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Tetramorium Eradication Journal

tetramorium tetramorium eradication

44 replies to this topic

#21 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted November 22 2018 - 6:32 AM

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I can totally understand where you are coming from. I have noticed that areas with lots of Tetramorium tend to have less ant diversity. I found a new acting spot recently and there's no Tetramorium. But there are many species I have never seen before.

I found a Lasius aphidicola queen in a Tetramorium nest.



#22 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted November 22 2018 - 6:36 AM

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I don't understand. Tetramorium thrive in areas that native ants aren't usually at. They are not displacing native species. They are just living in places where others would fail.



#23 Offline MegaMyrmex - Posted December 18 2018 - 3:49 PM

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I still have strong feelings against them, they removed all of the myrmica, brachymyrmex, and dolichoderus(I found only one worker!) in my yard.
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#24 Offline gcsnelling - Posted December 18 2018 - 4:37 PM

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I don't understand. Tetramorium thrive in areas that native ants aren't usually at. They are not displacing native species. They are just living in places where others would fail.

 

 

The problem is that they are in environments which are severely degraded, thereby eliminating the native species. As the area recovers to even a small degree the Tetramorium which have already established a foothold prevent the native species from re establishing themselves. No matter how you slice it non native invasive species do no good for the environment.


Edited by gcsnelling, December 18 2018 - 4:38 PM.

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#25 Offline ANTdrew - Posted December 19 2018 - 5:06 AM

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Fill your yard with native plants, and native fauna will follow. If you plant it, they will come. When I moved to my house, which is in a highly urban area, there was turf and four crap boxwoods from Home Depot. Over the last six years, I've filled it up with every kind of native plant I can, especially so called 'weedy' tough plants that can handle my clay soil. It's a jungle now that brings in all kinds of wildlife from foxes, flying squirrels, and owls on down to lowly ants. I've also filled it up with lots of dead wood in the form of log piles and a big maple snag that's home now to a huge Crematogaster colony. This doesn't have to be an expensive project. My favorite plants are the ones I've propagated from locally gathered seeds. Now is the perfect time to propagate North American native seeds. Just sprinkle them in pots and leave them outside for the cold stratification they need for germination. Mother nature will do the rest!

 

Invasive species like Tetramorium thrive in part because our urban landscapes are filled with Eurasian weeds and ornamentals that make it just like home for them. Filling green spaces with natives can help tip the scales in favor of indigenous wildlife.


Edited by ANTdrew, December 19 2018 - 5:12 AM.

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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#26 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted June 29 2019 - 2:55 PM

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6/29/19

 

It's time for this journal to start again. Any day now the Tetramorium immigrans will begin their flights. While checking if this was happening the other day, I came across a group of T. immigrans gathering hundreds of dead Formica montana bodies, likely killed by them. The colony now nests exactly where the Formica montana would. The F. montana colony in my yard has become a rare sight, and I see almost none compared to last years dozens of workers outside at a time. The Tetramorium sp. colony next to them has been growing, and today I flooded it for roughly 10 minutes. I'm unsure if this will have a positive or negative effect on the Formica colony. I'll be sure to get pictures from now on to show what I'm doing. 

 

I've noticed much lighter colored workers, telling me that there might be Tetramorium tsushimae, a relatively new invasive Tetramorium species in the midwest. It is extremely similar to Tetramorium immigrans, but creates larger colonies and is highly polygynous. This would cause more issues for the natives.

 

This journal will be updated regularly. 


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#27 Offline AntsBC - Posted June 29 2019 - 4:00 PM

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Anthony, very good idea and journal. 

 

I have a little story of my own too, about how my native Formica pacifica rose up against the invasive Tetramorium immigrans and successfully drove them off.

 

In the past few years, I have been finding more and more Tetramorium immigrans workers in my yard. For a little while, I began quite frightened that they would displace the native Leptothorax canadensis, Formica pacifica, Camponotus modoc, Camponotus herculeanus, and Myrmica incompleta; as the Tetramorium were becoming more and more prominent by the day.

 

Over time though, I witnessed less and less T. immigrans present, and more and more F. pacifica; as it was before the Tetramorium came. I was happy but also confused by this. I wondered to myself, how did the Formica drive the Tetramorium off, as the Tetramorium should be able to outcompete the Formica, as they had begun to do before?

 

My answer came to me a few months later, when I was heading home from a walk. I noticed a large number of the native Formica pacifica, gathering around a small little rock. Then, I noticed a lot of the workers disappearing underneath the rock. I became quite intrigued by this, and lifted up the rock. Then came the most striking thing of all; there was a small Tetramorium colony living underneath the rock.

 

The native Formica were attacking and killing all of them in sight. 

 

This was quite interesting behavior from a species in the Formica fusca group. They had behaved a lot like how the Formica slave raiders do, although they didn't bring any brood or workers back to their nest. This must be their way of suppressing other ant populations, which might be a contributing factor to why they are so dominate in many parts of British Columbia. 

 

I have also witnessed Formica pacifica engage in large street wars between each other, and raid another small Formica pacifica colony I was in the process of releasing. So, it does point to the fact that as a species, they are quite aggressive. I didn't actually witness what the raiding colony did with the small colony, I just found a large trail of the raiding colony leading into their test tube, with no sign of the small colonies' brood, queen, or workers in sight. Presumably, they carried them back into their nest to eat them.

 

Anyways, I'm not really sure what to make of all this behavior, I just thought I'd share it with you guys. If anything, it is quite interesting.


Edited by AntsBC, June 29 2019 - 4:10 PM.

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#28 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 29 2019 - 6:27 PM

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Good to see an update on this. Were you able to get any more native seeds or plants?

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#29 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted June 30 2019 - 12:04 AM

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Good to see an update on this. Were you able to get any more native seeds or plants?

That's exactly what I am hoping to do in the next update. The milkweed has unfortunately gotten some aphids that are native to Europe, the same place Tetramorium came from. I'll have to keep getting more native plants.


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#30 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 30 2019 - 1:54 AM

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Excellent! You can see some easy plant ideas in my Native Plants and Ants journal.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#31 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 5 2019 - 3:38 PM

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7/5/19

 

The Tetramorium colony next to the Formica montana has been flooded for about a week now, and I've already seen natives show up. Today, a large trail of Lasius neoniger and some Brachymyrmex depilis were around the tree, as a few Formica montana workers climbed up the tree. I did notice a few Tetramorium workers, however they were rarer than the Lasius and their nests were no longer visible. They likely have a small nest entrance somewhere. My goal is to reduce the presence of the invasives so that the natives will be able to stay. I took some pictures of the area and a small video showing some of the natives. 

 

Here's the video: 

 

This is the tree where the Tetramorium have been flooded and natives are apparently returning. 

 

At the pond, progress has been slower with getting rid of the Tetramorium. I know there's two different colonies, one of which might be Tetramorium tsushimae. However, lots of plants have begun to grow, including some thistles which are host to Uroleucon sonchii, an aphid species. I've identified some of the plants around the pond. While identifying these plants, I noticed more Brachymyrmex depilis. I am wondering if it is the warm and extremely humid weather. I'm going to try to clean up the pond a bit and put in some native water plants, which I will have to research lots about. 

 

Here is a common-sow thistle (Sonchus oleraceus), native to the Europe and Western Asia. 

 

Here is a Common Lamb's-quarters (Chenopodium album), native to Europe. 

 

Here is a Tiger Lily (Lilium lancifolium), native to east Asia. 

 

Here are some Yellow Daylilies(Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus), native to Asia and some areas in Europe.

 

I also found some Black-bindweed (Fallopia convulvulus), as well as velvetleaf (Abuliton theophrasti). Both are not native to my area, from Europe, Africa, and Asia. These things tell me that I should be searching for native plants to replace these ones. The fact that all of these are said to be introduced from a different continent is slightly upsetting. Perhaps this explains why the Tetramorium are able to be so prevalent. 

 

Here's a picture of the aphids on the sow-thistle.

 

 

View of the entire pond.


Edited by AnthonyP163, July 5 2019 - 3:39 PM.

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#32 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 10 2019 - 2:28 PM

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7/10/19

 

Today it was 90 degrees fahrenheit here in Wisconsin, and the ants were extremely active despite the fast winds. I noticed at the pond that the Tetramorium sp. were very active on the ground, and I flooded some of them for a few minutes. I then observed some of the thistles and lilies, and noticed dozens of Formica montana workers moving among the lilies. Their gasters became extended with sugary liquid, and they ran back to their various hills. I've noticed a nest in the middle of the grass, as well as the one mentioned in previous posts on this thread near the tree. The colony near the tree has been very active and healthy, although the Polyergus raid which usually happens may happen any day. If the Polyergus do not raid within the next few days, this may be something to worry about. It is reasonable to guess that they may have raided one of the other Formica montana colonies which are elsewhere in my neighborhood, but it's also a possibility they have been killed by someone. 

 

I cleaned the pond and there's some goldfish in there, as a sidenote. The water was toxic before, and the only thing that lived there was mosquito larvae. 

 

After cataloguing the plants of the pond, I have removed most or all of the Chenopodium album and Abuliton theophrasti, and next year I will not allow any other introduced plants to grow, excluding the lilies, which were planted by a family member who asked me to keep them there. 

 

Here are pictures:

 

I have continued to flood many brood chambers of the Tetramorium, especially in the garden, which I have not yet shown in this journal. Next update, I will take pictures of the garden, which has some milkweed. I am pretty sure that the continued flooding is becoming detrimental to them, as I see the workers less and less and I bet I am killing some of them. It does feel strange flooding them, as I have a soft spot for brood and alates. I am going to try to do boiling water a little bit more instead of plain flooding to possibly kill them faster. The Lasius and Brachymyrmex depilis mentioned previously are still nearby the Formica, and the Tetramorium in this area have been less and less dominant.


Edited by AnthonyP163, July 10 2019 - 2:29 PM.

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#33 Offline Antennal_Scrobe - Posted July 10 2019 - 3:12 PM

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This seems like something to try. I was just in far northern Wisconsin, and noticed there were no pavement ants anywhere to be seen. Instead, I saw LasiusMyrmica, and Dolichoderus. I wonder if Dolichoderus is normally so rare just because of invasive Tetramorium.


Currently keeping:

 

 Tetramorium immigrans

 Temnothorax curvispinosus

 Camponotus nearcticus

 Lasius aphidicola

 Temnothorax minutissimus


#34 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 10 2019 - 4:04 PM

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This seems like something to try. I was just in far northern Wisconsin, and noticed there were no pavement ants anywhere to be seen. Instead, I saw LasiusMyrmica, and Dolichoderus. I wonder if Dolichoderus is normally so rare just because of invasive Tetramorium.

I've noticed Dolichoderus is naturally rare in some areas, mine for example, where there could be multiple reasons, one of them being that the forests or preserved areas are simply not big enough to maintain a healthy population where I live.



#35 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 10 2019 - 5:32 PM

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What natives are you thinking of planting? I’d definitely pull up that sow thistle before it goes to seed, or it will be very hard to get rid of. What kind of soil do you have there?

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#36 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 10 2019 - 5:58 PM

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I am unsure of what I will plant. I want to plant some plants that will support aphids or flower for most of the year, but this may be difficult to find. I've browsed some native plant nurseries, but can't seem to find anything that might do this. 

 

If you're wondering what soil we have in my area, it is my understanding that the soil here is sandy. 



#37 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 14 2019 - 2:28 AM

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Yes, it will be hard to find something that blooms all season. Most native plant gardeners aim to have a diverse array of plants, so something is always in bloom at all times. You have an even bigger array of beautiful praerie plants to choose from than I do; I would aim to recreate a little slice of that shrinking habitat.
Heliopsis helianthoides is one plant I can think of that meets both of your requirements. It supports aphids and has a very long bloom time. It’s tough as nails, too!
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#38 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 14 2019 - 6:41 AM

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Yes, it will be hard to find something that blooms all season. Most native plant gardeners aim to have a diverse array of plants, so something is always in bloom at all times. You have an even bigger array of beautiful praerie plants to choose from than I do; I would aim to recreate a little slice of that shrinking habitat.
Heliopsis helianthoides is one plant I can think of that meets both of your requirements. It supports aphids and has a very long bloom time. It’s tough as nails, too!

Thanks lots, I'll look into that plant. I emailed Andy Jensen at AphidTrek and he gave me a list of plants that I might be able to use which would have aphids.

 

I am probably going to get a species of goldenrod as well, but I'll need to figure out the exact species that I'd like.


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#39 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 14 2019 - 8:11 AM

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Please post your aphid list. I’d love to see it.
Goldenrod is a superb choice. Solidagos support more host insects than almost any other forbs. The downside is their aggressiveness.
Solidago rigida is really nice looking and doesn’t spread as aggressively.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#40 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 18 2019 - 2:19 PM

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Please post your aphid list. I’d love to see it.
Goldenrod is a superb choice. Solidagos support more host insects than almost any other forbs. The downside is their aggressiveness.
Solidago rigida is really nice looking and doesn’t spread as aggressively.

"1. Rudbeckia (black-eyed susans). These get a fabulous big red aphid on the stems. It's not ant-tended, but it is very showy all by itself.  

2. Monarda. These get Hyalomyzus monardae among the flowers, and of course also attract bees.  I don't think the aphid is ant-tended, though.
3. Any Senecio you can find that's native. They'll have a black aphid with ants.
4. Milkweeds get a few aphids, including the non-native but very showy Aphis nerii.
5. I think there is a native Symphoricarpos (snowberry is one of the common names for the genus) out there. That get s a showy blue/black/white aphid (Aphthargelia) that is sometimes ant-tended.
6. More showy aphids are on Solidago (goldenrods), some green, some red. I think there are a few to several native Solidago in the midwest; I'd plant as many species as I could get.
7. Evening primrose is a nice plant that gets aphids: Oenothera.
8. I think there might be a native Lonicera (honeysuckle) vine with a few good aphids.
9. How about Eupatorium?  Not sure if that's native to Wisconsin, but if so it can be interesting.
10. Impatiens can be good for a few species.
11. If you have some moist ground shaded by trees, you might try Thalictrum.
12. If there are any native willows (Salix) with a shrubby growth habit, they are good for a range of aphids."

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