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Dspdrew's Myrmecocystus mimicus Journal [217] (Updated 5-15-2018)

dspdrew journal myrmecocystus mimicus

73 replies to this topic

#1 Online dspdrew - Posted June 5 2015 - 5:46 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

5-28-2015

 

1. Location of collection:  Ice House Canyon, Mt. Baldy, California.
2. Date of collection: 5-28-2015.
3. Habitat of collection:  Pine/Oak Forest.
4. Length (from head to gaster):  11mm
5. Color, hue, pattern and texture:  Dark red head and legs. Very dark red--almost black thorax and gaster.

 

ID Thread: http://www.formicult...y-ca-5-29-2015/

 

I found this Myrmecocystus mimicus queen 5-28-2015, in Mt. Baldy, California, which is about 6000 feet up in the mountains, in a pine/oak forest. I dug it up from a founding chamber I saw in a tiny patch of dirt alongside the creek.

 

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I put it in one of my ant farm boxes, but it died not too long after.


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#2 Online dspdrew - Posted July 8 2015 - 8:43 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 7-8-2015

 

I found another Myrmecocystus mimicus queen on 7-7-2015, in Goffs, California, which is in the high Mojave Desert. I dug it up from a founding chamber two days after a big storm dropped an inch of rain there.

 

While IDing this new queen, I found a parasitic mite sitting on the side of its head. I was able to remove it with some very fine forceps. I checked it all over and didn't see anymore of them.

 

I decided to put this queen in one of my small ant farm boxes.

 

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#3 Offline Chad W - Posted July 8 2015 - 9:33 PM

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good luck, can't wait to see some grapes. 


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#4 Offline Ants4fun - Posted July 8 2015 - 10:20 PM

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Congrats! She's a beauty!

#5 Online dspdrew - Posted July 31 2015 - 8:30 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 7-31-2015

 

1. Location of collection:  29 palms, California.
2. Date of collection: 7-20-2015.
3. Habitat of collection:  Joshua tree/High Desert.
4. Length (from head to gaster):  12mm
5. Color, hue, pattern and texture:  Red head; dark red thorax and yellowish-orange gaster.

 

I dug a bunch of these Myrmecocystus queens up from their founding chambers on 7-20-2015, in 29 Palms, California. I eventually ID'd them as M. mimicus, so I merged their journal into this one. Apparently M. mimicus come in an even bigger color variety than I thought.

 

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I put seven of these in my small dirt boxes. I plan to put the rest of them in small shallow containers with Hydrostone in the bottom and dirt on top.

 

1. Location of collection:  Phelan, California.
2. Date of collection: 7-21-2015.
3. Habitat of collection:  Joshua tree/High Desert.
4. Length (from head to gaster):  12mm
5. Color, hue, pattern and texture:  Red head; purple thorax and yellow gaster.

6. Distinguishing characteristics:  Very abundant and long hairs on the head.

 

I found two more of these Myrmecocystus queens wandering around during an early morning mating flight on 7-21-2015, in Phelan, California. The area was still very soaked from all of the rain two days before. These looks slightly different, so I am not completely sure they are the same as the ones from 29 Palms.

 

Edit: I am pretty sure now that these are M. mimicus as well.

 

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These have both been put into some of my small antfarm/dirt boxes. They both immediately dug new nests.

 

Thay all started laying eggs within a day or two



#6 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted July 31 2015 - 9:35 PM

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I do not get how last year we did not even know these existed while still catching M.navajos and M.mexicanus, and this year it seems they flew in greater numbers than both M.navajo and M.mexicanus combined... :thinking:


Edited by Gregory2455, July 31 2015 - 9:36 PM.


#7 Offline LC3 - Posted July 31 2015 - 9:38 PM

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This year has ants all over the place...


Colonies

Spoiler

 

 


#8 Offline Subverted - Posted July 31 2015 - 10:28 PM

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I do not get how last year we did not even know these existed while still catching M.navajos and M.mexicanus, and this year it seems they flew in greater numbers than both M.navajo and M.mexicanus combined... :thinking:

 

I think the mix of species is heavily dependent upon where you looked and was not really something you can use to draw conclusions like that. I know at the spot I looked I left >30 M. mexicanus chambers untouched while on the hunt for more of the other species...


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#9 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted July 31 2015 - 11:27 PM

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I do not get how last year we did not even know these existed while still catching M.navajos and M.mexicanus, and this year it seems they flew in greater numbers than both M.navajo and M.mexicanus combined... :thinking:

 

I think the mix of species is heavily dependent upon where you looked and was not really something you can use to draw conclusions like that. I know at the spot I looked I left >30 M. mexicanus chambers untouched while on the hunt for more of the other species...

 

Sorry, I meant to add same location too.



#10 Online dspdrew - Posted August 16 2015 - 2:09 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 8-16-2015

 

Well the Goffs queen was just about to get workers, when it decided to die. I gave all of its brood to one of my Myrmecocystus navajo queens and she accepted it.



#11 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 16 2015 - 2:24 AM

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How sad. :(



#12 Offline LC3 - Posted August 16 2015 - 8:17 AM

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Ants really like dying don't they. :|


Colonies

Spoiler

 

 


#13 Online dspdrew - Posted September 4 2015 - 1:40 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 9-4-2015

 

A few of the ones from 29 Palms have started getting their workers a few days ago, and as a few other people who collected some of the Phelan ones have observed, their workers are black! The only color I see is their red mandibles. Since I doubt there are more species out there with this combination of colors, this makes the possibility of these all being the same species much greater. I'm just going to assume they are the same, and that is why I have combined both of their journals now.

 

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#14 Offline NightsWebs - Posted September 4 2015 - 3:27 PM

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Drew is the "purple Back" everyone was talking about?


Current Colonies;

Acromyrmex Versicolor

Dorymyrmex Bicolor

Pogonomyrmex Californicus
Pogonomyrmex Rugosus

Pogonomyrmex Tenuispinus
Novomessor Cockerelli
Myrmecocystus Mexicanus

 

Last Update: 08 Jul 2016

 

 


#15 Offline kellakk - Posted September 4 2015 - 6:00 PM

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Drew is the "purple Back" everyone was talking about?

 

These are the purple backs.  It's a fun name until we find out what species it is :)


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Current Species:
Novomessor cockerelli (2), Brachymyrmex patagonicus (1)Veromessor pergandei (1?), Dorymyrmex bureni (1)


#16 Online dspdrew - Posted September 5 2015 - 5:35 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 9-5-2015

 

The last of the Phelan colonies died, leaving tons of cocoons behind, but unfortunately everything was covered in mold. I'll be moving one of the last two 29 Palms colonies into the vacant dirt box, but first took some pictures of the queen and her one worker while I still had some decent visibility.

 

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#17 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted September 5 2015 - 9:06 PM

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Those are pretty hairy larvae for Myrmecocystus.



#18 Online dspdrew - Posted September 30 2015 - 4:36 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 9-30-2015

 

I finally keyed these out, and both the queen and worker keyed out to M. mimicus. I think kellakk got the same results.

 

Also, one of mine has produced completely different looking workers. These are orangish-red with black gasters. I'll definitely be keying them out too once I have a specimen to work with. If they are a different species, I'll be moving them to the proper journal.

 

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At this point I have seven of these, with six of them in dirt boxes. Of the colonies with the black workers, only three of them are doing very well.



#19 Offline kellakk - Posted September 30 2015 - 4:47 PM

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My one colony has the same orange-red with black gaster workers.  I haven't tried keying them out yet, although I think one of the queens that died on me keyed out to mimicus.


Current Species:
Novomessor cockerelli (2), Brachymyrmex patagonicus (1)Veromessor pergandei (1?), Dorymyrmex bureni (1)


#20 Online dspdrew - Posted September 30 2015 - 4:56 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

My one colony has the same orange-red with black gaster workers.  I haven't tried keying them out yet, although I think one of the queens that died on me keyed out to mimicus.

 

When you say "one of the queens that died on me", are you talking about one with the orange and black workers?







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