Jump to content

  • Chat
  •  
  •  





Welcome to Formiculture.com!

This is a website for anyone interested in Myrmecology and all aspects of finding, keeping, and studying ants. The site and forum are free to use, and contain no ads for members. Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation points to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!

Photo
* * * * * 3 votes

Jamie's Lasius Interjectus Journal


  • Please log in to reply
19 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Jamiesname - Posted July 1 2018 - 7:03 PM

Jamiesname

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • LocationMichigan
I caught 14 Lasius Interjectus queens on 6-29-18. I've been waiting for these girls to fly for quite some time now. I set stones up near a few of their known nests and checked them in the late evening everyday the temperature was above 60. We had a hot day on the 29th, highs in the upper 80s, following an entire day of rain the day before. I must have missed the actual flight by about an hour, maybe less. These girls were crawling all over the ground. Lucky for me it was a large open sandy area and they were exposed with nowhere to hide. It only took about 30 mins to get all 14.

Anyways, since there's not a lot or available information on these ants I've decided to experiment a bit. I caught wild L. Neoniger adult workers, about 20 from the same colony, and split them between 2 L. Interjectus queens. There doesn't seem to be any complications at this point. In fact, these are two of the three test tubes that I didn't have to keep subdued in the refrigerator.

I took two more of my own L. Neoniger colonies, small colonies from queens found last fall, and removed the queens, a couple workers to tend the L. Neoniger queens, and all the eggs and put them back into different tubes. I left the majority of the Neoniger workers, larvae and pupae in the old tubes and added a L. Interjectus queen to both. There was a lot of struggling, the Neoniger workers went berserk. I put these two in the fridge and it calmed everyone down rather quickly. I'm going to leave them in there for 24hrs.

Next, I took my aspirator and sucked up about 40-50 (or more) L. Interjectus workers from under a stone a few yards away from where I caught all the queens. In fact, it's possible some of my queens came from this very colony. I'd also like to add that I don't recommend sucking these ants up with an aspirator, I thought I was going to puke, choke to death, or possibly both - it was rough. Anyways, what better ants to tend a L. Interjectus queen and her brood than L. Interjectus workers? It makes sense to me, so why not give it a shot. I split these workers into to more test tubes and added one queen to each. These workers also went ballistic and ended up in the fridge as well.

Lastly, I have one more tube with a L. Interjectus queen, 7 of my own Neoniger workers and 6 Neoniger pupae. I didn't have to chill this one, they seem to tolerate each other without any aggression.

That's it so far. I'll keep this updated as frequently as possible. It will likely be slow going, but interesting nonetheless. I'll post pics as soon as things calm down and the host's accept their new master's 😁.

Also, if you live in MI I'm selling the remainder of the L. Interjectus queens for $10 each. You'll need host brood (I have two more L. Neoniger colonies for sale for $25 each) and there are no guarantee's regarding fertility or success, which is why I attempted seven queens. I only want one colony, so if more than one is successful I'll post the extras up for sale as well.




Edit:

I decided to number the queen's to help keep things organized.

Queen #1 & #2 = L. Interjectus host workers

Queen #3 & #4 = Captive reared Neoniger hosts (workers, larvae and pupae) (No eggs).

Queen #5 & #6 (both perished) = Wild caught Neoniger worker hosts (No brood).

Queen #7 = Originally captive reared Neoniger workers and pupae only (queen killed all host workers). Now this same queen is successfully paired with L. Interjectus host workers.

Queen #8 (perished) = Wild caught L. Neoniger workers with a huge pile of male alate pupae. (Queen perished)

Edited by Jamiesname, August 7 2018 - 12:41 PM.

  • Karma likes this

#2 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted July 1 2018 - 7:40 PM

AntsAreUs

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,020 posts
  • LocationMarion, IN

I've tired the same thing you have (by the way you likely don't have L. niger there) and the queens died off. I think this is because they require the death of the host queen to get her scent so that the workers will feed her at all. No clue if that is true, just my hypothesis.


Currently keeping:

Ants:    Stigmatomma pallipes

            Temnothorax schaumii - Journal

            Temnothorax curvispinosus

            Myrmecina americana - Journal

            Ponera pennsylvanica - Journal

            Formica incerta Journal

            Formica subsericea

            Formica rubicunda

            Aphaenogaster tennesseensis - Journal

            Aphaenogaster rudis Journal

            Myrmica spp. Journal

            Camponotus chromaiodes - Journal

            Camponotus pennsylvanicus

            Camponotus subbarbatus - Journal

            Camponotus sp.

            Strumigenys pergandei - Journal (Discontinued)

            Strumigenys pilinasis - Journal

            Hypoponera opacior

            Tetramorium immigrans - Journal

            Tapinoma sessile - Journal

            Lasius americanus

            Lasius neoniger

            Lasius murphyi

            Solenopsis molesta

            Pheidole pilifera

 

Other:  Millipedes

Isopods

Springtails

Soil Centipedes (Geophilomorpha sp.)

Stone Centipedes (Lithobius sp.)

Mealworms/Superworms

Indian Mealmoth Culture

Dipluras

Some types of mites


#3 Offline Jamiesname - Posted July 2 2018 - 2:49 AM

Jamiesname

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • LocationMichigan

I've tired the same thing you have (by the way you likely don't have L. niger there) and the queens died off. I think this is because they require the death of the host queen to get her scent so that the workers will feed her at all. No clue if that is true, just my hypothesis.


Right about the Niger, I don't know why I wrote that instead of Neoniger. I'll edit it after I get home from work.

As for the rest - it's going to work, I'm going to make sure of it 😎.

Edited by Jamiesname, July 2 2018 - 5:15 PM.


#4 Offline Batspiderfish - Posted July 2 2018 - 7:21 AM

Batspiderfish

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,614 posts
  • LocationMaine

I can attest that a queen is not necessary for social parasites to blend with host workers.


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.


#5 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted July 2 2018 - 7:36 AM

AntsAreUs

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,020 posts
  • LocationMarion, IN

I can attest that a queen is not necessary for social parasites to blend with host workers.

Ah, ok. That helps a lot, but I still wonder why all my queens died so quickly.


Currently keeping:

Ants:    Stigmatomma pallipes

            Temnothorax schaumii - Journal

            Temnothorax curvispinosus

            Myrmecina americana - Journal

            Ponera pennsylvanica - Journal

            Formica incerta Journal

            Formica subsericea

            Formica rubicunda

            Aphaenogaster tennesseensis - Journal

            Aphaenogaster rudis Journal

            Myrmica spp. Journal

            Camponotus chromaiodes - Journal

            Camponotus pennsylvanicus

            Camponotus subbarbatus - Journal

            Camponotus sp.

            Strumigenys pergandei - Journal (Discontinued)

            Strumigenys pilinasis - Journal

            Hypoponera opacior

            Tetramorium immigrans - Journal

            Tapinoma sessile - Journal

            Lasius americanus

            Lasius neoniger

            Lasius murphyi

            Solenopsis molesta

            Pheidole pilifera

 

Other:  Millipedes

Isopods

Springtails

Soil Centipedes (Geophilomorpha sp.)

Stone Centipedes (Lithobius sp.)

Mealworms/Superworms

Indian Mealmoth Culture

Dipluras

Some types of mites


#6 Offline noebl1 - Posted July 2 2018 - 7:53 AM

noebl1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,000 posts
  • LocationNorthern Massachusetts

Thanks for the post, was a good read.  I've got a pair of L. interjectus I found this season as well.  I have a couple extra L. flavus colonies, I'm unsure if they are a suitable host or not.  I have both sets of test tubes in a small outworld with a sugary food source in the middle. I notice the L. interjectus queens will periodically leave their test tubes, explore, then return to their test tube and clean.   Watching them to see how it goes.



#7 Offline noebl1 - Posted July 2 2018 - 7:59 AM

noebl1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,000 posts
  • LocationNorthern Massachusetts

FWIW I happen to have a large colony in my lawn, this what they look like when they fly:

GLpQkDn.jpg


Edited by noebl1, July 2 2018 - 8:00 AM.

  • Jamiesname and sweetgrass like this

#8 Offline Jamiesname - Posted July 2 2018 - 2:12 PM

Jamiesname

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • LocationMichigan
Day #2 - Post Introduction of Host Workers:


When I got home from work today, the first thing I did was check on these seven queen's.

Queen's #1 & 2 seem to be getting along great with their host Interjectus workers. There is no fighting like there was last night. In fact, it was so had that I had to refrigerate them for 24hrs. Now both queens are standing in the middle of a swarm of host workers grooming themselves. Things appear to be going well with these two.

Queen's #3 & 4 survived the night in the refrigerator, but once warmed back to room temperature, the hosts began attacking the queens. In fact, both queens each killed off a few host workers. I put them back in the fridge. After a few more hours I'll remove them for a second round of observation.

Queen's #5, 6 & 7 experienced a massacre, or I should say the host's did. Queens 6 & 7 didn't leave a single host alive in their tubes. I'll reintroduce some host Neoniger workers after posting this. #5 was refrigerated so the hosts survived the night, but were quickly killed off similarly to the hosts of 6 & 7. I plan on doing the same with #5 as I am with #3 & #4.

Edited by Jamiesname, July 2 2018 - 5:18 PM.


#9 Offline Skwiggledork - Posted July 2 2018 - 2:24 PM

Skwiggledork

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 115 posts
  • LocationUlster county, NY

I tried to found an interjectus queen I caught, but my dumb self raided a formica nest for workers and cocoons... It worked as well as you think it would.



#10 Offline Jamiesname - Posted July 3 2018 - 2:01 PM

Jamiesname

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • LocationMichigan
Day #3

It appears that the first and second stages of raising a parasitic colony (introduction of the queen and acceptance of the queen) for queen's 1 & 2 is, at this time, a success. It's been three days now and the host workers swarm the queen as if she was their own the entire time. I'm quite comfortable with these two colonies now, so I've put them away in a dark and quiet spot. I'll probably pull them out again tonight to feed them, then leave them alone for several days until I feed them again.

Colony 3 is up in the air. There are a few dead bodies in the tube, but also quite a few still alive. Probably close to 50/50. All the brood is alive, only workers have been targeted. It appears that the remaining workers have accepted their new queen. One was crawling all over the queen while she was standing on a pile of larva, cleaning her head for her. Another worker came up and tugged on her antenna for a second, then went back to tending the brood. It must not have bothered her, because she didn't respond at all to the antenna pulling. I'm not 100% convinced that it was a sign of aggression, more like an attempt to move her. I've only seen that done by grabbing the mandibles though.

Queen's 4, 5, 6 & 7 have completely rejected their host workers. I restocked yesterday's dead ones with new, living ones, only to find that the queens have killed them all again. I'll make one more attempt on these three queens before I consider these failures. Even then, I'll just hibernate them until the wild Lasius Neoniger colonies produce pupae later this summer. I'll use those to make an attempt similar to what I did with my L. Latipes colony, which can be found here:

http://www.formicult...lasius-latipes/


I'll try to get a few pictures tonight when I feed them. Other than that, I won't be bothering them for a while.

Edited by Jamiesname, July 3 2018 - 6:53 PM.


#11 Offline Jamiesname - Posted July 3 2018 - 8:44 PM

Jamiesname

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • LocationMichigan
Queens 1 and 2. Both were covered by their host workers to the point of not being visible. I had to shake the tube to get them to run around. With that said, these will be the only pics of these two until the first batch of eggs arrives. With my L. Latipes it took close to three weeks if I remember correctly.

Pics of queen 3 will be coming soon, but there is still a little bit of resistance with a couple of her host workers. I'll wait until they accept her to take pics.



20180703 214547
20180703 214130

  • rdurham02 likes this

#12 Offline Jamiesname - Posted July 9 2018 - 3:23 PM

Jamiesname

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • LocationMichigan
It's been 9 days since I introduced my 7 L. Interjectus queens to various host workers.

Queen's 1-4 have successfully infiltrated their respective hosts. As you know from above, queens 1 and 2 were readily accepted by their L. Interjectus hosts. Colonies 3 and 4 put up much more of a fight, but eventually succumbed to their new ruler. I ended up restocking 4 with new workers. I saw today, four days later, that there were a couple dead ants in the tube that must have resisted. Everything is settled now though, and all four are into the next phase - waiting for eggs.

5 and 6 gave me a lot of trouble. I ended up capturing some more wild workers for each tube, and they've been in the refrigerator for the past four days. I purposefully shook the test tube of dormant ants, very lightly mind you, so that the queens were both sitting on top of their host workers so that they have no choice but to get used to her. That's what I hope anyways.

I just pulled them out to warm them up today, and it didn't go as planned. Both queens became active before the workers and starting going on a rampage, attacking the sleeping workers, as you can see in one of the pics. I decided to put them back in the refrigerator for a few more days.

Queen 7 killed all of her workers and I have not replaced them yet. I'm not sure if I will.

I put four more queens in the refrigerator for later attempts if these fail.


I did observe something that I think is interesting, however. The Lasius Interjectus workers have a very difficult time drinking from a drop of liquid such as honey, or hummingbird food. It's almost as if they're specifically adapted to only drink from aphids because they really struggle with anything else. They start off drinking normal, but end up with their whole bodies in the liquid. It's almost as if they were sucked in, it's quite weird to watch. I have to pull each one out everytime. I also notice something similar to this with my L. Latipes, but to a lesser extent. I often find one stuck in the liquid when I feed them, and very rarely find one of the host workers in it.

They also don't seem to have the climbing capabilities as most other ants. Likely due to their subterrianian lifestyle. As a result they fall down whenever their test tube gets flipped over, adding to the turmoil during feeding time.

Anyways, here's a couple closeups. One of queen 5 and one of queen 6 attacking a dormant host worker.
20180709 190214


20180709 185722


#13 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted July 9 2018 - 3:36 PM

AntsAreUs

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,020 posts
  • LocationMarion, IN

Have you considered putting sugar water into a small clump of cotton? That might solve the issue with feeding. Hope these work out!


Currently keeping:

Ants:    Stigmatomma pallipes

            Temnothorax schaumii - Journal

            Temnothorax curvispinosus

            Myrmecina americana - Journal

            Ponera pennsylvanica - Journal

            Formica incerta Journal

            Formica subsericea

            Formica rubicunda

            Aphaenogaster tennesseensis - Journal

            Aphaenogaster rudis Journal

            Myrmica spp. Journal

            Camponotus chromaiodes - Journal

            Camponotus pennsylvanicus

            Camponotus subbarbatus - Journal

            Camponotus sp.

            Strumigenys pergandei - Journal (Discontinued)

            Strumigenys pilinasis - Journal

            Hypoponera opacior

            Tetramorium immigrans - Journal

            Tapinoma sessile - Journal

            Lasius americanus

            Lasius neoniger

            Lasius murphyi

            Solenopsis molesta

            Pheidole pilifera

 

Other:  Millipedes

Isopods

Springtails

Soil Centipedes (Geophilomorpha sp.)

Stone Centipedes (Lithobius sp.)

Mealworms/Superworms

Indian Mealmoth Culture

Dipluras

Some types of mites


#14 Offline Jamiesname - Posted July 9 2018 - 4:49 PM

Jamiesname

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • LocationMichigan

Have you considered putting sugar water into a small clump of cotton? That might solve the issue with feeding. Hope these work out!


Hey, thanks for the idea! Here's the results of it:

Queen 1 is in the dark spot to the left, buried under host workers.
20180709 205014


Colony 2
20180709 204433


I'd say it's a success. Thanks again!

Edited by Jamiesname, July 9 2018 - 4:50 PM.

  • AntsAreUs likes this

#15 Offline Jamiesname - Posted July 10 2018 - 9:37 PM

Jamiesname

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • LocationMichigan
Today I've decided to toss queen 7 back into the game. I almost decided not to, but I came across some huge Lasius Interjectus workers. First, let me back up though. I've exchanged a few PMs with AntsAreUs expressing my doubt that 1 and 2 actually were L. Interjectus host workers, and not something else such as L. Umbratus or L. Claviger. The workers measure from 4mm to 4.5mm, which I thought was a little small for L. Interjectus, but perhaps not - I'm not sure. A while back I caught some workers that were without a doubt L. Interjectus measuring in at a whopping 5mm to 5.5mm. Well, I've captured some workers from that exact same colony tonight. I haven't seen them since the last time because they went back under ground without leaving so much as a trace of their existence. Luckily for me, that changed. I put them into queen 7's tube and there wasn't a single problem. She immediately ran right into the workers and hid underneath them. They didn't care one bit. In fact, this pic of her is less than 30 seconds after introduction. It's like they don't know she's not their queen, but it's odd how instant it happened. Queen 1 and 2 had very similar experiences, but not quite this effortless.

Here's the revised setup for queen 7, less than 30 seconds after introduction to host colony. They could care less.

20180710 223059



I also found a large colony of some other parasitic Lasius. The workers are 3.5mm to 4mm. Interestingly there seems to be two different parasitic species living in this colony. One is closer to the 4mm mark like I said. These ants seem to have an elongated, and pointed gaster compared to the others which measure closer to the 3mm mark. The shorter ones have a round gaster, and are actually visibly smaller. It's possible that this was a parasitic colony that got invaded by another parasitic Lasius. Anyways, I captured a bunch of pupae and workers and I've added them to another queen Interjectus. So, without further ado, here's #8!

If the queen alate pupae ecloses I'll be able to tell what kind of host workers we're dealing with here. Can't wait!
20180711 102003

20180711 101800


Lastly, here's some pics of the host L. Interjectus in question (colony 1 and 2), along with a confirmed L. Interjectus (colony 8). The smaller worker is the one in question. It could very well be another Interjectus. It's possible that its colony was a little younger and/or less nourished than the larger one. Perhaps these pics are good enough to confirm or deny their species.

20180710 215438
20180710 220023


20180710 215240


These are just shy of being 1mm longer than they show on the measuring tape due to being curled up, dead.
20180710 214932



20180710 215034


20180710 215652
20180710 220706


20180710 220749
20180710 221251

Edited by Jamiesname, July 11 2018 - 6:17 AM.

  • rdurham02 and rbarreto like this

#16 Offline Jamiesname - Posted July 10 2018 - 9:47 PM

Jamiesname

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • LocationMichigan
I just witnessed #3 being successfully fed by her host workers. I watched as part of her gaster slowly turned green from the food coloring. It appears that another hurdle has been cleared. I didn't witness this occur with any of the others. It was surprising to see because I thought it would have happened with 1 and 2 first since they were so accepting right off the get go. She was also busy helping the workers move brood around in the tube. Still waiting on the first eggs. I suspect she'll be one of the first to lay.

2018 07 13 20 38 28

Edited by Jamiesname, July 13 2018 - 5:07 PM.


#17 Offline Jamiesname - Posted July 25 2018 - 5:46 PM

Jamiesname

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • LocationMichigan
Here it is, folks. The day that I've been waiting for! Queen #2 has laid her first batch of eggs - I'm so excited!

2018 07 25 21 31 11




The queen's head is in the background checking on the eggs while I was trying to get a shot. I tried to get a clear shot of both the eggs and queen, but it didn't quite work out, but it's still cool to have both in the same shot though.
2018 07 25 21 33 08

Edited by Jamiesname, August 1 2018 - 7:02 AM.

  • AntsBC likes this

#18 Offline Jamiesname - Posted August 1 2018 - 7:09 AM

Jamiesname

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • LocationMichigan
Colony 8 has perished. I couldn't get the host workers to accept the queen no matter what I did, and believe me, I tried everything. The workers ended up killing the queen, so I released them back where I caught them.

Colony 2 is still the only one with eggs. I just confirmed last night that they are still there. I was worried that they ate them because I couldn't find them again a couple days ago. They must have been hidden in the cotton. All of the remaining colonies are still doing good, they just don't have any eggs yet that I can see. I'll keep checking periodically and post if/when they do.

I'm still at a loss when it comes to why some host workers will accept a parasitic queen, and some won't. That question is why I tried so many different host setups. I suppose one question I had has been answered, although I'd like to repeat it for verification, is that the same species as the parasitic queen can be used as a host colony. I suspected this, so it wasn't too much of a surprise, but it's nice to know for sure.

Edited by Jamiesname, August 1 2018 - 7:15 AM.


#19 Offline Jamiesname - Posted August 3 2018 - 5:34 PM

Jamiesname

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • LocationMichigan
Queen/Colony #7 has joined colony #2! Both now have their first batch of eggs. I didn't get pics because I didn't want to disturb them more than I already did. Both colonies have L. Interjectus host workers.

I'm guessing that by using host workers of the same species as the queen, it greatly increases the odds of being successful when raising a parasitic queen in captivity. I will attempt to confirm this when L. Latipes fly in the next 4-6 weeks here in MI.

#20 Offline Jamiesname - Posted August 26 2018 - 2:55 PM

Jamiesname

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 203 posts
  • LocationMichigan
A pic of colony 7's eggs today. 2018 08 26 18 46 34

  • TennesseeAnts, AntsBC and Ikerrilove like this




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users