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Parasitic Wasp? Came out of ant cocoon

#australia

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#1 Offline PaigeX - Posted December 23 2021 - 12:23 PM

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Well... Just as the title says something interesting happened today. I was checking on and feeding my colony's and saw a little dead bug in the sand. I then found another one that was still alive.
I wondered how they got in and why. I put the bugs to the side to feed the rest of my ants. I did clean out a lot of the old sand in the tub to see if there was any more but didn't see any.

 

Later that day I was checking on my queens in test tubes when I saw the same bug! That's when I saw an opened cocoon. Top was off. (seen this outside when parasitic wasps take over another mud wasp nest.)

So I knew it came from inside the cocoon of the ant. I knew I brood boosted the queen with another colony's cocoons/brood from outside so understood why it was there.
Thing is, the bugs came from two different species of ants. One Camponotus Aeneopilosus and the other Polyrhachis vermiculosa. Showing its not only parasitic to one kind.

Some pictures I got are below. When disturbed the small wasp lays down and does nothing until it thinks its clear, it then goes back to running around. Ants seem undisturbed by it running around. I hope you enjoy the story of this little surprise.

 

This is what was left in the cocoon it came out from. Basically a semi-dried up pupa.

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In the test tube with the Queen/workers and the ones I collected from the other colony. I can tell that the one that died is male and the one still alive is female. One in tube is male.
Attached File  IMG_20211223_202253.jpg   146.68KB   4 downloads

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Close up of the dead one.

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Attached File  20211223_2107_009_Moment.jpg   54.97KB   2 downloads


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Favourite Genus: Polyrhachis 

Most Favourite I'm keeping: Polyrhachis ammon, Polyrhachis daemeli, Polyrhachis hookeri, Polyrhachis rufifemur, Polyrhachis vermiculosa, Colobopsis macrocephala, Dolichoderus scrobiculatus
Smaller ones: Solenopsis sp, Cardiocondyla sp, Stigmacros sp, Pheidole sp
 
Current Journals: Main   Myrmecia nigrocincta
My YouTube channel: Australian Polyrhachis +

My Instagram: australian_polyrhachis

 

May God Bless you.


#2 Offline ANTdrew - Posted December 23 2021 - 2:10 PM

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That’s wild!
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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.

#3 Offline gcsnelling - Posted December 23 2021 - 4:14 PM

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Very cool, one of the Eucharitinae I suppose.


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#4 Online Zeiss - Posted December 23 2021 - 6:13 PM

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These relationships are pretty cool and the biology of the parasitoid wasps is quite interesting.  One of the professors I studied under at UCR, Dr. John Heraty, does a lot of work with parasitoids as a whole, and has done some specific research on the relationships between Eucharitinae and Formicidae.  Here is a link to papers he has published: https://www.research...ile/John-Heraty.  You can press ctrl+f then search for "Formicidae" and it will highlight the various papers related to ants.

 

He found that these wasps will often lay their eggs on plants that the ants are found on.  Their larvae, called planidium, will make their way to nectaries on the plants and wait for ants to drink.  These planidia then sit and wait inside/around the mouth of the worker until they meet with the ant larvae through feeding time.  They then parasitize the larva and complete their life cycle, emerging during pupation of the ant.  

 

An interesting thing with Pheidole sp. (desertorum?) he found around here, is that they are parasitized by these wasps, but the workers themselves have never been found to be carrying these planidia.  Their nests, however, have found to be in possession of dead Camponotus sp. workers.  From this, he has hypothesized that the wasps may be parasitizing their host, the Pheidole, by first interacting with the Camponotus some how and then having the Pheidole kill the workers and then transfer the planidia to their young.  Quite the interesting relationship they have and is currently being researched.


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#5 Offline PaigeX - Posted December 24 2021 - 4:36 AM

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that's amazing! I'll save the name Eucharitinae and pin the dead one for collection. they were both found in the two different nests. So its very interesting to hear about. I will read the papers later and thank you everyone.
I'm finding out so many new things with this new hobby and I'm loving it.


  • ANTdrew, Antkeeper01 and Chickalo like this

Favourite Genus: Polyrhachis 

Most Favourite I'm keeping: Polyrhachis ammon, Polyrhachis daemeli, Polyrhachis hookeri, Polyrhachis rufifemur, Polyrhachis vermiculosa, Colobopsis macrocephala, Dolichoderus scrobiculatus
Smaller ones: Solenopsis sp, Cardiocondyla sp, Stigmacros sp, Pheidole sp
 
Current Journals: Main   Myrmecia nigrocincta
My YouTube channel: Australian Polyrhachis +

My Instagram: australian_polyrhachis

 

May God Bless you.


#6 Offline madbiologist - Posted December 24 2021 - 9:30 AM

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Wow, that's awesome! Have yet to see any parasitic wasps like that here in Ohio, I wonder if they are found here at all...


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#7 Online Zeiss - Posted December 24 2021 - 1:57 PM

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Wow, that's awesome! Have yet to see any parasitic wasps like that here in Ohio, I wonder if they are found here at all...

You'll find them all over.  

 

Best thing to do is sweep net over all types of plants.  Might help if you have a fine mesh so the real tiny parasitoids can't get through.


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#8 Offline antsriondel - Posted December 30 2021 - 10:00 AM

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That’s wild!

yeah!!!!!!!! :o


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#9 Offline PaigeX - Posted January 1 2022 - 5:26 PM

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Oh yea, I forgot I got a video of it running around in the test tube. I uploaded it to youtube if anyone wants to see that quick clip.


Favourite Genus: Polyrhachis 

Most Favourite I'm keeping: Polyrhachis ammon, Polyrhachis daemeli, Polyrhachis hookeri, Polyrhachis rufifemur, Polyrhachis vermiculosa, Colobopsis macrocephala, Dolichoderus scrobiculatus
Smaller ones: Solenopsis sp, Cardiocondyla sp, Stigmacros sp, Pheidole sp
 
Current Journals: Main   Myrmecia nigrocincta
My YouTube channel: Australian Polyrhachis +

My Instagram: australian_polyrhachis

 

May God Bless you.


#10 Offline Idontexist - Posted January 3 2022 - 10:02 AM

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KILL ALL THE MOTHERFOCKIN XENOMORPHS

Edited by Idontexist, January 3 2022 - 10:02 AM.


#11 Offline eea - Posted January 3 2022 - 10:21 AM

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why is the abdomen so small


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-camponotus sansabeanus: 11 wokrers


#12 Offline PaigeX - Posted January 3 2022 - 11:36 AM

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why is the abdomen so small

That one is a male. I found a female that had an abdomen two times the size.


Favourite Genus: Polyrhachis 

Most Favourite I'm keeping: Polyrhachis ammon, Polyrhachis daemeli, Polyrhachis hookeri, Polyrhachis rufifemur, Polyrhachis vermiculosa, Colobopsis macrocephala, Dolichoderus scrobiculatus
Smaller ones: Solenopsis sp, Cardiocondyla sp, Stigmacros sp, Pheidole sp
 
Current Journals: Main   Myrmecia nigrocincta
My YouTube channel: Australian Polyrhachis +

My Instagram: australian_polyrhachis

 

May God Bless you.


#13 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted January 4 2022 - 4:37 PM

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KILL ALL THE MOTHERFOCKIN XENOMORPHS

Not appropriate  :/



#14 Offline BugLover - Posted January 19 2022 - 4:58 PM

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RIP Pupa ant







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