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Tetramorium atratulum nuptial flight

nuptial flight

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#1 Offline WeatherAnt - Posted May 28 2024 - 1:00 PM


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It has been a LONG time since I have posted anything here or even participated in the ant/myrmecology community as a whole. However, my interest in ants never left and is in fact as strong as ever! I haven't forgotten about you guys, trust me. I'm sure it's been so long though that most of you probably don't even know who I am hahah. For those who do, life is good and I'm doing great! :)


Anyway, I'm here today because I saw something very very cool. And it's ant related! A couple of weeks ago I noticed a seemingly new Tetramorium immigrans colony which was odd as it looked mature and popped up overnight. I kept tabs on it for a bit until I noticed recently that there were loads of Tetramorium atratulum alates emerging from the various nest entrances! Upon realizing what I was looking at I flipped out and raced for my camera (which I happened to have with me what are the odds) and began filming. I've never seen another video of a T. atratulum flight so this was fascinating to witness.  Additionally, I could not find any record of this species in in the state of Indiana so this may also be a first record.


Some key observations: it was sunny and 70-75 degrees F (21-4 degrees C) and breezy (only about 12 knots). There was rain the day before, about an inch. The nuptial flight was continuous. Alates would emerge and quickly flight off. This continued for a few hours. Number of alates at any given time was no greater than 12. They flew two days in a row (so far). Male T. atratulum were visible on the surface walking around (I was surprised by this). T. immigrans workers were present but only occasionally. They didn't seem to care as much as unparasitized colonies do when they have their own flights. I will continue to make observations of this colony until they eventually die off. It's super fascinating and I'm in awe with what I've found. It's just so cool seeing such a rare ant in the wild!


Anyway, here's the video! I have more footage that I will eventually get online but this will do for now. Take care, everyone!




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#2 Offline ReignofRage - Posted May 28 2024 - 2:49 PM


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Glad to see you back and great documentation of this Tetramorium inquiline! It appears to be the first record of this species for the state of Indiana.

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