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Formica ID, Big Pine Trail, CA 6-27-2020

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#1 Offline nurbs - Posted July 2 2020 - 10:49 AM

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Location: Big Pine Trail, CA

Date: 6-27-2020

Habitat: Sierra Nevada Mountain range, 9000-10,000ft of elevation

Length: ~12mm

Coloring: Bright orange gaster with darker striations, darker orange/brown head and thorad 

Distinguishing characteristics: Thorax coloring as well as gaster initially reads as a Myrmecoystus

 

VIDEO can be found on Instagram:

https://www.instagra...g_web_copy_link

 

For the first time in nearly ten years of hardcore anting, found something in California that I could not positively ID. This beautiful bright orange queen was found at Big Pine trails up 10,000 ft of elevation in the California sierra nevada mountain range. I’ve included pics of the environment. She’s in the Formicinae subfamily. At first thought she was a Myrmecocystus because her coloring, but her maxillary palps said otherwise. She is about 12mm, maybe 14mm because her gaster seems swollen. Her size and coloring is throwing me off. Believe she is some species of Formica and not Camponotus as there is no space between her scapes and clypeus. 

 

Her coloring is absolutely beautiful and fascinating. Never seen a formica with these markings.

 

Dah0vQtl.jpg

 

7d1jEEdl.jpg

 

OawRT4ol.jpg

 

1N5ptccl.jpg

 

pMmuSwXl.jpg

 

 

jxJUMlol.jpg

 

 

 


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Instagram:
nurbsants
 
YouTube
 
California Ants for Sale

 

Unidentified Myrmecocystus

https://www.formicul...ls-near-desert/

 

Undescribed "Modoc"

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

 

Camponotus or Colobopsis yogi:

https://www.formicul...a-ca-1-28-2018/

 
Camponotus us-ca02
https://www.formicul...onotus-us-ca02/

 

Unidentified Formica

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

 
Pencil Case and Test Tube Formicariums
https://www.formicul...m-and-outworld/
 
Bloodworm Soup
https://www.formicul...bloodworm-soup/


#2 Offline TechAnt - Posted July 2 2020 - 10:52 AM

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Wow. I have no idea either. Looks unlike anything I have seen. 

 

(Could be a new species, but I doubt it)


My Ants:
(x1) Campontous semitstaceus ~20 workers, 1 Queen
(x1) Camponotus vicinus ~10 workers, 1 Queen (all black variety)
(x1) Tetramorium immigrans ~100 workers, 1 Queen
(x1) Myrmercocystus mexicanus -1 Queen
(x2) Mymercocystus mimcus -1 Queen
(x1) Mymercocystus testaceus ~45 workers, 1 Queen

#3 Offline Antkid12 - Posted July 2 2020 - 11:26 AM

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She looks so cool!


Ants I have: Tapinoma sessile(2 queen colony). RED MORPH Camponotus neacticus(now has pupae!), Tetramorium immigrans (x3), Aphaenogaster sp, Temnothorax sp, Brachymyrmex sp.   possibly infertile   :(,  Ponera pennsylvanica, and Pheidole morrisi!  :yahoo: 

 

Other insects: Polistes sp. Queen

                    

Ants I need: Pheidole sp., Trachymyrmex sp., Crematogaster cerasi , Dorymyrmex sp. Most wanted: Pheidole morrisii

 

                    

                   

 

 


#4 Offline VoidElecent - Posted July 2 2020 - 11:42 AM

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Strikes me as Myrmecocystus at first glance as well, but head shape and non-protruding eyes point to Formica (not to mention maxillary palp, as you have stated). That shade of yellow reminds me of the F. pallidefulva queens I've seen down south, but the remainder of that coloration is peculiar at best, if not alarming. Maybe it's a hybrid, like some Myrmica spp. Regardless, document everything.

 

Looks like an absolutely stunning location for anting, by the way. I wish I lived in California!



#5 Offline Manitobant - Posted July 2 2020 - 3:42 PM

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Could it be undescribed? Nothing looks like that
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#6 Offline NickAnter - Posted July 2 2020 - 3:58 PM

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I wonder if this could be a strange morph of F. subpolita.


Species being kept:

 

Solenopsis truncorum, Solenopsis "plebeius", Solenopsis validiuscula, Solenopsis sp., Solenopsis xyloni, Solenopsis amblychila, Camponotus vicinus, Camponotus maritimus, Formica cf. subaenescens, Formica cf. aerata, Lasius cf. americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Lasius brevicornis, Lasius nr claviger, Pheidole navigans, Nylanderia vividula, Aphaenogaster occidentalis, Temnothorax rudis, Temnothorax cf. nitens, Pogonomyrmex californicus, and Strumigenys membranifera

 

People are stupid. It explains a lot...


#7 Offline gcsnelling - Posted July 2 2020 - 4:00 PM

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If/when she dies be sure to preserve in  good quality alcohol, not rubbing. Then send her to a qualified specialist.



#8 Offline ponerinecat - Posted July 2 2020 - 4:33 PM

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Such a beautiful specimen.


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#9 Offline BitT - Posted July 2 2020 - 4:36 PM

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Wish I could help but mostly here to say she's gorgeous and I hope you plan on keeping a journal on her with us! I'd love to see what her workers look like.



#10 Offline AntsDakota - Posted July 2 2020 - 4:38 PM

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 Maybe it's a hybrid, like some Myrmica spp

 

 

Interesting........ although I don't see any Myrmicinae features on her. She looks completely Formicinae to me.


"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


#11 Offline ponerinecat - Posted July 2 2020 - 4:54 PM

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 Maybe it's a hybrid, like some Myrmica spp

 

 

Interesting........ although I don't see any Myrmicinae features on her. She looks completely Formicinae to me.

 

:lol: Yeah no myrmica and formica arent gonna hybridize, I thinkt hey meant it could be a hybrid between 2 formica species like how myrmica can hybridize.


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#12 Offline BitT - Posted July 2 2020 - 4:55 PM

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https://mississippie..._americanus.htm

https://www.antwiki....otus_americanus

 

Just a totally amateur don't know what I'm doing throw out there. But I got curious and tried to peek around.

 

Edit: I know it says SouthEastern but on the map it says there is some unconfirmed cases. So, IDK.


Edited by BitT, July 2 2020 - 4:57 PM.


#13 Offline AntsDakota - Posted July 2 2020 - 6:00 PM

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Maybe it's a hybrid, like some Myrmica spp.

 
 
Interesting........ although I don't see any Myrmicinae features on her. She looks completely Formicinae to me.
:lol: Yeah no myrmica and formica arent gonna hybridize, I thinkt hey meant it could be a hybrid between 2 formica species like how myrmica can hybridize.
Oh, ok. Must’ve read it wrong.

"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


#14 Offline nurbs - Posted July 2 2020 - 10:08 PM

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https://mississippie..._americanus.htm

https://www.antwiki....otus_americanus

 

Just a totally amateur don't know what I'm doing throw out there. But I got curious and tried to peek around.

 

Edit: I know it says SouthEastern but on the map it says there is some unconfirmed cases. So, IDK.

 

 

Those are Camponotus, this is Formica.


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Instagram:
nurbsants
 
YouTube
 
California Ants for Sale

 

Unidentified Myrmecocystus

https://www.formicul...ls-near-desert/

 

Undescribed "Modoc"

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

 

Camponotus or Colobopsis yogi:

https://www.formicul...a-ca-1-28-2018/

 
Camponotus us-ca02
https://www.formicul...onotus-us-ca02/

 

Unidentified Formica

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

 
Pencil Case and Test Tube Formicariums
https://www.formicul...m-and-outworld/
 
Bloodworm Soup
https://www.formicul...bloodworm-soup/


#15 Offline dspdrew - Posted July 3 2020 - 8:35 AM

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Oh I need one of those. :lol:  Not too sure about that hike though.


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#16 Offline NickAnter - Posted March 21 2021 - 10:40 AM

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Have these founded colonies by now? If so, how are they doing?


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Species being kept:

 

Solenopsis truncorum, Solenopsis "plebeius", Solenopsis validiuscula, Solenopsis sp., Solenopsis xyloni, Solenopsis amblychila, Camponotus vicinus, Camponotus maritimus, Formica cf. subaenescens, Formica cf. aerata, Lasius cf. americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Lasius brevicornis, Lasius nr claviger, Pheidole navigans, Nylanderia vividula, Aphaenogaster occidentalis, Temnothorax rudis, Temnothorax cf. nitens, Pogonomyrmex californicus, and Strumigenys membranifera

 

People are stupid. It explains a lot...


#17 Offline BugFinder - Posted March 21 2021 - 10:43 AM

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Location: Big Pine Trail, CA

Date: 6-27-2020

Habitat: Sierra Nevada Mountain range, 9000-10,000ft of elevation

Length: ~12mm

Coloring: Bright orange gaster with darker striations, darker orange/brown head and thorad 

Distinguishing characteristics: Thorax coloring as well as gaster initially reads as a Myrmecoystus

 

 

pMmuSwXl.jpg

 

 

jxJUMlol.jpg

 

 

I love being up there!  It's so beautiful!   I'm hoping to buy a small tent trailer so I can take some weekend trips to more exotic places and can do some anting in more attractive surroundings than the parks that are around me.


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“If an ant carries an object a hundred times its weight, you can carry burdens many times your size.”  ― Matshona Dhliwayo

 

My Journals:

Pogonomyrmex subdentatus

Camponotus Vicinus

Camponotus sansabeanus

Tetramorium (sp)

Pogonomyrmex Californicus

My Ant Goals!


#18 Offline nurbs - Posted March 23 2021 - 3:16 PM

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Location: Big Pine Trail, CA

Date: 6-27-2020

Habitat: Sierra Nevada Mountain range, 9000-10,000ft of elevation

Length: ~12mm

Coloring: Bright orange gaster with darker striations, darker orange/brown head and thorad 

Distinguishing characteristics: Thorax coloring as well as gaster initially reads as a Myrmecoystus

 

 

 

 

 

I love being up there!  It's so beautiful!   I'm hoping to buy a small tent trailer so I can take some weekend trips to more exotic places and can do some anting in more attractive surroundings than the parks that are around me.

 

 

Oh man, no kidding. That part of the country is my favorite. I hike and camp up there several times a year.


  • BugFinder and Chickalo like this

Instagram:
nurbsants
 
YouTube
 
California Ants for Sale

 

Unidentified Myrmecocystus

https://www.formicul...ls-near-desert/

 

Undescribed "Modoc"

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

 

Camponotus or Colobopsis yogi:

https://www.formicul...a-ca-1-28-2018/

 
Camponotus us-ca02
https://www.formicul...onotus-us-ca02/

 

Unidentified Formica

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

 
Pencil Case and Test Tube Formicariums
https://www.formicul...m-and-outworld/
 
Bloodworm Soup
https://www.formicul...bloodworm-soup/


#19 Offline nurbs - Posted March 23 2021 - 3:18 PM

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Have these founded colonies by now? If so, how are they doing?

 

 

No, she died. Body preserved in alcohol, will get her imaged when Covid is over.

 

Going back up there again this year and will hopefully find more. There is an observation on iNaturalist found in the exact same trail I found this one, also from last year, so hopeful they aren't terribly hard to find.


Instagram:
nurbsants
 
YouTube
 
California Ants for Sale

 

Unidentified Myrmecocystus

https://www.formicul...ls-near-desert/

 

Undescribed "Modoc"

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

 

Camponotus or Colobopsis yogi:

https://www.formicul...a-ca-1-28-2018/

 
Camponotus us-ca02
https://www.formicul...onotus-us-ca02/

 

Unidentified Formica

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

 
Pencil Case and Test Tube Formicariums
https://www.formicul...m-and-outworld/
 
Bloodworm Soup
https://www.formicul...bloodworm-soup/


#20 Offline NickAnter - Posted March 23 2021 - 3:41 PM

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There seem to be similar ones in the San Bernadino mountains. https://www.inatural...ations/29588113

That isn't it, however, a user on here found ones that were identical to yours in a similar location. My guess is that they are indeed subpolita, as they seem to be in incredibly variable species.


Species being kept:

 

Solenopsis truncorum, Solenopsis "plebeius", Solenopsis validiuscula, Solenopsis sp., Solenopsis xyloni, Solenopsis amblychila, Camponotus vicinus, Camponotus maritimus, Formica cf. subaenescens, Formica cf. aerata, Lasius cf. americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Lasius brevicornis, Lasius nr claviger, Pheidole navigans, Nylanderia vividula, Aphaenogaster occidentalis, Temnothorax rudis, Temnothorax cf. nitens, Pogonomyrmex californicus, and Strumigenys membranifera

 

People are stupid. It explains a lot...






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