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Different Sized Pupae?

pupae formica formica subsericea brood cocoons

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#1 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted February 16 2018 - 6:32 AM

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So while observing my Formica subsericea colony, I noticed that there is a significant size difference between some pupae. The larger ones are as big as the current workers or bigger, while the smaller ones are like half the size of the larger ones. I've been feeding them plenty of protein. As far as I know, Formica isn't polymorphic. Is there a reason behind this? The pupae are a mix of cocoons and exarate pupae, if that info helps.



#2 Offline Serafine - Posted February 16 2018 - 7:57 AM

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All Formica are polymorphic, just not as much as for example Camponotus species.

Formica rufa wood ants can have small and large worker with the large workers being twice the size of the smaller ones (also the alates are obviously even larger).


Edited by Serafine, February 16 2018 - 7:58 AM.

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#3 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted February 16 2018 - 2:33 PM

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All Formica are polymorphic, just not as much as for example Camponotus species.

Formica rufa wood ants can have small and large worker with the large workers being twice the size of the smaller ones (also the alates are obviously even larger).

Oh. I didn't realize Formica was polymorphic. The larger pupae lack the disproportionate head that usually defines majors.



#4 Offline Serafine - Posted February 16 2018 - 2:42 PM

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Yes, they don't get those really big heads Camponotus majors have.


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#5 Offline Hunter - Posted February 16 2018 - 3:22 PM

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they are really just larger callows


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#6 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted February 16 2018 - 4:03 PM

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they are really just larger callows

 

a callow is a white/yellow ant that is usually newly emerged.


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#7 Offline Serafine - Posted February 16 2018 - 5:07 PM

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Actually Formica "majors" aren't just bigger workers like for example Lasius niger has.

Formica ants ARE polymorphic and many of the larger workers DO have larger heads, it's just not that obvious.

On Formica rufa workers it is quite noticeable though.


Edited by Serafine, February 16 2018 - 5:09 PM.

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#8 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted February 16 2018 - 7:40 PM

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Take a look at Formica obcuripes workers. They have tiny workers being only five millimeters and large majors at around nine millimeters.
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