Over the past week I was collecting ants in eastern Alabama near Auburn on my parent's land. I was in a mesic, wooded area when I lifted up a stone and found a nest of what I believe was Formica pallidefulva. I collected several specimens and a few males, which were totally honey colored from head to gaster. I also noticed that the nest species were battling a few black species. I assumed they were Camponotus that had wondered too close, but when I got them under the microscope I saw they were also Formica. My guess is Formica subsericea as they are the only black colored species I could find listed on the Mississippi Entomology keys for Alabama. When I reflect back on the collections I was making I did notice similar black specimens running about the leaf litter, but I was never quick enough to capture the few I saw before they disappeared in the leaf litter.
If my guesses are correct, is the battling between the species normal? Does F. subsericea actually invade the nest of other Formica? I was unable to find much information on them on the ant sites I visit.
Another question. I also observed Phorid flys attacking a wounded Camponotus americanus, who in return was definitely aggravated by the dive bombing flies. My question is if there are native Phorid flies to the US? I know Auburn University released a few species from South America to this area to battle fire ants, and was just curious.