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Testing polygamous tendencies among certain species


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#1 Offline GeorgeK - Posted September 11 2018 - 1:51 AM

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Last year I caught around 20 solenopsis fugax queens that swarmed in my yard. After little research on internet, I found out they are in fact polygynous species and I ended up pairing them in test tubes in pair ranging from 2 per tube, all the way to 5 queens in tube. Since they lay eggs after hibernation, I mostly forgotten about them, and after 2-3 months when I decided to check up on them, every test tube had only one living queen, while all other queens were killed off (before they even had workers).

This year while stone turning, below one stone I found two tetramorium caespitum queens in same "chamber" below rock, and I decided to collect them. After putting them together, they laid eggs and right now are expecting third generation of workers. Both queens are still alive.

After speaking with fellow forum member StopSpazzing, he suggested that most species might be polygynous only in certain areas due to certain conditions ( lack of suitable space for nests, strong competition with different species,.. ).

After speaking with him, I went outside and noticed solenopsis fugax has once again started swarming ( they always fly on warm days in september after rain ). Due to some things I had to do, I missed most of the flight, but in the end I caught 4 queens and paired them in two pairs of two. Day after that I went stone turning in my yard in search for possible paired up queens. While stone turning I found four queens near each other ( NOT in same chamber below rock, but at most 1cm apart from each other, each in her own small chamber, sort of connected to other chambers ). Those queens were also paired in two pairs of two queen per tube. I also found another dual queen chamber of solenopsis fugax below rock, putting them in test tube as well.

Another fellow forum member Zeiss also mentioned they might pair up just because of abundance of resources, so why not have two queens and push colony as much as they can. I think this was sort of debunked by me, because after first feeding of dual tetramorium colony, I thought queens would kill each other, which did not happen. After that, I did not feed them for solid 1/1.5 week just to see if they would "sacrifice" one queen for food, which never happened.

After the intro, to sum the situation, I currently have:

One dual tetramorium caespitum colony with 3rd generation workers ( queens were found together below the rock )

Two pairs of "caught just after the flight" queens which I put together in test tube - I marked them as A

Three pairs of "found below the rock together" queens which I put in pairs of two per tube - I marked them as B

 

Right now, one pair of A queens is together, while other pair seems to already have dominant queen. One queen is on cotton, while other queen is on completely different side of test tube-on exit plug.

Of three pair B queens, two pairs are together, while once again one pair seems to already have dominant queen. One queen is on cotton, while other queen is on completely different side of test tube-on exit plug.

 

I will update on situation with this colonies around once every month, especially since I have marked two types of paired queens, as well as tetramorium queens, and I hope that soon enough I will be able to provide either pictures of the situation, or video if possible.

 

PS. This is under no circumstances "private" topic, and I would love if other members could contribute with their observations, thoughts,...


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#2 Offline GeorgeK - Posted September 14 2018 - 3:01 AM

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Update time [ This time with videos ]

Tetras are doing fine so far.

On other hand, both A pairs of solenopsis queens are now together ( ones put together after flight )

B pairs ( found in ground together ) on other hand aren't doing so well. One pair is currently together, one pair is still divided with dominant queen, while in third pair one queen got her legs cut off, and she died after that.

 

To sum the situation, I currently have:

 

One dual tetramorium caespitum colony with 3rd generation workers ( queens were found together below the rock )

Two pairs of "caught just after the flight" queens - Marked as A

Two pairs of "found below the rock together" queens - Marked as B ( One pair was depaired since one queen got killed by the other )

 

Video of tetras

 

Video of solenopsises



#3 Offline drtrmiller - Posted September 14 2018 - 9:12 AM

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Polygynous = poly (many) + gyne (queen) = many queens

 

Polygamous = poly (many) + gamete (to marry) = many husbands/wives


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#4 Offline GeorgeK - Posted September 14 2018 - 1:44 PM

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Polygynous = poly (many) + gyne (queen) = many queens

 

Polygamous = poly (many) + gamete (to marry) = many husbands/wives

Thanks for pointing out the error in title. Blame Zeiss tho, he formated the title for me :)






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