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Are Tetramorium polygynous?


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11 replies to this topic

#1 Online Pumpkin_Loves_Ants - Posted July 10 2019 - 7:13 PM

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I found a bunch of Tetramorium queens this morning during a flight. I was wondering if I could combine some or would they kill each other in a day? Thanks!


Hey there. Uhm... I guess a lot of people put what colonies they own here so let's just follow the herd I guess. 

 

 

Ants I keep:

 

Lasius Neoniger (Around 23ish workers)

Tetramorium Immigran (8 Workers)

Myrmica Queen (Not 100% on species)

Formica Subsericea (No workers)

 

I guess people also have a random quote so here's mine
 
Don't be dumb - Me

#2 Offline camponotuskeeper - Posted July 10 2019 - 7:21 PM

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I combined some tetramorium that I caught a few weeks ago right after I found them they never hurt each other (there was 4 of them) but I’ve heard that sometimes it’s after the nanitics hatch. I never got there because I released them after about a week and a half to make room for a camponotus queen I recently caught

#3 Offline camponotuskeeper - Posted July 10 2019 - 7:23 PM

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Also it might depend on the species I think mine were tetramorium immigrans

#4 Offline Mdrogun - Posted July 10 2019 - 8:09 PM

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Tetramorium immigrans is pleometrotic. Meaning they will cooperate during founding, but one way or the other, only one queen will remain. In the case of Tetramorium immigrans the queens fight until only one remains. However, this is not the only way queens can be removed in pleometrotic ant species.

 

That being said, there are multiple species of Tetramorium in the United States. Some are truly polygynous. I could liken asking if an entire genus is polygynous to asking what color Camponotus are. It is going to vary between species, obviously.

 

If you would like to know whether or not your Tetramorium sp. is polygynous, I would suggest you start off with IDing them on a species level.


Ready for Nuptial flights!


#5 Offline camponotuskeeper - Posted July 10 2019 - 8:20 PM

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Interesting I did not know that about tetramorium immigrans

#6 Offline Canadian anter - Posted July 11 2019 - 9:32 AM

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Tetramorium immigrans is pleometrotic. Meaning they will cooperate during founding, but one way or the other, only one queen will remain. In the case of Tetramorium immigrans the queens fight until only one remains. However, this is not the only way queens can be removed in pleometrotic ant species.

That being said, there are multiple species of Tetramorium in the United States. Some are truly polygynous. I could liken asking if an entire genus is polygynous to asking what color Camponotus are. It is going to vary between species, obviously.

If you would like to know whether or not your Tetramorium sp. is polygynous, I would suggest you start off with IDing them on a species level.

I'd like to point out that many conventionally pleometronic species will sometimes lean towards polygyny. For example, I once had a Lasius americanus colony which supported 2 queens well over 2000 workers despite the fact that in almost all foundings I've recorded of the species, these ants would start killing each other after workers arrived. Specifically for Tetramorium, I once observed a captive colony that kept 2 queens well after their first workers, at the 800 worker mark, though eventually one of the queens died for unknown reasons (pleometronic behavior kicking in might still be a possibility)

Edit: Yes it was Tetramorium immigrans and not Tetramorium tsushimae

Edited by Canadian anter, July 11 2019 - 9:32 AM.

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#7 Offline camponotuskeeper - Posted July 11 2019 - 9:51 AM

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So some pleometric species might be able to stand polygyny even if is is usually pleometric do you know of any other species like this?

#8 Offline Canadian anter - Posted July 11 2019 - 9:59 AM

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So some pleometric species might be able to stand polygyny even if is is usually pleometric do you know of any other species like this?

Strong emphasis on MIGHT. Those two cases are the only ones where I've seen either species actually maintain both queens for extended periods of time. This is more of a case-by case exception rather than the rule.
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#9 Online Pumpkin_Loves_Ants - Posted July 11 2019 - 3:47 PM

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Tetramorium immigrans is pleometrotic. Meaning they will cooperate during founding, but one way or the other, only one queen will remain. In the case of Tetramorium immigrans the queens fight until only one remains. However, this is not the only way queens can be removed in pleometrotic ant species.

 

That being said, there are multiple species of Tetramorium in the United States. Some are truly polygynous. I could liken asking if an entire genus is polygynous to asking what color Camponotus are. It is going to vary between species, obviously.

 

If you would like to know whether or not your Tetramorium sp. is polygynous, I would suggest you start off with IDing them on a species level.

Sorry about that. I will get them identified soon and make an update as to what species they are.


Hey there. Uhm... I guess a lot of people put what colonies they own here so let's just follow the herd I guess. 

 

 

Ants I keep:

 

Lasius Neoniger (Around 23ish workers)

Tetramorium Immigran (8 Workers)

Myrmica Queen (Not 100% on species)

Formica Subsericea (No workers)

 

I guess people also have a random quote so here's mine
 
Don't be dumb - Me

#10 Offline Mdrogun - Posted July 13 2019 - 9:18 PM

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Tetramorium immigrans is pleometrotic. Meaning they will cooperate during founding, but one way or the other, only one queen will remain. In the case of Tetramorium immigrans the queens fight until only one remains. However, this is not the only way queens can be removed in pleometrotic ant species.

That being said, there are multiple species of Tetramorium in the United States. Some are truly polygynous. I could liken asking if an entire genus is polygynous to asking what color Camponotus are. It is going to vary between species, obviously.

If you would like to know whether or not your Tetramorium sp. is polygynous, I would suggest you start off with IDing them on a species level.

I'd like to point out that many conventionally pleometronic species will sometimes lean towards polygyny. For example, I once had a Lasius americanus colony which supported 2 queens well over 2000 workers despite the fact that in almost all foundings I've recorded of the species, these ants would start killing each other after workers arrived. Specifically for Tetramorium, I once observed a captive colony that kept 2 queens well after their first workers, at the 800 worker mark, though eventually one of the queens died for unknown reasons (pleometronic behavior kicking in might still be a possibility)

Edit: Yes it was Tetramorium immigrans and not Tetramorium tsushimae

 

 

I almost included a paragraph about how there are no "strict rules" on polgyny in ants, haha. It can definitely happen, and does, I'm sure. In numerous species they've been found to maintain multiple queens in certain conditions, killing them in others. Brachymyrmex patagonicus for example has been able to maintain polygyny in lab colonies but a wild colony has never been found with more than one queen. The reverse is true for Solenopsis xyloni and Solenopsis geminata.

 

As humans we tend to think about things in absolute terms. Ants are either polygynous or monogynous. This is simply not the case. That being said, ants do tend to stick to previously observed behavior. I just figured I'd leave out this complicated subject because who I was responding to appears to be a beginner and I figured they don't need the confusion considering something like that is only going to happen in a very few instances. 


Ready for Nuptial flights!


#11 Offline Yeehana255 - Posted July 28 2019 - 8:16 AM

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So I found a tetramorium colony. Massive. So my initial thought was that the queen has been here for years. Next thought, they are a 1 queen species. So I was like ok, I'll see if I can find her. I start collecting the workers as I dig. I get to the bottom of the concrete and i start seeing male and female alates. It was around the time for them to start flying. Just needed a rain shower and I'm sure they would've all left. But this colony was so massive I thought maybe this is a polygynous colony. So I collect all the winged creatures I could find. Never found the brood pile. Nor did I find a queen without wings. So I put all of them into a container with some sanitized dirt I've had, threw some moss in there, and let then start to dig. The next morning I go in to give them some protein and sugars, I see a couple dead males. Ok..removed them and gave the food. Next morning all the males are on top of the dirt like they want to fly. But no queens... as time went on, more males would appear outside the dirt, dead. I know they don't live long and I don't know when they were born. More about that later...

I ordered a formicarium off wish. I wanted this colony in something more manageable. So once I got it, I drilled holes in the original container and attached a tube to the new home. I carefully started to uncover their nest to force them onto their new home. didn't kill anything, they are a hardy bunch. Some of the workers find the tube and check out the new housing. I pick up one clump of dirt, and I see 11 queens with a huge pile of eggs...all the queens were missing their wings. What? Are they just acting as workers? Maybe..but if one queen is producing, thennshe is HARD at work with laying. I've seen tetras with good size initial egg batches. But this trumped all of them. i have several tetra queens by themselves and their egg piles didn't even come close to this. So I let then move in, disconnected everything and moved them to where the heating cable is.

I watched them for a while. The queens all stayed together, cleaning each other, feeding each other...as more days went on, the egg pile grew. Maybe they went into a survival mode and the males mated with the alate queens to keep their family going. Do ants have a survival instinct like that? We as humans sure do. Why wouldn't other living things do the same?

Some of the workers have died, maybe of age, maybe fighting a live superworm..idk. but they have what they need. I've continued to monitor these 11 queens. I did see one in the out world walking around, possibly she is a worker now since she could be a virgin? All that I know is here soon, I will have a huge explosion of pavement ants that will quickly fill the formicarium. None of the workers have killed the queens..I wonder if they will when this brood erupts

Anyone else have something like this happen?
Only nature truly knows what is going on. We can only try to scratch the surface of her wisdom.

#12 Offline Silq - Posted July 29 2019 - 7:27 AM

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Tetramorium immigrans is pleometrotic. Meaning they will cooperate during founding, but one way or the other, only one queen will remain. In the case of Tetramorium immigrans the queens fight until only one remains. However, this is not the only way queens can be removed in pleometrotic ant species.

 

 

That was the term I was looking for, pleometrotic. I just got a bunch of p. californicus and the person that sold me my queens said they start a colony together but eventually there will only be 1 queen in the end. The wiki article talks about its benefit out in the wild but I wonder if the same benefit is worthwhile in captivity since there are no competing colonies to worry about. The pros are faster colony growth and possibly strongest queen/reproduction? Con I guess is all the other queens dying off.. and maybe brood cannibalism.


Ant Journal: http://www.formicult...-journal/<br> My colonies: C. Semitestaceus, P. Californicus, V. Pergandei, S. Xyloni.





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