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Southern California Anting


1217 replies to this topic

#1201 Offline TheCatalyst1 - Posted July 11 2018 - 2:41 PM

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I’m totally new to anting but was in Joshua Tree today. Lots of activity from P. Californicus and P. Rugosus. Found a colony of M. Mexicanus for the first time active during the day. It is raining now but I did not see any winged ants preparing for flights. This activity was still heavy from all species listed and a few I haven’t learned to recognize yet at 1pm. I live in Yucca Valley. I want to go out again a little later to see if any are preparing for flight. Any tips or anyone interested in tagging along are welcome. I’m very interested in Pogonomyrmex and Myrmecocystus. This is my first time using this system.
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#1202 Offline nurbs - Posted July 11 2018 - 6:52 PM

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I'm tired and pissed off that was the worst outing I've ever had

 

It's all timing.  You need to go when the doppler says there is rain in that spot, then check the rain guages in that spot later that day (use Wundermap). Wundermap unfortunately does not keep a record or history and deletes the amount of rain every day. So you have to constantly check everyday, take a screenshot, etc.

 

That spot where it says 1.96 inches is where I went to find everything that night. Tons of fragilis, honeypots, etc. Ground was wet down to about a foot. Everything flew.

 

Drew went to another spot that had 2 inches, but the environment didn't support a lot of fragilis or mexicanus. Both these like dense vegetation.

 

You have to make sure it is the FIRST TIME it has rained in that spot with 2 or more inches of rain. Because if it rained that much, and then the next day it rains again, it will flood away any chambers and you won't see anything. It's why I didn't go to Barstow.

 

Barstow got ample rain, but on the next day it poured again, meaning any chambers will have washed away. The secret is to keep a tab on where it has rained, and where it hasn't.

 

tusMN1el.jpg  



#1203 Offline AntsCalifornia - Posted July 11 2018 - 8:13 PM

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Don't know how reliable this map is, but it shows rain history.

https://www.iweather...urs-to-72-hours


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#1204 Offline Straywolf94 - Posted July 11 2018 - 9:24 PM

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Is that reading right? 25 inches of rain?

 

mX6GEwe.png

 

So not worth going out to spots that have less than 2 inches?



#1205 Offline nurbs - Posted July 11 2018 - 9:28 PM

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It is correct. Probably flooded. I too have a screenshot of that.

 

Nah, 1 inch can trigger flights, just not mexicanus.

 

Is that reading right? 25 inches of rain?

 

mX6GEwe.png

 

So not worth going out to spots that have less than 2 inches?



#1206 Online Zeiss - Posted July 12 2018 - 4:30 PM

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Oh yeah, interesting thing Drew and I saw while on our last trip.  There were multiple HAZMAT vehicles driving around the Nipton area and down the 95.  Not sure what they were doing.  



#1207 Offline StopSpazzing - Posted July 12 2018 - 4:57 PM

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Oh yeah, interesting thing Drew and I saw while on our last trip.  There were multiple HAZMAT vehicles driving around the Nipton area and down the 95.  Not sure what they were doing.  

https://boingboing.n...-toxic-aba.html


Have you been to the Ant Keeping Wiki?
 
Legality of shipping & transporting ants in US

 

It is illegal on a boat. It is illegal in your coat.
It is illegal in a plane, car, and train. Why must you be such a pain?
I do not care if it is in your hair. Do not put your queen ants there!


#1208 Online Zeiss - Posted July 12 2018 - 5:02 PM

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That was in January though, I wouldn't think HAZMAT Response Units would be doing anything with it in July.  One of the trucks said ACT on it.



#1209 Offline nurbs - Posted July 12 2018 - 5:16 PM

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I use this. Good for one day up to a year. Great for spring fliers like Camponotus.

 

https://water.weathe...&domain=current

 

But with desert species for the monsoon flights, that kind of history is absolutely useless. You need to know the day of how many inches of rain, and then go the next day, or you'll miss finding the queens because 1) another rain or flashflood will wash away the chambers or 2) they have have dug too deep to find.

 

It is easiest to dig up queens the day of. Your chance of finding a queen on the second or third day drops considerably.

 

Don't know how reliable this map is, but it shows rain history.

https://www.iweather...urs-to-72-hours



#1210 Offline dspdrew - Posted July 12 2018 - 5:19 PM

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Is that reading right? 25 inches of rain?

 

mX6GEwe.png

 

So not worth going out to spots that have less than 2 inches?

 

No. Rain gauges on these amateur weather stations malfunction sometimes and give obviously inaccurate readings. If there are more stations in the area, you can usually tell if it's accurate by looking at the stations around it.



#1211 Offline nurbs - Posted July 12 2018 - 5:23 PM

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May head out to the desert again tonight. Going to check some spots that got heavy rain and didn't before.



#1212 Online Zeiss - Posted July 13 2018 - 5:15 AM

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From the last trip taken by dspdrew and I, I had gotten a total of 35 Myrmecocystus cf. mimicus (looked like we saw two different species flying at the same time), 3 Pogonomyrmex rugosus, 1 Dorymyrmex bicolor (presuming, haven't checked it yet), 1 Pheidole xerophila, and 1 Forelius mccooki/pruinosis.  



#1213 Offline dspdrew - Posted July 13 2018 - 6:42 AM

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I'm going back out tonight since some of the spots that weren't wet enough when we went Wednesday received more rain. Also, the Pogonomyrmex tenuispinus spot got some rain Wednesday, so it's possible they might fly today. I think they might wait until a little later in the year though.



#1214 Offline The_NY_Major - Posted July 13 2018 - 7:17 AM

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I have already marked the locations on my map; just look for the newest points added.
 
Most founding chambers of medium to large sized ants just look like the typical fan shape with a hole in the middle.
 gallery_2_120_7746.jpg
 gallery_2_172_33215.jpg
 
 
Or in the case of the strange Dolopomyrmex pilatus queens we found, Dorymyrmex, some Pheidole and many other creatures, little mounds of dirt.
 med_gallery_2_378_403413.jpg
 
 
A Dolopomyrmex pilatus queen very slowly and clumsily digging her founding chamber.
 

 med_gallery_2_378_902857.jpg
 
 
Almost stepped on this and inadvertently tested out my new rattlesnake boots.
 med_gallery_2_368_385120.jpg
 
 
All in all, we found 26 queens, one Pheidole sp., two Myrmecocystus testaceus, one Veromessor pergandei, and 22 Dolopomyrmex pilatus queens.
 
It was a pain to find founding chambers because we were there in the dark. Traffic was so horrible it took more than four hours to drive 100 miles.
 
After this we went through the mountains on the way back, but even though it poured rain there, we didn't see anything because it was just too cold.


For people that live in areas that don’t have deserts what do you recommend? I dig up founding chambers all the time but I’ve only ever found 1 queen by doing so. You guys caught 52 queens in one day! The most I have ever done is approximately 30. Flipping stones doesn’t work to well in my area.
Colonies:
1 Camponotus novaeboracensis
4 Camponotus pennsylvanicus
Tapinoma sessile or Temenothorax longispinosus

Founding:
1 Tetramorium immigrans
1 Dual Queen Formica Fusca
1 Triple Queen Tementothorax Curvispinosus
2 Formica Fusca

Check out my ants for sale!http://www.formicult...ns-in-new-york/

My Journal= http://www.formicult...’s-ant-journal/

#1215 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted July 13 2018 - 6:15 PM

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Any chance N. cockerelli will fly soon? Nipton might get some rain about a week or so from now.

#1216 Online Zeiss - Posted July 13 2018 - 6:18 PM

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Any chance N. cockerelli will fly soon? Nipton might get some rain about a week or so from now.

Possibly.  Where we went it seemed bone dry, so they either need a lot more rain, or have already flown.  They'll need to be collected during the night, before it gets light out.



#1217 Offline anttics - Posted July 17 2018 - 6:42 PM

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Oh no Novos will fly. I wish, I was there. Anyways Nurbs. Ill get those queens when I'm back.

#1218 Offline AntsCalifornia - Posted July 18 2018 - 8:29 PM

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If anybody sees a huge flight of honeypots, can you give me a heads up so I can dig them up in the morning?






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