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Poly Queen Fire ant journal


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29 replies to this topic

#1 Offline steam_funk - Posted May 11 2020 - 11:40 AM

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5/11/2020

 

First post here, two weeks ago fire ant queens were flying en masse on my driveway. I managed to catch about 16 in total divided into two test tubes. I'm aware they'll kill each other ,but I don't want too many colonies. They have already produced massive brood piles. Interesting thing is that some of them are vibrantly red while others are less vivid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_MG_3597.JPG  

 

_MG_3593.JPG


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#2 Offline AntsExodus - Posted May 11 2020 - 1:02 PM

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cool! What state do you live in?


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#3 Offline AntsDakota - Posted May 11 2020 - 1:37 PM

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I'm aware they'll kill each other 

I believe some S. invicta are polygynous.


"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#4 Offline steam_funk - Posted May 11 2020 - 2:21 PM

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cool! What state do you live in?

 

 

Central Florida



#5 Offline steam_funk - Posted May 11 2020 - 3:33 PM

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I'm aware they'll kill each other 

I believe some S. invicta are polygynous.

 

 

 

I looked it up and found this 

 

3-s2.0-B9780080453378001716-gr5.jpg

 

 

 

I believe it says that the polygnous gene is reccessive and is a mutation from the invasive population. The poly gene is suppossed to be rare because it only is passed on when the queen is with other poly queens( Link is https://www.scienced...enopsis-invicta)


Edited by steam_funk, May 11 2020 - 3:36 PM.

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#6 Offline BitT - Posted May 11 2020 - 3:39 PM

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Hello, Steam_funk! I'm also in Central Florida and recently collected some Fire Queens in April and May. Are you knew to the hobby as well or are an experienced Ant Keeper? That's interesting about the polygnous gene. I wonder when the none polly queens will turn aggressive? I personally have several singles tubes and a few multi-queen tubes.



#7 Offline steam_funk - Posted May 11 2020 - 3:55 PM

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Hello, Steam_funk! I'm also in Central Florida and recently collected some Fire Queens in April and May. Are you knew to the hobby as well or are an experienced Ant Keeper? That's interesting about the polygnous gene. I wonder when the none polly queens will turn aggressive? I personally have several singles tubes and a few multi-queen tubes.

 

I'm kinda inexperienced I've been keeping pheidole obscurithorax since august last year. According to this article (https://www.journals.../10.1086/303205.) BB queens are the most solitary and are the heaviest, so they spread the farthest and fastest. Bb is intermediate and will either return to the nest or settle a new nest. The bb queens are the most polygnous and have a small amount of fat reserves so they don't fly ,but "infiltrate" another colony and mate with a male in the nest. The article doesn't mention it ,but this makes me think that BB and Bb queens are the most likely to be collected. Fertile bb queens can probably only be collected by excavating a nest.


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#8 Offline AntsDakota - Posted May 11 2020 - 3:59 PM

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Fascinating how polygyne has developed in ants.

"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#9 Offline BitT - Posted May 11 2020 - 4:19 PM

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Hello, Steam_funk! I'm also in Central Florida and recently collected some Fire Queens in April and May. Are you knew to the hobby as well or are an experienced Ant Keeper? That's interesting about the polygnous gene. I wonder when the none polly queens will turn aggressive? I personally have several singles tubes and a few multi-queen tubes.

 

I'm kinda inexperienced I've been keeping pheidole obscurithorax since august last year. According to this article (https://www.journals.../10.1086/303205.) BB queens are the most solitary and are the heaviest, so they spread the farthest and fastest. Bb is intermediate and will either return to the nest or settle a new nest. The bb queens are the most polygnous and have a small amount of fat reserves so they don't fly ,but "infiltrate" another colony and mate with a male in the nest. The article doesn't mention it ,but this makes me think that BB and Bb queens are the most likely to be collected. Fertile bb queens can probably only be collected by excavating a nest.

 

Yah, would make me think that too. I'm wondering, with the queens I collected... The first batch was separate queens at my work with many being killed by a local nest. Meanwhile the queens I got close to my house were huddling together and digging together meanwhile the local workers seemed to not be aggressive with them. So I'm very curious if this means anything.

 

When you caught your queens were they kind of going their own way? Or were they close to one another, huddling, digging together?



#10 Offline steam_funk - Posted May 12 2020 - 7:44 AM

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Hello, Steam_funk! I'm also in Central Florida and recently collected some Fire Queens in April and May. Are you knew to the hobby as well or are an experienced Ant Keeper? That's interesting about the polygnous gene. I wonder when the none polly queens will turn aggressive? I personally have several singles tubes and a few multi-queen tubes.

 

I'm kinda inexperienced I've been keeping pheidole obscurithorax since august last year. According to this article (https://www.journals.../10.1086/303205.) BB queens are the most solitary and are the heaviest, so they spread the farthest and fastest. Bb is intermediate and will either return to the nest or settle a new nest. The bb queens are the most polygnous and have a small amount of fat reserves so they don't fly ,but "infiltrate" another colony and mate with a male in the nest. The article doesn't mention it ,but this makes me think that BB and Bb queens are the most likely to be collected. Fertile bb queens can probably only be collected by excavating a nest.

 

Yah, would make me think that too. I'm wondering, with the queens I collected... The first batch was separate queens at my work with many being killed by a local nest. Meanwhile the queens I got close to my house were huddling together and digging together meanwhile the local workers seemed to not be aggressive with them. So I'm very curious if this means anything.

 

When you caught your queens were they kind of going their own way? Or were they close to one another, huddling, digging together?

 

 

They were on my driveway ,so they never really had a chance to dig they all landed close together though. I think these are Bb because they seem semi-willing to work together ,but its hard to tell.



#11 Offline AntsDakota - Posted May 12 2020 - 7:48 AM

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Time will tell.


"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#12 Offline steam_funk - Posted May 25 2020 - 2:00 PM

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5/25/2020

 

I added two new queens to each test tube, they have established and helped the other queens. I guess they won't start culling them until the first workers arrive. They have a large dime sized piled of larvae ,but no pupae. I ordered two medium high tech ant nests to move them into after the foundation nest.



#13 Offline PurdueEntomology - Posted May 25 2020 - 2:32 PM

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Facultative polygyny should not be surprising it is a phenotypic expression common among various subfamilies and genera of ants that all share the "invasive syndrome" qualities.


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#14 Offline steam_funk - Posted June 1 2020 - 7:19 PM

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The red test tube colony has its first handful of workers! The clear colony doesn't ,but I assume its because they've eaten more eggs.( I open the sock drawer quietly daily for garments.) I'm not going to feed them until a few more arrive as their pile is quite large. I have found 1 dead queen though so it seems the game has begun. I will add pictures tommorrow.



#15 Offline Studio - Posted June 1 2020 - 11:17 PM

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Nice! There's tons of the S. invicta in my area. They've taken over the majority of the area in fact that it's actually rare for me to find any species other than fire ants. Even though they're invasive and should be removed, they're a really good starter for anyone getting into the hobby. They're abundant, prolific, hardy and disposable if you can find them locally. I've raised a few for fun and man do they grow fast! They've always grown so out of hand I end up freezing them within a year or less.

From my personal experience, polygyny in S. invicta is very random, but they're all polygynous during the founding stage. Usually once they're around 10-15 workers the queens will start picking each other off. The workers soon follow with decapitation and dismemberment until only 1 queen remains. Sometimes the queens will start killing off the more subordinate queens during the founding stage. Sometimes they just all live happily ever after. I've had one colony kill all but 2 queens up until they had about 200-300 workers then they decided to kill off 1 queen, I don't know why they waited to do that.

 

One word of advice is that they're very susceptible to drought, they love humidity and moisture. One time I went away for 3 days and came back to a colony of 100+ workers dead, brood shriveled, and the queen barely alive. It turned out that there was an air bubble that blocked water from flowing out of the tube of their water reservoir and it only took them 3 days to dehydrate to death.


Edited by Studio, June 1 2020 - 11:19 PM.


#16 Offline AntsDakota - Posted June 2 2020 - 5:56 AM

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They are not good starters at all. Colonies will grow at an uncontrollable rate, and demand extremely high amounts of food. You may have ten thousand workers in their first year.

"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#17 Offline Mdrogun - Posted June 2 2020 - 6:08 AM

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They are not good starters at all. Colonies will grow at an uncontrollable rate, and demand extremely high amounts of food. You may have ten thousand workers in their first year.

You know, I've seen people say this all the time, but have you ever actually kept S. invicta? If you don't want them to grow, don't continually ramp up their feeding. It's really as simple as that.

 

Also, 10,000 workers in their first year is probably in sub-optimal conditions. When I kept them, my colony hit 10-20k within 8 months.  :lol: They're crazy dudes, but only if you want them to be.


Edited by Mdrogun, June 2 2020 - 6:13 AM.

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Currently Keeping:
Trachymyrmex septentrionalis

Pheidole pilifera

Forelius sp. (Monogynous, bicolored) "Midwestern Forelius"
Crematogaster cerasi

Pheidole bicarinata

Aphaenogaster rudis

Camponotus chromaiodes

Formica sp. (microgena species)

Nylanderia cf. arenivega


#18 Offline AntsDakota - Posted June 2 2020 - 6:38 AM

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They are not good starters at all. Colonies will grow at an uncontrollable rate, and demand extremely high amounts of food. You may have ten thousand workers in their first year.

You know, I've seen people say this all the time, but have you ever actually kept S. invicta? If you don't want them to grow, don't continually ramp up their feeding. It's really as simple as that.
 
Also, 10,000 workers in their first year is probably in sub-optimal conditions. When I kept them, my colony hit 10-20k within 8 months.  :lol: They're crazy dudes, but only if you want them to be.
I’m not using my own experience, but that of others, which should be just as valid.

"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#19 Offline Mdrogun - Posted June 2 2020 - 6:49 AM

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They are not good starters at all. Colonies will grow at an uncontrollable rate, and demand extremely high amounts of food. You may have ten thousand workers in their first year.

You know, I've seen people say this all the time, but have you ever actually kept S. invicta? If you don't want them to grow, don't continually ramp up their feeding. It's really as simple as that.
 
Also, 10,000 workers in their first year is probably in sub-optimal conditions. When I kept them, my colony hit 10-20k within 8 months.  :lol: They're crazy dudes, but only if you want them to be.
I’m not using my own experience, but that of others, which should be just as valid.

 

But... It's not. There is a reason why the scientific community doesn't accept anecdotal evidence as evidence. As much as I would like to believe it, Solenopsis invicta cannot bend the laws of physics. If you restrict the food going in, the ants can only do so much with it.


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Currently Keeping:
Trachymyrmex septentrionalis

Pheidole pilifera

Forelius sp. (Monogynous, bicolored) "Midwestern Forelius"
Crematogaster cerasi

Pheidole bicarinata

Aphaenogaster rudis

Camponotus chromaiodes

Formica sp. (microgena species)

Nylanderia cf. arenivega


#20 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted June 2 2020 - 6:57 AM

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He never said they bended the laws of physics, only that that they aren’t good starters, which I also stand by. However the OP said this isn’t his first colony, so he had experience keeping ants. Also, anecdotal evidence isn’t only using other people’s, it’s also using your own, so if he had also kept a colony of these and said that, it would still be anecdotal evidence. And also, people say these aren’t good starters for a reason, and I doubt most people keep ants to restrict their food and keep them from reaching their full potential.

Edited by Kaelwizard, June 2 2020 - 7:02 AM.

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