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AntsDakota's Collective Ant Journal (Updated 7/18/22) - Race Cancelled

crematogaster formica crematogaster cerasi formica subsericea antsdakota south dakota crematogaster pilosa aphaenogaster aphaenogaster lamellidens aphaenogaster picea tetramorium tetramorium immigrans

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#1 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 9 2022 - 3:41 PM

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AntsDakota's Ant Journal

 

Introduction

 

 

     Hello and welcome to my official journal! I'm AntsDakota (more info in my profile), and this journal will feature the journeys of all my ant colonies. Updates will be consistent (once every 2 weeks on Saturday, excluding the first update) and orderly. Colonies will be featured in order of acquisition, in order to keep structure. Every update will include all colonies in the prementioned order. 

 

 

Important Info & FAQ

 

Journal Type - Whole Collection

 

Update Frequency - Once per 2 Weeks

 

Standard Update Day - Saturday

 

Journal Location - Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States (Unless otherwise stated in an update)

 

Language - English (Puedo traducir esto al español. Envíame un mensaje privado.)

 

How frequently will each colony be updated on? - All updates include all living colonies.

 

What happens during hibernation? - Colonies in hibernation will have a stub stating their diapause state instead of an update, while the colonies not needing hibernation will continue as normal.

 

Order - Each update has living colonies in the same order. The oldest colonies will be first, and the newer ones last, based solely on the time I've had them, not importance/preference.

 

Are any of these colonies for sale? - Unless specifically stated in an update, No.

 

What if an update is late? - I will get the next update out as soon as possible, and post an official apology. All updates following the late one will still be on Saturday.

 

What time of day do you usually update on Saturday? I usually update in the early morning to late afternoon (Central Daylight Time).

 

How do I get notifications for this journal? Like any topic on this forum, you can get email notifications via clicking the "Follow" button at the top right hand corner of the topic.

 

 

 

 

Colonies currently featured on this journal:

 

Formica fusca group sp. - Alive & Active - (Update #1 - Present)

Crematogaster cerasi Alive & Active(Update #1 - Present)

Aphaenogaster picea Alive & Active - (Update #4 - Present)

Aphaenogaster cf. lamellidens Alive & Active - (Update #4 - Present)

Tetramorium immigrans Alive & Active - (Update #4 - Present)

 

This list will be updated as I acquire or lose colonies, and will be up-to-date with the latest update.

 

 

 

 

Journal Directory

 

 

Update #1 - Wednesday, March 9, 2022 - Intro to FormicaCrematogaster colonies and their origins

 

Update #2 - Saturday, March 26, 2022 - Formica brood pile grew; Crematogaster population and brood pile grew significantly.

 

Update #3 - Saturday, April 9, 2022 - Crematogaster worker count grows significantly. Formica colony gets new pupae and eggs.
 

Update #4 - Monday, July 18, 2022 - Crematogaster moved, population explosion; unfortunate Formica incident; new colonies introduced

 

Update #5 - Wednesday, August 4, 2022 - Crematogaster population explodes again; race is cancelled; Tetras almost have workers. Aphaenogaster about the same.

The Directory is a 'table of contents' so to speak, with convenient links to every update in sequence, along with a short description of each update and its date. The Directory will update with each new update.


Edited by AntsDakota, August 3 2022 - 1:50 PM.

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#2 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 9 2022 - 4:27 PM

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Update #1

 

Wednesday, Mar. 9, 2022

 

 

 

 

 

Unidentified Formica fusca group sp.

 

     I got this colony last year from the other Ants_Dakota when she only had eggs. She managed to get a few workers that year before hibernation. Just a couple weeks ago I took them out of hibernation and began feeding them, and lo and behold, the queen has begun laying. The colony has 6 workers now, and about a dozen eggs. Despite last year being a little rough, they survived and are looking quite healthy and promising. I'm looking forward to growing the colony.

 

 

dc4gY3n.jpg

The colony scrambled in all directions when I tried to get some photos

 

 

 

 

 

Crematogaster cerasi

 

 

 

     I got these lovely ladies today from AnthonyP163 on his new shop at Statesideants.com (I'd highly recommend) (and for those concerned it is legal, Anthony has lots of commercial PPQ526 permits from the USDA to sell quite a few species). I'm pretty excited about this colony, as all Crematogaster are ridiculously rare around where I live, even in our wooded areas. They're so rare in fact that I've never even seen a Crematogaster worker in person before today when I got this colony. But the point is, I'm glad to have this colony, and I love Crematogaster. All my research has said they will grow quite fast (even so far as matching Tetramorium in growth rate), which I look forward to a population explosion with great anticipation. The colony arrived healthy (but curled up hibernating at the time, so I almost panicked at first, silly me). After about 5 minutes they woke up and became their vibrant, Crematogaster selves. The colony consists of 9 workers and several dozen brood of all stages. They should do quite well, and if all goes according to plan they should grow to several hundred workers this year. My only disappointment with this species is they need to hibernate, unlike Tetramorium. But hey: I live in South Dakota. I shouldn't be complaining about hibernation in the slightest  :lol: . 

 

 

wyK4rf8.jpg

 

jVoRSTU.jpg

 

 

aLr3j2V.jpg

 

 

 

⬅ Previous update                                                                                                 Next Update 

This is the first update of this journal! No previous updates exist.                                                        Proceed to Update #2                                                                                            


Edited by AntsDakota, April 9 2022 - 8:12 AM.

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"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 9 2022 - 5:02 PM

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Woah! You’re back, and you got Crematogasters!
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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.

#4 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 9 2022 - 5:38 PM

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You bet!


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"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#5 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 9 2022 - 5:51 PM

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Hey just fyi, anyone who's reading this journal, a troll has been going around spam-1-staring my topics (I think it's a Vendayn alt, but who knows). So this journal doesn't suck; the troll sucks  :D .


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"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#6 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 9 2022 - 5:54 PM

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Remember what I’ve taught you about Crematogaster!
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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.

#7 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 26 2022 - 9:53 AM

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Update #2

 

Saturday, Mar. 26, 2022

 

 

 

 

 

Unidentified Formica fusca group sp.

(Queen Ezalena)

 

 

     This colony has been doing well since the last update. The queen has laid approximately 15 eggs, most of which have hatched at this point. Although I find it interesting that the first egg she laid this year was laid several days before any other egg, and thus has already developed into a naked pupa. Her siblings are mostly small larvae. But on the sad note, two of the six workers have died, most likely due to old age, since they were born in summer of last year. However this year's generation should eclose in time to replace the old, dying generation that's keeping the place running at the moment. At least, that one pupa will for sure eclose in time. I've been feeding this colony mealworms and Drosophila fruit flies twice a week on Saturdays and Wednesdays, both of which they love. They also have constant access to sunburst nectar. But despite the dying generation, the queen seems quite productive. 15 viable workers in a single generation is unusual in my experience with Formica, so I'm optimistic about their future. But salutations to the nanitics who kept the colony running for so long.  :*( But anyways I have always liked ANTdrew's tradition of naming queens, so I'm going to adopt it. But instead of repurposing names from other sources, I decided to hone in on my knack for putting random syllables together to form something completely unique. As such, I will here by name this queen Ezalena.

 

Sorry for the poor quality; the colony likes the cotton, and it's hard to get lighting on that angle, not to mention the brood blends in excellently with the cotton background. But trust me: there are ~15 brood in there.

 

 

 

Crematogaster cerasi

(Queen Seilithica)

 

This colony has been doing even better than their Formicinae neighbors. The worker count has risen from 9 to 13, and their brood pile grew exponentially. When I first got the colony, they had roughly 10-15 large larvae and pupae and around 20 eggs. Now they have 20+ large larvae and pupae, and 40-50 eggs, not to mention the extra workers. I've had them on the same diet as the Formica, and they eat as often, twice a week. The colony has become less and less sensitive to me checking on them, yet their growth rate still stands. If all brood develops, then within 5 weeks the colony will have roughly 70 workers, and over 100 the month after that. The workers act and look full, stumbling around (not literally, but figuratively) drunk with sunburst. The queen doesn't look super bloated, although she obviously has been laying recently. For most of the time since the past update, the colony has been very active in their test tube portal I have them in, although over the past few days they are foraging less often. Like I said, they look full. I'm still going to feed them regardless. I named this queen Seilithica, and she shall be addressed as such from now on.

 

 

 

 

 

⬅ Previous update                                                                                                 Next Update 

Return to Update #1 (the first update)                                                                                           Proceed to Update #3


Edited by AntsDakota, April 9 2022 - 8:13 AM.

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#8 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 26 2022 - 10:52 AM

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Nice work with the Cremas. You’ll find this species cares almost nothing about light or vibrations, so check away. They’re some of the most chill ants around. They must save all their energy for finding escape routes.
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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.

#9 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 26 2022 - 11:30 AM

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They are still a little sensitive to checking, but they are noticeably getting used to it. This actually works perfectly though, since my favorite colony is insensitive to checking.


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"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#10 Offline ytongantnestcool - Posted March 31 2022 - 2:02 PM

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Hey I'm from south dakota to and kind of interested in keeping ants can you dm me ?
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#11 Offline AntsDakota - Posted April 1 2022 - 6:51 PM

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Hey I'm from south dakota to and kind of interested in keeping ants can you dm me ?

I DMed you.


"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#12 Offline AntsDakota - Posted April 9 2022 - 8:08 AM

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Update #3

 

Saturday, Apr. 9, 2022

 

 

 

 

 

Unidentified Formica fusca group sp.

(Queen Ezalena)

 

 

Well, the naked pupa from the last update has since eclosed, bringing the worker count up to 5. Several eggs from the last update have pupated already. The queen also just laid another decent sized batch of eggs.

 

 

 

Crematogaster cerasi

(Queen Seilithica)

 

This colony is truly exceeding my expectations. The worker count is now up to 25, as opposed to 13 last update. The brood pile continues to stay around the same size, despite so many workers eclosing. Obviously Seilithica is keeping herself busy. They still have around 15 large larvae and pupae, as well as ~40-50 eggs and small larvae. They have become increasingly active in their test tube portal, and I plan to give them an outworld soon. Once two more pupae eclose (there are about 3 that should eclose within the next day or two), the colony would have trippled in size since I got them. I just love this colony!

 

 

 

 

⬅ Previous update                                                                                               Next Update      Return to Update #2                                                                                                                     Proceed to Update #4


Edited by AntsDakota, July 18 2022 - 10:28 AM.

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#13 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 9 2022 - 1:25 PM

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Now you see what all the Crema craze is about! Nice work. Start planning your containment strategy.
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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.

#14 Offline AntsDakota - Posted April 9 2022 - 4:31 PM

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Now you see what all the Crema craze is about! Nice work. Start planning your containment strategy.

Yeah, definitely. I'm going to buy some fluon, and a while back I bought some huge model display cases (I think they're the same brand THA uses for his outworlds; if not it's something very similar). They're 15" by 7" by 6.5", which should be enough for a large colony of Cremas. These containers are also pretty airtight, save for any holes I'd drill for ventilation and tube insertion ports.


"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#15 Offline AntsDakota - Posted July 18 2022 - 10:15 AM

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Update #4

 

Monday, July 18, 2022

 

 

I know, I know, it's been way more than two weeks since I last updated this journal. Again, I've been busy, and have spent most of my time devoted to ants feeding them and caring for them. I have, however, kept records, which I will include in this update.

 

 

Unidentified Formica fusca group sp.

(Queen Ezalena)

 

 

Well, bad news first. I introduced the colony to an outworld, and they all moved out of their perfectly habitable test tube into the rocky outworld, in which the workers all dehydrated and died. I was able to spare the queen though, and am attempting to found her again. I may attempt a brood boost from a wild colony.

 

P1050167.JPG?width=541&height=406

 

 

Crematogaster cerasi

(Queen Seilithica)

 

Inversely, the Cremas are doing exceptionally well. I'm happy to report that the colony has around 100 workers, ~70 larger larvae and pupae (40 of which are dark and about to hatch), and ~150 eggs. The colony is active and healthy, and the young workers are much larger and bulkier than the nanitics. Surprisingly there has only been a single death among the workers, probably a nanitic. When the colony had around 40 workers I moved them into a THA Mini Hearth, and they have been enjoying it ever since. I hope they reach 500 workers before hibernation, which brings me to another point: they are now in a race, and made quite the statement about it, which I will get to later...

 

 

P1050168.JPG?width=541&height=406

 

 

New!

Aphaenogaster picea

(Queen Dreilnia)

 

So in late may, AUD (Ants_Dakota's nickname so we can distinguish ourselves; mine is Adak) and I went camping in the Lewis & Clark Recreation Area near Yankton, SD, and went anting. .We found several colonies, and I got to keep them, since AUD's budget is limited atm, and he is ethically opposed to excavating established colonies. Firstly, I got an Aphaenogaster picea colony with around 50-100 workers, which I moved into a THA bifurcated Mini Hearth. Unfortunately it is near impossible to take pics of them, as the bifurcated Mini Hearths are impossible to light properly due to their small spaces. But take my word for it, they have a few dozen brood, a couple dozen at each stage. Their growth isn't super fast, but it is consistent. 

 

Anyways, here's a pic, in which you can tell that there are in fact ants in the nest:

P1050175.JPG?width=541&height=406

 

 

New!

Aphaenogaster cf. lamillides

(Queen Azineth)

 

This was a slightly larger colony of around 500 workers, and are in a THA Fortress. They had quite a few brood (although they were male alate brood) when I collected them. Their growth has sort of stagnated even though I've been feeding them due to their investment into the alates which they will never get to release. But fortunately, within the past week or so the queen has laid several dozen eggs which I assume are workers, so at least they're starting to get back on track.

 

They shove several hundred ants into this one bottom chamber.

P1050177.JPG?width=541&height=406

 

And this is where they keep the male alates and process food:

P1050178.JPG?width=541&height=406

 

New!

Tetramorium immigrans

(Queen Nilanthri)

 

Oh boy, I'm trying Tetras again. AUD found this queen about a week ago, and is in her founding test tube. Tetras are a little too crazy for his taste. She has since laid several dozen eggs, a few of which are beginning to hatch into small larvae.

 

P1050146.JPG?width=541&height=406

P1050147.JPG?width=541&height=406

P1050144.JPG?width=541&height=406

 

CLEAR VIDEO HERE

 

So, this is the 'race' I mentioned in the Cremas' portion of this update. Crematogaster cerasi vs. Tetramorium immigrans. Both are Myrmicinae species which grow exceptionally fast for temperate ants. Obviously, the Cremas have a huge advantage, as they already have the potential for 300+ workers in a few weeks. However, they do have a significant disadvantage: hibernation. Of course, Tetras do hibernate in the wild, but in captivity hibernation is not a necessity. This is where the Tetras have a chance to catch up or even surpass the Cremas in population, when the Cremas are taking a nice 3-month long nap. Personally, I'm rooting for the Cremas, and hope the Tetras don't gain the lead before the Cremas can wake up and start grinding again, but the Tetras still have a big chance of winning. I'm rooting for the native species, Crematogaster cerasi, as I despise how the invasive Tetras are trashing the temperate US and displacing many native species, although in my opinion they do make amazing pet ants, which is why I'm even keeping her at all. So I'll keep you guys posted on the Great Myrmicinae Race between these two worthy competitors! Feel free to root for your favorite below. #TeamCremas #TeamTetras

 

 

New!

Crematogaster cf. pilosa (or ashmeadi)

(Queen Jeval)

 

A friend found this queen for me in the Cincinnati area. After some research, I have concluded that she is either pilosa or ashmeadi, although physically she is much closer to pilosa, as ashmeadi lacks some of the nodes on the back of her thorax which both the queen and specimens of pilosa possess. Her large size and time of capture also points to pilosa (read the ID thread here.) I'm still not ruling out the possibility of ashmeadi, although I still think she's pilosa. We'll know for sure once she gets nanitics. 

 

So, fun fact: Crematogaster pilosa is one of the more uncommon North American Cremas, and AntWiki even lists them as Vulnerable (for those who don't know, it's the category right above Endangered), due to their very specific habitat requirements. I'm assuming they're considered Vulnerable due to potential habitat loss to human activity. The species also seems to be understudied, as besides images, maps, and keys AntWiki only has a few sentences about it: "Crematogaster pilosa is truly a habitat specialist. In Ozarks of Missouri, it is rarely found anywhere other than in the vegetationally unique, spring fed, wet meadows. And yet, they occur in and are often abundant in nearly every one of these widely distributed, but sporadic habitat remnants [J. Trager, October 2016]" Since this is basically some of the only information out there on them, and there have been no captive journals on the species, I'm going to document them in captivity for the first time. And for that purpose, I am making a separate journal for them, which you can read here.

 

 

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          Return to Update #3                                                                                                    Proceed to Update #5


Edited by AntsDakota, August 3 2022 - 1:54 PM.

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#16 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted July 18 2022 - 10:24 AM

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I will be rooting for the crematogaster pilosa species to win the race! it will be a cool species to document, as it appears little is known about it. can't wait until she has workers!


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Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

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#17 Offline AntsDakota - Posted July 18 2022 - 10:30 AM

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I will be rooting for the crematogaster pilosa species to win the race! it will be a cool species to document, as it appears little is known about it. can't wait until she has workers!

Unfortunately she will never have a chance to catch up with the Tetras since she will be hibernating as well.


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"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#18 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 18 2022 - 1:54 PM

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Food and heat being constant, I think Crematogaster can win.
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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.

#19 Offline AntsDakota - Posted July 18 2022 - 6:43 PM

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I sure hope so.


"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#20 Offline AntsDakota - Posted July 18 2022 - 6:51 PM

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I also forgot to mention: I said the Cremas made a 'statement' about the race. Now this is a very funny coincidence (or is it): the very day I brought the Tetra queen home and set her next to my Cremas, the Cremas had arranged their brood into a.... distinct shape. Observe:

 

 

I3Dc5Nn.jpg

NOTE: It's sideways. Look at it with the left side on the bottom. 

 

See it? My Cremas made an "L" with their youth. For those not familiar with mainstream internet culture or just didn't know, "L" stands for "loss", and if you see kids doing this:

man-laughing-with-l-his-forehead_1187-32

 

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They're expressing that something/someone lost or is going to lose, or is a loser. 

 

So the Cremas made an L with their youth, within a few hours of the Tetra queen arriving. I just found it funny how it seemed like they were directing it towards their invasive competition. Just found it funny. That's also where I got the whole 'race' idea, since L'ing can be during a competition.


Edited by AntsDakota, July 18 2022 - 6:52 PM.

  • TennesseeAnts, ANTdrew, That_one_ant_guy and 1 other like this

"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: crematogaster, formica, crematogaster cerasi, formica subsericea, antsdakota, south dakota, crematogaster pilosa, aphaenogaster, aphaenogaster lamellidens, aphaenogaster picea, tetramorium, tetramorium immigrans

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