Formic acid (systematically called methanoic acid) is the simplest carboxylic acid. HCO2H. It is an important intermediate . Its chemical formula is HCOOH or HCO2H. It is an important intermediate in chemical synthesis and occurs naturally,most notably in ant venom. Its name comes from the Latin word for ant, formica, referring to its early isolation by the distillation of ant bodies. Esters, salts, and the anions derived from formic acid are referred to as formates.A major use of formic acid is as a preservative and antibacterial agent in livestock feed.