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Ant ID request for Newark Delaware plus additional questions

queen id request camponotus east coast delaware may

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#1 Offline drawpositive - Posted May 28 2024 - 5:48 AM


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1. Location (on a map) of collection:  Newark, Delaware
2. Date of collection: May 24, 2024
3. Habitat of collection: inside office building
4. Length (from head to gaster): don't know, but she's about the size of a Camponotus queen
5. Color, hue, pattern and texture: reddish brown
6. Distinguishing characteristics: 
7. Distinguishing behavior:
8. Nest description: 

9. Nuptial flight time and date:

Found a reddish brown queen (I believe it to be a type of Camponotus?) in my office building on my way out of work on Friday before the Memorial Day weekend.  She still had her wings on, but there were no other ants around, so I can only assume that she did her nuptial flight, landed, wandered into the building and then I found her.  I put her in a plastic cup on my kitchen counter and was busy with other things.  Then, the next day, I was going back into my house after mowing the lawn and I saw what I thought was a male of her "same" species resting on my doorway, still with wings on.  I put him in the same cup as well.  Upon first entering the cup, both ants "sniffed" each other with their antennae and then they did the swapping of food with each other from their social stomachs.  I closed the cup and did other things.


48 hours later, the male was still alive and kicking, the female had lost her wings, and I believe I found an egg on the bottom of the cup (see photos).  I put the male back outside and moved the queen and her egg into a test tube.  Now I have MANY questions!


1.) What is the ID of the queen? (duh!)

2.) Do ants of different species swap food from their social stomachs with each other?  Or does that only happen amongst ants of the same species?

3.) Do ants have to be airborne to mate?

4.)  If the female was initially unmated and I put the male and female together in the cup (assuming they are both the same species) could they then "mate on the ground"?

5.)  If I put the male outside again (after a [possible] mating with the queen in the cup) would he have the sperm/energy left to fly again and find another queen and do another mating?


Thanks in advance for answering my questions!


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#2 Online Mettcollsuss - Posted May 28 2024 - 6:06 AM


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1. Camponotus castaneus 

2. Generally no. Ants will only engage in trophallaxis with members of their own colony, however if it's a multispecies colony then cross-species trophallaxis can happen.

3. Varies by species, from what I've heard Camponotus may be one of the ones that does.

4. I haven't heard of this happening with Camponotus, and it's even more unlikely if it's been a day since the queen flew, since she's likely not in mating mode anymore.

5. I believe some species' males will mate with multiple females before dying, but most are one and done.

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: queen, id, request, camponotus, east coast, delaware, may

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