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Largest ant species in North America?


20 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Luke_in_AZ - Posted June 27 2020 - 7:47 PM

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What is the largest ant species in North America?  From what I've seen, maybe camponotus pennsylvanicus?

 

Any ideas on what the largest species is found in the southwest desert (or Arizona)?

 



#2 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted June 27 2020 - 7:57 PM

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What is the largest ant species in North America?  From what I've seen, maybe camponotus pennsylvanicus?

 

Any ideas on what the largest species is found in the southwest desert (or Arizona)?

In the US we have Atta mexicana, with queens at 24 mm. 


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#3 Offline Aaron567 - Posted June 27 2020 - 9:25 PM

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North America is pretty broad area; there are some very large Atta, Camponotus, Neoponera, and Odontomachus existing in tropical Mexico. If you're mainly only referring to the US and Canada, Atta mexicana and Atta texana probably win for queen size, and mexicana is found in the extreme southern part of Arizona. Other candidates for worker size could be Neoponera villosa of southern Texas, Camponotus socius of the southeastern US, and possibly some other Camponotus out west.


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#4 Offline ponerinecat - Posted June 28 2020 - 7:36 AM

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Well lucky you, you have mexicana.


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#5 Offline Manitobant - Posted June 28 2020 - 9:16 AM

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Well lucky you, you have mexicana.


Yeah, but they only exist at organ pipe cactus national monument, which is a 2 and a half hour drive from his area. Not sure if he'd want to go that far for queens...
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Colony wish list:

Lasius latipes
Harpagoxenus canadensis
Temnothorax Americanus
Myrmica semiparasitica
Any formica microgyna group sp.

#6 Offline TechAnt - Posted June 28 2020 - 9:17 AM

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Well lucky you, you have mexicana.


Yeah, but they only exist at organ pipe cactus national monument, which is a 2 and a half hour drive from his area. Not sure if he'd want to go that far for queens...
I would to get Atta lol.
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Ants:
(x1) Campontous semitstaceus ~20 workers, 1 Queen
(x1) Pheidole californica ~200 workers, 4 Queens
(x1) Camponotus vicinus ~a batch of pupae and 5 workers, 1 Queen (all black variety)

Non-Ants:
A bunch of fish ~50 fish

Ants Wanted:
Myrmecocystus sp. and Acromyrmex sp.


#7 Offline Luke_in_AZ - Posted June 28 2020 - 10:11 AM

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If I was 100% certain I would find an Atta Mexicana queen I would go.  haha 

 

Probably worth looking for the largest Camponotus species I can find a little closer or in the desert right by my house in Phoenix. 



#8 Online Froggy - Posted June 28 2020 - 12:59 PM

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If I was 100% certain I would find an Atta Mexicana queen I would go.  haha 

 

Probably worth looking for the largest Camponotus species I can find a little closer or in the desert right by my house in Phoenix. 

If your looking for large species, Novomessor are very common in Arizona and have large workers, I have a bunch of colony's in my yard, and I think I saw some queen larvae, so they will probably fly after the first storm of monsoon season, they are aggressive but don't sting and bites don't really hurt


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#9 Offline Luke_in_AZ - Posted June 28 2020 - 3:36 PM

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If your looking for large species, Novomessor are very common in Arizona and have large workers, I have a bunch of colony's in my yard, and I think I saw some queen larvae, so they will probably fly after the first storm of monsoon season, they are aggressive but don't sting and bites don't really hurt

 

Thanks!  I'll keep an eye out for those.


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#10 Offline TechAnt - Posted June 28 2020 - 10:08 PM

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You know your really to live in a state with Atta. We have our Acromyrmex and such, but Atta are so much bigger. (This is just my opinion and no offense to the other leaf-cutter species) And they look wayyyyy cooler.
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Ants:
(x1) Campontous semitstaceus ~20 workers, 1 Queen
(x1) Pheidole californica ~200 workers, 4 Queens
(x1) Camponotus vicinus ~a batch of pupae and 5 workers, 1 Queen (all black variety)

Non-Ants:
A bunch of fish ~50 fish

Ants Wanted:
Myrmecocystus sp. and Acromyrmex sp.


#11 Offline Vendayn - Posted June 28 2020 - 11:18 PM

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I believe Atta are actually easier than Acromyrmex (versicolor). In Europe/Asia they have vastly more success with Atta than Acromyrmex in general. Atta in general actually seems easier from all the journals I've read of the European leafcutter setups. And I think Acromyrmex versicolor is actually a harder one due to its hybrid desert/humid requirements.


Edited by Vendayn, June 28 2020 - 11:19 PM.

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#12 Offline Luke_in_AZ - Posted June 29 2020 - 3:37 PM

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I'll be driving through Gila Bend, AZ next week which is only about an hour from the Organ Pipe area and can probably swing by and try to find some Atta mexicana queens but I've read they have super deep nests so it probably isn't worth it...


Edited by Luke_in_AZ, June 29 2020 - 3:54 PM.


#13 Offline TechAnt - Posted June 29 2020 - 3:53 PM

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I'll be driving through Gila Bend, AZ next week which is only about an hour from the Organ Pipe area and can probably swing by and try to find some Atta mexicana queens. 
 
I've never seen them before.  Any tips on trying to find some?  I hope to find a few and post pics!

I mean, they are hard to miss considering their huge. But I’m not an Atta expert (or any leaf cutting ants for that matter) so what can I say.
  • Luke_in_AZ likes this

Ants:
(x1) Campontous semitstaceus ~20 workers, 1 Queen
(x1) Pheidole californica ~200 workers, 4 Queens
(x1) Camponotus vicinus ~a batch of pupae and 5 workers, 1 Queen (all black variety)

Non-Ants:
A bunch of fish ~50 fish

Ants Wanted:
Myrmecocystus sp. and Acromyrmex sp.


#14 Offline Broncos - Posted June 29 2020 - 3:56 PM

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I don't know the largest but I do know that Camponotus US CA-02 is pretty huge.


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Ant Colonies:

Pogonomyrmex Californicus

Pogonomyrmex Rugosus

Camponotus US CA-02

Formica Francoeuri

Novomessor Cockorelli

Youtube:https://www.youtube....-ants-tutorials


#15 Offline Aaron567 - Posted June 29 2020 - 3:57 PM

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Atta texana in Texas has nuptial flights in April and May. Not sure if it's the same for Arizona's mexicana though.


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#16 Offline Luke_in_AZ - Posted June 29 2020 - 4:31 PM

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I'll be driving through Gila Bend, AZ next week which is only about an hour from the Organ Pipe area and can probably swing by and try to find some Atta mexicana queens. 
 
I've never seen them before.  Any tips on trying to find some?  I hope to find a few and post pics!

I mean, they are hard to miss considering their huge. But I’m not an Atta expert (or any leaf cutting ants for that matter) so what can I say.

 

I was thinking it would be liking finding Camponotus but just read that some of their nest are the size of Olympic swimming pools deep in the ground so I probably won't be catching any queens!  haha



#17 Offline gcsnelling - Posted June 29 2020 - 5:14 PM

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Keep in mind collecting of any sort in Organ pipe is prohibited.


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#18 Offline Luke_in_AZ - Posted June 29 2020 - 7:12 PM

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Ah, good to know. Thanks. Guess I'll only be able to check the borders if anything.

#19 Offline Manitobant - Posted June 29 2020 - 7:16 PM

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Ah, good to know. Thanks. Guess I'll only be able to check the borders if anything.

i mean you can still do it if you insist. Most places here don't care when i collect.


(Not trying to promote or condone illegal activity, just saying he can do what he wants)

Edited by Manitobant, June 29 2020 - 7:17 PM.

  • Luke_in_AZ likes this
Colony wish list:

Lasius latipes
Harpagoxenus canadensis
Temnothorax Americanus
Myrmica semiparasitica
Any formica microgyna group sp.

#20 Offline Luke_in_AZ - Posted June 29 2020 - 7:52 PM

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In the US we have Atta mexicana, with queens at 24 mm. 

 

This article was shared with me by Manitobant.  It agrees with you that Atta mexicana is "the largest north american ant known" (at least at the time it was written.

https://www.nps.gov/...intzer_3876.htm






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