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Nylanderia Notebook


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#1 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 15 2020 - 10:56 AM

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Welcome! I've wanted to start up a general thread about one of my new favorite ant genera, Nylanderia. I'm not really sure why, but they seem kind of under-appreciated on here. I think this is unfortunate because they are very rewarding to keep. Folks can chime in here with observations or questions about the genus. Let's get the Nylanderia love started.

General Info: Nylanderia are small ants in the Formicinae subfamily. Over one hundred species of Nylanderia are found worldwide. There are many species present in North America, some of which are invasive. They nest in a wide range of habitats and can be very dominant at times. They overwinter their alates and generally fly on the first warm nights of spring and early summer. Some of these flights can be quite large. Black-lights are a very effective way to attract queens, but a high percentage may be unmated. I've observed males mounting queens and mating right on the black light sheet.

Some species of Nylanderia are polygynous, but they can easily found colonies singly as well.

Care: Nylanderia are very easy ants to raise, but they can be challenging to contain due to their tiny size and climbing ability. They prefer a humid nest and warm temperatures. Colonies thrive best when fed very often and accept most insects and spiders for protein. Mine love egg yolks, but show no interest in seeds. My colony has thrived in a mini-hearth with constant access to nectar in a byFormica nectar feeder.






Edited by ANTdrew, September 15 2020 - 7:05 PM.

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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#2 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted September 15 2020 - 12:46 PM

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I agree that this genus is under-appreciated! I never really post about them, but I have a Nylanderia arenivaga colony that I absolutely love, they're probably one of the "best" species in the genus, from a keeper's perspective. I also found a worker of that species in western Wisconsin, and that was the farthest north that they had ever been found, at least compared what has been documented before. To say I'm partial to that species particularly would be an understatement for sure.

You've got some great info on here, but does North America really have 130 species of Nylanderia including exotics? The genus only has 149 documented species, so I find it hard to believe that almost the entire genus can be found in North America in one way or another.


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#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 15 2020 - 2:20 PM

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Good catch, I misread my source. https://mississippie...ia_vividula.htm
I will edit it.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#4 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 15 2020 - 2:26 PM

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I agree that this genus is under-appreciated! I never really post about them, but I have a Nylanderia arenivaga colony that I absolutely love, they're probably one of the "best" species in the genus, from a keeper's perspective. I also found a worker of that species in western Wisconsin, and that was the farthest north that they had ever been found, at least compared what has been documented before. To say I'm partial to that species particularly would be an understatement for sure.

You've got some great info on here, but does North America really have 130 species of Nylanderia including exotics? The genus only has 149 documented species, so I find it hard to believe that almost the entire genus can be found in North America in one way or another.

What sets arenivaga apart from other species?

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#5 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted September 15 2020 - 2:51 PM

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I agree that this genus is under-appreciated! I never really post about them, but I have a Nylanderia arenivaga colony that I absolutely love, they're probably one of the "best" species in the genus, from a keeper's perspective. I also found a worker of that species in western Wisconsin, and that was the farthest north that they had ever been found, at least compared what has been documented before. To say I'm partial to that species particularly would be an understatement for sure.

You've got some great info on here, but does North America really have 130 species of Nylanderia including exotics? The genus only has 149 documented species, so I find it hard to believe that almost the entire genus can be found in North America in one way or another.

What sets arenivaga apart from other species?

 

The main thing is that the queens are pretty large for Nylanderia, around 4-4.5mm, which means she can lay a lot more than a smaller Nylanderia queen, and as such support a larger colony. Also, the workers are bright yellow, which is great. They've got an excellent feeding response, although I'm not sure if it's that much better than other Nylanderia species. 


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#6 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 22 2020 - 10:37 AM

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9-22-2020

 My colony of Nylanderia vividula are doing amazing! I daresay they're one of the fastest growing species I've ever had, and their feeding responses are awesome. I estimate that they have about two hundred workers now. Brood covers about 40% of their mini-hearth's floor. Does anyone have any advice on hibernating these, or is it pretty standard procedure?

 

 
 I also gathered up a new species of Nylanderia the other day. They had been inadvertently brought in to my brother's apartment in some moss he put in a terrarium. They have been subsisting off his cat's food and sugary foods his kids spill. They are a lovely yellowish red, so it seems like they may be the non-native Nylanderia flavipes. I used an aspirator to gather up 80% of the colony and the queen, and I dumped the ants in a mini-hearth. My brother will be keeping them, so I'll bug him for updates.
 
Nylanderia flavipes originated in north-east Asia. They are very abundant in Korea, China, and Japan. Luckily, they are not a very destructive species here, but they can displace the native Nylanderia faisonensis where they overlap. They were first found in the US in 1939 in Philadelphia. Judging from my brother's experience, it must be very easy for colonies to be moved around in soil in plant pots.
 
 
 Native or not, I highly recommend keeping this genus if you don't already!

 

 


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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#7 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted September 22 2020 - 10:42 AM

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I need to get Thunder_Birds onto here. His sister has a colony of nylanderia.


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Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

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#8 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 22 2020 - 11:43 AM

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I need to get Thunder_Birds onto here. His sister has a colony of nylanderia.

Sounds good, but where’s your colony of Nylanderia?

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#9 Offline NickAnter - Posted September 22 2020 - 3:21 PM

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Very nice work!  Mine are recovering nicely.


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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...


#10 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 22 2020 - 3:46 PM

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Very nice work! Mine are recovering nicely.

Thanks, NylanderiaNinja. I didn’t know yours were recovering. What happened?

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#11 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted September 22 2020 - 3:49 PM

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I need to get Thunder_Birds onto here. His sister has a colony of nylanderia.

Sounds good, but where’s your colony of Nylanderia?

 

Mine? I don't have one. If i caught a queen, i would for sure keep it.


Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

My Journals

General Journal

Camponotus novaeboracensis Journal

My Shop Here

Attention Ant-Keepers in South Dakota! Join the SoDak(Society Of Dakotan Ant Keepers)

Learn about our website AntsDakota, and help us develop and publish it

Join ouDiscord, where you can discuss your anting ideas in peace, and learn more about AntsDakota.com


#12 Offline NickAnter - Posted September 22 2020 - 4:54 PM

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Very nice work! Mine are recovering nicely.

Thanks, NylanderiaNinja. I didn’t know yours were recovering. What happened?

 

Fungus outbreak. Killed most of the colony.


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...


#13 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 22 2020 - 5:27 PM

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Damn, that’s awful.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#14 Offline Devi - Posted September 22 2020 - 6:50 PM

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I REALLY wish I could keep these.  Such a pretty under-rated species.  They are one of the prettiest in my opinion.  I love how their gasters look, and how good they look in a group.  Thanks for starting this Drew!  It's always fun to learn more about species.  :D


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#15 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted September 25 2020 - 3:55 AM

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ME WANT


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#16 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 25 2020 - 4:53 AM

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Are Nylanderia common in Michigan? Try black-lighting next summer.


"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#17 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted September 25 2020 - 4:56 AM

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Are Nylanderia common in Michigan? Try black-lighting next summer.

We have 3 species I think? Maybe more maybe less. I don't think I have ever seen on before though. I'll have to get a black light at some point. I don't have one yet.



#18 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 29 2020 - 6:33 AM

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Update 9-29-2020

 My Nylanderia vividula continue to amaze me with their growth. How in the world does such a tiny queen pump out so much brood? Her pile literally covers 85% of the mini-hearth floor, so I think they need a formicarium upgrade soon. A bunch of workers have taken to just lounging in the foraging area, too, so I take that as another sign that they could use more room. They sure love their mealworms:

 

 
 
 Can anyone offer advice on hibernating these? My colony hasn't slowed down one bit. I'm kind of on the fence whether I should keep them going or not. Thoughts?

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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#19 Offline ANTdrew - Posted October 5 2020 - 7:11 AM

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Update 10-5-2020

 My N. vividula colony is growing like crazy. They haven't slowed down a bit, so I think I'm just going to heat them through the winter and see where they end up. The entire floor of their mini-hearth is now covered in brood. The eggs are piled up on the water tower, with a mix of larvae and pupae carpeting the rest of the floor. They are really good climbers, but I was able to renew the fluon band in their foraging area, and that is still stopping them. They'll definitely need a bigger space soon, though, so I'll start working on that.

 

They enjoyed some boiled chicken the other night, so add that to the list of foods they like. This is their second dinner after crushing the chunk of chicken.

 

 


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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#20 Offline KitsAntVa - Posted October 5 2020 - 9:00 AM

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I wish I hadn’t of let my nylarandia queen go just because some people told me it was a parasitic Lasius... then once I read the identification a little later someone said it was nylarandia they are so cool and tiny! Do they grow really fast? Isn’t this their first year?
We don’t talk about that




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