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Why are carpenter ants (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) biting this one larvae in a big group?

ant reasons ant behavior ants being strange camponotus

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9 replies to this topic

#1 Offline futurebird - Posted May 23 2023 - 12:44 PM

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Video has narration.
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Starting this July I'm posting videos of my ants every week on youTube.

I like to make relaxing videos that capture the joy of watching ants.

If that sounds like your kind of thing... follow me >here<


#2 Offline Chickalo - Posted May 23 2023 - 12:59 PM

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I'm a bit rusty but it could be that they created an alate pupae and don't need it so they're using it as food?  I'm probably wrong to be honest.


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#3 Offline Formiga - Posted May 23 2023 - 1:06 PM

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That IS one big larvae... Is this size normal, even for alates?

 

I'm curious too! Keep us updated, Susan. Love your videos and your world view as an ant keeper.

Cheers.



#4 Offline Manitobant - Posted May 23 2023 - 3:10 PM

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If it is an alate, it is likely a male from a trophic egg that was left uneaten.
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#5 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted May 23 2023 - 5:03 PM

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I've had this same behavior in my own colony, and a couple times in other people's. The explanation I've heard is that the larva is attempting to develop into a queen alate, and the workers are "bullying" it to prevent that and make it become just a major instead.
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#6 Offline Formiga - Posted May 24 2023 - 1:51 AM

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The explanation I've heard is that the larva is attempting to develop into a queen alate, and the workers are "bullying" it to prevent that and make it become just a major instead.

So this would mean that there is no genetic differences between an alate queen and a major, the difference is just environmental (amount of food eaten and environmental stress?) during the larval stage. Could this be true?

 

And even for a major, isn't that larva way too big? That's a lot of nom nom power there!



#7 Online bmb1bee - Posted May 24 2023 - 5:40 AM

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The bites don't exactly look lethal to me, more like small nips. Mettcollsuss might be right.


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#8 Offline Formiga - Posted July 9 2023 - 5:53 PM

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Hey @Futurebird, do you have any update on this? Did it pupate? What came out of it?

 

Something like...

 

 

:lol:



#9 Offline gs5248 - Posted July 9 2023 - 6:56 PM

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If it is an alate, it is likely a male from a trophic egg that was left uneaten.

This looks like a likely answer. 


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#10 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted July 10 2023 - 7:27 AM

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I've had this same behavior in my own colony, and a couple times in other people's. The explanation I've heard is that the larva is attempting to develop into a queen alate, and the workers are "bullying" it to prevent that and make it become just a major instead.

New to ants and never knew this. It's a bit brutal to watch, too.

 

Can you imagine being stuck in that state and getting all these workers biting you over and over? Fascinating for us but wouldn't wanna be the ant....


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ant reasons, ant behavior, ants being strange, camponotus

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