As some of you may know, I tend to gravitate towards smaller ant species, and Strumigenys is no exception. This genus in particular has been on my bucket list to keep ever since I found a colony last year. This year, I hadn’t found any... until now! I happened to stumble across a sort of “Strumigenys hot-spot” in my yard. There’s a secluded area behind our lake’s dam that has loads of walnuts, twigs, and stems. It’s also in a shaded/mossy spot, so it’s a nice place to spend my day - which I did. I spent 6+ hours yesterday looking for colonies of these ants, and I ended up finding four in total (one of which I did not keep since they did not appear to have a queen). Transferring them into a test-tube setup was extremely time consuming. I used a large container lined with a thin coat of olive oil, and carefully dumped out each worker and piece of brood, a few at a time. I used wet q-tips to pick up each worker and egg/larvae/pupae to move them into the test tube, where they would spend the night. In total, I ended up with three colonies (I need help on the IDs):
Strumigenys cf. pilinasis (3 queens)
This was the first colony that I obtained that actually had a queen present. It was even more of a surprise when I found two additional queens deeper in the nest. I found this colony in a small twig, and they are, by far, the largest colony of the three (though, they don’t have the most queens of all three ). I’m assuming that this colony is S. pilinasis, but I would like confirmation. Have a look:
Strumigenys cf. pilinasis (6 queens)
This was the third colony that I found, although I’m putting it as second on the list because I think they are also S. pilinasis? You may have noticed that this colony has six queens! It’s not a very large colony, but hopefully it will get much larger with that amount of egg-production. I also found this colony inside of a twig. Here they are:
Strumigenys sp. (1 queen)
And finally, here is the second colony I came across. I saved it for last because it doesn’t appear to be S. pilinasis, so an ID would be greatly appreciated - I’ll be doing some research, too, so I’ll post back if I find out the species. This colony only has one queen, but they definitely make up for it in their coloration! They are beautiful! I found this colony inside of a decaying walnut (which there are a few trees present in this “Strumigenys hot-spot”). Here they are:
I’ll be ordering a springtail culture soon, but in the meantime I have been collecting a bunch from outside - which I could probably start my own culture, too.
Edit: This is also its own separate journal because I feel like these ants deserve it. I might be breaking up my collective journal soon.
Double edit: I think the last colony is S. pulchella?
Edited by CatsnAnts, July 24 2020 - 7:14 AM.