Formica workers that grow with colony size?

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AntsDakota
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Formica workers that grow with colony size?

Post: # 35265Post AntsDakota
Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:02 pm

Hi. So, Formica argentea is a very common ant species in my area. I have observed many colonies going about their daily business. I have observed younger colonies, and older colonies. When I observe younger colonies, I see tiny minors, and occasional soldiers. This is when the colony is about 1-100 workers or so. More soldiers appear when the colony is at 200 workers or so. Then majors start to appear, and by that time, I see soldier and majors, but no more minors! And when I was younger, I used to break into ant colonies, and even find queens. (The nests of this species aren't very deep at all) I would find only minors in small nests, and only soldiers and majors in larger nests. Yet I have tried collecting workers from different ant colonies, and when they were still too stressed to worry about another ant from a different colony, I mixed them together. They usually got along ok. I think this is because they are in a different territory that is not theirs, (sometimes) no brood to defend, and they are just too stressed out by being picked up by 2 giant fingers to worry about alien ants. When I tried this when a queen was present? :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: They fought to the death for their beloved queen. ( or they would have, but separated them before hand.) So the reason I got so off topic here is because when I mixed workers from different colonies together, some were from smaller colonies (minors) and some were from larger colonies (soldiers and majors). That is why I am positive they are the same species. And I took away most of the workers form one colony, and the remaining queen just laid eggs that developed into minors, and before she had only soldiers and majors! So I am wondering if this is a newly discovered behavior. Thanks!
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

averagebilly
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Re: Formica workers that grow with colony size?

Post: # 35758Post averagebilly
Tue May 08, 2018 12:34 pm

I have noticed smaller workers in smaller colonies, as well. However, every species I've seen seems to do this. I've just chalked it up to the colony not being able to invest in a longer development time during their earlier years. There are several AntsCanada videos where Mikey Bustos says the Nanitics of a colony are much smaller than the average worker.
"Ant Love Forever" - Mikey Bustos

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antnest8
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Re: Formica workers that grow with colony size?

Post: # 35769Post antnest8
Tue May 08, 2018 2:42 pm

i think it is because it is stated that minors in large colony's stay in the nest and take care of the queen and brood only. small colony's need to use all of their resources (ants) to survive. also the queen laying eggs might have had the energy for minors only (more food bigger the ant).

you might want to look into this
keeper of
2 lasius umbratus/neoniger colony
1 queen colony of prenolepis
3 C. pennsylvanicus
3 C novaeboracensis
1 Myrmica queen

AntsDakota
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Re: Formica workers that grow with colony size?

Post: # 36078Post AntsDakota
Fri May 18, 2018 2:41 pm

antnest8 wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 2:42 pm
i think it is because it is stated that minors in large colony's stay in the nest and take care of the queen and brood only. small colony's need to use all of their resources (ants) to survive. also the queen laying eggs might have had the energy for minors only (more food bigger the ant).

you might want to look into this
That does make since, but why haven't I seen it in other species that are polymorphic?
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

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Batspiderfish
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Re: Formica workers that grow with colony size?

Post: # 36082Post Batspiderfish
Fri May 18, 2018 3:17 pm

I would want to be sure they aren't Camponotus, since Formica argentea is monomorphic.
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.

AntsDakota
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Re: Formica workers that grow with colony size?

Post: # 36157Post AntsDakota
Sun May 20, 2018 4:12 pm

Batspiderfish wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 3:17 pm
I would want to be sure they aren't Camponotus, since Formica argentea is monomorphic.
Camponotus are not polygynous, yet the colonies that I have found commonly have multiple queens. So I'm almost 100% sure that they are Formica. Are there any other Formica species that are polymorphic and look like Formica argentea?
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

AntsDakota
Posts: 157
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Re: Formica workers that grow with colony size?

Post: # 36158Post AntsDakota
Sun May 20, 2018 4:13 pm

Batspiderfish wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 3:17 pm
I would want to be sure they aren't Camponotus, since Formica argentea is monomorphic.
The queens look exactly like Formica. And I know what Camponotus queens look like, and they are not Camponotus.
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

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Batspiderfish
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Re: Formica workers that grow with colony size?

Post: # 36165Post Batspiderfish
Sun May 20, 2018 5:35 pm

AntsDakota wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 4:12 pm
Batspiderfish wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 3:17 pm
I would want to be sure they aren't Camponotus, since Formica argentea is monomorphic.
Camponotus are not polygynous, yet the colonies that I have found commonly have multiple queens. So I'm almost 100% sure that they are Formica. Are there any other Formica species that are polymorphic and look like Formica argentea?
It's ok if they're not Camponotus, I'd just like to know for sure what they are. A picture would help.

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.

idahoantgirl
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Re: Formica workers that grow with colony size?

Post: # 36194Post idahoantgirl
Mon May 21, 2018 2:09 pm

I can definetly tell younger workers from older ones in my mature tetramorium colony. The older ones are smaller than the younger ones, only by 1/2 to 1 millimeter, but it is very noticeable to the eye.
Proverbs 6:6-8

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

Keeping Tetramorium immigrans, Lasius Neoniger

AntsDakota
Posts: 157
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Location: South Dakota

Re: Formica workers that grow with colony size?

Post: # 36201Post AntsDakota
Mon May 21, 2018 4:58 pm

Batspiderfish wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 5:35 pm
AntsDakota wrote:
Sun May 20, 2018 4:12 pm
Batspiderfish wrote:
Fri May 18, 2018 3:17 pm
I would want to be sure they aren't Camponotus, since Formica argentea is monomorphic.
Camponotus are not polygynous, yet the colonies that I have found commonly have multiple queens. So I'm almost 100% sure that they are Formica. Are there any other Formica species that are polymorphic and look like Formica argentea?
It's ok if they're not Camponotus, I'd just like to know for sure what they are. A picture would help.

I don't have an account on imgur.com, yet I want to make one. The best I can do is a handful of workers at the moment. (Unless I would dig a queen out of her colony just for pictures, which I wouldn't.)
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

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