1. Location (on a map) of collection: San Juan Loop Trail, Cleveland National Forest, California
2. Date of collection: 4-1-2019
3. Habitat of collection: Chaparral
4. Length (from head to gaster): 18 mm (queen)
5. Color, hue, pattern and texture: Queen: Black head and thorax, dark orange gaster, some with slightly striped black and orange gasters
6. Distinguishing characteristics: Fairly matte
7. Distinguishing behavior:
8. Nest description:
9. Nuptial flight time and date: 8:30 PM 4-1-2019
Original ID Thread: http://www.formicult...st-ca-7-8-2013/
I collected these queens at the San Juan Loop Trail parking lot across the road from the candy store on Ortega Highway, in the Santa Ana Mountains. They started flying just after dark, at about 8:30 PM on 4-1-2019, and in large numbers. Unlike what I have found the last two years, these are not just the rejects that got flushed from the nest months after their flight time during a major heatwave, and should be perfectly fertile.
I put them all in test tube setups, and by the next day they had ripped up the cotton plugs so badly that some almost made it all the way through. These are definitely the strongest ants I've ever kept. Most had actually calmed down already and even laid some eggs. I waited one more day and then pulled all the cotton shreds out and replaced all the cotton plugs. I'm pretty sure they'll leave the new ones alone now that they have laid eggs chilled out.