Aphaenogaster ashmeadi harvesting Russula sp. mushrooms.
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Offline - Posted July 31 2020 - 7:58 PM
I have read that Aphaenogaster ashmeadi often collect mushrooms from the genus Russula. I wanted to observe this behavior and collected an inedible (to humans) variety growing in my yard, I offered to the ashmeadi, and a Camponotus colony, both immediately began cutting up and collecting the mushroom but the ashmeadi were definitely more enthusiastic m deploying roughly the same amount of workers to collect the food as the Camponotus colony Wich was several times larger in size than the ashmeadi colony. Some Russula mushrooms are edible but the related genus Lactarius has many delicious and sought-after varieties. I have yet to offer them any Lactarius mushrooms but they grow wild in my area and I collect them to eat (one of the only kinds I enjoy) I have offered them chanterelles (another delicious variety that grows wild in my area) but they were not accepted by the ashmeadi.
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