Alate Questions

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JustCliff
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:03 am
Location: Ohio

Alate Questions

Post: # 37138Post JustCliff
Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:27 pm

This is my first post I hope this on the right board.
I have some questions that I can't seem to find answers for, sorry if these questions were asked or easily found, I did a search here and googled but I'm no closer to a sure answer.

I have two temnothorax curvispinosus colonies and live 10 minutes away from a seemingly unlimited number of these colonies. Both were established colonies that I found in acorns around late May so I don't know the exact age of the colony, Temnothorax seems to have their nuptial flights around July-Aug., I can see a few pupae (3-4 currently out in the open) that look like they're queen alates.

Questions;
When do colonies begin producing alates? Are there cases of alates being produced in the first or second year?
I've heard once that one gender is produced before the other, are queen alates or male alates produced first?
Will a colony ever produce both genders in one season?

I'm hoping one of the colonies will produce males and the other queens, if this doesn't happen I'm going to capture male elates if I come across them and attempt to help these princesses become queens.

My last question is that if I capture males, what is the best way to go about encouraging their mating?

Ex. Should I be putting one male and one princess together separate? Should I add all the males together and put in one princess at a time? Do they have to be in the "mood" to mate or are the weather queues just so they know when to fly? Will they mate without the proper flight queues if they meet the opposite gender from another colony?

Thank you ahead of time for any insight that can be given.

Something to look at while reading this long post. (One of the temnothorax colonies mentioned above)
https://ibb.co/j3fR7o
Keeper of:
Temnothorax Curvispinosus
Camponotus Nearcticus

Founding:
Camponotus Pennsylvanicus

JustCliff
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:03 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Alate Questions

Post: # 37599Post JustCliff
Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:31 am

I will continue to update this if I happen to discover the answer to any of my questions, maybe someone else is also curious.
JustCliff wrote:
Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:27 pm
Will a colony ever produce both genders in one season?
A colony, or at least temnothorax curvispinosis, can in fact produce males and female in the same season.

A picture of a male (blue) and a princess (yellow) https://ibb.co/d8qjLJ
Currently more males than princesses, they like to hang out on the ceiling of their nest. https://ibb.co/jxuB0J
Keeper of:
Temnothorax Curvispinosus
Camponotus Nearcticus

Founding:
Camponotus Pennsylvanicus

JustCliff
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:03 am
Location: Ohio

Re: Alate Questions

Post: # 38447Post JustCliff
Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:48 am

I attempted to stick two male alates from one colony and a female from another in a tiny container with some wet cotton for humidity over last weekend when I could be around to watch it.

Day 1: Saturday
There was a promising interaction at first, the queen alate ran around frantically, having just been moved, until she cross paths with a male. She turned around and started to inspect him with her antenna. She seemed more interested in him than he was in her.

After inspecting him, she seemed to forget she was frantic just moments ago. She walked around slowly but never found the other male. Eventually the queen alate decided to sit on the side of the container above the cotton. She sat there for half a day before one of the males found her. He inspected her and sat next to her for the remainder of the day.

Day 2: Sunday
In the morning both males were sitting by her, they huddled together above the cotton. A few hours later, one of the males was on top of her wings not moving. I wonder if he tried but her wings were in the way? They do extend much further than the length of their body.
There was no further interaction.


Later in the night I introduced them back into their out-worlds one at a time where I sat ready with a cut-up business card ready to aid if they weren't accepted back. Temnothorax is extremely small and slow, I was confident I could save her or the males.

One of the workers found the queen alate. The alate was inspected, a bit longer than normal, but eventually turned away and proceeded towards their honey. The queen alate then did what alates do best, sit around doing nothing in differen't locations :lol:. She eventually went back into the nest where she was lost among all the other alates.

The male alates had a similar experience but it was a bit slower process. I did them one at a time and their outworld is larger so it took longer for them to be noticed. They were inspected much more quickly than the queen alate in the other colony.



I'm not really able to discern what the issue was. I will try again closer to their natural nuptial flight times. I didn't want to leave them in there permanently either. These are alates that exited the nest by themselves and sat in the out-world for days, while their sibling alates sat in the nest. I didn't fish them out.
Keeper of:
Temnothorax Curvispinosus
Camponotus Nearcticus

Founding:
Camponotus Pennsylvanicus

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