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Where to find ants: Central Florida

florida help anting

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19 replies to this topic

#1 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted March 28 2024 - 12:15 AM

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Where should I look for queen ants? All you can really find in Central Florida is Solenopsis and Lasius. I want the cool Florida ants, such as turtle ants, or harvesters, but I have no clue where to find them! So please help, as I don’t want to be “that invicta guy” for the rest of my life.

Edited by The_Gaming-gate, March 28 2024 - 12:15 AM.

Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#2 Offline Flu1d - Posted March 28 2024 - 12:59 AM

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Florida has some of the best variety as far as ants go. If you blacklight at sunset or at sunrise, you are bound to find all kinds of species.

I have had nights where I have caught over 100 ants (I didn't keep all of them of course, that's insane).

I had 2 blacklights set up, one in my back yard and one in my front. My back yard didn't get nearly as much ant action, however it did get a lot of termites. My front light got an outrageous amount of ants and termites.

If you get a portable power station (I will link the one I have, it's affordable) and a halfway decent blacklight (I have 2 30w and a 40w one, but these are not necessary. A simple cheapo 15w will do) and set up, you will do great.

I recommend some glasses that block 100% UV rays (I will also link the ones I use) if you do decide to go with a stronger blacklight. My neighborhood has hella light pollution so I bought a stronger blacklight than the typical weaker ones. The portable power station also allows me to drive to the local parks or wherever else and set up for several hours, and I still end up having battery left before I end my session. (I do recommend charging it before each session, however. I don't think it would last long enough for 2 full ones). I also recommend a headlamp so that you can see while you search the white blanket for ants. I turn it on only when I'm actively looking, then turn it off when finished so that I don't burn the batteries down too quickly.. although they probably make rechargeable ones too. I keep 16x100mm plastic test tubes for catching queens because you don't need them to be long, they won't hold your queen for founding so the extra length for water isn't necessary and they won't shatter or break like glass ones. They're also dirt cheap that way. Anyway, just some tips!

Links:

https://a.co/d/g1t4Ey9

https://a.co/d/jbgCKlf
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#3 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted March 28 2024 - 3:38 AM

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Florida has some of the best variety as far as ants go. If you blacklight at sunset or at sunrise, you are bound to find all kinds of species.

I have had nights where I have caught over 100 ants (I didn't keep all of them of course, that's insane).

I had 2 blacklights set up, one in my back yard and one in my front. My back yard didn't get nearly as much ant action, however it did get a lot of termites. My front light got an outrageous amount of ants and termites.

If you get a portable power station (I will link the one I have, it's affordable) and a halfway decent blacklight (I have 2 30w and a 40w one, but these are not necessary. A simple cheapo 15w will do) and set up, you will do great.

I recommend some glasses that block 100% UV rays (I will also link the ones I use) if you do decide to go with a stronger blacklight. My neighborhood has hella light pollution so I bought a stronger blacklight than the typical weaker ones. The portable power station also allows me to drive to the local parks or wherever else and set up for several hours, and I still end up having battery left before I end my session. (I do recommend charging it before each session, however. I don't think it would last long enough for 2 full ones). I also recommend a headlamp so that you can see while you search the white blanket for ants. I turn it on only when I'm actively looking, then turn it off when finished so that I don't burn the batteries down too quickly.. although they probably make rechargeable ones too. I keep 16x100mm plastic test tubes for catching queens because you don't need them to be long, they won't hold your queen for founding so the extra length for water isn't necessary and they won't shatter or break like glass ones. They're also dirt cheap that way. Anyway, just some tips!

Links:

https://a.co/d/g1t4Ey9

https://a.co/d/jbgCKlf



Thanks! I’ll try to get those and set them up this summer. Any tips for catching ants at parks, or around the pavement?

Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#4 Offline Artisan_Ants - Posted March 28 2024 - 5:09 AM

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For pavements and parks, check out the weather. If there is rain on one day, and a bright and sunny day (or cloudy) at least in the 60 degree weather mark, then you’ll definitely find some ants flying. You could also look under rocks (which believe you already do) and inside logs for Camponotus queens (have to try it out this spring). But even then, they sometimes don’t fly. And that is because of the wind. If the wind is more than 7 mph before their flight time, they will not fly. Otherwise, anything 7 or below is ideal. However, if the wind speeds up to 7 mph when it is like 3 mph for example, the hey will still fly, but the activity will decrease (especially for seaming species like P. imparis). Hope that helps!

Keeping:

2x - S. molesta (colonies)                1x - C. nearcticus (founding)  (y) New!

1x - C. chromaiodes (colony)           1x - C. subbarbatus (founding)  (y) New!

2x - F. pallidefulva (colonies)             1x T. sessile (mega colony)

2x - C. cerasi (colonies)  workers are here!  :yahoo:

1x - B. depilis (founding but no eggs)

4x - P. imparis (colonies)  Unfortunately no multi queen P. imparis colonies as all of the queens died due to fungus infection (assumed). RIP  :( 

Check out my C. nearcticus journal here: https://www.formicul...cticus-journal/

Check out my C. chromaiodes journal here: https://www.formicul...aiodes-journal/


#5 Offline TacticalHandleGaming - Posted March 28 2024 - 10:15 AM

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Reading this thread reinforces my desire to move to Florida. So many cool species!

Currently kept species

L. neoniger, P. occidentalis, C. modoc, C. novaeboracensis, C. vicinus, T. immigrans, A. occidentalis, S. molesta, P. imparis, M. kennedyi, M semirufus, F. pacifica, P. californica, M. ergatogyna.

 

Previously kept species

T. rugatulus, B. depilis.

 

Looking for

Myrmecocystus pyramicus, Myrmecocystus testaceus

Pheidole creightoni, Pheidole inquilina, Crematogaster coarctata, Crematogaster mutans

My youtube channel.  My ant Etsy store - Millennium Ants


#6 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted March 28 2024 - 11:43 AM

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For pavements and parks, check out the weather. If there is rain on one day, and a bright and sunny day (or cloudy) at least in the 60 degree weather mark, then you’ll definitely find some ants flying. You could also look under rocks (which believe you already do) and inside logs for Camponotus queens (have to try it out this spring). But even then, they sometimes don’t fly. And that is because of the wind. If the wind is more than 7 mph before their flight time, they will not fly. Otherwise, anything 7 or below is ideal. However, if the wind speeds up to 7 mph when it is like 3 mph for example, the hey will still fly, but the activity will decrease (especially for seaming species like P. imparis). Hope that helps!



It just rained! I forgot how warm Florida is, and I only have 3 test tubes though.

Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#7 Offline Flu1d - Posted March 28 2024 - 2:27 PM

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For pavements and parks, check out the weather. If there is rain on one day, and a bright and sunny day (or cloudy) at least in the 60 degree weather mark, then you’ll definitely find some ants flying. You could also look under rocks (which believe you already do) and inside logs for Camponotus queens (have to try it out this spring). But even then, they sometimes don’t fly. And that is because of the wind. If the wind is more than 7 mph before their flight time, they will not fly. Otherwise, anything 7 or below is ideal. However, if the wind speeds up to 7 mph when it is like 3 mph for example, the hey will still fly, but the activity will decrease (especially for seaming species like P. imparis). Hope that helps!


In Florida, you typically won't have flights below 70 degrees. It's not to say they won't, but it's very rare. And you also can up the winds mph to 10. Sometimes up to 12, but 10 or below is the safe bet.

Ants like it warm here, and it's also fairly windy here since we are a peninsula. Again, that's not 100% set in stone, but those are the typical parameters for what we look for on a good anting day.

Ants will fly for typically a week after a good rain, and sometimes slightly longer than a week, that also can depend on the species.

We don't have rocks in Florida (not naturally), sadly, I wish we did! I'm so jealous watching you guys on Youtube videos flip a rock and find entire colonies, or founding queens or even lots of brood for boosting!
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#8 Offline Flu1d - Posted March 28 2024 - 2:31 PM

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Reading this thread reinforces my desire to move to Florida. So many cool species!


Florida has a fantastic anting community, and a lot of amazing species. We would gladly welcome an awesome anter such as yourself into the community!

I love not having to diapause my ants. That's a step in the hobby that seems to be a huge 50/50 on if your colony will survive it's first diapause. We have other issues, of course.. but I am glad that diapause isn't something we have to do here!
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#9 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted March 30 2024 - 12:55 PM

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What ant genera/species can I expect in forested parks?

Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#10 Offline Flu1d - Posted March 30 2024 - 2:58 PM

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What ant genera/species can I expect in forested parks?

Camponotus, Colobopsis, Pseudomyrmex, Crematogaster, Solenopsis, all kinds of stuff.

Lots of different ants like grass, there's always sandy areas, then there's the trees themselves. Plenty of rotting wood to live in, and lots of insects to eat.

Also, it depends on what time you go. Will you hunt with a blacklight at night, in morning? Will you be looking in the morning after the sun comes up? Mid day? Those all change what species you will catch! But you are bound to find TONS if you're just out there sightseeing. It's a lot of fun to explore the different areas and see them in the wild!

Edited by Flu1d, March 30 2024 - 2:58 PM.

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#11 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted March 31 2024 - 6:40 AM

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What ant genera/species can I expect in forested parks?

Camponotus, Colobopsis, Pseudomyrmex, Crematogaster, Solenopsis, all kinds of stuff.

Lots of different ants like grass, there's always sandy areas, then there's the trees themselves. Plenty of rotting wood to live in, and lots of insects to eat.

Also, it depends on what time you go. Will you hunt with a blacklight at night, in morning? Will you be looking in the morning after the sun comes up? Mid day? Those all change what species you will catch! But you are bound to find TONS if you're just out there sightseeing. It's a lot of fun to explore the different areas and see them in the wild!

I forgot all about Colobopsis! I would love that surprise. Crematogaster is also an ant I’m looking for. I plan on black-lighting at night in my yard (which is on a field but has a forested park close by.) and going to the park in the early afternoon, probably after it rains.
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Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#12 Offline Flu1d - Posted March 31 2024 - 11:10 AM

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That's gonna yield some good results because ants fly up high to mate and will see your light in the field and be drawn to it. Sounds like you have a bit of biodiversity, so you should see a lot of cool species.

#13 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted March 31 2024 - 12:43 PM

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That's gonna yield some good results because ants fly up high to mate and will see your light in the field and be drawn to it. Sounds like you have a bit of biodiversity, so you should see a lot of cool species.

I didn't even think of that! I'm probably going to get a ton of Dorymyrmex considering they seem to have taken over not only my neighborhood, but pretty much all of town.


Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#14 Offline CJsAntStuff - Posted July 2 2024 - 6:50 PM

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Hey there. I live in Sarasota.

I'm new to anting but here's what I've got so far.

I'm think #1 is a Tapinoma Sessile. I found it in my back yard near the bay on June 10th

#2 I believe is a Camponotus Platanus I found at a farm near Old Myaka Preserve Park at the end of Fruitville Rd on June 21st.

#3 I believe is a Pogonomyrmex Badius I found at Old Myaka Preserve Park at the end of Fruitville Rd on June 23rd. It's hard to see in that picture, but the head on that thing is huge.

I went to the park at about 7:30 am and just started scanning the ground. I found quite a few Solonopsis Geminata too.

Any help in identifying these is appreciated.

Hope this helps.

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#15 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted July 3 2024 - 1:16 PM

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1 looks a little like the Brachymyrmex queens I usually catch, although it may be a T. sessile. 2 is C. planatus. 3 is a Pogonomyrmex badius. Orlandian here to help!
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Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#16 Online GOCAMPONOTUS - Posted July 3 2024 - 1:55 PM

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Queen 1 looks to be Brachymymex due to the body shape. Queen 2 is C.plantus. And queen 3 is P.badius as stated. (side note: you should provide seeds for the p.badius.


Currently keeping: 2 C.vicinus colonies.2 C.sansabeanus. 1 C.leavissimus. 2 C.Ca02. 1 V.pergandei. 4 T.immigrans.1 F.pacifica. 1 C.hyatti

1 M.ergatognya

 

 

 

 

Trying to get my hands on :C.modoc,A.vercicolor, and Any Honeypots

  

 

 


#17 Online ANTdrew - Posted July 3 2024 - 5:24 PM

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That first queen is definitely not Tapinoma.
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#18 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted July 5 2024 - 3:24 PM

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1 is Brachymyrmex obscurior.

Queen 1 looks to be Brachymymex due to the body shape. Queen 2 is C.plantus. And queen 3 is P.badius as stated. (side note: you should provide seeds for the p.badius.

P badius is is fully claustral, if you give her too much seeds she’ll probably leave them around and they will sprout in the nest later.

Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#19 Offline CJsAntStuff - Posted July 7 2024 - 11:59 AM

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1 looks a little like the Brachymyrmex queens I usually catch, although it may be a T. sessile. 2 is C. planatus. 3 is a Pogonomyrmex badius. Orlandian here to help!

 

 

Queen 1 looks to be Brachymymex due to the body shape. Queen 2 is C.plantus. And queen 3 is P.badius as stated. (side note: you should provide seeds for the p.badius.

This girl is SMAAAALLLLL, but she does look more like a Brachymyrmex after digging into the details.

Thanks.



#20 Offline CJsAntStuff - Posted July 7 2024 - 12:00 PM

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Queen 1 looks to be Brachymymex due to the body shape. Queen 2 is C.plantus. And queen 3 is P.badius as stated. (side note: you should provide seeds for the p.badius.

 

 

1 is Brachymyrmex obscurior.

Queen 1 looks to be Brachymymex due to the body shape. Queen 2 is C.plantus. And queen 3 is P.badius as stated. (side note: you should provide seeds for the p.badius.

P badius is is fully claustral, if you give her too much seeds she’ll probably leave them around and they will sprout in the nest later.

 

Got it. Thanks.


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