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California Camponotus herculeanus

camponotus herculeanus california

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#1 Offline ReignofRage - Posted December 8 2023 - 6:24 PM

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Many of the records for C. herculeanus in California seem rather erroneous, at least the ones that have images available online. Additionally, the method of identifying and distinguishing the aforementioned species and C. modoc in the west has previously been on the basis of propodeum coloration - "[C. herculeanus] very closely resembles C. modoc, but may be distinguished by the reddish propodeum," (Shattuck, 1985: pp. 17). The issue with the notion of propodeum color being a valid method of separation becomes useless for aged specimens that have turned brown. However, there is a difference in the gastral vestiture between C. modoc and C. herculeanus

 

Recently at my work, where I work in Dr. Roy Snelling's Formicidae collection, I found three C. herculeanus collections hiding among the vast amount of C. modoc. Of the three, two were from California! I have had a strong suspicion for the past few years that California has C. herculeanus after coming across a BugGuide observation of what appeared to be a queen of C. herculeanus. Unfortunately, I am based out of Southern California and don't find it worth driving to the Yosemite area, or further, to locate colonies and procure specimens. The locales I have found are as follows:

 

United States: California: El Dorado Co.: Fallen Leaf Lake, 1925 m, viii.1920, I. McCracken (LACM). Mariposa Co.: Nevada Fall, "top alt." 1527 m, 25.v.1930, T.W. Cook (?) (LACM). Tuolumne Co.: Yosemite NP, Tuolumne Meadows, 2619 m, 3.vii.2011, B.A. Scavone (BugGuide).

 

It seems wise to question the validity of the identifications of the other records from museums that do not have images available. Though, with this newfound information, it should be easier for people to go out and locate thriving populations.


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#2 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 8 2023 - 7:44 PM

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I drove all the way up to the Yosemite area one year and came back with absolutely nothing. I was super happy about that, especially because I found out everything flew the day after I left.


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#3 Offline ReignofRage - Posted December 8 2023 - 7:55 PM

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It would definitely be a multi-day or week-long trip for me. Way too far to only spend a day, especially now with how weather apps are getting worse as time goes on.


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#4 Offline 100lols - Posted December 9 2023 - 12:32 AM

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Really fascinating find tbh. Thanks for sharing with the community!! That queen on bug guide is beautiful.

#5 Offline gcsnelling - Posted December 9 2023 - 5:09 AM

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Not at all shocked that you found those ants hiding in the mix. He had long been of the opinion that, that group was something of a mess. Color as you are showing is pretty useless.It is good to hear that you are sorting it out to some degree.


Edited by gcsnelling, December 9 2023 - 5:10 AM.

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#6 Offline ReignofRage - Posted December 9 2023 - 3:59 PM

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It has definitely been a challenge at times due to loss of word-of-mouth information, but little hand written notes he had stuffed here and there and notes hiding under pin trays in drawers have shined some light on it all. It has been a great time seeing the history of the collection and to work there.


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#7 Offline gcsnelling - Posted December 9 2023 - 5:58 PM

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Over the years I had constantly wished he had written down more of those little tidbits, however there should be his field note books around someplace if you have not already seen them. So much valuable information lost.


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#8 Offline ReignofRage - Posted December 9 2023 - 6:58 PM

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I think Giar-Ann has them stored away, since I have yet to see them. I have found miscellaneous drafts and notes such as "2005 ants" field notes, a hand written draft for his C. festinatus-group revision, and notes/drafts for his and C.D. Georges publication. There has been plenty of other neat finds - they're like gems hidden among the dust and untouched drawers.


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#9 Offline gcsnelling - Posted December 10 2023 - 3:27 AM

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Excellent, I am glad some of this stuff is turning up.  I don;t know how recent the desert ants draft you have is but I can try to send the one I have your way, it may be slightly more current since I made a couple of minor changes to it.


Edited by gcsnelling, December 10 2023 - 3:38 AM.

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#10 Offline ReignofRage - Posted December 10 2023 - 1:39 PM

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That would be amazing to have a copy of that. I'll PM you about it. The desert ant notes I've found seem to all be from around 1979 and prior. Newer stuff is small misc collections and mass amounts of Kenya material.


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#11 Offline JessicaAaron - Posted December 26 2023 - 2:43 AM

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To grow plants indoors, the most important requirement is light. Most of the plants need light to grow. The more light they receive, the bigger they grow, and the more they absorb the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, increasing the oxygen supply.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: camponotus, herculeanus, california

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