Jump to content

  • Chat
  •  
  •  



Welcome to Formiculture.com!

This is a website for anyone interested in Myrmecology and all aspects of finding, keeping, and studying ants. The site and forum are free to use, and contain no ads for members. Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation points to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!

Photo
- - - - -

Hypoponera opacior behavior


29 replies to this topic

#1 Offline ponerinecat - Posted April 23 2019 - 3:55 PM

ponerinecat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

From what I've heard, no ones had much success with hypoponera. A shame, as they are really quite interesting. I'll try to share what I've seen from my most successful colony.

 

Although their considered cryptobiotic, the workers seem to forage normally in an small, shallow out world exposed to light. They can be polygyne, with multiple normal and ergatoid queens. Ergatoid males are present, inbreeding with queens. This makes colonies surprisingly capable of an extremely long lifespan. Polydomy has been recorded by scientists as well. Nests seem to consist of tunnels radiating out from one or more decent sized chambers. The large chambers seem to be created specially for storing brood. Queens are shy and only forage actively during the founding stage. New queens seem to prefer to found in pre-dug worm tunnels. Largest nest I've found took up half a foot and extended several centimeters down. Reproduction consists of flights(which are unreliable, all queens I caught in founding tunnels except one were infertile) and what seems like the budding of army ant species. I've found tens of small colonies consisting of 2-3 wingless queens and several workers. Egg laying rate is actually high under the right conditions. Small budded colonies have chambers of 30-50 eggs. I've found one mature colony with a chamber an inch wide and 1 centimeter deep full of cocoons. There were also side chambers filled with cocoons. Diet consists of small arthropods like springtails or baby centipedes and spiders. Large colonies will sometimes hunt in pairs, tandem running along tunnels. They can hunt and kill large insects, like juvenile earwigs. They cannot climb plastic or glass, but seem to do okay along other smooth surfaces, like dried glue. Workers will stack grains of sediment along walls to act as stepping stones.

 

That's all I have for now. If anyone can correct me or has anything to add, please do.



#2 Offline ponerinecat - Posted April 23 2019 - 8:54 PM

ponerinecat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

My polygyne colony seems to have capped out at a max limit of queens. I introduced 2 new queens and 1 was kicked out. I'll verify tomorrow.



#3 Offline ponerinecat - Posted April 24 2019 - 2:43 PM

ponerinecat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

Yup. Actually attacked her this time. Put her in a terrarium. The cap on gynes could have to do with nesting space. They haven't dug any new tunnels and the old ones are crowded.



#4 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted April 24 2019 - 5:49 PM

Ant_Dude2908

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,015 posts
  • LocationNashville, Tennessee
Pics?

#5 Offline ponerinecat - Posted April 25 2019 - 4:57 PM

ponerinecat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

med_gallery_3141_1516_541843.jpg

med_gallery_3141_1516_573833.jpg

 

Feeding on a springtail. One worker will lung in the normal ant hunting strategy and any passing workers may help subdue the prey.

 

med_gallery_3141_1516_457628.jpg

 

You can see all the eggs laid by the ergatoid queens.

 

med_gallery_3141_1516_354457.jpg



#6 Offline ponerinecat - Posted May 4 2019 - 9:23 AM

ponerinecat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

I've noticed workers die in waves. Also, they ate most of their eggs and lined the walls with the remaining ones.



#7 Offline ponerinecat - Posted May 5 2019 - 8:35 PM

ponerinecat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

Didn't eat eggs, moved them to a new nest away from my prying eyes. Displaying some simple polydomy. :)



#8 Offline PurdueEntomology - Posted May 6 2019 - 1:41 AM

PurdueEntomology

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 69 posts
  • LocationAlcoa, TN

I am working on getting some of these interesting ants up and running.  They are extremely abundant so finding them is never a problem.  If I learn anything to add to your notes and observations I most certainly will share.  



#9 Offline ponerinecat - Posted May 9 2019 - 4:52 PM

ponerinecat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

Workers dying every 1-2 days now... kinda concerned



#10 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted May 11 2019 - 3:25 PM

Ant_Dude2908

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,015 posts
  • LocationNashville, Tennessee
What do ergatoid queens look like in this species? Also, are the lighter colored ants the males?

#11 Offline ponerinecat - Posted May 12 2019 - 5:01 PM

ponerinecat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

What do ergatoid queens look like in this species? Also, are the lighter colored ants the males?

Ergatoid queens just look like larger workers that don't do much but run around and hide. Lighter colored ones are males or callows, check for eyes.



#12 Offline ponerinecat - Posted May 14 2019 - 6:45 PM

ponerinecat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

all pupa have cocooned. substrate contributes to worker death, added wood and only 1 dead worker.



#13 Offline ponerinecat - Posted May 16 2019 - 2:16 PM

ponerinecat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

Workers will gauge how many springtails to eat. After a several hour hunting period, all workers will ignore food until next needed. All in complete unison.



#14 Offline ponerinecat - Posted May 20 2019 - 2:29 PM

ponerinecat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

Made a small dirt tube to nest entrance using some type of silk, likely taken from cocoons. My earliest colony did the same when they had cocoons.

 

med_gallery_3141_1516_955512.jpg

 

med_gallery_3141_1516_636889.jpg

 

med_gallery_3141_1516_318908.jpg

 

eggs and pupae.

 

med_gallery_3141_1516_718483.jpg

  • Ant_Dude2908 and AntsBC like this

#15 Offline ponerinecat - Posted May 22 2019 - 4:49 PM

ponerinecat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

killed a small beetle larvae. So it looks like they can eat a variety of things other than springtails.



#16 Offline NickAnter - Posted May 22 2019 - 5:18 PM

NickAnter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 330 posts
  • LocationOrange County, California
Thank you for posting this, as it is very informative. I also have a question: when do you find the queens in flight?
While I am not sure I have this exact species in my yard, as mine are lighter in color, but I have found a worker in my pool, and one in the middle of the day, while I was attempting to eradicate some argentine ants. I still have this worker, as I kept it in a dry test tube. Anyway, this post was very interesting!

Currently keeping:             

Camponotus hyatti (1, single queen, 1 worker.)                     "Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground." -Theodore Roosevelt

                                                                                              "Either you will control your government, or government will control you." -Ronald Reagan

                                                                                "Leadership is the art is getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." -                                                                                   Dwight  D. Eisenhower

                        

 

Currently founding:

---Solenopsis molesta(1 tube with 8 queens, one fertile)

---Monomorium ergatognya(1) Pheidole navigans(3 separate queens) Hypoponera spp. (2 separate queens)

Hoping to get soon:Camponotus fragilis,Lasius pallitarsis and brevicornis,Formica argentea,Stigmatomma pallipes/oregonense and Pogonomyrmex californicus.


#17 Offline ponerinecat - Posted May 23 2019 - 2:43 PM

ponerinecat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

Thank you for posting this, as it is very informative. I also have a question: when do you find the queens in flight?
While I am not sure I have this exact species in my yard, as mine are lighter in color, but I have found a worker in my pool, and one in the middle of the day, while I was attempting to eradicate some argentine ants. I still have this worker, as I kept it in a dry test tube. Anyway, this post was very interesting!

worker in the pool... only way I can think of this happening is a nest in the pool tiles. They're subterranean and dig tunnels if they need to travel across open ground.


also, small larvae have appeared, a lot quicker than I expected.



#18 Offline ponerinecat - Posted May 25 2019 - 9:43 AM

ponerinecat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

the queens have an interesting behavior. when the work force is large, they will do virtually nothing. Now that the work force has dropped to 2-3 workers, nearlly all the hunting and maintenance is done by the queens with help from the workers. I boosted them with a huge pupae chamber I found, so the work force should rise soon. I'll see if that changes how the queens behave. 



#19 Offline NickAnter - Posted May 25 2019 - 11:24 AM

NickAnter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 330 posts
  • LocationOrange County, California
The queen I found was also in a pool.

Currently keeping:             

Camponotus hyatti (1, single queen, 1 worker.)                     "Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground." -Theodore Roosevelt

                                                                                              "Either you will control your government, or government will control you." -Ronald Reagan

                                                                                "Leadership is the art is getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it." -                                                                                   Dwight  D. Eisenhower

                        

 

Currently founding:

---Solenopsis molesta(1 tube with 8 queens, one fertile)

---Monomorium ergatognya(1) Pheidole navigans(3 separate queens) Hypoponera spp. (2 separate queens)

Hoping to get soon:Camponotus fragilis,Lasius pallitarsis and brevicornis,Formica argentea,Stigmatomma pallipes/oregonense and Pogonomyrmex californicus.


#20 Offline ponerinecat - Posted May 25 2019 - 2:48 PM

ponerinecat

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • LocationCalifornia

queen is understandable, but not a worker.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users