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Care Sheet - Formica aserva

formica aserva

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#1 Offline Crystals - Posted February 26 2015 - 3:04 PM

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Scientific Name:  Formica aserva
 
Distribution:  Found throughout Canada and northern areas of the United States.
 
Queen size:  7-8 mm
 
Worker size:  4-7 mm
 
Natural Habitat:  Commonly found in the middle of fields or along the tree line by spruce or aspen facing the sun.
 
Circadian Activity:  Diurnal
 
Mating Flight:  Late July to Late August, usually a few day or 1-2 weeks after the Formica podzolica fly.  They usually fly between noon and 5pm.
 
Queen Founding Method:  Parasitic. Various sources indicate that it will parasitize almost any Formica fusca group species. It will usually infiltrate a colony and kill the queen. The queen uses either the existing workers or the newly eclosing workers as the workforce to raise her own brood. This species will sometimes also raid other Formica species and steal pupae for slaves.
 
Monogyne or Polygyne:  Monogyne
 
Average time from egg to worker:  Can widely vary depending on temperature.  Egg to Larvae = 10-18 days; Larvae to pupae = 8-14 days, Pupae to worker = 7-16 days.  Brood in Formica species grows faster than most other genera in Alberta. They never overwinter brood.
 
Recommended Temperature:  Preferred Summer temperatures are 22-26C (71.6-78.8F)
 
Recommended Humidity:  This species likes it moderately damp.
 
Preferred Foods:  This species loves almost any insect and any sweet. Hummingbird nectar, sugar water, crickets, mealworms, various fly species, etc. They do have a preference for foods that they can carry into the nest. This species does have a social stomach.
 
Hibernation Details:  Formica aserva requires hibernation. They need 3-4 months in the fridge, preferred hibernation temperatures are 8-15C (46.4-59F). They can survive as low as 3C (37.4F), but deaths can start occurring.
 
Escape Barrier Methods:  Olive oil, talc, and fluon work for this species. Vaseline does not affect them.
 
Difficulty rating:  This species is a fairly easy species as it grows quite quickly, eats almost anything, and is forgiving of mistakes (just don’t let the humidity go too low). The hardest part is the founding stage.
 
Bite and/or Sting rating:  This species can bite and they are also able to place droplets of formic acid into a bite mark or on other surfaces. The pain from the bite fades quickly.
 
Special Care or Interesting Notes:  This species is extremely aggressive. This species is not able to “spray” formic acid, although vapors from the formic acid can cause issues with large colonies in poorly ventilated formicariums. Low humidity can cause issues with this species, particularly with the brood. They often build dirt mounds and frequently cover them with spruce or pine needles. In some locations these queens fly right around the time that the wild blueberries are ready to pick. Many parasitic Formica, particularly queens, look very similar and may be hard to ID.
 
Additional Links:
 
http://www.antweb.or...&species=aserva
http://www.antwiki.o.../Formica_aserva
http://www.navajonat...ica-aserva.html
http://www.alexander...ica/i-wR9h3bS/A
 

Information submitted by Crystals.


  • AntsBC likes this

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#2 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted February 26 2015 - 4:39 PM

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This is what type of ant species I have been wanting for the longest of time but I don't know when they fly. Am I just misunderstanding but don't F. aserva have a brighter shade of red than in that picture?


Edited by Gaige Daughtrey, February 26 2015 - 4:41 PM.


#3 Offline Crystals - Posted February 27 2015 - 7:16 AM

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The red color can vary a bit depending on location, diet, etc.  There is often a bit of variation between members of the same species, sometimes even within the same colony.

There are several parasitic Formica species that are extemely hard to tell apart even if you have pictures as good as antweb.org.


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#4 Offline jeffpbalderston - Posted April 12 2015 - 12:51 AM

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Found her yesterday around 5 off of highway 50. Pollock pines, California. 4/11/15. Formica aserva?

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#5 Offline James C. Trager - Posted April 12 2015 - 6:07 AM

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Jeffrey's ant is a rufa-group species. 

Also Crystals, common names are not well codified for ants, but red wood ant should not be used for F. aserva, I think, since that name is usually applied to members of the rufa-group only, and F. aserva is in the slave-maker/sanguinea-group.



#6 Offline Trailandstreet - Posted April 12 2015 - 1:26 PM

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Oh, I just wondered, if it is a Serviformica or a Formica s str, but james already answered my question.

 

Red wood ants are here only Formica rufa and F polyctena.


:hi: Franz

if you find any mistakes, it's my autocorrection. it doesn't speak english.


#7 Offline Crystals - Posted April 12 2015 - 2:23 PM

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Jeffrey's ant is a rufa-group species. 

Also Crystals, common names are not well codified for ants, but red wood ant should not be used for F. aserva, I think, since that name is usually applied to members of the rufa-group only, and F. aserva is in the slave-maker/sanguinea-group.

I know common names are very confusing and they are called different things in different locations.

This is just an ant care sheet.

The name does not suite it from a scientific perspective, but that is what everyone in my location calls it.  Their other name is "Nasty mean red ant".  :D

 

If the common name bothers too many people I can just delete it from my original post.


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"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

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#8 Offline nurbs - Posted July 9 2015 - 10:46 PM

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Thanks for the info Crystal :)


Instagram:
nurbsants
 
YouTube
 
California Ants for Sale
 
Camponotus us-ca02
https://www.formicul...onotus-us-ca02/

 

Unidentified Formica

https://www.formicul...l-ca-6-27-2020/

 

Undescribed "Modoc"

https://www.formicul...mp-ca-5-4-2017/

 

Camponotus or Colobopsis yogi:

https://www.formicul...a-ca-1-28-2018/
 
Pencil Case and Test Tube Formicariums
https://www.formicul...m-and-outworld/
 
Bloodworm Soup
https://www.formicul...bloodworm-soup/


#9 Offline TheAnswerIsTheLogic - Posted August 1 2015 - 7:45 AM

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Yep and color variation depend on the location :

I have one of that colony on my area and are Red.

When i was in vacantion i saw exactly same species but color was dark red.

The food and agresivity depend on the location.



#10 Offline Batspiderfish - Posted June 26 2016 - 5:52 AM

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Have there been any observations of Formica aserva replacing a Formica queen and using the existing workers to raise her brood, or was this a generalization for temporary social parasites? From what I understand, Formica aserva will not tolerate the existing adult members of a colony and instead focus on securing worker pupae and other brood, which she is fully capable of caring for. This is kind of why I find it a relief to raise these parasitic queens, compared to temporary social parasites which do not practice brood care. The second she finds a good Formica pupa, she'll carry the whole pile of brood to her founding chamber. :)


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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.

 

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Black lives still matter.


#11 Online AnthonyP163 - Posted March 6 2018 - 9:12 PM

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Yes. I caught one of these queens in July and she opened 4 pupae by herself.






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