherix, Laurent Keller, Luc Passera, Michel Chapuisat.  These citations are a subset of about 6000 ant-related reprints in the authors' combined files.

References used in The Ants (about 2000 citations).  Bert Hölldobler and Edward O. Wilson.  These citations are a subset of over 3000 papers cited by Hölldobler and Wilson in their book (Hölldobler and Wilson 1990).

Baroni Urbani Bibliography (almost 1000 citations).  Cesare Baroni Urbani, Zoologisches Institut der Universitat Basel, Rheinsprung 9, Ch-4051 Basel, SWITZERLAND.  These citations are especially important because they contain almost 800 abstracts and are extensively keyworded.

Specialty Contributions

Fire Ant Literature Database (about 4400 citations).  Daniel P. Wojcik and Sanford D. Porter.  This is a comprehensive literature database for the imported fire ants Solenopsis invicta and Solenopsis richteri.  Each reference is keyworded and the database includes almost 500 abstracts.  This database can be extracted from FORMIS by searching for "Fire Ant Literature Database" in the notes field.  Periodic updates can be obtained by writing the authors.

Comprehensive Leaf-Cutting Ant Bibliography (about 4200 citations).  H. G. Fowler and F.M. Schlittler.  This database is extensively keyworded.  It can be extracted from FORMIS by searching for "Leaf-Cutting Ant Bibliography" in the notes field.  This bibliography added more than 1600 citations to FORMIS.

Pharaoh Ant Bibliography (about 1200 citations).  Karen Vail, David F. Williams, Klaus-Peter Berndt, Wolfdietrich Eichler, Jerzy Wisniewski.  This database can be extracted from FORMIS by searching for "Monomorium pharaonis".  Titles of 233 citations in this database have been translated into English.  Rolf Meier and Betina Moser helped with title translations.

Russian Wood Ant Literature Database (about 940 citations).  Vladelin Kipyatkov and D.S. Malyshev.  This database can be extracted from FORMIS by searching for RFORMICA in the Notes field.  The database is extensively keyworded and Russian titles have been translated into English.  This was funded by the USDA Forest Service.

Santschi Ant Bibliography - (210 citations).  Rolf E. Meier, Glarnischstrasse 152, CH 8708 Mannedorf, SWITZERLAND.  This database contains all known publications of F. Santschi about ants.  It is keyworded and all titles have been translated into English.  Last updated 1995.

ANTBIB. A bibliography of ant systematics - (about 8100 citations).  Philip S. Ward, Barry Bolton, Steven O. Shattuck, Wiliam L. Brown, Jr. See Ward et al. 1996.  This bibliography is particularly valuable because of its completeness and because almost all citations were verified and have publication dates.  Last updated 1996, some additions 1999 and 2000.


Ant headUpdating and maintaining FORMIS will require the cooperative efforts of myrmecologists throughout the world.

The simplest way to contribute to FORMIS is to send Dr. Porter your reprints or PDF files.

The best way to contribute would be to send new or modified citations in an EndNote, Word, or text file format along with the reprints and/or PDF files.

Please begin by inspecting citations of your own work for accuracy and completeness.  The addition of keywords and/or abstracts would be especially useful.

Potential Contributors of Specialty Bibliographies

It is hoped that this database will become a magnet and distribution mechanism for specialty ant bibliographies like the Fire Ant Literature Database.  Specialty bibliographies are needed for genera such as Formica, Camponotus, Myrmica, Pheidole, Monomorium, Messor and Cataglyphis to name a few.  Specialty bibliographies on subjects such as foraging, bioenergetics, myrmecophiles, and ant-plant symbioses would also be useful.  Geographic bibliographies for places like Hawaii, India, Mexico, Brazil, etc. could also be assembled.

Specialty bibliographies can range from a few dozen citations to several thousand; the only requirement is that they be thorough.  Assembling such bibliographies could be part of a thesis project and the resulting bibliography would be a publication in FORMIS.

If you or one of your students are interested in contributing a specialized bibliography to FORMIS, please contact Dr. Wojcik or Dr. Porter for suggestions about how this can be done and who else might be doing something similar.

A standard EndNote file would be the most convenient format, although other formats are also possible (contact Dr. Porter for format details).  To avoid copy write problems, please do not send citations downloaded from commercial databases.

References that are not in FORMIS should be sent in files named "ADDNEW".

References in FORMIS that need to be modified should be copied out of FORMIS and pasted into a file called "MODIFIED".  Once in the "MODIFIED" file, citations can be corrected, keyworded, and verified (see below).  Abstracts can also be added.

Duplicate citations or those not related to ants should be pasted into the "DELETE" file.

Bibliographies that are in text format can generally be automatically tagged using a word processor and read into EndNote using a tagged format.

If more than a few dozen citations in FORMIS are to be modified, please send a file with the unrevised citations and another with the revised ones.  The file with unrevised citations will be used to find and delete old citations from the database.

Standards Used in FORMIS

  1. Please inspect existing records and try to use the same style (see five example citations at top of database with the preceding equal sign).
  2. The last name of all authors should be followed by a comma and the initials.  Terms like Jr., III, de, and 'von' should be placed after the initials preceded by a second comma.
  3. Please don't use hard returns (except between authors), tabs or quote marks because these characters can confound efforts to export the database.  The apostrophe can be substituted for quote marks.
  4. Missing data is indicated by double question marks (??).
  5. FORMIS generally does not use issue numbers unless they are essential; if included, they should be placed in parentheses in the volume field.
  6. FORMIS uses five reference types: Journal Article, Book, Book Section, Thesis, and Report (see examples).  The number of types was limited to simplify construction of styles and to facilitate export to other applications (e.g. Pro-Cite). "Report" was used as a miscellaneous reference type with everything after the title being placed in the "institution" field.  Also don't use the "thesis type" field under thesis because this field is not used by other literature databases.  Place this information along with the page number in the "University" field.
  7. Because of copyright restrictions, please do not send citations that have been downloaded from other databases unless you include a letter of permission (very hard to get).
  8. Keywords: Whenever possible, a citation should include keywords.  Keywords should include all taxonomic names from class to species for the major study organisms.  Geographic keywords should indicate continents, countries, and states where the work was done.  General fields of research should be included along with any specific terms included by the author that are not in the title.
  9. Abstracts: Abstracts are particularly valuable.  They can be clipped out of word processor files or scanned in from reprints.  Include abstracts in all languages that are available.  Please obtain permission if you are including abstracts from papers other than your own.  Most journals have no problem with this.
  10. Verification: Citations that have been double checked against the original should be tagged in the note field as having been verified.  This lets users know that they can use the citation without comparing it to the original.  A verified tag should include the initials of the verifier (e.g., verified-SDP).
  11. Translated Titles: Translated titles should be placed at the beginning of the abstract field preceded by an equals sign (=) and enclosed in brackets, e.g. [=Vampire Ants of Transylvania].
  12. As a general rule, this database should include only formal published papers.  Papers that are "in press" can be included provided they are tagged as "in press" in the year field so that they can be automatically removed from the database after one year.  Inclusion of abstracts, conference proceedings or other informal non-refereed publications are not encouraged unless they are of exceptional merit and not available elsewhere.