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A Large Pheidole Identification Thread


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#1 Offline VoidElecent - Posted June 23 2017 - 10:30 AM

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1. Location (on a map) of collection: Horsham, Pennsylvania (All six)
2. Date of collection: June 15-June 21 (All at night to a black light, except Queen 6)
3. Habitat of collection: Field/deciduous forest. Mostly clay soil.
4. Length (from head to gaster): Queens 1-5: ~6-6.5 mm, Queen 6: 5 mm
5. Color, hue, pattern and texture: Queens 1-5: Dark brownish red, gasters noticably darker and in some cases even look black. Queen 6 is bright orange, with a smaller form and darker ocelli than Q1-Q5.
6. Distinguishing characteristics: Two petiole nodes on each, ocelli on Q1-Q5 are lighter than rest of body (whitish brown) and ocelli on Q6 are darker.
7. Distinguishing behavior: NA. Queen 5 took about 3 days to lay eggs, now she has a whole bunch.
8. Nest description: NA (black light).

 

Queen One:

 

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Queen Two:

 

USEP1080443_zpsvjcccogg.jpgUSEP1080446_zpsdqkypmhe.jpgUSEP1080449_zps0ypzwby4.jpgUSEP1080451_zpsybgurgth.jpgUSEP1080453_zpsfq0lhmvt.jpgUSEP1080454_zpsh9m8fboz.jpgUSEP1080460_zps4yz044py.jpg

 

Queen Three:

 

USEP1080461_zpsyzujoxdt.jpgUSEP1080467_zps5hyhvybl.jpgUSEP1080472_zpskncl2ip8.jpg

 

Queen Four:

 

USEP1080479_zpsbetsvd5l.jpgUSEP1080480_zpsqp1tnk1i.jpgUSEP1080482_zpsdbakbrza.jpgUSEP1080483_zps2l9g0npb.jpgUSEP1080485_zpskcpk1ysj.jpg

 

Queen Five:

 

USEP1080487_zpslo96kigo.jpgUSEP1080488_zpsxr8cmg6v.jpgUSEP1080495_zpsu7vcbadg.jpg

 

Queen Six:

 

USEP1080497_zpstjkqscey.jpgUSEP1080500_zps6anvelxj.jpgUSEP1080507_zps3zynatze.jpg


Edited by VoidElecent, June 23 2017 - 10:33 AM.


#2 Offline Batspiderfish - Posted June 23 2017 - 11:14 AM

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Pheidole bicarinata


If you've enjoyed using my expertise and identifications, please do not create undue ecological risk by releasing your ants. The environment which we keep our pet insects is alien and oftentimes unsanitary, so ensure that wild populations stay safe by giving your ants the best care you can manage for the rest of their lives, as we must do with any other pet.

 

Exotic ants are for those who think that vibrant diversity is something you need to pay money to see. It is illegal to transport live ants across state lines.

 

----

Black lives still matter.


#3 Offline VoidElecent - Posted June 23 2017 - 11:15 AM

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Pheidole bicarinata

 

All of 'em?



#4 Offline Salmon - Posted June 23 2017 - 2:56 PM

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Queen six looks a little different.

#5 Offline Mdrogun - Posted June 23 2017 - 3:02 PM

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Queen six looks a little different.

This is likely just due to the color variation within Pheidole bicarinata.


Ready for Nuptial flights!


#6 Offline VoidElecent - Posted June 23 2017 - 3:10 PM

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Queen six looks a little different.

This is likely just due to the color variation within Pheidole bicarinata.

 

 

Pheidole bicarinata

 

I've gotten a number of responses confirming this identification as P. bicarinata. What, specifically, about these specimens (ideally other than location, time of year or coloration) prompts you rule out other species like P. pilifera, P. davisi, or even P. dentata and P. tysoni?

 

There's a family who moved from Florida (Orlando) about a month ago and have brought several potted trees and plants with them. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the reason for some relatively exotic species (such as Brachymyrmex patagonicus, which we caught 5 queens of two nights ago) to fly to our black light. For anyone interested in contributing, it may be wise to treat these specimens as if they're from Florida if they don't match with any of the Mid Atlantic species.

 

Unfortunately, they moved very recently and haven't experienced a north eastern winter yet, so I'm assuming any ants they may have brought won't make it another year.


Edited by VoidElecent, June 23 2017 - 3:20 PM.


#7 Offline Mdrogun - Posted June 23 2017 - 3:20 PM

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Queen six looks a little different.

This is likely just due to the color variation within Pheidole bicarinata.

 

 

Pheidole bicarinata

 

I've gotten a number of responses confirming this identification as P. bicarinata. What, specifically, about these specimens (ideally other than location, time of year or coloration) prompts you rule out other species like P. pilifera, P. davisi, or even P. dentata and P. tysoni?

 

There are only 2 recorded species of Pheidole in your state, Pheidole bicarinata, and Pheidole pilifera. Looking into this more, I'm starting to think it's possible you have a queen or two that's Pheidole pilifera. Pheidole bicarinata and Pheidole pilifera are both in the "pilifera group" of Pheidole, so they are quite similar.


Ready for Nuptial flights!


#8 Offline VoidElecent - Posted June 23 2017 - 3:22 PM

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I've gotten a number of responses confirming this identification as P. bicarinata. What, specifically, about these specimens (ideally other than location, time of year or coloration) prompts you rule out other species like P. pilifera, P. davisi, or even P. dentata and P. tysoni?

 

There are only 2 recorded species of Pheidole in your state, Pheidole bicarinata, and Pheidole pilifera. Looking into this more, I'm starting to think it's possible you have a queen or two that's Pheidole pilifera. Pheidole bicarinata and Pheidole pilifera are both in the "pilifera group" of Pheidole, so they are quite similar.

 

 

You should check out the edited version of my previous post you just quoted, that may explain a little.



#9 Offline Batspiderfish - Posted June 23 2017 - 6:07 PM

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You'll have to wait for workers if you think these might be something else.


Edited by Batspiderfish, June 23 2017 - 6:12 PM.

If you've enjoyed using my expertise and identifications, please do not create undue ecological risk by releasing your ants. The environment which we keep our pet insects is alien and oftentimes unsanitary, so ensure that wild populations stay safe by giving your ants the best care you can manage for the rest of their lives, as we must do with any other pet.

 

Exotic ants are for those who think that vibrant diversity is something you need to pay money to see. It is illegal to transport live ants across state lines.

 

----

Black lives still matter.





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