Trap Jaw ants in my backyard!

Help with identifying the species your ants

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Lycosa
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:24 pm
Location: Florida

Trap Jaw ants in my backyard!

Post: # 20907Post Lycosa
Tue May 09, 2017 11:30 pm

Image

I found a colony of these gals in my backyard! Anyone have an idea of what Odontomachus species this might be? I'm in Central Florida, about 30 miles inland of Tampa.

Thanks!

Martialis
Posts: 1196
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Trap Jaw ants in my backyard!

Post: # 20910Post Martialis
Tue May 09, 2017 11:35 pm

Not from one picture. There are three different species and the picture needs to be clearer to ID her.
Keeper of

Aphaenogaster cf. rudis

Tetramorium caespitum

Crematogaster sp.

Tapinoma sessile

Lycosa
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:24 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Trap Jaw ants in my backyard!

Post: # 20913Post Lycosa
Wed May 10, 2017 2:09 am

Yeah I kind of figured that one pic wouldn't be enough. I don't ever see that many workers about, so I'm guessing the colony is rather small and therefore I don't mess with them too much.

I'll see if I can snap a couple more pics tomorrow. Isn't one of the three species restricted to sand dunes in central Florida? I thought I read something to that effect... if so that would leave two species one of (or both?) being invasive if I remember correctly.

xTNxANTMANx
Posts: 290
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:03 am
Location: Western Tennessee

Re: Trap Jaw ants in my backyard!

Post: # 20995Post xTNxANTMANx
Wed May 10, 2017 11:55 pm

I wish these pretty ladies were in West Tennessee :-( they are absolutely amazing creatures to look at. The way they have evolved their mandibles to open 180º is just spectacular
Keeper of:
Aphaenogaster sp
Tapinoma sessile
Camponotus subbarbatus x2

Founding:
Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
Camponotus subbarbatus
Camponotus nearcticus x3

Lycosa
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:24 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Trap Jaw ants in my backyard!

Post: # 21084Post Lycosa
Thu May 11, 2017 8:32 pm

Yes they are amazing little creatures to watch. We are in a drought situation and intense heat here in Florida at the moment so there's not a lot of ant action going on until nighttime. I watch them foraging at night. Their colony entrance is between 2 bricks that surround a tree. What is kind of strange to me, maybe because I'm now just paying attention, is how close neighboring colonies are of different species. They pass one another without issue from the interaction I've watched. I feel pretty lucky just to witness their behavior in the wild. I admit though I feed them drops of honey every now and then. I also make sure that even though there's a drought, they get a bit of water usually daily. 😀

Martialis
Posts: 1196
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Trap Jaw ants in my backyard!

Post: # 21085Post Martialis
Thu May 11, 2017 8:53 pm

I'm confused, a drought in Florida?!
Keeper of

Aphaenogaster cf. rudis

Tetramorium caespitum

Crematogaster sp.

Tapinoma sessile

AntsAreAwesome
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:26 pm

Re: Trap Jaw ants in my backyard!

Post: # 21086Post AntsAreAwesome
Thu May 11, 2017 9:10 pm

Martialis wrote:
Thu May 11, 2017 8:53 pm
I'm confused, a drought in Florida?!
It can happen down here. In fact, I've heard that central and northern Florida are having a drought (Like less than usual amount of water). Here is a drought map of February this year:

https://www.climate.gov/images/datasnapshots/snapshots/usdroughtmonitor-weekly-ndmc/web/usdroughtmonitor-weekly-ndmc--web--2017-02-28.png

We usually don't get them bad though...


I have also had the honor to have these amazing creatures in my yard. I always just find one though, and never have actually seen more than that at once. That looks like the exact species of the ones I see. I think they are Odontomachus brunneus. There is one other species but tell me if you think she is of that species.
Keeper of:
2x Solenopsis invicta (1x founding)
4x Brachymyrmex patagonicus (4x founding)
1x Pheidole Sp. (1x founding)

Past Colonies:
2x Brachymymex
30x Solenopsis invicta (never catch that many it was a mistake ;) )

Lycosa
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:24 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Trap Jaw ants in my backyard!

Post: # 21088Post Lycosa
Thu May 11, 2017 11:01 pm

I made a little video spying on their colony and got a decent shot of one of the workers. Maybe it'll help for a positive ID?



And yes, the drought situation is pretty bad. Lots of forest fires raging and many acres burned. Ten day forecast shows very little chance of rain. This happens every now and again here. Winters and spring is usually fairly dry and then the summer storms come in and make up for it. I haven't seen it this bad in years though.

AntsAreAwesome
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2016 2:26 pm

Re: Trap Jaw ants in my backyard!

Post: # 21114Post AntsAreAwesome
Fri May 12, 2017 6:02 pm

Lycosa wrote:
Thu May 11, 2017 11:01 pm
I made a little video spying on their colony and got a decent shot of one of the workers. Maybe it'll help for a positive ID?



And yes, the drought situation is pretty bad. Lots of forest fires raging and many acres burned. Ten day forecast shows very little chance of rain. This happens every now and again here. Winters and spring is usually fairly dry and then the summer storms come in and make up for it. I haven't seen it this bad in years though.
Hmm, I did not know that they were bad this year, but I do live somewhere where it is basically tropics. Sometimes (as in the past week) we haven't had a bit of rain but coming up soon it is supposed to rain hard. Good time to catch queens!😁
Keeper of:
2x Solenopsis invicta (1x founding)
4x Brachymyrmex patagonicus (4x founding)
1x Pheidole Sp. (1x founding)

Past Colonies:
2x Brachymymex
30x Solenopsis invicta (never catch that many it was a mistake ;) )

Lycosa
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:24 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Trap Jaw ants in my backyard!

Post: # 21118Post Lycosa
Fri May 12, 2017 9:03 pm

I'm definitely looking forward to the rains. I bought the AntsCanada Omni nest large for my first colony and it came in the mail today. I was getting geeked up about it and decided to check my queen only to find out she'd died. So now I'll have to get another one when the rains finally come back.

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