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Futurebird's Park Ave. Winter Ant Queen

prenolepis imparis prenolepis winter ant ant queen brown snake nyc new york ny spring

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#1 Offline futurebird - Posted April 10 2024 - 2:42 AM

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It's spring time in New York City! Yesterday it felt like the whole city was coming alive with spring. The flowers are blooming and on my way to the bus stop in the South Bronx I encountered a DeKay's brown snake on the sidewalk near the park, the cute little snake was sunning itself after a long winter underground. Gently, I picked her up (I had a look at the tail and I think it is a female) and moved her to a nice warm rock away from foot traffic. This is the first snake I've ever seen in NYC and it's my favorite species!
 
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I’ve wanted to have a Dekay’s brown snake a a pet forever— I think a terrarium with Storeria dekayi and carpenter ants would be amazing— but if she now lives in the park I can go see her there.  Even better. She eat snails, slugs and worms and lord knows we have those over by that wall. I suspect there is one of NYC’s many secret buried streams and brooks under the wall in the park. It’s so moist all of the time.
 
Some of the local teens on their way to school and stopped to admire the snake. They were a little scared at first "oh no she's got a snake!" but I was able to tell them a little about the snake and how they are harmless and a sign that our little local park is doing well ecologically. 
 
Later this same day I was walking down Park Ave. down on the upper east when out of the corner of my eye I spied an ant queen. I can always tell ant queens by the way they walk... or rather waddle. Looks like Prenolepis imparis, or the American winter ant. She was hustling along the side walk as if on her way to the Chanel store. Now she’s in one of my luxury ant condos— (but don’t tell her I’ve moved her out to the Bronx.)
 
yqz1mfy.png
 
I fed her a drop of sugar water which she accepted, now she is in my ant drawer snug in her test tube. I will post updates about this queen, and if she makes it. Over on Mastodon I asked for help naming her and we decided to call her "Ethel." I've never kept this species before, so I'm reading about their needs.


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Ethel in her luxury ant condo.

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She is well fed, so if she has mated I don't think she'll have problems laying eggs.

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Best of luck, Ethel!

 
The first warm day of spring is a special day: when the winter ants fly, and the little snakes emerge to greet the summer sun. I think this will be a wonderful summer in the city with all these happy signs of life.

Edited by futurebird, April 10 2024 - 3:25 AM.

  • ANTdrew, rptraut and Ernteameise like this

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 futurebird - Posted April 10 2024 - 2:49 AM

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Dang it I meant to post this in journals... Antdrew.... could you move the thread ... please? I'm sorry I posted it in the wrong forum. 


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<


#3 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted April 10 2024 - 4:37 AM

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Great job with the catch there! Florida weather refuses to cooperate so I can catch ants down here, but hopefully that stops. I’ve always loved how Prenolepis imparis ants looked, I hope she makes it!
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Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#4 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 10 2024 - 9:41 AM

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I moved it.
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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.

#5 Offline Ernteameise - Posted April 10 2024 - 10:41 AM

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Oh wow, this is a beautiful ant queen, and an even prettier snake.

How cool is that?

I live very rural, and I did not know you had so much wildlife in NY city. Back when I was there, it looked very concrete jungle (apart from Central Park that is). But I only spend 5 days with my relatives there (they live in New Jersey) and my relatives are not the nature types.



#6 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted April 10 2024 - 12:30 PM

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Oh wow, this is a beautiful ant queen, and an even prettier snake.
How cool is that?
I live very rural, and I did not know you had so much wildlife in NY city. Back when I was there, it looked very concrete jungle (apart from Central Park that is). But I only spend 5 days with my relatives there (they live in New Jersey) and my relatives are not the nature types.

I wish I could say the same for Florida cities. If you stay in an urban area then you’ll find nothing but invasives and the occasional Lasius. But if you were to go into a park, or in the rural areas you can find some really unique ants if you’re looking, and even in the suburbs you can find some Camponotus and some other beautiful species that you won’t find in large numbers around the concrete jungle.

Edited by The_Gaming-gate, April 10 2024 - 12:31 PM.

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

 

 

 


#7 Offline futurebird - Posted April 10 2024 - 1:15 PM

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NYC has invasives: Lasius emarginatus dominates the sidewalks and Tetramorium immigrans is a close second... but neither of these are terribly "pesty" and they stay out of the parks. In fact I wish I could catch another Lasius emarginatus queen (I had one but she died early.) I really want to get to know those oversized red and black Lasius ants better. 

 

The parks are better, it's just the density of insects is lower than I'd like. You might not see any ants unless you really look. 

 

In theory Solenopsis invicta has made it up here... but I never see them. Maybe they are just in the tropical fruit stands or something. I don't get it. 

 

I'm continuing to campaign for people to stop spraying just because they see ants. It's a dumb reason to spray if the ants are outside. There are supposed to be ants outside. Be happy it's not roaches. 

 

Anyways... can anyone tell me if this winter ant queen will want some sand or soil in her tube? I may connect her to a small outworld in a week or two and plug her tube with soil rather than cotton. I'm trying to just forget she's in the fridge. I suspect this is one of those ants that need to be left alone. 


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<


#8 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted April 11 2024 - 4:16 AM

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NYC has invasives: Lasius emarginatus dominates the sidewalks and Tetramorium immigrans is a close second... but neither of these are terribly "pesty" and they stay out of the parks. In fact I wish I could catch another Lasius emarginatus queen (I had one but she died early.) I really want to get to know those oversized red and black Lasius ants better.

The parks are better, it's just the density of insects is lower than I'd like. You might not see any ants unless you really look.

In theory Solenopsis invicta has made it up here... but I never see them. Maybe they are just in the tropical fruit stands or something. I don't get it.

I'm continuing to campaign for people to stop spraying just because they see ants. It's a dumb reason to spray if the ants are outside. There are supposed to be ants outside. Be happy it's not roaches.

Anyways... can anyone tell me if this winter ant queen will want some sand or soil in her tube? I may connect her to a small outworld in a week or two and plug her tube with soil rather than cotton. I'm trying to just forget she's in the fridge. I suspect this is one of those ants that need to be left alone.



I believe that Prenolepis, and by extension most Formicine ants have cocoons. Placing sand/soil in the tube would help larvae spin cocoons, but I’ve seen colonies do fine without it. I wouldn’t connect her to an outworld until she had workers, and still keep the tube plugged with cotton, just with sand inside (if you use a damp soil it will mold.)

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

 

 

 


#9 Offline Mushu - Posted April 14 2024 - 3:03 AM

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Never kept these but read a bit about them.  TareelAnts video doesn't have cocoons. Interestingly the article states they do, but I've not found videos/pictures of them with cocoons.

 

Edit to clarify, I don't think they have cocoons and the article was mistaken.

 

They are a bit  different due to estivation.  I think as we all know behavior in captivity may not always match observation in the wild due to artificial conditions we may keep them in. I.E., nocturnal/diurnal foraging behavior when we may keep them at optimal foraging temperature 24/7. Good luck with them. 

 

TarheelAnts has a good video on them. 

 

This was another interesting article I came across:

https://entnemdept.u...pis_imparis.htm


Edited by Mushu, April 15 2024 - 7:50 PM.

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#10 Offline Artisan_Ants - Posted April 14 2024 - 4:55 PM

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No; these guys do not have cocoons. I keep them myself and have witnessed the founding of my queen and the pupae were “naked” ?had no cocoons). He was probably referring to pupae instead of cocoons.
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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 (founding)  workers are here!  :yahoo:

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

2x - P. imparis (colony) 2x P. imparis (founding)  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/


#11 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted April 15 2024 - 11:48 AM

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No; these guys do not have cocoons. I keep them myself and have witnessed the founding of my queen and the pupae were “naked” ?had no cocoons). He was probably referring to pupae instead of cocoons.

Perhaps I’m simply an idiot. I should probably shut up until someone turns up with things native to Florida.

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

 

 

 


#12 Offline futurebird - Posted April 20 2024 - 4:45 AM

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She's laid some eggs!

 

I gave her a fruit fly about 4 days ago and she ate it so I gave her another. We'll see how she's doing next weekend. 

 

AwLhTGq.png

 

52JVAwh.png


  • TacticalHandleGaming, Ernteameise and Artisan_Ants like this

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<


#13 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 20 2024 - 6:28 AM

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My three Preno queens I found in January have pupae now. I’ve kept them like all my other founding queens with no special treatment.
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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.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: prenolepis imparis, prenolepis, winter ant, ant queen, brown snake, nyc, new york, ny, spring

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