Ant ID. Northern, IL. 9/17/17 Post 1 of 2

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Chamety
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:09 am
Location: Beliot, WI, USA

Ant ID. Northern, IL. 9/17/17 Post 1 of 2

Post: # 32011Post Chamety
Tue Oct 03, 2017 12:27 am

Hey AC Fam! I caught a few ants 2 weeks ago and I'm looking for some identifications on species. I'm REALLY REALLY sorry about the pictures. These are the best pictures I could make at the time and I don't want to disturb my ants to get new pictures. I do check on them every other day, but I keep the lights off. I'm just checking their heating cables and to make sure they are not in flooded test tubes or something strange like that, then I leave. It only takes about 5-7 seconds total for my 10 queens and it's quite dark. They don't seem to notice me. Other than that, they have been all alone since the date I caught them except for a broken test tube on ant 9.

ANT #1
This is this ant in tube 1. I'm pretty sure this is Lasius neoniger. Her gaster has been expanding, so it sure looks like she's making eggs in there. I didn't expect to see this because my understanding was that Lasius neoniger would wait until the spring to lay eggs, after diapause.

Found 9/17/17
Wings: No. Eat: Yes – 3rd day, some honey. Never offered food or interacted with this ant again. Caught on hot, dry day.
Black head and mesosoma, tan gaster. Gaster is long and thick, with very small hairs on it which give it a sheen. Very small petiole, prominent wing scars. Tan legs. Gaster seems to have 5 dark tan thick segments and 4 lighter segments in between the dark ones. Light tan segments might be growing, pushing the darker segments apart by a little bit.
Image


ANT 2
I also have ant in tube #2 which looks exactly like the ant in tube #1. I even caught this one while mating with 3 males. I kept the males in the tube with her for a bit, but they all died within a few hours. I got this on video. You can even see the males covering her with their scent and her getting a little annoyed with them and trying to kick them off.
Video here -----> https://youtu.be/AYX37NpZmpU
Again, I'm sorry about the quality of the video. I'm working on a better setup. Should have it all setup next week for catching more ants.

ANT 3
Ant in tube 3 has died, but I believe she was Lasius laptes. In this picture I had not yet fixed the condensation issue in the test tube.
Wings: No. Eat: No. Caught 9/19/17 after it rained the previous day. Dead: 9/25/17
Originally thought this was not an ant, but does have bent antennae, 4 body segments, and clear sections of mesosoma corresponding to ant biology. Conspicuous deep red color. Slender, very long gaster and mesosoma. Petiole has a single ½ disk-shaped node, legs appear spiky, surprised she does not get stuck on the cotton. Missing her front right leg and has a strangely shaped wing scar on the same side (deformed ant???) Seems agile and energetic at times. Head, mesosoma and gaster are all the same width, but much longer than other queens I've seen. Red all over, including head, mesosoma, gaster and legs. Not bothered by light or movement of her test tube, but very active and seems to want to get out if the cotton is touched in her tube. She stays quite active even after her tube is sealed back up.

Image

ANT 6
Wings: No. Eat: No. Caught 9/19/2017 after it rained the previous day.
Like ant in tube 1 but gaster is not as extended. Also seems to be smoother and a rounded back hump. Large mandibles, long antenna. Legs are tan with much shorter front legs with very long back legs (optical illusion?). Seems very calm and content to sit on watery cotton all day and clean herself diligently.
This is the ant in tube #6. Hrm... I think she's the same ant as 1 and 2??
Pic 1
Image
Pic 2
Image

Video of Ant #6 here ----> https://youtu.be/-yRaryZT8KI

ANT 9
A friend said this was some parasitic species.
Wings: yes. Eat: yes (ate three times, seemed very hungry!). Caught: 9/19/17 after rain the previous day.

This queen is slender by comparison to other queens, she is active and has shown no signs of taking her wings off. She is completely black except for her legs, which are mahogany brown. Her head is ever so slightly larger than her mesosoma with her gaster a bit wider. Her petiole could not be easily visualized. Although this queen appears unmated, she was seen cleaning the end of her gaster several times.

10/1/17: ate a very small drop of honey today which I gave her when I had to change out her test tube. She didn't seem very bothered by this and moved into the new tube in minutes.
Image

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Batspiderfish
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Re: Ant ID. Northern, IL. 9/17/17 Post 1 of 2

Post: # 32019Post Batspiderfish
Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:42 am

The social parasites are Lasius latipes and Lasius claviger. It's safe to assume that all the rest are Lasius neoniger.
If you enjoy my expertise and identifications, please do not put wild populations at risk of disease by releasing pet colonies. We are responsible to give our pets the best care we can manage for the rest of their lives.

Chamety
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 27, 2017 1:09 am
Location: Beliot, WI, USA

Re: Ant ID. Northern, IL. 9/17/17 Post 1 of 2

Post: # 32029Post Chamety
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:32 pm

BSF:
Thanks very much, I appreciate all the time you spend on this forum answering questions, I've learned a great deal from you.

If I have no host colony for the Lasius claviger queen, how long do you suppose she will live? I assume I should just let her go?

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Batspiderfish
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Location: Maine

Re: Ant ID. Northern, IL. 9/17/17 Post 1 of 2

Post: # 32034Post Batspiderfish
Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:58 pm

You can keep her over the winter, but she will need host workers eventually. I would feed her and put her in the fridge if I wanted to keep her.
If you enjoy my expertise and identifications, please do not put wild populations at risk of disease by releasing pet colonies. We are responsible to give our pets the best care we can manage for the rest of their lives.

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