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Egg laying behavior of founding queens across different ant species

founding queen egg incubator eggs ant eggs founding lasius pheidole crematogaster tetramorium immigrans

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#1 Offline drawpositive - Posted July 15 2021 - 9:10 AM

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Next month will be the one-year point at which I began ant keeping.  I started with a single Lasius neoniger queen that overwintered and then began her colony earlier this spring.  The modest success I seemed to have with her, led me to be more observant this summer and attempt to collect different species of ants.

 

I was successful in collecting the following during the summer of 2021:

x1 Lasius sp. queen (possibly americanus or neoniger)

x1 Crematogaster sp. queen

x1 Pheidole sp. queen

x4 Tetramorium immigrans queens

 

With these additional seven ant queens now in my possession, I constructed a small incubator out of a styrofoam box and a heating cable.  The incubator stays dark (unless I open the lid to check on them) and the heating cable keeps the interior at 82-84 F.   All of the ants are contained in glass test tubes with cotton balls, distilled water, and dry cotton stoppers.  Overall, the ants seem to be doing OK.

 

They have all laid eggs now except for the Lasius sp. but she was only caught ~10 days ago.  Specifically, the Tetramorium immigrans and developing quite fast (they already have callows) and I only caught them about a month ago.  

 

One observation I have made involves the Pheidole sp. queen.  She seems to have laid eggs sporadically around the interior of the test tube.  That is, they are all spread out and not clumped together.  The other species all seem to lay their eggs and brood in neat little piles.

 

Why would the Pheidole sp. queen do this?  Is this behavior typical to this species?  Is this egg laying behavior indicative of a lack of fertilization or perhaps stress?

 

Any additional info that could be provided would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

 

 

 


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#2 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 15 2021 - 9:36 AM

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It probably means she never mated, unfortunately.

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

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#3 Offline drawpositive - Posted July 15 2021 - 9:42 AM

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That is a disappointment, as you told me [earlier] that she was the "best" genus to have.  :sore:

When I caught her, she did not have any wings and was walking around on the patio.  I wonder how often the combo of not-being-fertilized and losing-the-wings is observed?

 

I suppose I will keep her until she expires.  She is at least interesting to observe in the meantime --very placid compared to the other species currently in my possession, and a far cry from the frantic and energy-filled parasitic Lasius interjectus (which I released).



#4 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 15 2021 - 9:57 AM

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Yes, you have nothing to lose. She could surprise you.
  • drawpositive likes this

"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 ANTS_KL - Posted July 16 2021 - 1:39 AM

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My semi claustral queens actually lay faster than my fully claustral ants. I found that fully claustral ants brood develop in a fashion similar to army ants. Where most of the pile would be eggs and pupa. The pupa hatch and so do the eggs and it just goes on. However semi claustral species I have found just lay eggs whenever they get food.

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Ants epic :D
YouTube: https://m.youtube.co...uKsahGliSH7EqOQ

My current ants: Nylanderia cf. kraepelini, Pheidole parva, Odontomachus simillimus, Tetramorium sp., Tapinoma melanocephalum, Oecophylla smaragdina, Dinomyrmex gigas, Pseudolasius streesemani, Camponotus parius, Iridomyrmex anceps, Solenopsis geminata, Pheidole cf. comata

 

Death count: idk there's too many that I've lost :(


#6 Offline drawpositive - Posted July 16 2021 - 5:38 AM

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My semi claustral queens actually lay faster than my fully claustral ants. I found that fully claustral ants brood develop in a fashion similar to army ants. Where most of the pile would be eggs and pupa. The pupa hatch and so do the eggs and it just goes on. However semi claustral species I have found just lay eggs whenever they get food.

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Thank you for the insight.  My understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) is that Pheidole sp. native to the Northeastern U.S. are all fully claustral.



#7 Offline ANTS_KL - Posted July 16 2021 - 5:57 AM

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My semi claustral queens actually lay faster than my fully claustral ants. I found that fully claustral ants brood develop in a fashion similar to army ants. Where most of the pile would be eggs and pupa. The pupa hatch and so do the eggs and it just goes on. However semi claustral species I have found just lay eggs whenever they get food.

Sent from my CPH2201 using Tapatalk

Thank you for the insight. My understanding (correct me if I'm wrong) is that Pheidole sp. native to the Northeastern U.S. are all fully claustral.
I'm actually quite sure all are fully claustral

Sent from my CPH2201 using Tapatalk
  • drawpositive likes this

Ants epic :D
YouTube: https://m.youtube.co...uKsahGliSH7EqOQ

My current ants: Nylanderia cf. kraepelini, Pheidole parva, Odontomachus simillimus, Tetramorium sp., Tapinoma melanocephalum, Oecophylla smaragdina, Dinomyrmex gigas, Pseudolasius streesemani, Camponotus parius, Iridomyrmex anceps, Solenopsis geminata, Pheidole cf. comata

 

Death count: idk there's too many that I've lost :(






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: founding queen, egg, incubator, eggs, ant eggs, founding, lasius, pheidole, crematogaster, tetramorium immigrans

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