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The Experimental Myrmica Rubra journal

myrmica rubra journal polygynous

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9 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Stubyvast - Posted May 30 2024 - 4:18 PM

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Hello everyone! So this is my first ant-keeping journal, and I'm pretty excited! Let me give you a brief layout of what's been going on the past few weeks. 
So about three weeks ago, I actually spotted what looked like a slightly unusual European fire ant (Myrmica rubra) worker. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the high thorax and wing scars. Was this a Queen? In early May?!? I caught her right away for further examination. 
After doing some more research, I discovered that I had caught a Myrmica queen, likely a microgyne, which is the smaller type of queen cast. But apparently, their nuptial flights weren't until late July to August here in British Columbia. What?? 
Finally, I discovered that these queens can actually form super colonies, and overwinter at their mother colony's nest. So I believe that's what happened, and I caught the Queen after she left the nest to finally start her own colony. Over the next few weeks, I caught 5 more, one of whom I shipped to my friend to keep. 
I also introduced a single captured worker from a Myrmica nest, and introduced her to a lone queen as an experiment, as before she was not laying any eggs. They immediately got along, cleaning each other and taking care of one-another. Two days later, there was a small pile of eggs within the test tube. Super cool, but I'm curious as to how this is possible? Maybe it worked out because they were once part of the same colony? Let me know if I'm correct.

The other queens I placed in a test tube, three in all, as they are known to be polygynous. Here's some images of my colonies right now, week 3 or so...don't really remember haha.

 

IMG_5981.jpeg

 

This one is my 3 queens in one test tube. My camera kinda sucks for close-ups, but I did my best. There is a small pile of white beneath them. Lots of brood so far! 

 

IMG_5983.jpeg IMG_5988.jpeg

 

This one is my single queen colony, with a worker. They look very similar, but the one on the right is a worker, while the one on the left is the queen. 

 

IMG_5994.jpeg

 

Please let me know if you know anything about Microgynes/Macrogynes, and why the worker integrated so well with my queen!


  • Demoant, Ernteameise, Izzy and 1 other like this

Currently raising: 

Myrmica Rubra (polygynous 2 queen + brood)

Camponotus Modoc (single queen + brood)

Camponotus Vicinus (two single queens + brood)

Lasius Niger (single queen + ~60+ workers)

Tetramorium immigrans (single queen)

Temporarily keeping IdioticMouse26's ants/tarantula until August 12th as he is away. Thanks IM26!

 

 


#2 Offline AsdinAnts - Posted May 30 2024 - 4:33 PM

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From my understanding, I know that macrogynes are more dominant than microgynes. 

Also, you could be right about what happened with the worker and the queen. 


Currently keeping
-A. occidentalis
-B. patagonicus
-C. vicinus
-F. neogagates
-M. invidia
-Stennama spec..
I will want to also keep some other lasius types in the future.
You should also subscribe to my youtube channel! https://www.youtube.com/@AsdAnts

#3 Offline Topgun757 - Posted May 31 2024 - 5:00 AM

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Hello everyone! So this is my first ant-keeping journal, and I'm pretty excited! Let me give you a brief layout of what's been going on the past few weeks. 
So about three weeks ago, I actually spotted what looked like a slightly unusual European fire ant (Myrmica rubra) worker. Upon closer inspection, I noticed the high thorax and wing scars. Was this a Queen? In early May?!? I caught her right away for further examination. 
After doing some more research, I discovered that I had caught a Myrmica queen, likely a microgyne, which is the smaller type of queen cast. But apparently, their nuptial flights weren't until late July to August here in British Columbia. What?? 
Finally, I discovered that these queens can actually form super colonies, and overwinter at their mother colony's nest. So I believe that's what happened, and I caught the Queen after she left the nest to finally start her own colony. Over the next few weeks, I caught 5 more, one of whom I shipped to my friend to keep. 
I also introduced a single captured worker from a Myrmica nest, and introduced her to a lone queen as an experiment, as before she was not laying any eggs. They immediately got along, cleaning each other and taking care of one-another. Two days later, there was a small pile of eggs within the test tube. Super cool, but I'm curious as to how this is possible? Maybe it worked out because they were once part of the same colony? Let me know if I'm correct.
The other queens I placed in a test tube, three in all, as they are known to be polygynous. Here's some images of my colonies right now, week 3 or so...don't really remember haha.
 
attachicon.gifIMG_5981.jpeg
 
This one is my 3 queens in one test tube. My camera kinda sucks for close-ups, but I did my best. There is a small pile of white beneath them. Lots of brood so far! 
 
attachicon.gifIMG_5983.jpegattachicon.gifIMG_5988.jpeg
 
This one is my single queen colony, with a worker. They look very similar, but the one on the right is a worker, while the one on the left is the queen. 
 
attachicon.gifIMG_5994.jpeg
 
Please let me know if you know anything about Microgynes/Macrogynes, and why the worker integrated so well with my queen!

I agree with asdin about the macro/microgynes. And either the worker and the queen are from the same large colony or it could be a situation of being an introduced species like Argentine ants where they all have similar genetics and scent profiles so they integrate fairly well. Being in Manitoba I don’t exactly have any experience with fire ants so this is just speculation. I’m glad to see the side of the brood pile after such a short time, I hope those guys grow big and strong!
2x Camponotus novaeboracensis
1 Camponotus pensylvanicus
1 Teramorium immigrans
1 Lasius neoniger
Still getting over the loss of my Dolichoderus taschenbergii queen.

#4 Offline Stubyvast - Posted May 31 2024 - 3:04 PM

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Yes you guys are probably right. Apparently some myrmecologists believe that fire ant microgynes are likely an emerging parasitic ant group that have not fully developed into a separate species. Pretty cool stuff! Also apparently, although Macrogynes are more dominant, microgynes have a greater tendency towards polygyny, more so than the macros.


Currently raising: 

Myrmica Rubra (polygynous 2 queen + brood)

Camponotus Modoc (single queen + brood)

Camponotus Vicinus (two single queens + brood)

Lasius Niger (single queen + ~60+ workers)

Tetramorium immigrans (single queen)

Temporarily keeping IdioticMouse26's ants/tarantula until August 12th as he is away. Thanks IM26!

 

 


#5 Offline AsdinAnts - Posted May 31 2024 - 3:35 PM

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Yea, that's most likely true about microgynes being more polygnous, since they are smaller.
Currently keeping
-A. occidentalis
-B. patagonicus
-C. vicinus
-F. neogagates
-M. invidia
-Stennama spec..
I will want to also keep some other lasius types in the future.
You should also subscribe to my youtube channel! https://www.youtube.com/@AsdAnts

#6 Offline Stubyvast - Posted June 1 2024 - 9:55 AM

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Update: 

So I've been planning for the three-queen colony, and I've decided to give them an ant tower, similar to the ones sold on AntsCanada. I figured that it will be practically equal to a test-tube set up, but with a more natural look to it. 

So I looked at what the prices are for the Ant Towers at AntsCanada, but, although the pricing is reasonable, the shipping costs way too much for my liking. So I decided...why not? I'll make my own. So I built a sort of make-shift one, with a Triple-Os logo on it. A well, it still works. Let me know what you guys think, and when I should move my queens in? Like always, here's some pics of my Ant-Tower. 

 

IMG_5999.jpeg

The bottom part is where water is stored, entering the soil at the bottom through small slits I cut in the container.

IMG_5998.jpeg

The double-layered netting on top prevents escape, and it can be opened easily for access.

IMG_5997.jpeg

Tubing attached to the outside connects perfectly to my test tubes.

IMG_5996.jpeg

I added some potting soil, some old tree-debris, and a cool rock. The potting soil has a small hole in it for the ants to begin digging. 

IMG_5995.jpeg

Scale comparison to an average domesticated feline haha.

 

Currently raising: 

Myrmica Rubra (polygynous 2 queen + brood)

Camponotus Modoc (single queen + brood)

Camponotus Vicinus (two single queens + brood)

Lasius Niger (single queen + ~60+ workers)

Tetramorium immigrans (single queen)

Temporarily keeping IdioticMouse26's ants/tarantula until August 12th as he is away. Thanks IM26!

 

 


#7 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted June 1 2024 - 10:11 AM

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Is there another container/cylinder in the center? If not it ruins the whole point of the Ant Tower (which contains a cylinder in the center encouraging ants to remain in the viewing area.)

From the viewpoint of a European Fire Ant, that nest sure is good either way!

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

 

 

 


#8 Offline Stubyvast - Posted June 1 2024 - 6:39 PM

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Ah yes you're right! I did not include that. So I made a Version 2 with one of those in it, as I've got tons of supplies. Thanks for the tip!


Currently raising: 

Myrmica Rubra (polygynous 2 queen + brood)

Camponotus Modoc (single queen + brood)

Camponotus Vicinus (two single queens + brood)

Lasius Niger (single queen + ~60+ workers)

Tetramorium immigrans (single queen)

Temporarily keeping IdioticMouse26's ants/tarantula until August 12th as he is away. Thanks IM26!

 

 


#9 Offline Stubyvast - Posted June 2 2024 - 1:10 PM

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I fed the single-queen + worker some egg today, after connecting their test tube to the Ant Tower I created for them. They didn't end up moving into it, and instead treated it sort of like an Outworld, which I expected, as their colony was not near big enough to move into that. However, I noticed that there was some soil dragged into the test tube, likely to add moisture or for the brood. I spotted the queen and worker both hacking off pieces of egg, so that was awesome!

 

IMG_0269.jpeg

 

My awesome friend IdioticMouse26 will also be providing me with some mealworms soon, so I can finally start raising some proper feeder food. Hoping for some serious growth soon! Also raised the temperature in my room to around 23 degrees Celsius, to increase growth rates.


  • AsdinAnts likes this

Currently raising: 

Myrmica Rubra (polygynous 2 queen + brood)

Camponotus Modoc (single queen + brood)

Camponotus Vicinus (two single queens + brood)

Lasius Niger (single queen + ~60+ workers)

Tetramorium immigrans (single queen)

Temporarily keeping IdioticMouse26's ants/tarantula until August 12th as he is away. Thanks IM26!

 

 


#10 Offline Stubyvast - Posted June 14 2024 - 8:12 AM

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So both sets of queens have some larvae, almost fully grown, but haven't hit pupal stage. My queens have been carrying soil back to the nest and begun forming chambers. Very interesting behavior! I'll upload some pics in a bit. I moved the single queen + worker colony back to their previous outworld for ease of feeding, and so I can spot the new workers easier when they hatch. 


Currently raising: 

Myrmica Rubra (polygynous 2 queen + brood)

Camponotus Modoc (single queen + brood)

Camponotus Vicinus (two single queens + brood)

Lasius Niger (single queen + ~60+ workers)

Tetramorium immigrans (single queen)

Temporarily keeping IdioticMouse26's ants/tarantula until August 12th as he is away. Thanks IM26!

 

 






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