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Mating in captivity and other alates observations

alates kings queens captivity mating

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#1 Offline StopSpazzing - Posted February 24 2018 - 11:57 PM


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So have some (20ish female, 10ish male) Dorymyrmex bicolor alates, most of them are from different colonies several hundred feet from each other. Using UV CFL, trying to get them into mood to mate and it excites them, which is great and they attempt to fly and everything. Had 3 take their wings off and so they are separated now in their own test tubes, hopefully they are mated but probably unlikely. One thing I wanted to mention is they don't care if they are in same container or not. Are all alates like this?


Any suggestions or experiments are welcome. Would be cool to get them to mate with other species... Think it would be an interesting observation to document.


Some videos/pictures:


First setup in a boxbox with workers... 



Second setup with only alates in a test, current setup:

https://photos.app.g...VmEroEvK3NwZks1(color enhanced for better viewability)

Edited by StopSpazzing, February 24 2018 - 11:57 PM.

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#2 Offline Lazarus - Posted February 25 2018 - 6:32 PM


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As nuptial flights generally occur after rain, my first thought would be to expose them to a higher humidity for a day and return to a lower humidity.

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#3 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted February 25 2018 - 7:11 PM



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I may be wrong, but I think the flights mostly depend on pheromones from different colonies in almost all species. I have no idea if the pheromones come from workers, queens, or something else, or maybe multiple, but I don't know if this would work too well. However, good luck! It could!

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#4 Offline kellakk - Posted February 26 2018 - 8:51 AM


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People on this forum have had success stimulating alates to fly and mate before.  Retroman talks about how he does it with Pogonomyrmex alates here, and dspdrew got Lasius alates to fly here.  And Foogoo found a paper by a USDA lab that figured out how to trick fire ants into flying


I've had D. bicolor before, and they never minded being put into the same container.  But they would always lay huge piles of eggs, then the eggs would disappear, then they would die. So hopefully you're more lucky than I was!

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Current Species:
Pogonomyrmex montanus


Reticulitermes hesperus

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: alates, kings, queens, captivity, mating

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