So I found an alate

Questions from those who are just starting or considering getting into the ant keeping hobby. If you’re intimidated or confused by the in-depth posts of the other sections of this forum, feel free to post here, and we'll start from square one!

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Destiny
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:42 pm
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

So I found an alate

Post: # 16535Post Destiny
Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:05 am

Hi, I'm new! Nice to meet everyone! ^^-

So, there's a huge ant pile in hibernation in a local shopping center, and some of the inside is exposed. Normally I would think it's a fire ant pile, but they're lethargic due to the cold, so it's hard to tell.

I saw a few alates, so I collected one to bring home. The dimorphism is impressive! Most of them looked brownish, the larger ones were red with black on the tip of their gasters, the smallest looked like typical fire ants (red with black gasters), and the alates I saw were black. I'm reasonably certain my specimen is a male.

I couldn't get any photographs of decent quality, but I found a reference picture online that looks like what I saw (and I can draw them)

So getting to my point, finally(!) Please tell me what I need to know to keep this little guy happy and healthy so I don't accidentally kill the poor thing. ^^;

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Serafine
Posts: 235
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2016 10:23 am
Location: Germany

Re: So I found an alate

Post: # 16539Post Serafine
Sun Jan 29, 2017 6:18 am

Males don't live long whatever you do. Their sole purpose is to mate with a young queen after which they die.

If you plan on keeping fire ants be warned - this species multiplies RIDICULOUSLY fast (up to 11.000 eggs per week once the colony is rolling), is a known escape artist (requires a very safe setup) and has a tremendously painful sting that hurts for weeks. They're easy to raise but not easy to keep.
"We should respect all forms of consciousness. The body is just a vessel, a mere hull."

Destiny
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 5:42 pm
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Re: So I found an alate

Post: # 16553Post Destiny
Sun Jan 29, 2017 1:44 pm

Serafine wrote:Males don't live long whatever you do. Their sole purpose is to mate with a young queen after which they die.

If you plan on keeping fire ants be warned - this species multiplies RIDICULOUSLY fast (up to 11.000 eggs per week once the colony is rolling), is a known escape artist (requires a very safe setup) and has a tremendously painful sting that hurts for weeks. They're easy to raise but not easy to keep.
Very true. :) TBH, I had only planned to keep such a colony for a short while, if at all. Fire ants are everywhere where I live, and I've suffered quite a few stings growing up. I just want to give this little guy a comfortable life while he's with me. ^^- (I don't even know if males can sting, but he's been great company, either way)

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