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Are Formica pacifica Known to Mate in The Nest?


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#1 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted May 23 2019 - 8:08 AM

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Hi all!

My mature Formica pacifica colony has been producing alates this year. Today my friend noted a dead male in the trash pile, and a female alate that is phsiogastric, and without her wings... The original queen is still in her queen's nest (a THA discus).


Any suggestions?

#2 Offline Somethinghmm - Posted May 23 2019 - 2:02 PM

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If you captured the colony from the wild, there's a chance that you got 2 queens without realizing it.



#3 Offline AntsBC - Posted May 23 2019 - 2:28 PM

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I would assume that the male died of natural causes, and the alate queen just ripped off her wings, like many captive alates do. Formica pacifica are normally physogastric, so just because her gaster size is changing, it doesn't mean she's mated. 

 

I highly doubt they mated because, 1) Mating season for Formica pacifica colonies is still at least a month away, 2) Brother and sister alates rarely, practically never, mate inside their nest, and 3) Formica pacifica queens can be pleometrophic, but in my experience, colonies are never polygynous.

 

It's hard enough to get unrelated male and female alates to mate in a captive environment, let alone brother and sisters. The chances of them mating are next to zero.

 

So, I am suggesting that all of what you said is just one big coincidence. 

 

Sorry if I bursted your bubble, I'm just not the type to give someone false hope by telling them something that's not true. If both queens end up spitting out eggs, great, you proved me wrong, but unfortunately, the odds are stacked pretty high against you scientifically

 

I must admit, a polygynous Formica pacifica colony would definitely be pretty cool, I just think in this case it's not very likely.


Edited by AntsBC, May 23 2019 - 2:30 PM.

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#4 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted May 23 2019 - 4:29 PM

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I'm actually really glad they only have one queen. The rate they are growing at, they will reach 10000 workers by October. Don't need that number to double. And this is a completely captive raised colony. I caught the queen in June of 2016. I was leaning toward it being coincidence, and am glad it was.

P.s. I have gotten polygynous F. pacifica colonies before. :)
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