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What is stopping Trachy from entering Massachusetts?

trachy trachymyrmex massachusetts chickalo this is useless

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#1 Offline Chickalo - Posted February 2 2021 - 7:19 AM

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Dear Fellow Ant Keepers of Formiculture,

 

Whilst I sat here on my chromebook in a class, I began to ponder, "oh why is there no Trachymyrmex up here". 

(I'm done trying to make this post sound like a poem)

But in all seriousness, boy do I want Trachymyrmex, but they aren't in the Cape or any of Massachusetts' islands.  Massachusetts has fairly similar weather compared to long island, too.  Is it soil conditions?  Who's not to say if I bring some Trachy queens up here they won't populate New England, too?  I'm thinking of trying to find some Trachy, but I'm pretty sure my family doesn't want to drive to Long Island forests just so I can go ant hunting...

 

Your's truly, Chickalo the Lasius Simp


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#2 Offline Chickalo - Posted February 2 2021 - 7:20 AM

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P.S.  Is it really that bad to transfer a queen who will most likely die into a bordering state where it can likely survive and not kill of any native???


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#3 Offline drtrmiller - Posted February 2 2021 - 7:51 AM

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Have you considered the possibility that Trachymyrmex are just good, law-abiding ants?


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#4 Offline Devi - Posted February 2 2021 - 7:54 AM

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P.S.  Is it really that bad to transfer a queen who will most likely die into a bordering state where it can likely survive and not kill of any native???

Well, it's illegal without a permit, which is what it looks like you are saying.  So, in other words, yes.  

 

Here is an excerpt from this thread, https://www.formicul...s still illegal. written by Batspiderfish.

 

"There are a couple reasons why you can't move colonies across state lines, even if you believe they are the same as the native ants nearby.

 

Firstly, just because two ants share the same name does not mean that they are the same ant. Linnean taxonomy is a tool under constant revision because our understanding of how things are shaped and how they live regularly improves; we discover nuanced differences among species or other taxa that reveal previously undescribed, entirely new species. Such organisms are often hidden right under our noses, our taxonomy having not advanced far enough to tell them apart.

 

All organisms are experiencing evolution. In any given species, there are numerous genetic lineages being put under different tests, in distinct environments. Given enough separation, these lineages may eventually become species of their own, and this process is in various stages at any given time. The escape or release of foreign ants of the same species has the potential to erase speciation by either out-competing their cousins or reverting genetic changes. From a conservational standpoint, foreign ants of the same species carry much of the same consequences as exotic ants.

 

And lastly, the general public cannot be trusted to competently identify their ants. Even the legal ant marketplaces regularly fail to identify the ants which they are selling. They just don't know how.

The laws are there for a reason. They were drafted by the USDA in response to annual $7.5+ billion drain caused by invasive ants, the concern for public health, as well as the ecological devastation wrought by exotic ants on numerous levels. So it would be foolish to advise a member of this forum to break these laws."


Edited by Devi, February 2 2021 - 8:19 AM.

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#5 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted February 2 2021 - 8:10 AM

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Well said Devi!
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#6 Offline Devi - Posted February 2 2021 - 8:19 AM

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Well said Devi!

Thanks!  I just quoted someone else, those aren't my own words. I figure he could say it better than me so...   :whistle:



#7 Offline NickAnter - Posted February 2 2021 - 8:27 AM

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They are probably somewhere obscure, deep in the wilderness, and in the South of the state. Unlikely to be near any cities or towns, due to T. immigrans.


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Hi there! I went on a 6 month or so hiatus, in part due, and in part cause of the death of my colonies. 

However, I went back to the Sierras, and restarted my collection, which is now as follows:

Aphaenogaster uinta, Camponotus vicinus, Camponotus modoc, Formica cf. aserva, Formica cf. micropthalma, Formica cf. manni, Formica subpolita, Formica cf. subaenescens, Lasius americanus, Manica invidia, Pogonomyrmex salinus, Pogonomyrmex sp. 1, Solenopsis validiuscula, & Solenopsis sp. 3 (new Sierra variant). 


#8 Offline ANTdrew - Posted February 2 2021 - 8:29 AM

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Man, I wish he would come back on this forum. We really need knowledgeable folks like Batspiderfish. 


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#9 Offline Devi - Posted February 2 2021 - 8:42 AM

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Man, I wish he would come back on this forum. We really need knowledgeable folks like Batspiderfish. 

I joined after he left, but I've seen a couple of his posts.  He seems very knowledgeable with lots of detailed well thought out posts.  We need more people like that!


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#10 Offline mmcguffi - Posted February 2 2021 - 9:25 AM

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The escape or release of foreign ants of the same species has the potential to erase speciation by either out-competing their cousins or reverting genetic changes. From a conservational standpoint, foreign ants of the same species carry much of the same consequences as exotic ants.

While I agree with basically everything @Devi posted, I have a few quibbles with this part. I am not a conservationist so I cannot really speak on that, but I am an evolutionary biologist. I would say there is basically no chance that transporting ants of the same species would "erase speciation". Evolution does not work on timescales like that. Likewise, exotic ants carry a MUCH higher risk to the environment than foreign ants of the same species. Like orders and orders of magnitude higher. I am not saying it is a good idea to bring in foreign ants of any kind (I am actually agnostic on that point), but introduction of foreign ants of the same species and exotic ants are no where near equivalent actions


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#11 Offline DDD101DDD - Posted February 2 2021 - 10:34 AM

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If you were asking about why Trachymyrmex are on Long Island and not in Cape Cod, maybe Long Island used to be connected to the Pine Barrens in New Jersey, or there was a whole stretch of suitable land for Trachymyrmex along the east coast, but when sea levels rose the land was covered up and Long Island was isolated before they could spread to Cape Cod. Or they didn't have a suitable environment between the 2 areas. I'm not familiar with the geographic history of the earth so I'm probably wrong about many things, this is just my theory. The population of Trachymyrmex on Long Island is fairly isolated, and there aren't suitable environments spreading out from the Pine Barrens on Long island for Trachymyrmex as far as I know so I don't think they could spread today. That's just my likely inaccurate theory though.


Edited by DDD101DDD, February 2 2021 - 10:35 AM.

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#12 Offline Chickalo - Posted February 2 2021 - 11:06 AM

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Just another reason to hate Tetramorium


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#13 Offline Chickalo - Posted February 2 2021 - 5:08 PM

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The escape or release of foreign ants of the same species has the potential to erase speciation by either out-competing their cousins or reverting genetic changes. From a conservational standpoint, foreign ants of the same species carry much of the same consequences as exotic ants.

While I agree with basically everything @Devi posted, I have a few quibbles with this part. I am not a conservationist so I cannot really speak on that, but I am an evolutionary biologist. I would say there is basically no chance that transporting ants of the same species would "erase speciation". Evolution does not work on timescales like that. Likewise, exotic ants carry a MUCH higher risk to the environment than foreign ants of the same species. Like orders and orders of magnitude higher. I am not saying it is a good idea to bring in foreign ants of any kind (I am actually agnostic on that point), but introduction of foreign ants of the same species and exotic ants are no where near equivalent actions

 

Thanks mmcguffi and devi

 

If you were asking about why Trachymyrmex are on Long Island and not in Cape Cod, maybe Long Island used to be connected to the Pine Barrens in New Jersey, or there was a whole stretch of suitable land for Trachymyrmex along the east coast, but when sea levels rose the land was covered up and Long Island was isolated before they could spread to Cape Cod. Or they didn't have a suitable environment between the 2 areas. I'm not familiar with the geographic history of the earth so I'm probably wrong about many things, this is just my theory. The population of Trachymyrmex on Long Island is fairly isolated, and there aren't suitable environments spreading out from the Pine Barrens on Long island for Trachymyrmex as far as I know so I don't think they could spread today. That's just my likely inaccurate theory though.

interesting theory!


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#14 Offline MinigunL5 - Posted February 2 2021 - 5:35 PM

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From what I know. There are 3 main thing limiting the spread of Trachymyrmex sep. and other awesome species. Soil, temperature/weather, and then distance. The Cape and some of the islands could definitely fulfill the requirements for the first 2. They're so far away tho which is the big problem. I don't think they could survive more inland. It's just too cold and not sandy enough. Maybe they could've gone from Long Island to Rhode Island or Connecticut(both technically have the right conditions along the coast) but I doubt even that. The picture below shows what I mean the cape is zone 7.  For reference, Long Island is mostly zone 7. Even if the temperature is right, the soil would also have to fit them. And it's also possible the fauna is not right but idk too much about that.

massachusetts_map_lg.gif

Edit: The only ways for them to get here would be to travel along the coast where the temperature is higher. This might not be possible because of the soil they need. The other way is that a queen got blown into Rhode Island or Connecticut from Long Island or possibly one of the islands closer to the coast if they exist there. And of course it's possible that humans could've moved them on accident.


Edited by MinigunL5, February 2 2021 - 5:45 PM.

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#15 Offline Antkeeper014 - Posted February 2 2021 - 6:52 PM

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Everything Minigun explained in his post above is correct, the fact that the cape cod/islands are the right habitat (soil type, temperature, fuana), and the most reasonable possibility of them spreading is by means of the coastal plain from CT to RI.

The only thing I have to critique is that while yes, the climate map shows the cape and surrounding islands as having a higher temp than inland MA, this is an average annual minimum temperature. While coastal temperatures do stay warmer over the winter months, they are also significantly colder over the summer months, by several degrees.

As of now I’m not convinced the climate is suitable for them. Even if the soil/fuana is perfect for them (which it mostly is), and there is a way they could plausibly spread there, it may simply be too cold for them to thrive. It’s not that they couldn’t survive the winters, it’s that the summers might not be quite hot enough/long enough to productively grow and proliferate in the area.

I think trachy could probably survive in the cape if someone plopped a colony down, but would they be able to grow and spread and thrive? Produce a healthy amount of alates and fly like the southern populations? Most likely not, unless there is a northern variant that tolerates harsher climates.

All of these odds are heavily stacked against us, and unfortunately I don’t see them living in cape cod. But, crazier records have happened, so never lose hope.
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#16 Offline Chickalo - Posted February 3 2021 - 5:01 AM

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I feel to be in a room full of people with a 100 higher IQ than me


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