Massachusetts Flight Sightings

Where and when are you finding queen ants? A section to share nuptial flight schedules by ant species and locality

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Nathant
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Location: Massachusetts

Re: Massachusetts Flight Sightings

Post: # 16605Post Nathant
Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:43 pm

noebl1 wrote:
Nathant wrote: I might try picking up some C. novaeboracensis when Camponotus season starts. I get bored of C. Pennsylvanicus too. :D Will also be on the lookout for P. imparis.
C. novaeboracensis amd C. americanus flew at the same time for me as C. pennsylvanicus, but where I live it was probably vast majority C. pennsylvanicus (like 50:1 ratio). The Camponotus Myrmentoma flew a week or two before the big flights of C. pennsylvanicus, however they also flew with them at the end of May. So may actually see some flights of the Myrmentoma in early May now that I think of it. All those flights started an hour or two before sunset, and continued long after dark.
Cool, thanks!
Massachusetts Nuptial Flight Thread | Massachusetts Anting Thread | My Ants

zkublin
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Location: Massachusetts

Re: Massachusetts Flight Sightings

Post: # 16613Post zkublin
Wed Feb 01, 2017 9:53 am

Hey all! Sorry for the delay in voting to keep this thread going but I totally want to keep this. I am so pumped to see so many people helping to keep this thread up to date and informed!

animalmaster14
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Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:53 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: Massachusetts Flight Sightings

Post: # 16752Post animalmaster14
Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:12 am

Hey I know its really early in terms of nuptial flights, and I'm new to keeping ants, so I have no idea when ants begin their nuptial flights in Massachusetts. It would be great if anyone could give me a list of species and nuptial flights, and if you're feeling extra generous known locations of species in Mass. Particular species of interests for me are:
Camponotus castaneus
Pheidole Pilifera
Myrmica (Rubra/Americana)
Formica

Any or All information is welcome, thanks for your time in advance :D

noebl1
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Joined: Sat May 14, 2016 8:14 pm
Location: N. Massachusetts

Re: Massachusetts Flight Sightings

Post: # 16753Post noebl1
Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:42 am

Welcome @animalmaster14!

I found most of April here in MA was pretty much over-wintered parasitic Lasius looking for new colonies to enter. Mid May last year is when it really started to pick up as first was the camponotus, starting with the C. Myrmentoma then end of May with the larger ones like C. pennsylvanicus, etc). They were soon followed by Temnothorax in June and Tetramorium/Myrmica in July. Formica I believe are closer to July/August (they look a LOT like C. pennsylvanicus queens.) There were also more Myrmica flights later in Sept as well (I found more winged alates then.)

Due to the drought we had, Pheidole I don't think really flew much last year (I didn't see any and I didn't see anyone else in MA on here or FC looking post that they found any). However Pheidole tend to fly during the summer when a thunderstorm occurs in the afternoon, and they normally fly when post-storm while it's still wet from what I have read. They also aren't very common in MA either (so if you find a colony, you are lucky :) )

I'm also not so sure if Campanotus castaneus are common in MA as prefer warmer temps (so south shore areas may have better luck to find them), however C. Americanus are a bit more common, while not as yellow in color, still look quite nice.

I usually find this is a pretty good resource: http://www.formiculture.com/index.php/t ... ting-chart

EDIT: Also Prenolepis imparis will start flying in March/April as soon as temps get into the upper 60s/70s, even just for a day. I missed them last year unfortunately.
Tetramorium Sp E.
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Nathant
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Location: Massachusetts

Re: Massachusetts Flight Sightings

Post: # 16792Post Nathant
Mon Feb 06, 2017 5:37 am

animalmaster14 wrote:Hey I know its really early in terms of nuptial flights, and I'm new to keeping ants, so I have no idea when ants begin their nuptial flights in Massachusetts. It would be great if anyone could give me a list of species and nuptial flights, and if you're feeling extra generous known locations of species in Mass. Particular species of interests for me are:
Camponotus castaneus
Pheidole Pilifera
Myrmica (Rubra/Americana)
Formica

Any or All information is welcome, thanks for your time in advance :D
I'm looking for Myrmica rubra, too! They nest in wet forests, mostly in dirt I think. I have a forest 1 mile away that seems to mirror their habitat perfectly, so I'll go looking there when it is flight time.
Massachusetts Nuptial Flight Thread | Massachusetts Anting Thread | My Ants

noebl1
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Location: N. Massachusetts

Re: Massachusetts Flight Sightings

Post: # 16795Post noebl1
Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:10 am

Nathant wrote: I'm looking for Myrmica rubra, too! They nest in wet forests, mostly in dirt I think. I have a forest 1 mile away that seems to mirror their habitat perfectly, so I'll go looking there when it is flight time.
Last year was my first year anting, and I noticed ants tended to fly in groups when conditions were right. For example one day in September, it was Lasius, Myrmica, Ponera and Brachymyrmex flying all afternoon (was a crazy day). So definitely watch conditions and if one is flying, look for other types. There were several nights in June and July where I'd catch alates attracted to lights, and then in the late AM the next day find either alates or dead male alates of different species I missed as they flew early AM while I was sleeping. Warm and humid weather was a pretty sure sign, especially at night.

I was seeing Myrmica de-elates in July, however I don't believe they were M. rubra (looking at the pics from last year, color and hairs on gaster look all wrong, but i am no expert.) The second flights were the ones I mentioned above which were I believe M. punctiventris. I live in heavy woods, with wets lands and such so prime habitat as well. I'll keep an eye out again this season for them.
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Lasius Neoniger

animalmaster14
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Location: Massachusetts

Re: Massachusetts Flight Sightings

Post: # 16797Post animalmaster14
Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:09 am

So I did some research on Myrmica rubra and apparently in the northeast they don't typically have nuptial flight but increase by budding. They gain new territory from people accidentally transporting them. So our best bet might be to find an established colony and digging for a queen, considering they have multiple ones it shouldn't be too hard, but then again this is my first time.

Also do you guys have any tips for catching specific queens? because I'm guessing they can't all be so straight forward

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Batspiderfish
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Re: Massachusetts Flight Sightings

Post: # 16798Post Batspiderfish
Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:33 am

I have not done an ID on them yet, because these would need to be dead, but three of the queens I presume to be Myrmic rubra were found a short distance from their nest during nuptial flight conditions. Their primary dispersal may be through budding, if that is what evidence indicates, but the queens do fly from the nest and can found colonies on their own.
Links:
Rules & Requirements for Identification:
http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=292

How to take pictures for identification:
http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=2167

noebl1
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Location: N. Massachusetts

Re: Massachusetts Flight Sightings

Post: # 16891Post noebl1
Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:56 pm

People in IL thought P. Imparis may be flying today as warmed up (though they are speculating as no positive ID at what they saw or if truly alates.) Regardless I never equated early flights when temps just get into the 60s for them for the first times in the season. Do they fly when snow is on the ground?
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Nathant
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Location: Massachusetts

Re: Massachusetts Flight Sightings

Post: # 16907Post Nathant
Wed Feb 08, 2017 5:38 am

noebl1 wrote:
Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:56 pm
People in IL thought P. Imparis may be flying today as warmed up (though they are speculating as no positive ID at what they saw or if truly alates.) Regardless I never equated early flights when temps just get into the 60s for them for the first times in the season. Do they fly when snow is on the ground?
I sure hope so in this weather :roll:
Massachusetts Nuptial Flight Thread | Massachusetts Anting Thread | My Ants

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