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Prenolepis Imparis - Western Massachusetts

p. imparis prenolepis imparis massachusetts ma

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#1 Offline Scherme - Posted April 24 2019 - 9:05 AM

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Saturday April 13th 2019 was going to be the perfect day for P. Imparis Flights. The 3 days leading to it were rainy and Saturday was forecast to be in the mid 70s and partially sunny.
I was prepared for a full day of outdoor chores with an ulterior motive. Walking the dog and picking up sticks in the yard was a productive front.
 
The big maple tree in the center of the yard was my first stop. I noted the activity on the tree. Foragers of what looked like P. Imparis making sweeps of the channels in the bark. A swarm of small dark flying insects was hiding on the shade side of the tree. They would not hold still. I got a few good looks as they would land and immediately take off. Small and dark, but assuredly ants. I assumed they were male alates, but where were the females? 
 
This was still early afternoon and I have a large yard to search so I harnessed the dog and started to walk. A few dozen steps in and a queen was spotted. Much bigger than the darker swarm near the tree and surprisingly red in the sunlight. She was flying above arms reach, as gracefully as she could manage, towards a large thicket. I was unable to see where she might have landed.
 
I had several similar encounters, but nothing caught, by the time I made my way back to the house. It was time for a break. Five minutes into relaxing on the back deck with my wife, a queen lands on the table in from of me. I scooped her up and created a test tube setup for her. This was around 1400 EST. 
 

By 1600 EST I had 3 more queens and missed many more. From my vantage point on my deck I had watched them float to the ground under the branches of the maple. 3/4 I found frantically scurrying through the grass with a male alate still attached. The males were small and dark, extremely similar to the swarm i had witness in the shade of the maple earlier. 

 

I had read P. Imparis was polygynous and one article even suggested pairing up queens to have a stronger start. I took this suggestion and combined my 4 queens into 2 setups stored them in similar fashion to my Lasius queens. I hope I am not making a mistake by combining them. I checked on them about a week later and all seemed well, a couple had shed their wings.

 

now is the big wait for brood. I am still waiting for Lasius brood to emerge and to break out the flashlight for Camponotus Pennsylvanicus as I heard they tend to fly at dusk or during the night. 

 

P. Imparis Queen P. Imparis Twin Queens
P. Imparis Twin Queens 2 P. Imparis 2 Pairs

 


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Tetramorium immigrans | Journal

Lasius Neoniger | Journal

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus | Journal

Camponotus Chromaiodes | Journal

Schermicarium - DIY | Journal


#2 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted April 24 2019 - 1:07 PM

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Nice! I have 2 of this species. One queen I even saw mate. The other one is most likely infertile and hasn't shed her wings yet.


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#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 24 2019 - 6:25 PM

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Your writing abilities are great, brother! Keep up these journals!
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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.

#4 Offline JenC - Posted April 24 2019 - 9:22 PM

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Congrats on the Catch!
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Current Colonies:
1x Camponotus Vicinus (3 Workers)

Single Queens:
3x Camponotus Clarithorax
4x Camponotus Maritimus
5x Camponotus Ca02
7x Camponotus Sansabeanus
1x Myrmecocustus Testaceus
3x Prenolepis Imparis

#5 Offline Scherme - Posted April 29 2019 - 8:51 AM

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Tragedy has struck.

 

My test tube setups are kept in small cardboard trays (originally for canned cat food) lined with crumpled paper towels (to prevent rolling around) and covered with a extra dishtowel to prevent light exposure.

 

I slide these trays into the small gap between the top of my refrigerator and the built in cabinets surrounding them. It is almost a perfect fit. It is dark and the temperature is fairly consistent, a  degree above room temp at most. 

 

The cloth I was using to light block for my P. Imparis was apparently snagged on top freezer door, when the door was opened, the tray went to the floor. 

 

No cotton was dislodged, the queens seemed rattled but uninjured so I scooped everything and returned it to the darkness ASAP to prevent any further stress. 

 

I gave them a couple days to settle but when I returned I found each tube had 1 dead and 1 alive. I am assuming the stress caused them to fight. 

 

I am going to give the remaining queens plenty of time before my next checkup. 


Tetramorium immigrans | Journal

Lasius Neoniger | Journal

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus | Journal

Camponotus Chromaiodes | Journal

Schermicarium - DIY | Journal


#6 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 29 2019 - 8:56 AM

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Sorry! I hope they recover.


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

#7 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted April 29 2019 - 8:58 AM

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Put them in a desk drawer. They should feel safe in that.

#8 Offline Scherme - Posted June 7 2019 - 12:43 PM

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1 out of 3 remain.

 

but she has eggs!

 

I still feel terrible for dropping them. I have a lot of ants on my plate in my first year and I don't want to be irresponsible with them. 

 

She seems to be doing well and she keeps her eggs further away from the wet cotton than my Lasius queens did. Theirs were piled high on top of the cotton as eggs while P. Imparis dotted them around the glass almost 1 cm away.

 

I had separated the 2 species in their own cardboard trays on top of the fridge because I wanted to be able to tell the difference. While they are close in appearance I can definitely tell difference. 

So I put the remaining Imparis into the tray with the Lasius as I think having 2 trays on the fridge is water contributed to me dropping them in the first place. As the eggs develop I will snag some pics. 


Tetramorium immigrans | Journal

Lasius Neoniger | Journal

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus | Journal

Camponotus Chromaiodes | Journal

Schermicarium - DIY | Journal


#9 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted June 8 2019 - 5:47 AM

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If they are dotted around are you sure they are fertile?

#10 Offline Scherme - Posted June 8 2019 - 11:53 AM

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Not 100%. 3 of them still had males attached when i caught them and they did not release for a while. I am not sure if that is definitive. They are not evenly or randomly spread around the tube, but they are spread out in a small circle.   


Tetramorium immigrans | Journal

Lasius Neoniger | Journal

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus | Journal

Camponotus Chromaiodes | Journal

Schermicarium - DIY | Journal


#11 Offline CatsnAnts - Posted June 8 2019 - 12:06 PM

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Could you take a picture?

Spoiler

#12 Offline Scherme - Posted June 25 2019 - 9:36 AM

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0 P. Imparis remain. 

 

Incredibly disheartening. 

 

I have immense resources at my fingertips, I can easily learn when and how to catch queens.

This allowed me to gather so many queens and I rushed to do so without enough experience, time, or space. 

 

Once my room downstairs starts to be outfitted for my hobbies, my ants will have a proper place in my house. A nursery has been top priority for the last several months, as it should.

For now I am focusing on my Neonigers (like I have a choice), and I will pursue other species again. By the beginning on next years nuptial flights, I intend to have everything ready to care for additional queens.


Tetramorium immigrans | Journal

Lasius Neoniger | Journal

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus | Journal

Camponotus Chromaiodes | Journal

Schermicarium - DIY | Journal






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