I found these queens July 7, 2015 in Sioux Falls, SD. There where several in the grass nearby a large colony. I didn't see any mating take place, but I found 3 or 4 dealates nearby that one colonies entrance. I didn't find any more since.
I believe they are Formica subsericea, but they could be a polygynous sp. such as Formica fusca that was trying to re-enter their old nest and hope the colony accepted them. Many Formica sp. mate, then go back to their colony and lay eggs.
I tried adding a worker to a queen, but the reaction was surprisingly hostile. I put the to queens in one grotube, and after a little hesitation, they accepted each other, with one clearly bigger, and more dominant queen. After a couple of days of nothing in test tubes, They laid eggs right away after introducing the to the grotube...
They seem comfortable, but (classic formica) very finicky when they sense any vibration. The grotube, however, has little rubber legs that absorb a lot of movement.
Edited by Ants4fun, March 2 2016 - 10:03 AM.