Okinawa Nylanderia sp.

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Okinawa Nylanderia sp.

Post: # 20725Post BleedingRaindrops
Sun May 07, 2017 2:01 am

Alright. We just had our first nuptial flight (that I noticed) in a while here in Okinawa, Japan, last Thursday, the 4th of May 2017. It was about 25C outside with virtually no wind, and it had just rained hard the previous day, so conditions were absolutely perfect for a flight.
When I first walked outside, at first I thought like everyone else that the summer bugs were here, but when one landed on my arm, and I saw it was ant, I was amazed. I had important things to do, but I knew I would be back later. After I finished my errands, I returned with six prepared test tubes to the now very dark parking lot near the grass, where I saw a lot of ants scurrying around.
At first I thought I had caught some queens, but after I discovered one attached to a real queen, I realized they were drones. I worked fast to encourage my captured drones to vacate the tubes, and got to work hunting the real prize. They were hard to spot, but after an hour of diligence I had six new Nylanderia sp. queens. Two of them died overnight, but here are the remaining four girls.

Anna has not laid any eggs for me just yet, but it has only been three days since I caught her. I hope she will not go the way of the other two queens who died the second night, but that's why we catch multiple queens.

Belle laid eggs for me the first night, and is also the longest of my four girls, measuring at just over 5mm. Here you can see her tending to her eggs. It's hard to tell exactly how many there are but I've counted about ten.

Clara also laid eggs the first night. Eight, if my eyes do not deceive me. She is the least camera shy, and so was featured as my profile shots for identification two days ago.

Last we have Donna. She has also laid a few eggs, but she has not left them somewhere I am able to count them. She is also very protective of a drone who somehow survived the mating process. I will have to keep a close watch on him to ensure he does not produce mold when he dies.

>Not naming them Rose, Amy, Clara, and Donna
I am well aware of the missed opportunity, but while it would be really cool to have Whovian names for them, I rather like the A B C D naming scheme. I look forward to raising all four of these girls, though I am not sure what I will do if they all make it past the nanitic stage. But I will cross that bridge when I get to it.

As a bonus, on the same night as the Nylanderia Queens, I also saw this massive girl, whom I have named (Big Black) Betty.
I was flabbergasted when I first saw her. She is the largest ant I have ever seen up close, and at first I couldn't be sure she wasn't some kind of wasp. Turns out she's a large Camponotus Queen, measuring a whopping 15mm! Because she is so large, I had to give her an empty medicine bottle I had lying around, and place a loose wet cotton ball inside for her to drink from. If she has laid any eggs yet I have not seen them, but it's only been three days so I'll give her some time.
Ants kept
Nylanderia sp.
Camponotus sp.
Paratrechina Longicornis
Pheidole sp.

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