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Monomorium Minimum Info

minimum monomorium

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#1 Offline Nanos - Posted November 19 2018 - 7:45 PM

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I've search quite a bit for basic information on Monomorium Minimum with very little success. So i'm intending for this topic to be a location where people that have reared that species to post what they've observed. 

 

Basic info:

 

Hibernation: Yes they hibernate. Not sure if they need it. Temperatures around 13C seem to be cold enough. I kept two colonies at around 12-13C and they were fine. 

Nuptial flight: Possibly June- July in central kansas i caught all of mine in the act of mating between June 23 -june 7. There is a wiki source that says that nuptial flights have not been observed. I have never seen them mate in flight but i have found them mating in locations high off the ground so i'm thinking if they don't mate in flight they do disperse by flying than mate on the ground. 06/05/2020 update i have seen on two occasion a male fly toward a female perched in a high location and mate with her at that location. This to me suggest that mating DOES NOT happen in flight. 

Queens: Polygynous - antwiki mentions up to 12-14 queens living together.

ClaustralFully claustral - I got this info from fellow member YsTheant, also all five of my separately raised queens turned out fine. 

Life cycle: egg -pupae ~10-13 days, egg-adult: ~32-35 days , not really sure on the temperature, but the ambient temperature of my house was about 80 F so i'm thinking the drawer i kept them in was in the 70's F. 

Hibernation: Yes, not sure what the ideal temperature is

Longevity of queen: There is source out there that says " queen lives approximately year in captivity" i cannot confirm this. I'll let you know by this time next year.  

Nest location: According to various members: Sandy or loamy soil in open dry areas, under rocks, under bark and logs, near drain ditches. 

I've seen many colonies in soil with very little vegetation nearby (not sure what type of soil yet). A wiki source states that the nest is about 10cm down in the soil. 

Pupae: does not form a cocoon. 16RL4ifEBuJuyc

foods: honey, fruit flies, Silkworm and sunburst ant nectar (from member JonhTX)

 

Behavior: The queen and the male can remain attached for a while, i have seen the queen drag the male around for a while. She also does this weird thing where it seems like she is nibbling his butt; it doesn't seem to damage him though. It seems to me that for them to detach they both have to get a good grip on the surface and move in opposite directions. After mating the queen will remove her wings using her back legs, this can take from a few minutes to a few hours. 1T7Ydryx1fKNhK

 

Antwiki link: http://www.antwiki.o...omorium_minimum

 

I will add more info as i get them.  


Edited by Nanos, June 5 2020 - 6:46 PM.

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#2 Online ANTdrew - Posted November 20 2018 - 7:05 AM

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Great info, thanks!

 I may try these gals out next year. Last summer I drove out to the woods to go queen hunting and came up empty. Walking up my front steps after I got home I found a dealate Monomorium minimum queen! I decided against keeping her, though, because I figured they were too small and there wasn't much info out there about them - until now.

 Later in the summer, my brother and I went biking and passed through a swarm of them. He got covered in tiny drones!


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

#3 Offline Nanos - Posted November 20 2018 - 12:35 PM

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Great info, thanks!

 I may try these gals out next year. Last summer I drove out to the woods to go queen hunting and came up empty. Walking up my front steps after I got home I found a dealate Monomorium minimum queen! I decided against keeping her, though, because I figured they were too small and there wasn't much info out there about them - until now.

 Later in the summer, my brother and I went biking and passed through a swarm of them. He got covered in tiny drones!

Cool, if you do let me know anything interesting that you find. Also I didn't mention this above but this species can have multiple queens.



#4 Offline ponerinecat - Posted November 21 2018 - 9:25 PM

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Queens will definitely live longer than a year. You forgot to mention they are highly polygynous, making them an easy species as they have nests with hundreds of queens. I've never got a founding queen to live without boosted workers, though, and I find them to be slow layers.



#5 Offline Nanos - Posted November 25 2018 - 8:49 AM

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Queens will definitely live longer than a year. You forgot to mention they are highly polygynous, making them an easy species as they have nests with hundreds of queens. I've never got a founding queen to live without boosted workers, though, and I find them to be slow layers.

thanks just updated to include that in there. hmm.. interesting i'll have to keep an eye out on my queens since they are all living alone right now. They all seem to have a decent amount of workers (~20) so maybe they'll be fine. 



#6 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted November 25 2018 - 11:06 AM

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I just collected a large colony from the exact same place I found my Cyphomyrmex rimosus colony. It has only a single queen from what I saw.


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#7 Online YsTheAnt - Posted November 28 2018 - 6:12 AM

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Nice thread! I thought I would add that the best way I have found to obtain these is to collect a small colony. They commonly nest under rocks or in soil, no more than 6-8 inches down in the case of soil. The problem with collecting queens is they grow VERY slowly in founding without polygeny. This sometimes results in the population increasing slower than deaths, and the eventual downfall of the colony. Just my experience them though.
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#8 Offline Nathant2131 - Posted November 28 2018 - 12:01 PM

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I have found colonies with small mounds in sandy or loamy soil in open, dry areas. I've found them from remote pine barrens to urban yards.



#9 Offline ponerinecat - Posted November 29 2018 - 8:00 PM

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I find them under shallow rocks. Mostly next to drain ditches in my area. I've also seen huge colonies under bark on logs by the coast.



#10 Offline Nanos - Posted December 4 2018 - 12:43 PM

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Nice thread! I thought I would add that the best way I have found to obtain these is to collect a small colony. They commonly nest under rocks or in soil, no more than 6-8 inches down in the case of soil. The problem with collecting queens is they grow VERY slowly in founding without polygeny. This sometimes results in the population increasing slower than deaths, and the eventual downfall of the colony. Just my experience them though.

Thanks man, do you have any info on longevity of the queen? Also have you ever tried merging colonies? I'm thinking if the rate of death exceeds the rate of birth I could fuse two colonies. I know they are polygynous but it might be they just accept new queens and not new workers.  Thanks for the info btw. 



#11 Online YsTheAnt - Posted December 4 2018 - 5:15 PM

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I don't have any more experience with these other than the aforementioned, sorry! I do want to add that if a single queen is boosted she can lay enough eggs to start a colony and sustain it, but from what I've seen if they start from nothing as a single queen success rates are low.

Fusion might work, actually I think it will, but no guarantees.

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#12 Offline ponerinecat - Posted December 6 2018 - 7:03 PM

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Fusion works, I've merged colonies over the course of three years to form one colony. I let them go after I got too many ants.


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#13 Offline Guy_Fieri - Posted December 15 2018 - 11:42 AM

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I once found a colony of monomorium minimum under a flower pot. There was one queen, and she still had wings. Unfortunately that’s all of the experience I’ve had with them.

#14 Online ANTdrew - Posted July 14 2020 - 9:04 AM

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Bumping this back up.

I was out walking with my kids today and came across a big swarming flight of Monomorium minimum. It had rained heavily the night before. As noted above, queens had climbed up on the upper parts of a huge mound of trumpet creeper, Campsis radicans. Males were landing on them and mating amidst the foliage. I gathered three of the mated queens and combined them in a test tube. Two males were in the collection vials and they continued mating all the way home. :lol:

 


Edited by ANTdrew, July 14 2020 - 9:06 AM.

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

#15 Offline Antkid12 - Posted July 14 2020 - 9:44 AM

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Nice!


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Ants I have: Tapinoma sessile(2 queen colony). RED MORPH Camponotus neacticus(now has pupae!), Tetramorium immigrans (x3), Aphaenogaster sp, Temnothorax sp, Brachymyrmex sp.   possibly infertile   :(,  Ponera pennsylvanica, and Pheidole morrisi!  :yahoo: 

 

Other insects: Polistes sp. Queen

                    

Ants I need: Pheidole sp., Trachymyrmex sp., Crematogaster cerasi , Dorymyrmex sp. Most wanted: Pheidole morrisii

 

                    

                   

 

 


#16 Online ANTdrew - Posted July 16 2020 - 10:31 AM

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Update:

The three queens I collected on Tuesday from a mating swarm have all removed their wings and started laying eggs. That was quick! I'll use this thread to document their progress and share info in lieu of making another journal.

 


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

#17 Offline PurdueEntomology - Posted July 16 2020 - 10:59 AM

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I've search quite a bit for basic information on Monomorium Minimum with very little success. So i'm intending for this topic to be a location where people that have reared that species to post what they've observed. 

 

Basic info:

 

Hibernation: Yes they hibernate. Not sure if they need it. Temperatures around 13C seem to be cold enough. I kept two colonies at around 12-13C and they were fine. 

Nuptial flight: Possibly June- July in central kansas i caught all of mine in the act of mating between June 23 -june 7. There is a wiki source that says that nuptial flights have not been observed. I have never seen them mate in flight but i have found them mating in locations high off the ground so i'm thinking if they don't mate in flight they do disperse by flying than mate on the ground. 06/05/2020 update i have seen on two occasion a male fly toward a female perched in a high location and mate with her at that location. This to me suggest that mating DOES NOT happen in flight. 

Queens: Polygynous - antwiki mentions up to 12-14 queens living together.

ClaustralFully claustral - I got this info from fellow member YsTheant, also all five of my separately raised queens turned out fine. 

Life cycle: egg -pupae ~10-13 days, egg-adult: ~32-35 days , not really sure on the temperature, but the ambient temperature of my house was about 80 F so i'm thinking the drawer i kept them in was in the 70's F. 

Hibernation: Yes, not sure what the ideal temperature is

Longevity of queen: There is source out there that says " queen lives approximately year in captivity" i cannot confirm this. I'll let you know by this time next year.  

Nest location: According to various members: Sandy or loamy soil in open dry areas, under rocks, under bark and logs, near drain ditches. 

I've seen many colonies in soil with very little vegetation nearby (not sure what type of soil yet). A wiki source states that the nest is about 10cm down in the soil. 

Pupae: does not form a cocoon. 16RL4ifEBuJuyc

foods: honey, fruit flies, Silkworm and sunburst ant nectar (from member JonhTX)

 

Behavior: The queen and the male can remain attached for a while, i have seen the queen drag the male around for a while. She also does this weird thing where it seems like she is nibbling his butt; it doesn't seem to damage him though. It seems to me that for them to detach they both have to get a good grip on the surface and move in opposite directions. After mating the queen will remove her wings using her back legs, this can take from a few minutes to a few hours. 1T7Ydryx1fKNhK

 

Antwiki link: http://www.antwiki.o...omorium_minimum

 

I will add more info as i get them.  

They mated here on July 11th, Knoxville just outside the Entomology and Plant Pathology Building.  I collected males and females that had landed on the building.  I noticed the males were very eager to mate with any female they found while NOT flying.  I put a number of males and females in a vial and the males mated with them and even mated with females that had already dropped their wings as I collected both winged and none winged females.  Now I have the females all in one vial and they have already laid a mass of eggs.  The males I have preserved as an out group for my own Tapinoma sessile research.  I was astonished as to how large the males are with respect to the females.  I should post some photos.


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#18 Offline ponerinecat - Posted July 16 2020 - 11:15 AM

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"Monomorium minimum queens live approximately 1 year in laboratory colonies while workers live approximately 4 months. "

 

Taken from Antwiki.



#19 Online ANTdrew - Posted July 16 2020 - 11:30 AM

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That’s exactly what I observed. Males were eager to mate with various females that were stationary on plant leaves. They continued mating in their collection vials.
The males are massive for such a tiny species! It made me doubt they were Monomorium at first!

Edited by ANTdrew, July 16 2020 - 11:30 AM.

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

#20 Offline Temperateants - Posted July 16 2020 - 11:33 AM

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Amazing! I always like these polygynous, tough, and prolific ants that can mate inside the nest.


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