ants aphid tenders and plant species

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MorbidBugg
Posts: 285
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:11 pm
Location: Orangeville

ants aphid tenders and plant species

Post: # 45530Post MorbidBugg
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:47 pm

Okay so I kind of half intended to leave this open for anyone's input on life plants in their large out world displays. A thought occurred while tending my indoor greenhouse for my vegetables and flowers and the like when I was tending a clients garden I always would see the formica ants lovingly tending to the peonies sweet juices to help them bloom in the same yard a different garden another group of formica ants on a single tomato plant that was specifically left off to the side for any interested bugs (the rest of the garden is an essential death trap for bugs but because they know insects need food to the ants took full advantage of the lone tomato plant.

So my questions
1) has anyone used live plants to allow the cultivation of aphids? what's the success rate? What plants? Did you notice any difference in comparison to nonaphid tending ants(if applicable)

2) has anyone used symbiotic plants that ants find nutritious? Like peonies or corn flowers or any other plant? What have you used where in the world are you? I'm interested simply because I'm more so curious if any one took that trial and error path previously and how it went and what was learned. Rather than just the simple brush off generic answers. Thanks to all and hopefully the lurkers will find some interest to this topic.
Ants are life's most successful invaders. Understand and respect that power.

Helianthus
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:12 pm

Re: ants aphid tenders and plant species

Post: # 46232Post Helianthus
Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:39 pm

Hi!
Cool topic! One plant that I think every ant lover should have in their yard is partridge pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata. It's an annual wildflower native to most of North America. I love it because it puts out extra-floral nectaries at the base of each leaflet that I find constantly visited by all kinds of ants. I've seen monomorium, tapinoma, crematogaster and more feeding on the bounty. Once it blooms, it is a magnet to pollen collecting bumble bees and some of our smaller solitary bees.
I started a big stand in my yard just by collecting a few seed pods a couple of years ago and sprinkling them about. Here's more info about it: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=chfa2

All kinds of milkweed are also ant magnets. Waaaaaaaaay more ants than butterflies visit the plants for nectar and aphid tending than butterflies do, even though most people plant it to attract monarchs.

I also see camponatus aphid tending on my Jerusalem artichoke plants, helianthus tuberosus.

MorbidBugg
Posts: 285
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:11 pm
Location: Orangeville

Re: ants aphid tenders and plant species

Post: # 46246Post MorbidBugg
Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:02 pm

Helianthus wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 12:39 pm
Hi!
Cool topic! One plant that I think every ant lover should have in their yard is partridge pea, Chamaecrista fasciculata. It's an annual wildflower native to most of North America. I love it because it puts out extra-floral nectaries at the base of each leaflet that I find constantly visited by all kinds of ants. I've seen monomorium, tapinoma, crematogaster and more feeding on the bounty. Once it blooms, it is a magnet to pollen collecting bumble bees and some of our smaller solitary bees.
I started a big stand in my yard just by collecting a few seed pods a couple of years ago and sprinkling them about. Here's more info about it: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=chfa2

All kinds of milkweed are also ant magnets. Waaaaaaaaay more ants than butterflies visit the plants for nectar and aphid tending than butterflies do, even though most people plant it to attract monarchs.

I also see camponatus aphid tending on my Jerusalem artichoke plants, helianthus tuberosus.
Oh wow, after doing some research on Chamaecrista fasciculata it seems like a really interesting plant. Likes more dry soil conditions often found in sand this is kind of an ideal plant for using soils that ants would find less preferable than say a premade or homemade nest. It's got decent ground coverage and even though it can get high (up to 3 feet) because the leaves are so small up the stalks they would be easy to anchor to like a skewer. The plant association list I'd quite impressive as well (considering milk weed seems to be associated with the general area where it is commonly observed)

Anyone interested in this specific species in depth this was the site I usedhttps://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/chafas/all.html

It's nice that it's official AND says it's found in southern Ontario, gotta love the green belt. lol
Ants are life's most successful invaders. Understand and respect that power.

Helianthus
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:12 pm

Re: ants aphid tenders and plant species

Post: # 46318Post Helianthus
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:06 pm

Partridge pea is way undervalued! I wish more people knew about it and valued it.

The other native I wanted to mention is rudbeckia hirta, a biennial blackeyed susan. It always harbors aphids for ants.

NKantsalberta
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 6:48 pm
Location: Alberta

Re: ants aphid tenders and plant species

Post: # 46635Post NKantsalberta
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:45 am

MorbidBugg wrote:
Tue Jul 24, 2018 7:47 pm
Okay so I kind of half intended to leave this open for anyone's input on life plants in their large out world displays. A thought occurred while tending my indoor greenhouse for my vegetables and flowers and the like when I was tending a clients garden I always would see the formica ants lovingly tending to the peonies sweet juices to help them bloom in the same yard a different garden another group of formica ants on a single tomato plant that was specifically left off to the side for any interested bugs (the rest of the garden is an essential death trap for bugs but because they know insects need food to the ants took full advantage of the lone tomato plant.

So my questions
1) has anyone used live plants to allow the cultivation of aphids? what's the success rate? What plants? Did you notice any difference in comparison to nonaphid tending ants(if applicable)

2) has anyone used symbiotic plants that ants find nutritious? Like peonies or corn flowers or any other plant? What have you used where in the world are you? I'm interested simply because I'm more so curious if any one took that trial and error path previously and how it went and what was learned. Rather than just the simple brush off generic answers. Thanks to all and hopefully the lurkers will find some interest to this topic.
I have recently moved my myrimica colony into an out world. I made a raised "garden" area where i planted some small dandilions which had a small colony of subterranian aphids already living among the roots. Within 12 hours of introducing my myrmicas to the out world, they had dug in and found the aphids and now take shifts farming them. The ants live out of their founding test tube still but make the journey to the "garden" consistently
Founding 3x Camponotus novaeboracensis, 5x Formica sp

Keeping 1x Myrmica Sp

MorbidBugg
Posts: 285
Joined: Wed Jul 04, 2018 10:11 pm
Location: Orangeville

Re: ants aphid tenders and plant species

Post: # 46637Post MorbidBugg
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:49 am

NKantsalberta wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:45 am

I have recently moved my myrimica colony into an out world. I made a raised "garden" area where i planted some small dandilions which had a small colony of subterranian aphids already living among the roots. Within 12 hours of introducing my myrmicas to the out world, they had dug in and found the aphids and now take shifts farming them. The ants live out of their founding test tube still but make the journey to the "garden" consistently

Neat you should take some pictures! I'd love to see a semi wild colony doing that sort of thing.
Ants are life's most successful invaders. Understand and respect that power.

NKantsalberta
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 6:48 pm
Location: Alberta

Re: ants aphid tenders and plant species

Post: # 46638Post NKantsalberta
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:54 am

MorbidBugg wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:49 am
NKantsalberta wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:45 am

I have recently moved my myrimica colony into an out world. I made a raised "garden" area where i planted some small dandilions which had a small colony of subterranian aphids already living among the roots. Within 12 hours of introducing my myrmicas to the out world, they had dug in and found the aphids and now take shifts farming them. The ants live out of their founding test tube still but make the journey to the "garden" consistently

Neat you should take some pictures! I'd love to see a semi wild colony doing that sort of thing.
I have pictures on my Gf's camera... Just need to take the time to upload them! Lol I left a cave in the roots so they are visible from the side... Hopefully the ants dont cover it up :lol: its only in an "AC out world" but as the colony grows I will be moving them into a larger setup, but I dont think my species have very large colonies. Ive never seen more than 30 in a nest in the wild
Founding 3x Camponotus novaeboracensis, 5x Formica sp

Keeping 1x Myrmica Sp

NKantsalberta
Posts: 59
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 6:48 pm
Location: Alberta

Re: ants aphid tenders and plant species

Post: # 46941Post NKantsalberta
Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:38 pm

The second photo is as close up as I can get without horrible glare. You can see the small white aphids clustered on the bottom edge of the lower root. Unfortunately there were no workers present at the time of the photo (this was taken a few days ago). Keeping in mind there are only about 12 workers at this point, most of which remain in the test tube with the queen and brood.

Image
Image
Founding 3x Camponotus novaeboracensis, 5x Formica sp

Keeping 1x Myrmica Sp

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