Trying to get started in the south.

Questions from those who are just starting or considering getting into the ant keeping hobby. If you’re intimidated or confused by the in-depth posts of the other sections of this forum, feel free to post here, and we'll start from square one!

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Texashockey

Trying to get started in the south.

Post: # 4976Post Texashockey
Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:13 pm

Hey guys,
My name is Nick and I live near Dallas Texas. I have been watching AntsCanada videos and reading this website and I love the looks of this hobby. Of course the starting point here is to get a queen, and I need to find one. I was thinking maybe a red harvester ant or a carpenter ant. Do y'all (Texas word) know where I could buy or find some queens. If I need to find them, when is their nuptial flights?

Thanks guys

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Re: Trying to get started in the south.

Post: # 4977Post MadVampy
Thu Mar 03, 2016 11:08 pm

Texashockey wrote:Hey guys,
My name is Nick and I live near Dallas Texas. I have been watching AntsCanada videos and reading this website and I love the looks of this hobby. Of course the starting point here is to get a queen, and I need to find one. I was thinking maybe a red harvester ant or a carpenter ant. Do y'all (Texas word) know where I could buy or find some queens. If I need to find them, when is their nuptial flights?

Thanks guys
We don't condone sales of queens in the forums but you can check out the GAN Project, I've listed the link below for that section of these forums and the main website link is in there also.

http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=10

Welcome to the AntsCanada Ants Forums and the wonderful world of Ants and the keeping of them!!!!!
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Name is also Mike but please don't confuse me with Mikey Bustos, two different people. :lol:
Keeper of Solenopsis Ants. :twisted:

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Re: Trying to get started in the south.

Post: # 4978Post ooper01
Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:09 am

Red Harvester typically fly late July early August (at least here in Utah). The nuptial flight is typically a day or two after a good rainstorm as well. I have collected them on nuptial flight day scurrying along the ground and I have also collected them a day or two after flight day by excavating them out of the claustral chamber. The claustral chambers are quite easy to find a day or two after, as long as it doesn't rain again to wash them away.

If you care to watch a few videos about one of my experiences collecting Red Harvester, you can watch them here. The videos of interest are the earliest ones in the list, so most likely near the end of the list.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe4iSfRDClHaTmrP7VNdJ9g/videos

By the way, I love Red Harvester ants. They have always been my favorite, probably because I grew up with them in Southern California as a young boy.
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GriffinAnt

Re: Trying to get started in the south.

Post: # 4979Post GriffinAnt
Fri Mar 04, 2016 3:17 am

omg you wee raised by Ants !!!!!!! :lol:

Texashockey

Re: Trying to get started in the south.

Post: # 4983Post Texashockey
Fri Mar 04, 2016 9:54 pm

Thanks ooper!!!! You are an astronomical help. I'll be going to college in Oklahoma in the fall and I can probably keep a colony in an ag building. Do you know when Camponotus nuptial flights are? I really like the soldier Majors of carpenter ants.

Texashockey

Re: Trying to get started in the south.

Post: # 4984Post Texashockey
Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:02 pm

Also, I watched your videos, is there only one nuptial flight? If you miss it is it hopeless?

calrodrigz

Re: Trying to get started in the south.

Post: # 4985Post calrodrigz
Fri Mar 04, 2016 11:40 pm

I'm not as sure on Camponotus, but if the Pogonomyrmex colonies are all in close proximity then their alates will probably all fly at the same time. If you've found several widespread areas with colonies then you might encounter slightly different flight times. Last year I tried my luck after a rain in a park with six good Pogo colonies (four of them relatively close), but it appeared that only one or two had alates that were taking to the air. Long story short, it just depends. If a significant amount of queens survived the flight, then generally speaking you should find claustral chambers fairly close to the surface within the next few days. As for Camponotus, they like to make their chambers in rotting logs, so when looking for them it's best to go into forested areas with an axe to cut them open. At least, that's what I've heard. If anyone can add to this, it would be appreciated.

Texashockey

Re: Trying to get started in the south.

Post: # 4986Post Texashockey
Sat Mar 05, 2016 8:46 am

Either way thank you! You guys have been an invaluable help.

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Re: Trying to get started in the south.

Post: # 4987Post ooper01
Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:25 am

Texashockey wrote:Thanks ooper!!!! You are an astronomical help. I'll be going to college in Oklahoma in the fall and I can probably keep a colony in an ag building. Do you know when Camponotus nuptial flights are? I really like the soldier Majors of carpenter ants.
Hey you're welcome! I am not as familiar with Camponotus, but I do know that they typically fly a little earlier than Pogonomyrmex. I found two Camponotus queens last year on June 22. Actually my daughter sent me a picture of one at her work and asked if it was a queen. I said yes, got in my car, and drove over there :) My son was helping his girlfriend's family with some yard work and he brought home the other one. You gotta recruit people to your team, ya see :)

One suggestion I would give you is to always carry one or two test tubes in your pocket at all times from April - August. Wherever you go, be on the lookout for the movement of bugs on the ground. There is a really good chance you will find several queens that way of various species.
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Re: Trying to get started in the south.

Post: # 4988Post ooper01
Sat Mar 05, 2016 11:30 am

Texashockey wrote:Also, I watched your videos, is there only one nuptial flight? If you miss it is it hopeless?
From what I have observed, all the Pogonomyrmex colonies within at least a mile radius (maybe larger) will typically fly at the same time. You probably have a 4 or 5 day window, rather than just the one day. I have found queens still scurrying around 2 days after the actual nuptial flight, and as has been mentioned, you can easily identify the little mounds of dirt with a plugged up entrance. Carefully dig down 3 or 4 inches and you can find the new queen.
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