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Florida Keys Anting Trip


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted June 4 2019 - 6:39 AM

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In a few weeks, I will be leaving to go to the Florida Keys for a week. I will be staying on Key Marathon, and the house I will be staying in seems very nice and has lots of trees and is right on the beach with a pool. I am on the lookout for a few species in particular, and specifically Cephalotes varians. Thanks to Ant_Dude2908 for providing me with this information; "Also, I found out it is only illegal to ship ants across state borders of you are doing it commercially, and the species is a plant pest. Many people misunderstand the law because of some German scientists that think no one should keep ants as pets. So even workers are illegal to ship it you don't have a PPQ permit if they are plant pests. (I found this out from Terry last night)" As Cephalotes varians are not plant pests, being made up of freshly killed insect fluids and simple sugars, I will be able to bring a colony of these back with me. I have done extensive research into this species care and biology, and I have some very nice formicarium ideas for them. I will certainly be on the lookout for them, and any other ant species. I will probably only bring back the Cephalotes. I will be leaving in only a few days, and I am very excited! I will keep you all updated.


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#2 Offline CatsnAnts - Posted June 4 2019 - 7:27 AM

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Good luck!
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5 queen Temnothorax ambiguus (founding)
11 queen Temnothorax curvispinosus (founding)
1 queen Colobopsis mississippiensis (founding)
1 queen Colobopsis impressa (founding)
1 queen Lasius interjectus (with 30 host workers)
x3 1 queen Camponotus subbarbatus (founding)
1 queen Strumigebys pilinasis (colony of about 30 workers)
1 queen Ponera pennsylvanica (founding)
x2 1 queen Pheidole bicarinata (founding)
1 queen Temnothorax curvispinosus (~170 workers) ... also have 2 termite colonies.

#3 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted June 4 2019 - 8:03 AM

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Good luck!

Thanks!


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#4 Offline Martialis - Posted June 4 2019 - 6:11 PM

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ALL  ants are classified as plant pests. The law makes no distinctions about species.

 

Interstate transport of any ant—be they an actual  "plant pest" or not—is still illegal. 


Edited by Martialis, June 4 2019 - 6:57 PM.

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#5 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted June 4 2019 - 6:21 PM

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ALL  ants are classified as plant pests. The law makes no distinctions about species.

 

Interstate transport of any ant—be they an actual  "plant pest" or not—is still illegal. 

Oh.  :(


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#6 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted June 14 2019 - 12:13 PM

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I’m on my way! We’re stopping overnight in Daytona Beach, and continuing the trip on Saturday morning. We’re probably gonna arrive at around noon in the Keys. Right now, we’re in Georgia, and when we stopped at a rest stop I saw both Dorymyrmex bureni and Dorymyrmex flavus. It’s starting out good!
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#7 Offline Acutus - Posted June 14 2019 - 1:20 PM

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ALL  ants are classified as plant pests. The law makes no distinctions about species.

 

Interstate transport of any ant—be they an actual  "plant pest" or not—is still illegal. 

 

The Feds frequently do things like this because the majority of people, Even USFWS Agents, can't tell one from another. With Ants it would be almost impossible to make distinctions from a regulatory standpoint.

 

Maybe when Cloud becomes a USFWS Agent he can teach them all and things will change! LOL!Have fun down in the Keys Dude! :D


Edited by Acutus, June 14 2019 - 1:24 PM.

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Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#8 Offline NickAnter - Posted June 20 2019 - 6:08 AM

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Well, what did you find?

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(2 tubes  with five in one and two in the other.  )

---Monomorium cf. minimum(1 queen) Pheidole navigans(9 separate queens) Hypoponera sp. (1 queen)  Nylanderia vividula(1)

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


#9 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted July 18 2019 - 6:26 PM

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I've been back for nearly a month now, and I figured I should probably post an update! The first ants I saw while down in the Keys were lots and lots of Paratrechina longicornis workers, some of which were carrying away the carcass of a Camponotus floridanus major. Along the side of the house was a trail of Tapinoma melanocephalum, who managed to get into the house. While searching around the house, I found a medium sized female Green Iguana who was stuck in a drainage system. I got her out, and after about half an hour of recovering, she ran off and jumped into the canal. The next ants I saw I thought were just very elongated Wasmannia auropunctata, but was later corrected by Alex Wild himself to in fact be Tetramorium similimum. I also saw a few Pheidole navigans workers carrying away a dead fly. I then finally saw those Camponotus floridanus workers drinking nectar from some flowers. Around the front porch, there were some alates from the night before, most of which were dead. I saw a few species, including Pheidole floridanaBrachymyrmex sp.Camponotus tortuganus, and a single male Camponotus planatus. That night there were some massive flights from a few species, Brachymyrmex obscuriorCamponotus floridanusCamponotus tortuganus, and Pheidole floridana. The next day I went on a nice walk. On that walk the only ants I noticed was a pretty big trail of Tetramorium bicarinatum. I also noticed that on a huge palm tree in my front yard was a trail of Pheidole megacephala. I only saw minors until I started to look through the nest. Near the house I was staying at was a nice little park on the beach. When we first went there, I checked a dying tree on the beach and saw a few Crematogaster obscurata workers. On a nearby tree there was a colony of Technomyrmex difficilis inside of a hollow twig. I also checked a large Sea Grape tree and found a colony of Monomorium floricola inside of a hollow twig. I went to another park later on, one with lots of Red Mangroves! While checking for Cephalotes varians nests, I did see a few Pseudomyrmex elongatus workers scurrying about. There were a few Crematogaster obscurata workers on a different species of tree. On another mangrove tree, I had more luck. I found several nests of Tapinoma litorale and then a nest of Xenomyrmex floridanus, an apparently rare species! A few days later, there were absolutely enormous flights of Brachymyrmex obscurior. They were everywhere! That night there were flights of Dorymyrmex bureniParatrechina longicornisPheidole floridana, and Tetramorium bicarinatum. The next day I went up to Key Largo. I saw some Cyphomyrmex minutus foraging around the base of a tree. I also saw some more Pseudomyrmex elongatus workers and an alate queen on the side of a building. There were quite a few Cardiocondyla emeryi foraging on a sidewalk. I had also decided to flip over some rocks. Under two of the rocks were freshly flown Odontomachus ruginodis queens! The next day I went to Key West. The first ants I saw was a colony of Solenopsis geminata. While eating I also saw some Tapinoma melanocephalum workers here and there, along with a colony of Pheidole floridana under a rock. I also went to a park which I left very quickly due to a surplus of homeless guys. While I was there though, I happened upon a whole bunch of Pseudomyrmex cubaensis workers at the base of a tree. When I came back to Key Colony, I went back to that one small park. I came across several colonies of Camponotus floridanus, a colony of Technomyrmex difficilis, a few colonies of Xenomyrmex floridanus, a colony of Pheidole dentigula, and a few workers of Tetramorium caldarium. The last day was arguably the most amazing. I was leaving early in the morning. While my family went inside of Starbucks, I stayed outside of the car and looked for ants. I found a large trail of Nylanderia wojciki going up and down a Sea Grape tree. I then saw a dead branch on the same tree with a peculiar mark on the end of it. I cracked it open and some Camponotus workers and males came out. I examined them closer and noticed that they were Camponotus sexguttatus, a species never found in the Keys before! Like everything else, I put the observation on iNaturalist. The next day when I was home, I was messaged by someone on iNaturalist by someone by the name of jim4, saying he was a myrmecologist finishing up a research paper on Camponotus sexguttatus, and was wondering if I wanted a mention. I of course agreed to the offer, and the next day he sent me the paper. And who was this scientist? Oh, no one much, it's just James Wetterer, the first person to sequence ant DNA!!! As a thank you, he sent me a truly amazing book, "Ants of Florida" by Mark Deyrup, which is now my all-time favorite book. He and I have been conversing back and forth, and I am super grateful for the amazing book he sent me. All-in-all, I'd say that my trip to Florida was an amazing success! No Cephalotes, but still incredible to say the least.


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#10 Offline VoidElecent - Posted July 19 2019 - 5:25 AM

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Wow. Sounds like you had quite the time. I'd love to see Xenomyrmex floridanus one day.



#11 Offline FSTP - Posted July 19 2019 - 9:37 AM

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You should have killed the iguana 


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There are videos of my ants here: https://www.youtube....bN5yYK2KWXA0vQ?


#12 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted Yesterday, 1:36 PM

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You should have killed the iguana

Why

#13 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted Yesterday, 5:56 PM

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You should have killed the iguana

Why

Not native.
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#14 Offline SuperFrank - Posted Today, 4:01 AM

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The Formicidae family is on the list of organisms that are prohibited from interstate transport. The fact that an individual species may not be a plant pests *may* make it eligible for a permit but that does not mean you are allowed to make that decision on your own and break the law at your discretion. You would need to apply for a permit.

Edited by SuperFrank, Today, 4:02 AM.





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