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Care Sheet - Aphaenogaster picea

aphaenogaster picea

22 replies to this topic

#21 Offline madbiologist - Posted May 9 2020 - 6:41 PM


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Scientific Name: Aphaenogaster picea

Common Name: Unknown

Distribution: Northeastern, and some Southeastern United states.

Queen size: 7-8mm

Worker size: 4-6mm

Natural Habitat: Found in dead/moist wood in mountainous or rocky habitats of higher elevations.

Circadian Activity: Mostly diurnal, but will forage at night.

Mating Flight: Their major flight is in August after a light rain, and have been known to fly before and after August.

Queen Founding Method: Fully Claustral.

Monogyne or Polygyne: Monogyne

Average time from egg to worker: Egg to larva - 10-15 days; larva to pupa (no cocoon) - 15-20 days; Pupa to worker – 15-20 days. Time may vary with temperature. (Note: can be very slow to start)

Recommended Temperature: 75-80°F (24-27°C)

Recommended Humidity: Mid humidity level of 30-50%.

Preferred Foods: Mainly insects such as termites, fruit flies, crickets, meal worms, and wax worms. This species regularly refuses liquids by covering up any sources. Very little to no activity with feeders.

Hibernation Details: In the wild temperatures below freezing are common, even up to -40C/F. In captivity it is advised to stay above the freezing point as we are unable to easily duplicate the slow cool down into freezing temps to allow the anti-freeze in their blood to work properly. Hibernation is recommended between 39F (4C) - 50F (10C).

Escape Barrier Methods: Extra virgin olive oil works for me.

Difficulty rating: Easy to keep, can be difficult to start.

Bite and/or Sting rating: None

Special Care or Interesting Notes: This species prefers a constantly hydrated nest with dry spots. This species also lacks a social stomach, so foods will have to be carried back to the nest. Aphaenogaster have been recorded making “sponges” to absorb liquids on rare occasions, otherwise liquids are rarely taken.

Description: Aphaenogaster picea is an arboreal species that aids forests and woods in seed dispersal. This species will eat the skin off of seeds and drop the remains, which usually results in the start of a new sapling or plant. Dark red/brown coloration with the last 4 segments of their antennae being lighter in color. workers will have an easily identifiable yellow tipped gaster.

Additional Links:

Information submitted by Loops117

To my knowledge, the only arboreal Aphaenogaster in North America are Aphaenogaster mariae, and Aphaenogaster picea is known to be polygynous in some areas.

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Colonies: Aphaenogaster fulva x2, Aphaenogaster rudis x2, Camponotus americanus x2, Camponotus chromaiodes x2, Camponotus herculeanus, Camponotus novaeborascensis, Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2, Camponotus subbarbatus, Crematogaster cerasi, Creamtogaster cf. lineolata (2 queens), Formica pallidefulva, Formica subaenescens, Lasius americanus, Lasius aphidicola x4 (hosts), Lasius neoniger x5, Tapinoma sessile x2, Temnothorax curvispinosus, Tetramorium immigrans.

Queens: Camponotus chromaiodes, Camponotus novaeborascensis, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, Temnothorax ambiguus (2 queen group), Temnothorax curvispinosus (21 queen group), Temnothorax curvispinosus x3 (18 queens, 11 queens, 7 queens), Temnothorax smithi/schaumii (2 queen group).


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#22 Offline AntsDakota - Posted May 10 2020 - 5:16 AM


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I have a colony of these.
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"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


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#23 Offline skocko76 - Posted Today, 1:39 AM


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But I have seen so many species on my property that range in size a lot and they all have it. They also differ in where they nest, when they are active, and the queens look way different.

My Aphaenogaster epirotes have the yellow tip at the faster when they're fed up and their faster expanded

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