A couple years ago, I came across a wild colony in my yard. What surprised me was the fact that it had dozens and dozens of queens, and thousands (if not tens of thousands) of workers. I counted around 60 queens, but it could very well be closer to 100. I had no idea so many queens could found a colony together. However, after reading https://www.formicul...olesta-journal/, it all made sense. These ants breed in the nest! And Mdrogun caught it on film:
Well, everybody, 5 queens has quickly turned into over 15 queens. I caught this species breeding in the nest multiple times, and I caught it on video, too . This explains a lot about the species. The queens' notoriously short life spans, etc. Here is a video showing their brood and queen progress. They are really exploding. I wonder if the need for higher egg production has triggered the nest breeding that I experienced in my colony. Here is a video showing everything I captured:
What kind of nest do you have them in?
They used to be in a Aus ants size 02 acrylic nest. I recently moved them into a Tarheelants Antblock, as they required more space. couldn't of come at a better time, the new nest allows better viewing
I believe this to be the first documented case of Solenopsis molesta mating in the nest. Please correct me if I am wrong . I notice that the workers will assist the male and guide him towards a queen. After that, they back off, and the male does what males do . They do struggle a bit tho, breeding appears difficult. After he does his business, he dies fairly quickly. The queen then is assisted by the workers in removing her wings.
In my opinion, this species is better than AC's Fire Nation and Dark Knights. It has a little of both, plus it's unique thieving behavior. Not to mention it's a native!