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Prenolepis imparis

prenolepis impais ant care ant keeping

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#1 Offline T.C. - Posted December 31 2017 - 6:29 PM

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Scientific Name:  Prenolepis imparis

Common Name:  Winter ant, in reference to its foraging at temperatures barely above freezing during the cooler months. False Honey Ant is an unfortunate name, since the storage product in the corpulent young workers of these ants is fatty, not sugary.

Distribution:  Most of the United States, plus southern Ontario and Mexico.
 
Queen size:  8 mm

Male size:  3-4 mm

Worker size:  2.5-3.5 mm
 
Natural Habitat:  Nest entrances are commonly found in shaded areas near the bases of trees and are characterized by having a series of short dead-end tunnels nearby, presumably for foragers to take temporary shelter from predators or the elements during cold weather. Nests in Florida have been recorded extending as far down as 3.6 meters. From the entrance, the main shaft of the nest extends vertically downward, with no chambers found shallower than 60.0 cm, after which point chambers are very common and are all directly connected to the main shaft.
 
Circadian Activity:  Diurnal

Mating Flight:  Late winter/early spring. The winged sexes that participate in the nuptial flights, mature during the late summer of the previous year and are retained in the nests over winter.  This retention of the sexual phases over winter occurs in a few of our other northern ants.  The very early flight of P. impairs first observed in the beginning of spring; February for Florida, followed as states warm to 70 degrees. The queens fly in the afternoon.
 
Queen Founding Method:  Fully claustral

Monogyne or Polygyne:  Both. They can be either Monogyne or Polygyne.
 
Average time from egg to worker:  Slow species usually take about 2 months from egg to adult. Sometimes even 3[/size][/color]
 
Recommended Temperature:  65-75 F.

Recommended Humidity:  Prefers deep chambers closer to moist clays and soils.
 
Preferred Foods:  Workers feed on honeydew, secretions of floral, sap flows, exudates from galls, earthworms and arthropods (usually as carrion), and ripened or decaying fruit.

Hibernation Details:  P. imparis do no not hibernate, but have a distinct estivation period. As an apparent adaptation for this estivation, most workers (average 78%) were in the "replete" state. During estivation, eggs are laid and reared, and new workers emerge in "winter". In north Florida, the ant is absent above-ground for 7 to 8 months, foraging only during the winter.
 
Escape Barrier Methods:  Talcum powder or Fluon
 
Difficulty rating:  Starting an ant colony with P. imparis is fairly simple. You need a good starting habitat and it's recommend to place at least two queens together to increase the chances of them founding a strong colony.  Mortality rate for newly mated queens is high (estimated in the wild as high as 95%/100%), You can feed the queens a little sweet liquid at first, but then they will not need feeding until after the first workers arrive in a couple months. It is important to know that subsequent generations of workers will not take as long as the first to go from egg to worker. P. imparis queens are easily disturbed like most queens. When disturbed during the founding stage, they will quickly abandon their eggs. This means that keeping them shielded from vibrations, light, and airflow is very important. If you are used to keeping some queens where you can leave them out in the open without worry, these queens are not as suited for that type of environment.
 
Bite and/or Sting rating:  No sting or bite.

Special Care or Interesting Notes:  The two sexes were quite different in color hence he named the species imparis.
 
Additional Links:

Links used to compose this Ant Care Sheet:
http://entnemdept.uf...pis_imparis.htm
http://bugguide.net/node/view/27323
http://www.bio.fsu.e...ions/1987-3.pdf
https://www.jstor.or...an_tab_contents
http://antfarm.yuku....in#.WK3AXm_ythE
http://www.formicult...bers/#entry7398
http://www.orkin.com...all-honey-ants/
http://tarheelants.b...antnuptial.html
http://antfarm.yuku....ny#.WK3Exm8rJhE


Information submitted by Jamie_Garrison.


Edited by T.C., January 1 2018 - 11:28 AM.

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#2 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted December 31 2017 - 6:37 PM

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Would Illinois count as the northern monogynous ones, or no?


Current Colonies:

  • Aphaenogaster rudis x4 — Journal
  • Camponotus caryae — Journal
  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus — Journal
  • Formica pallidefulva — Journal
  • Formica subsericea x3 — Journal
  • Lasius cf. americanus
  • Lasius cf. neoniger — Journal
  • Prenolepis imparis — Journal
  • Tetramorium immigrans — Journal

Queens:

  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
  • Crematogaster cf. lineolata Journal
  • Lasius sp. x2
  • Myrmica sp.

Other Animals:

  • Felis catus x5
  • Phodopus roborovskii
  • Various Fish
  • Younger Brothers x2

#3 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted January 2 2018 - 9:41 AM

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This should be a meme: When you spell the the scientific name correct throughout the entire care sheet and misspell it in the tags.

 

Great care sheet, though.


Hawaiiant (Ben)

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Baby Wolf Spider
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Plagiolepis Alluaudi
Anoplolepis Gracilipes
Technomyrmex Difficilis
Pheidole Megacephala
Aholehole fish
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100+ sea squirts
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#4 Offline Penguin - Posted January 2 2018 - 10:09 AM

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This should be a meme: When you spell the the scientific name correct throughout the entire care sheet and misspell it in the tags.

 

Great care sheet, though.

Nope. He spelled it wrong once in the post.  :P

 

Mating Flight:  Late winter/early spring. The winged sexes that participate in the nuptial flights, mature during the late summer of the previous year and are retained in the nests over winter.  This retention of the sexual phases over winter occurs in a few of our other northern ants.  The very early flight of P. impairs first observed in the beginning of spring; February for Florida, followed as states warm to 70 degrees. The queens fly in the afternoon.


I'm here to learn, mostly. 

:hi:


#5 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted January 2 2018 - 10:13 AM

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This should be a meme: When you spell the the scientific name correct throughout the entire care sheet and misspell it in the tags.

 

Great care sheet, though.

Nope. He spelled it wrong once in the post.  :P

 

Mating Flight:  Late winter/early spring. The winged sexes that participate in the nuptial flights, mature during the late summer of the previous year and are retained in the nests over winter.  This retention of the sexual phases over winter occurs in a few of our other northern ants.  The very early flight of P. impairs first observed in the beginning of spring; February for Florida, followed as states warm to 70 degrees. The queens fly in the afternoon.

 

xD


Hawaiiant (Ben)

Keeper of
Miniature Labradoodle
Baby Wolf Spider
Mud Dauber wasp larvae
Ochetellus Glaber
Solenopsis Geminata
Brachymyrmex Obscurior
Cardiocondyla Emeryi
Tetramorium Bicarinatum
Plagiolepis Alluaudi
Anoplolepis Gracilipes
Technomyrmex Difficilis
Pheidole Megacephala
Aholehole fish
Cowrie snail
Sea Fan Worm
100+ sea squirts
Tree seedlings
Ghost Crab
Day Gecko
Small Fat Centipede
Endemic Lacewing larva
Vernal Pool shrimps

#6 Offline T.C. - Posted January 2 2018 - 10:22 AM

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This should be a meme: When you spell the the scientific name correct throughout the entire care sheet and misspell it in the tags.

Great care sheet, though.

Yeah I knew I did that, but it won't allow me to edit the tags.

Edited by T.C., January 2 2018 - 10:23 AM.


#7 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted January 2 2018 - 10:38 AM

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Oh, ok.


Hawaiiant (Ben)

Keeper of
Miniature Labradoodle
Baby Wolf Spider
Mud Dauber wasp larvae
Ochetellus Glaber
Solenopsis Geminata
Brachymyrmex Obscurior
Cardiocondyla Emeryi
Tetramorium Bicarinatum
Plagiolepis Alluaudi
Anoplolepis Gracilipes
Technomyrmex Difficilis
Pheidole Megacephala
Aholehole fish
Cowrie snail
Sea Fan Worm
100+ sea squirts
Tree seedlings
Ghost Crab
Day Gecko
Small Fat Centipede
Endemic Lacewing larva
Vernal Pool shrimps

#8 Offline JonathanH - Posted July 22 2018 - 7:49 AM

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Does anyone have an idea of how fast a colony of this species grows? I'd love to start keeping a colony of these ants but will have to do so from a dorm room as I will be heading off to college soon. Don't want to start raising a colony only to find that I can't provide adequate nesting space and can't properly accommodate the ants.

 

If you've kept a colony, a rough time frame would be nice, for example: "It took months for the colony to go from y amount of ants to z amount of ants."


Edited by JonathanH, July 22 2018 - 7:50 AM.


#9 Offline Zxirl - Posted July 24 2018 - 8:07 AM

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Does anyone have an idea of how fast a colony of this species grows? I'd love to start keeping a colony of these ants but will have to do so from a dorm room as I will be heading off to college soon. Don't want to start raising a colony only to find that I can't provide adequate nesting space and can't properly accommodate the ants.

 

If you've kept a colony, a rough time frame would be nice, for example: "It took months for the colony to go from y amount of ants to z amount of ants."

http://www.formicult...olepis +imparis

Drews journal gives an okay idea of colony growth rate from what I can tell. It seems fairly slow.

 

I would say you would be fine housing it in a dorm as well as your dorm allows for it. I would also check with your room mate if you are planning to have one 


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#10 Offline noebl1 - Posted July 24 2018 - 8:36 AM

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They grow fairly slowly, especially their first season.  My season 2 P. imparis are still in a test tube (they moved once already when it dried out), and have a decently large brood pile they laid back in June.  They are some of the most laid back ants I have ever seen, especially during the summer during estivation.  My first season I had maybe a dozen workers, guessing brood pile this season is a bit larger, however still a long ways out before they eclose.  Still a manageable size in a test tube setup.

 

EDIT:

 

Also some tips that worked for me based on suggestions from other P. imparis keepers that got them to lay into season two:

1.  Give them a short hibernation during the coldest part of winter, I did 2 months here (Dec/Jan) at 45F.

2.  Temperature during the summer seems to be fine in the 75-85F range, they don't see to have an issue with the heat as people have suggested.  I had two different successful ant keepers say their P. imparis didn't lay until they were around 80F.

3.  Offer protein, even without brood.  My queen didn't lay anything from Feb-May until I feed her fruit flies, they took them quickly and she laid a few weeks later


Edited by noebl1, July 24 2018 - 8:47 AM.

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#11 Offline DragonFlier - Posted October 10 2018 - 12:55 PM

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I have two P. imparis in different test tubes. They have been there for a while around a month or two. I just found out that this species can be polygyne and was wondering if I would be able to move them both into one test tube. Thanks in advance!

 

(Also is it better to keep them in cooler temp or warmer temp?)


Edited by DragonFlier, October 10 2018 - 1:17 PM.

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P. Imparis x2






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