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Dspdrew's Myrmecocystus tenuinodis Journal [210] (Discontinued)


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#1 Offline dspdrew - Posted April 30 2015 - 12:30 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

4-30-2015
 
I found two of these queens in the desert 2-8-2015. One was found in Palm Desert, and the other just a little ways up the mountain from there. I dug them out of their founding chambers a few days after it had rained.

 

At first I thought they were M. yuma, but February 8th seems way too early for a species to fly that flew in late august last year. After one of these queens died, I put it on the microscope, and keyed it out to be M. creightoni, which looks very similar, with just tiny differences that can only be seen under a microscope. M. creightoni are also known to fly much earlier in the year which would be consistent with these.

 

med_gallery_2_398_505338.jpg

 

med_gallery_2_398_60327.jpg

 

med_gallery_2_398_549597.jpg

 

 

Eventually both queens died before ever producing much brood at all.

 

The other day, Chromerust gave me his one remaining queen collected that day. This one actually has some larvae, so we shall see how well it does.

 

med_gallery_2_398_56164.jpg



#2 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 17 2015 - 4:07 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Updated 6-17-2015
 
Ate her brood until she died.



#3 Offline dspdrew - Posted January 17 2018 - 5:12 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Updated 1-17-2018
 
I just found a bunch more of these queens in Desert Hot Springs on January 14th 2018. I think some of them actually flew that day, because they were still digging their nests. I knew these fly really early, as they flew the first week of February three years ago, but the second week of January is just crazy.

 

I put these all in Dirt Box setups and they immediately started digging chambers.


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#4 Offline dspdrew - Posted January 19 2018 - 2:05 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Added some microscope pictures to the original post.


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#5 Offline dspdrew - Posted January 21 2018 - 12:42 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Now that I have one of these queens pinned up, I decided to try keying them out again. I went into this with no confirmation bias at all. I ran through the key, and was actually pretty confident with my result. It came up being M. tenuinodis this time. I'm not sure how I got M. creightoni last time, unless those were actually different, which I doubt because of the extremely early flight time and the location.
 
The main determining feature is the elongate-clavate fourth maxillary palp segment, which supposedly sets the female apart from that of all other Eremnocystus species except M. hammettensis.

 

You can see it in this picture here.

 

med_gallery_2_398_313957.jpg

 
Anyway, once I had made my determination, I read though the Antwiki page for this species and found something I must have somehow missed before when trying to figure this out. "Creighton took females of this species in flight on 16 Feb. 1963, after a recent rain which soaked the surface to a depth of about six inches." With that added info, I think it's pretty clear that these are M. tenuinodis.


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#6 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 22 2018 - 5:55 PM

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The main determining feature is the elongate-clavate fourth maxillary palp segment, which supposedly sets the female apart from that of all other Eremnocystus species except M. hammettensis.

I've never heard of Eremnocystus before. Is it related to Myrmecocystus?



#7 Offline dspdrew - Posted January 22 2018 - 6:02 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

It's a

 

 

The main determining feature is the elongate-clavate fourth maxillary palp segment, which supposedly sets the female apart from that of all other Eremnocystus species except M. hammettensis.

I've never heard of Eremnocystus before. Is it related to Myrmecocystus?

 

 

It's a subgenus of Myrmecocystus.



#8 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 22 2018 - 6:25 PM

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Oh. I didn't realize Myrmecocystus had subgenera. I thought that only happened in massive genera (Camponotus, Formica, Lasius, etc).



#9 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 18 2018 - 6:56 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Updated 2-18-2018
 
These are some fast growing honeypot ants. They all have cocoons already, and might even have workers in another week. Most of them have produced a pretty good amount of brood too. :D


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#10 Offline gcsnelling - Posted February 20 2018 - 6:56 PM

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It's a

 

 

The main determining feature is the elongate-clavate fourth maxillary palp segment, which supposedly sets the female apart from that of all other Eremnocystus species except M. hammettensis.

I've never heard of Eremnocystus before. Is it related to Myrmecocystus?

 

 

It's a subgenus of Myrmecocystus.

 

Although it is considered a subgenus, apparently Bolton does not recognize the subgenera. I have always been kind of torn on the subject myself and am inclined to consider them species groups rather than subgenera. Never really got a chance to discuss this with my dad.


Edited by gcsnelling, February 20 2018 - 6:57 PM.

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#11 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 21 2018 - 2:03 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

 

It's a

 

 

The main determining feature is the elongate-clavate fourth maxillary palp segment, which supposedly sets the female apart from that of all other Eremnocystus species except M. hammettensis.

I've never heard of Eremnocystus before. Is it related to Myrmecocystus?

 

 

It's a subgenus of Myrmecocystus.

 

Although it is considered a subgenus, apparently Bolton does not recognize the subgenera. I have always been kind of torn on the subject myself and am inclined to consider them species groups rather than subgenera. Never really got a chance to discuss this with my dad.

 

 

I always wondered why "group" and "subgenera" sometimes seemed to be used interchangeably.



#12 Offline gcsnelling - Posted February 21 2018 - 3:29 PM

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Yah it is one of those subjects that has supporters on both sides. I think species groups is far more appropriate for the Myrmecocystus things. I think it comes from a need for taxonomists to try and put a name on everything, I also think there is an ego thing involved, The lepidoptera group is esp prone to describing new subspecies and subgenera based on teeny tiny differences or based on semi isolated populations which really do not warrant formal description, the beetle folks are almost as bad.



#13 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 5 2018 - 6:11 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Updated 12-5-2018
 
Not sue why I never updated this journal, but many of these got lots of workers. I even sold a few of them, but eventually what I kept for myself eventually died off.






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