Formica rufa can adapt to many habitats but as their name might suggest, this species is most at home in and around woodland. Their nests are cleverly constructed from twigs and pine needles angled towards the sun to harness solar power.
Their large colonies of up to 500,000 ants patrol foraging trails that may extend 100m from the nest. Although they are avid farmers of aphid honeydew, they are also voracious carnivores. When facing their foes, wood ants will first attack the target, biting with their powerful jaws, then squirting formic acid from their abdomens into the wound.