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Polygyne Solenopsis invicta colonies

solenopsis invicta polygyne queen dealate founding colony multiple queens

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#1 Offline jdsaunders1390 - Posted May 25 2017 - 7:37 PM

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Solenopsis invicta are all over in my area! I have so many of them and, once they succeed in becoming full colonies, I only plan to keep one or two long term. I still keep collecting them as I see them because I am new to ant keeping and it is still very interesting for me to observe the dealates in their founding stage. 

 

Today, I had another decent haul of S. invicta dealates and I decided to try something different. I placed 3 dealates in one test tube setup, 3 in another, and 2 in another. I made the living spaces of each of these setups larger than normal. (I only filled the tubes halfway with water.) So far, the dealates have clumped together in each tube and appear to be "sniffing" one another. I have not noticed any biting or stinging, but they are always around and on top of each other, even though there is plenty of space for them to move around in these test tube setups. 

 

Does anyone else have experience with polygyne S. invicta colonies? I am doing this more out of curiosity than anything. I may try again if these colonies do not work out. If I do, I may put grass or other objects in there to act as hiding spaces.

 

This is one of the only pictures I got where not all of the queens in a tube were on top of each other.

 

IMG 3447

 


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#2 Offline 123LordOfAnts123 - Posted May 25 2017 - 8:47 PM

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Due to their pest status and economic importance, Solenopsis invicta is easily one of the best studied ants and many aspects of their ecology and behavior are well known.

Straight from wikipedia:

Spoiler

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#3 Offline Gabraime - Posted May 25 2017 - 10:15 PM

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For sure they are poly, so don't worry

#4 Offline 123LordOfAnts123 - Posted May 26 2017 - 4:24 AM

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For sure they are poly, so don't worry


Unless they're of the monogynous form, that is. If so they'll engage in pleometrosis as do many in the myrmicinae family, but only one queen will eventually remain.
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#5 Offline jdsaunders1390 - Posted May 27 2017 - 2:13 PM

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Update:

 

The first group of three dealates are still clustered with no signs of aggression and no eggs noted.

 

The second group of three are no longer clustered. One has ~5 eggs, another has ~2-3 eggs, and the third has no eggs.

 

The third group with two dealates are no longer clustered. There are a few eggs scattered in the tube but neither of them seem to be tending to them.

 

Will keep you posted!



#6 Offline Mdrogun - Posted May 27 2017 - 2:49 PM

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For sure they are poly, so don't worry

While it's entirely possible they are the polygyne variety, the monogyne variety of Solenopsis invicta is vastly more common. As pointed out by the University of Florida, "Multiple queen colonies have been found in areas of Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Georgia, being more frequent in the western edge of their range." What I'm trying to say is that the polygyne Solenopsis invicta variety are only found in certain populations, and are more common in the western part of the range. You are not in the western range of Solenopsis invicta, and the likelihood of you being in one of the specific ranges where the polygyne variety is found, is quite low. Do you have any pictures of your "polygyne colonies"? We might be able to look at the weight of your queens, and see if there is any possibility they are fertile, as the University of Florida also points out "Multiple queen colonies differ from single queen colonies in several ways...the queens weigh less."

 

If you would like to read the paper from the University of Florida I pulled my citations from here ya go:

http://entnemdept.uf...ed_fire_ant.htm


Ready for Nuptial flights!


#7 Offline Antdoggy - Posted May 27 2017 - 3:00 PM

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I found the same ants yesterday,  I have 2 test tubes with 5-6 of them in each







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: solenopsis, invicta, polygyne, queen, dealate, founding, colony, multiple, queens

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