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Found a queen this morning, but noticed some odd behavior


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#1 Offline Herdo - Posted June 25 2015 - 4:43 AM

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Hello everyone.  A few days ago I found a Pheidole sp. queen dead in my pool here in Phoenix, AZ.  This morning I went out right at sunrise and found a live one hanging out on my pool deck.  Before I scooped her up I noticed some odd behavior.  She was doing flips.  She would pull her wings back and then do a sort of backflip, land, and then do it again.  The only time she would stop is when I was trying to scoop her up.  Once I got her in the test tube she stopped but now she is running around the tube at full speed.  Is this normal behavior, or is my queen "defective".

 

I snapped a couple of pictures of her but she was moving so fast it was hard to get anything good.  For the record, it looks exactly like the queen I found floating in my pool, which you can see here: http://www.formicult...urbs-6-24-2015/

 

 

Here's the pictures of the live queen I caught this morning:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She still has her wings, but I figured I might as well try just in case she hasn't torn them off yet.



#2 Offline Ants4fun - Posted June 25 2015 - 6:20 AM

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Perhaps the behavior your describing is a queen trying to take her wings off. She will lift her wings up, and try to rip them off with her legs.
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#3 Offline Herdo - Posted June 25 2015 - 6:37 AM

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Perhaps the behavior your describing is a queen trying to take her wings off. She will lift her wings up, and try to rip them off with her legs.

 

 

Ah yea maybe that was it.  It was very odd.  She just kept falling/flipping over, haha.  It was very clumsy and it was pretty funny to watch.

 

Thank you. :)



#4 Offline AntsTexas - Posted June 25 2015 - 11:48 AM

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here's a youtube video of an ant removing her wings (did NOT take it) , did she act like this?

 

go to google and search: queen ant removing her wings

 


Edited by AntsTexas, June 25 2015 - 11:51 AM.

Ant Queens found:

 

Solenopsis Invicta,  Solenopsis xyloni,  Brachymyrmex depilis/Sp,  Myrmecocystus Mimicus,  Pogonomyrmex barbatus,

Forelius pruinosus,  Camponotus sayi, Dorymyrmex insanus, crematogaster ashmeadi,

 

----------------------------------------

Ant Queens i have going right now:

 

camponotus sayi, solenopsis invicta, Myrmecocystus Mimicus, Forelius pruinosus

Pogonomyrmex barbatus, and some others (no i.d.)

---------------------------------------

YouTube:  AntsTexas

 

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/cdockray1

 

Facebook page:  AntsTexas


#5 Offline Herdo - Posted June 25 2015 - 7:51 PM

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Hmm.  No, she was pulling her wings back (with her wing muscles) and then flipping.  It looked like she was trying to fly but had no control and was just nose diving back into the ground.  I should have taken a video but I was too excited.

 

She wasn't reaching at her wings with her legs at all.  She would kinda crouch down and then jump and do a flip.

 

Thanks for the reply.



#6 Offline LC3 - Posted June 25 2015 - 10:03 PM

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Interesting. Ants don't crouch and jump to fly, they open their wings wide open and than flap and it launches them of the ground.



#7 Offline Herdo - Posted June 26 2015 - 1:15 AM

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Interesting. Ants don't crouch and jump to fly, they open their wings wide open and than flap and it launches them of the ground.

 

 

I swear this one is really an ant! haha



#8 Offline LC3 - Posted June 26 2015 - 8:26 AM

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Interesting. Ants don't crouch and jump to fly, they open their wings wide open and than flap and it launches them of the ground.

 

 

I swear this one is really an ant! haha

 

No doubt it's an ant. Just stating "crouch and jump" is not how ants fly.



#9 Offline Herdo - Posted June 26 2015 - 10:11 PM

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Interesting. Ants don't crouch and jump to fly, they open their wings wide open and than flap and it launches them of the ground.

 

 

I swear this one is really an ant! haha

 

No doubt it's an ant. Just stating "crouch and jump" is not how ants fly.

 

 

I know you were.  It was a joke. :lol:

 

My queen has ripped off her wings and started to lay some eggs!  I didn't get a very good look because I don't want to disturb her, but there is a small pile of eggs sitting in her tube.



#10 Offline LC3 - Posted June 27 2015 - 7:51 AM

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:good2: Isn't it just so exciting to see the first queen you caught lay eggs!



#11 Offline Herdo - Posted June 27 2015 - 9:14 AM

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Yes it's awesome!  I'm way too excited, haha.  I caught another queen this morning as well. :D  I actually got to watch her land and then watch the male land as well.  She started doing weird backflips like my other queen (and you're right, she was trying to reach her wings but falling over).  The male started writhing around grabbing his gander, so I put him out of his misery.  She pulled her wings off and I scooped her up.

 

I only need one colony to start with so I figure I will either donate the second queen to someone or I can just let her go in the backyard.  I want to make sure my original queen works out first though.

 

I also picked up a cheap macro lens for my phone camera.  The pictures are a bit blurry around the edges but you can definitely see more detail.  Here is an album of the new queen:

 

http://imgur.com/a/gbpty



#12 Offline LC3 - Posted June 27 2015 - 9:49 AM

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Saw the pics she's very beautiful :) . If they are the same species maybe they can Have more than one queen I dunno I heard P. megacephalla can have more than one queen. Well whatever you do with her good luck!



#13 Offline Jonathan21700 - Posted June 27 2015 - 11:43 AM

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Beautiful queen!



#14 Offline Herdo - Posted June 28 2015 - 5:38 AM

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Saw the pics she's very beautiful :) . If they are the same species maybe they can Have more than one queen I dunno I heard P. megacephalla can have more than one queen. Well whatever you do with her good luck!

 

 

Thanks LC3.  I had heard that as well.  I should probably look into that more before I try to introduce them.

 

Beautiful queen!

 

 

Thanks Jonathan21700!

 

I actually caught a third one this morning.  Well in reality I caught about 16 or 17, but I only kept one.  We got some light rain yesterday and it's quite humid so they were all diving into my pool.  I was out there for a good 25 minutes before I decided I couldn't save them all.  

 

I figure 3 is enough for now.  I don't want so many that I can't do anything with them later.  The third queen I found in the exact same spot on my pool deck.  She had already removed one wing when I picked her up.  She's now in her own test tube and in a hot room with the others.  While I was putting her away I checked on the others real quick.

 

Queen #1 has laid a few more eggs I think, and queen #2 has laid a couple of her own it looks like!  I watched queen #2 land with the male and pull her wings off pretty much exactly 24 hours ago, so they apparently work very fast. :D

 

I also found an extremely large ant dead in my pool.  I'm going to post pictures to the ID forum here soon.



#15 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 28 2015 - 6:55 AM

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I found a couple Pheidole queens last night that look just like these.


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#16 Offline LC3 - Posted June 28 2015 - 10:10 AM

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Thanks Jonathan21700!

 

I actually caught a third one this morning.  Well in reality I caught about 16 or 17, but I only kept one.  We got some light rain yesterday and it's quite humid so they were all diving into my pool.  I was out there for a good 25 minutes before I decided I couldn't save them all.  

 

I figure 3 is enough for now.  I don't want so many that I can't do anything with them later.  The third queen I found in the exact same spot on my pool deck.  She had already removed one wing when I picked her up.  She's now in her own test tube and in a hot room with the others.  While I was putting her away I checked on the others real quick.

 

Queen #1 has laid a few more eggs I think, and queen #2 has laid a couple of her own it looks like!  I watched queen #2 land with the male and pull her wings off pretty much exactly 24 hours ago, so they apparently work very fast. :D

 

I also found an extremely large ant dead in my pool.  I'm going to post pictures to the ID forum here soon.

 

 

Next time when you find more you should put them all in one test tube and see how it goes, since you seem to find them every 3 days. XD



#17 Offline Herdo - Posted June 28 2015 - 11:40 AM

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I found a couple Pheidole queens last night that look just like these.

 

They are tons of them all over the place, at least in Phoenix.  

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Jonathan21700!

 

I actually caught a third one this morning.  Well in reality I caught about 16 or 17, but I only kept one.  We got some light rain yesterday and it's quite humid so they were all diving into my pool.  I was out there for a good 25 minutes before I decided I couldn't save them all.  

 

I figure 3 is enough for now.  I don't want so many that I can't do anything with them later.  The third queen I found in the exact same spot on my pool deck.  She had already removed one wing when I picked her up.  She's now in her own test tube and in a hot room with the others.  While I was putting her away I checked on the others real quick.

 

Queen #1 has laid a few more eggs I think, and queen #2 has laid a couple of her own it looks like!  I watched queen #2 land with the male and pull her wings off pretty much exactly 24 hours ago, so they apparently work very fast. :D

 

I also found an extremely large ant dead in my pool.  I'm going to post pictures to the ID forum here soon.

 

 

Next time when you find more you should put them all in one test tube and see how it goes, since you seem to find them every 3 days. XD

 

 

 

Good idea.  I might give that a try tomorrow.  I already feel like I have too many though. :P



#18 Offline cpman - Posted June 28 2015 - 8:32 PM

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Don't limit yourself too much! I mean, don't take every queen in the area, but still take some.
It is easy to care for young colonies and some queens aren't successful. Both Pheidole queens I've found this year kicked the bucket for no reason at all.
You can always release colonies that are native if they are getting too hard to manage.

Edited by cpman, June 28 2015 - 8:33 PM.

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#19 Offline Herdo - Posted June 30 2015 - 4:01 AM

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Don't limit yourself too much! I mean, don't take every queen in the area, but still take some.
It is easy to care for young colonies and some queens aren't successful. Both Pheidole queens I've found this year kicked the bucket for no reason at all.
You can always release colonies that are native if they are getting too hard to manage.

 

 

Hey cpman,  thanks for the advice.  I caught two more yesterday morning that were floating around my pool.  I've got 5 now.  There was some pretty heavy rain here last night and the sun is just starting to come up, so I'm hoping I might spot some different species today.



#20 Offline antsinmypants - Posted June 30 2015 - 6:55 AM

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Don't limit yourself too much! I mean, don't take every queen in the area, but still take some.
It is easy to care for young colonies and some queens aren't successful. Both Pheidole queens I've found this year kicked the bucket for no reason at all.
You can always release colonies that are native if they are getting too hard to manage.

 

 

Hey cpman,  thanks for the advice.  I caught two more yesterday morning that were floating around my pool.  I've got 5 now.  There was some pretty heavy rain here last night and the sun is just starting to come up, so I'm hoping I might spot some different species today.

 

Ok. I got it. If I want to catch exotic ant species, then I move to Phoenix and put in a pool..... :)


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