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california polygynous ants? Myrmica Incompleta?

myrmica polygynous california

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#1 Offline awesomezhnathan - Posted February 8 2019 - 9:34 PM

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Hello, I currently live in southern california and I am a big fan of AntsCanada. I especially admire his polygynous Yellow and Black crazy ants colony. I wish to have a colony similar to his with many voracious ants as well as many voracious queens so the colony will last for a while and maybe even reproduce

 

Recently, I have discovered the genus Myrmica and I really like how Myrmica Rubra fit all my criteria, however, it is not native to california so I am unable to keep it. I heard that Myrmica Incompleta also has similarly large colonies in the wild with many queens but I also had heard reports of the queens killing each other. 

 

Are there any native polygynous species in California that grow quickly and are voracious? Are Myrmica Incompleta truly polygynous, how about other native Myrmicas such as Americana or Alaskainsis


Edited by awesomezhnathan, February 8 2019 - 9:37 PM.


#2 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted February 9 2019 - 8:07 AM

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I know some isolated populations of Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and californicus are polygenous, as well as Solenopsis molesta, Monomorium (almost all species in this genus if I'm not mistaken), Aphaenogaster occidentalis, Veromessor pergandei, Prenolepis imparis, Tapinoma sessile, and possibly a few species of Formica (I think there are some polygenous ones but not 100% sure on that). There are almost certainly others that I haven't listed here.

Hope this helps!

#3 Offline awesomezhnathan - Posted February 9 2019 - 8:21 AM

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so do you know about myrmica?



#4 Offline Manitobant - Posted February 9 2019 - 9:11 AM

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Myrmica Incompleta can sometimes be polygynous, If you want an aggressive polygynous species I would choose either the native pheidole or the invasive linepithema. But if aggressiveness if your only factor I would choose the monogynous solenopsis xyloni,the infamous southern fire ant. This native fire ant has the same qualities of the fire nation which include super fast growth, appetite for almost anything and painful, burning stings.
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#5 Offline awesomezhnathan - Posted February 9 2019 - 10:23 AM

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Aggressiveness isn't that big of a factor compared to simply having many ants that will swarm food. I like polygynous ants because in that way, the colony is not dead without the queen. I heard that argentine ants and pheidole ants were hard to keep whereas I've seen many successful colonies of Myrmica. Monomorium is definetely another option at play, my only concern is their small size. 

You said that Myrmica Incompleta can be polygynous so why aren't you reccomending it? How does it compare with Rubra or Americana in terms of degree of polygyneity?



#6 Offline dermy - Posted February 9 2019 - 10:52 AM

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For some Myrmica colonies it can be different levels of polygny. I've noticed some of my Myrmica [I live in Canada] can have 20 queens in a normal Polygenous colony or even upwards of 70+ for some colonies. I speculate this due to possibly Colonies either combining or more than likely, accepting new queens after nuptial flights. I have had some success in adding new queens to already established Myrmica colonies in the past so that could be a big factor.



#7 Offline awesomezhnathan - Posted February 9 2019 - 11:14 AM

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hmm do you know what species they are? it seems that rubra is the one that is most willing to do this but native ones like incompleta have been recorded to also, but I'm not sure whether they are truly polygynous or simply pleimetrioc



#8 Offline dermy - Posted February 9 2019 - 11:46 AM

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hmm do you know what species they are? it seems that rubra is the one that is most willing to do this but native ones like incompleta have been recorded to also, but I'm not sure whether they are truly polygynous or simply pleimetrioc

Myrmica species are very difficult to Identify so I don't have any clue on species.



#9 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted February 9 2019 - 11:56 AM

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Myrmica aren't found in CA as far as I know. Manica is however, albeit only in high elevations typically in NorCal. I think they might be polygenous but not sure.

#10 Offline awesomezhnathan - Posted February 9 2019 - 11:57 AM

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where are you from? cuz in many parts of canada and north america, Myrmica Rubra is not found so it may be a native species



#11 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted February 9 2019 - 12:00 PM

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Also, if you are looking for a polygenous swarming ant, Veromessor pergandei may be for you. They fly about now too.

#12 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted February 9 2019 - 12:01 PM

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where are you from? cuz in many parts of canada and north america, Myrmica Rubra is not found so it may be a native species

I am located in Northern California.

Unfortunately, Myrmica is either extremely rare or isn't found in CA, but there might be some in the higher elevations. In southern California there are plenty of other great species to choose from. Pheidole, Veromessor pergandei, and many more fit your criteria.

Edited by YsTheAnt, February 9 2019 - 12:04 PM.


#13 Offline awesomezhnathan - Posted February 9 2019 - 12:18 PM

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Thanks, I will definetely look into Veromessor Pergandei. How easy are they to care for?

 

 

 

hmm do you know what species they are? it seems that rubra is the one that is most willing to do this but native ones like incompleta have been recorded to also, but I'm not sure whether they are truly polygynous or simply pleimetrioc

Myrmica species are very difficult to Identify so I don't have any clue on species.

 

 

Where in Canada are you from? In many parts of Canada, myrmica rubra is not found. The myrmica you are describing may be a native species. 


Edited by awesomezhnathan, February 9 2019 - 12:19 PM.


#14 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted February 9 2019 - 12:49 PM

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Veromessor pergandei are relatively easy to care for, but do not like to be disturbed during founding.

#15 Offline Vendayn - Posted February 9 2019 - 1:59 PM

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Forelius pruinosus/mccooki are super easy (for me anyway, I guess some people have a hard time finding them) to get and keep. They only dig down a few inches. I've seen one colony with at least 1000s of queens and a massive amount of ants. They are also the only ant I've seen out in 120 degree weather, in the baking sun and still active. They are optional to hibernate as well (at least the desert varieties are). The coastal and mountain varieties disappear in the Winter, but out in the desert I see them all year long even when its really cold.

 

They are pretty good escape artists though and really fast. But I like keeping them myself, they are fun to raise and love observing/watching them. Never had a colony fail on me. They are also one of the very few native ants (in California) that can (sort of) take on Argentine ants. One Forelius worker can take on three Argentine ants. I've seen them survive in Argentine ant territory, but it depends how condensed the population of Argentine ants are in the local are.

 

There is also Monomorium ergatogyna. But they are really tiny. They win 99% of their fights against Argentine ants, and their colony territory can cover an entire city block. I've seen them completely remove Argentine ants in an area, and can have a massive amount of workers+queens. But, I'm not big on keeping them because they escape easier than even Solenopsis molesta does. And most barriers don't seem to work for M. ergatogyna. They are pretty scattered around though, I've seen them on the coast and various areas of a city. They seem to be most dominant in the (Southern California) mountains as far as I've seen.

 

There is also Dorymyrmex bicolor. They are neat, not much to say cause I haven't ever had success with them and I don't encounter them as much. But, Dorymyrmex bicolor occupy the same environment (in general) that Forelius pruinosus/mccooki do. 


Edited by Vendayn, February 9 2019 - 2:07 PM.


#16 Offline Leo - Posted February 9 2019 - 7:17 PM

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Some crematogaster are also extremely polygynous. I kicked open a log a few weeks back and found a 5+ queen 7000+ worker colony of crematogaster. However some kill off all the queens and some don't.



#17 Offline LC3 - Posted February 9 2019 - 9:16 PM

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Most North American Myrmica are primarily scavenger species, found in cooler environments or steppe/mountainous like environments. In California these will either be the more arid species that occupy the hilly grassland like areas of southeast California or occupying the more damp mountainous north and eastern California. If I'm not mistaken, since not very familiar with many Myrmica species let alone Californian ones.

 

M. incompleta is an oddball that has a very wide distribution and seems to predominantly occupy wet foresty areas, and forms large polygynous and polydomous colonies. In California they are probably restricted to the north east or east.

 

Most North American Myrmica species are rather modest in terms of colony size, typically possessing one to a few queens and a couple of hundred workers, Myrmica in general are rather non-aggressive species and neither do they grow fast (especially when rearing the first workers, takes a couple of months to get one or two).

 

My experiences with M. incompleta are finicky at best. They seem to require very high relative humidity, heating and a diet rich in carbohydrates. Not sure about elsewhere but the queens here come in two forms, and they must be provided adequate space or they tend to kill each other (the larger form requires much more space than the other). M. rubra are also in my area and M. incompleta are definitely not as polygynous. They are equally aggressive though towards prey it seems but not as quick to sting. They are also noticeably polymorphic so that's cool.

 

Really compared to all other Myrmica, M. rubra is an exception.

 

Dermy resides in Northern Saskatchewan, his Myrmica are most likely M. nearctica or M. alaskensis, both of which are mostly restricted to Canada. They comprise most of the ant fauna where he lives. 


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#18 Offline gcsnelling - Posted February 10 2019 - 6:04 AM

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Mrymica do occur in southern California, but they are not common. I have found them high in the San Gabriel mtns.



#19 Offline awesomezhnathan - Posted February 10 2019 - 8:19 AM

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Thanks a lot, For now, I will look into monomorium, forelius, or veromessor for my first colony. However, because Incompleta seems to be finicky, I will eventually get them after I have gained some experience. After all the more colonies the merrier. 

Most North American Myrmica are primarily scavenger species, found in cooler environments or steppe/mountainous like environments. In California these will either be the more arid species that occupy the hilly grassland like areas of southeast California or occupying the more damp mountainous north and eastern California. If I'm not mistaken, since not very familiar with many Myrmica species let alone Californian ones.

 

M. incompleta is an oddball that has a very wide distribution and seems to predominantly occupy wet foresty areas, and forms large polygynous and polydomous colonies. In California they are probably restricted to the north east or east.

 

Most North American Myrmica species are rather modest in terms of colony size, typically possessing one to a few queens and a couple of hundred workers, Myrmica in general are rather non-aggressive species and neither do they grow fast (especially when rearing the first workers, takes a couple of months to get one or two).

 

My experiences with M. incompleta are finicky at best. They seem to require very high relative humidity, heating and a diet rich in carbohydrates. Not sure about elsewhere but the queens here come in two forms, and they must be provided adequate space or they tend to kill each other (the larger form requires much more space than the other). M. rubra are also in my area and M. incompleta are definitely not as polygynous. They are equally aggressive though towards prey it seems but not as quick to sting. They are also noticeably polymorphic so that's cool.

 

Really compared to all other Myrmica, M. rubra is an exception.

 

Dermy resides in Northern Saskatchewan, his Myrmica are most likely M. nearctica or M. alaskensis, both of which are mostly restricted to Canada. They comprise most of the ant fauna where he lives. 

You say that you have an incompleta colony with 7 queens. How have your experiences been so far.  Are the queens housed together? How do you maintain the high relative humidity and heating?



#20 Offline LC3 - Posted February 10 2019 - 1:44 PM

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As of currently they're dead. These 7 queens were of the smaller variation and were housed in two separate tubes, they were free to mingle as they will. Tubes were added water regularly and the substrate kept most of the tube wet, my attempts to heat them usually resulted in death, so I didn't. I didn't have much success with them obviously, during the time they were alive they only managed to rear a couple of workers.

 

Most of what I know on how to successfully keep them are either from other people (someone mentioned theirs did fairly well when given enough sugar), my inadequate setups (e.g I don't think I gave them enough sugar) and comparing them with observations on their behavior in the wild (e.g the strong tendency for this species to farm aphids, here they mostly farm root aphids that feed off of grass).


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