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Multiple Queen IDs, San Francisco, CA 4/13/2018

formica camponotus california bay area san francisco

Best Answer sericultivist , April 18 2018 - 5:15 PM

Thank you all for your input, it's been really helpful. For now I'm going to mark this as solved for Camponotus novaeboracensis, and two Formica queens. The Formica are going to be a lot harder to identify, so I will probably wait for the first full workers to pass on and then send them to the Cal Academy (Or maybe just walk over, I live a 5 minute drive from it...) to be formally identified. 

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25 replies to this topic

#1 Offline sericultivist - Posted April 13 2018 - 4:35 PM

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All of these queens were found last year, but hadn't done anything serious until early this year. 

 

Queen #1:

 

1. Location of collection: Road to park in Mill Valley, CA.

2. Date of collection: August 2, 2017 at 2:50 PM.
3. Habitat of collection: Road bordering California coastal scrubland and chaparral. 
4. Length: 12-13mm. She's a big girl.
5. Coloration, hue, pattern and texture: Shiny, black. In natural light she has a slight silvery sheen. No apparent hairs.
6. Distinguishing characteristics: None, other than the fact that she is a lot larger than other other similar queens I've found in the same spot.
7. Anything else distinctive: None.
8. Nest description: Looked like it might have been in a crack of the road's pavement, nothing distinguishing. 

9. Nuptial flight time and date: August 2.

 

Formica queen 1.1
Formica queen 1

 

Queen #2:

 

1. Location of collection: Road to park in Mill Valley, CA.

2. Date of collection: August 2, 2017 ~2:50pm.
3. Habitat of collection: Road bordering coastal scrubland and chaparral.
4. Length: 9mm.
5. Coloration, hue, pattern and texture: Base colour of black, but when she's in natural light she takes on a more gold/green sheen. 

6. Distinguishing characteristics: Weird colour scheme for her iridescent sheen, the Formica I see only iridesce in varying shades of silver.

7. Anything else distinctive: None.

8. Nest description: N/A

9. Nuptial flight time and date: August 2.

 

Formica queen 2
 
Queen #3:
 

1. Location of collection: Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe. 

2. Date of collection: June 24, 2017 at 1:07 PM.

3. Habitat of collection: Forest.
4. Length: ~15mm. (She doesn't sit still.)
5. Coloration, hue, pattern and texture: Dark gaster and head, red hues to thorax. Red legs.

6. Distinguishing characteristics: Typical camponotus stuff. 
7. Anything else distinctive: None.
8. Nest description: N/A

9. Nuptial flight time and date: Unsure, no wings. 

 

I'm thinking C. vicinus for this girl.

 

Camponotus queen 1
Camponotus queen 1.1

 

 



#2 Offline antnest8 - Posted April 13 2018 - 5:10 PM

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all of them camponotus except queen 2 which might be formica


have 1 camponotus queen

1 crematogaster queen

5 lasius umbratus queens


#3 Offline VoidElecent - Posted April 13 2018 - 6:16 PM

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all of them camponotus except queen 2 which might be formica

 

I disagree. Queens one and two remind me of fusca group Formica and queen three is Camponotus. 


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#4 Offline T.C. - Posted April 13 2018 - 6:40 PM

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Void is correct I believe.

#5 Offline sericultivist - Posted April 13 2018 - 7:02 PM

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I do agree and already thought that the first 2 were Formica species, I was just hoping someone could narrow it down a little more. We have so many Formica species in my general area that it might be impossible without a microscope, unfortunately.



#6 Offline Martialis - Posted April 13 2018 - 8:36 PM

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I do agree and already thought that the first 2 were Formica species, I was just hoping someone could narrow it down a little more. We have so many Formica species in my general area that it might be impossible without a microscope, unfortunately.

We need some clearer profile(side) pictures for that.



#7 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted April 14 2018 - 2:19 AM

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I think the first one is Formica subsericea and the second is F. subsericea.

Colonies:

  • Aphaenogaster rudis  —  Journal
  • Formica cf. neorufibarbis  —  Journal
  • Formica subsericea    Journal
  • Lasius neoniger —  Journal
  • Tetramorium immigrans  —  Journal

 

Queens:

  • Brachymyrmex depilisJournal
  • Formica subsericea x2
  • Lasius cf. claviger (Hibernating; No Host Colony)
  • Myrmecina americana  —  Journal
  • Prenolepis imparis x9

 

Other Animals:

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

#8 Offline antnest8 - Posted April 14 2018 - 3:32 AM

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oops sorry


have 1 camponotus queen

1 crematogaster queen

5 lasius umbratus queens


#9 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted April 14 2018 - 8:08 AM

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2nd Formica queen is probably Formica fusca (they're relatively common in SF), the first queen is probably either Formica subaenescens or Formica lasioides. 

 

Not so sure about the Camponotus.


Edited by AnthonyP163, April 16 2018 - 3:12 AM.


#10 Offline VoidElecent - Posted April 14 2018 - 9:08 AM

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I'm thinking the Camponotus queen could be C. vicinus or C. laevigatus.


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#11 Offline Canadian anter - Posted April 14 2018 - 10:45 AM

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3 is Camponotus novaeborecensis though I didn't know they occured that westward. I know there was a report in Oregon so it's not impossible.



#12 Offline Jadeninja9 - Posted April 14 2018 - 1:25 PM

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3 is Camponotus novaeborecensis though I didn't know they occured that westward. I know there was a report in Oregon so it's not impossible.

I'm pretty sure they aren't in California


Edited by Jadeninja9, April 14 2018 - 1:28 PM.

Keeper of:

x1 Camponotus hyatti colony

Founding:

x9 Lasius alienus

x2 Prenolepis imparis 


#13 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted April 15 2018 - 9:40 PM

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I live in the Bay area, and can tell you that we do not have Camponotus Novaeboracensis and Formica Subsercia. The first queen may be camponotus, but leaning more towards formica on her. We need better shots to tell, since I do know of some Camponotus species that look awfully similar to the first queen. Second queen may be formica, could you get shots of the workers' midsection? Queen three is 99% C. Vicinus, the bicolor gives it away. It's definitely not C. novaeboracensis, they are by no means found here, completely sure on that. We would need more pics and some macros of the workers' midsections for the first two, and macro shots of the antenna scapes (bottom antenna segment) to get a solid ID. If colony number 3 has flattened antennal scapes, it's C. vicinus without a doubt. It might have been Camponotus semitestaceus, but the queen is too dark for those.

Edited by YsTheAnt, April 15 2018 - 9:41 PM.


#14 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted April 16 2018 - 3:13 AM

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I live in the Bay area, and can tell you that we do not have Camponotus Novaeboracensis and Formica Subsercia. The first queen may be camponotus, but leaning more towards formica on her. We need better shots to tell, since I do know of some Camponotus species that look awfully similar to the first queen. Second queen may be formica, could you get shots of the workers' midsection? Queen three is 99% C. Vicinus, the bicolor gives it away. It's definitely not C. novaeboracensis, they are by no means found here, completely sure on that. We would need more pics and some macros of the workers' midsections for the first two, and macro shots of the antenna scapes (bottom antenna segment) to get a solid ID. If colony number 3 has flattened antennal scapes, it's C. vicinus without a doubt. It might have been Camponotus semitestaceus, but the queen is too dark for those.

I'm sure the first 2 queens are Formica.



#15 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted April 16 2018 - 1:09 PM

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Ok, now that I look closer I agree with formica for the first two. Third is definitely Camponotus Vicinus.

Edited by YsTheAnt, April 16 2018 - 1:55 PM.


#16 Offline Jadeninja9 - Posted April 16 2018 - 4:23 PM

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I live in the Bay area, and can tell you that we do not have Camponotus Novaeboracensis and Formica Subsercia. The first queen may be camponotus, but leaning more towards formica on her. We need better shots to tell, since I do know of some Camponotus species that look awfully similar to the first queen. Second queen may be formica, could you get shots of the workers' midsection? Queen three is 99% C. Vicinus, the bicolor gives it away. It's definitely not C. novaeboracensis, they are by no means found here, completely sure on that. We would need more pics and some macros of the workers' midsections for the first two, and macro shots of the antenna scapes (bottom antenna segment) to get a solid ID. If colony number 3 has flattened antennal scapes, it's C. vicinus without a doubt. It might have been Camponotus semitestaceus, but the queen is too dark for those.

Hold on a second. Camponotus vicinus queens of the red variety have black coloration on the top of their thorax. This queen has an almost all red thorax with the exception of black markings that look eerily similar to the markings of Camponotus novaeboracensis queens. Now, I don't know how Camponotus novaeboracensis would have been able to spread to Lake Tahoe undetected, but I'm pretty sure the queen is not Camponotus vicinus


Keeper of:

x1 Camponotus hyatti colony

Founding:

x9 Lasius alienus

x2 Prenolepis imparis 


#17 Offline sericultivist - Posted April 16 2018 - 4:28 PM

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Adding some more photos of each queen and workers.

 

Queen #1:

 

IMG 1294
IMG 1292

 

Queen #2:

 

IMG 1246
IMG 1248
IMG 1260
 
Queen #3
 
IMG 1224
IMG 1232
IMG 1233
IMG 1238
IMG 1241

 

I tried my best to get side views of queen #2's workers, but they are super small and run all over the place crazy fast, which doesn't allow me to take macro images whatsoever. I also tried to get pictures of queen #3's antennae and head, but I think I need a more powerful macro lens.



#18 Offline nurbs - Posted April 16 2018 - 4:40 PM

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Third is Camponotus for sure, but it is not Camponotus vicinus. Head is too wide and bulky.

 

Also not Camponotus laevigatus. Those are very shiny all black (with a blue tint in the right light) and white hairs.


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#19 Offline sericultivist - Posted April 16 2018 - 5:01 PM

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I took a video of the Camponotus queen as well, hopefully making it easier to see her head. 

 



#20 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted April 16 2018 - 10:11 PM

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Third is Camponotus for sure, but it is not Camponotus vicinus. Head is too wide and bulky.

Also not Camponotus laevigatus. Those are very shiny all black (with a blue tint in the right light) and white hairs.

Yeah, your right. Could it really be C. novaeboracensis??? Emerald Bay is quite similar climate-wise to Canada and colder reigons where they are found, so it could be possible. Could it be an undocumented species, that's very rare? It would make sense that only one person has caught and documented them in that particular reigon.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: formica, camponotus, california, bay area, san francisco

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