New guy needs ID on two queens in Philadelphia, PA suburbs

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DelcoAnts
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New guy needs ID on two queens in Philadelphia, PA suburbs

Post: # 73804Post DelcoAnts
Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:54 pm

Hello everyone!

This is my first Summer attempting to raise an ant colony, so I am very new. I'm looking to identify two queen ants I caught on August 8, 2020 at sunset in Chester County, Pennsylvania. I believe both are the same species, but I will leave that for you experts to decide! All the queens I caught this year I believe to be infertile, with the exception of theses two unidentified queens (and possibly three Lasius neoniger queens that won't lay eggs until spring).

This first queen I labeled as Queen 4. She was caught in mid-flight, right out of the air! The photo below was taken right after she was moved to her AC test tube setup on 8/10/2020.

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Below is Queen 4 in her test tube setup with her eggs, and what I believe is my first larva(!) taken on 9/14/2020.

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Below is an image of the other queen that I labeled Queen 5. In this photo she is in her brand new AC test tube setup on 8/10/2020.

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This photo if Queen 5 was taken on 8/18/2020 and shows her newly laid eggs.

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This last photo is of Queen 5 taken on 9/14/2020. I believe the eggs are now larva because they look more oval.

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Thank you for your help! My ants will be going into hibernation soon!
<Insert witty, insightful, and helpful ant comment here>

ANTLORD
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Re: New guy needs ID on two queens in Philadelphia, PA suburbs

Post: # 73805Post ANTLORD
Mon Sep 14, 2020 7:17 pm

https://antwiki.org/wiki/Species_Accounts This link might prove useful to you. Keep us updated on your colony progress by the way, would love to hear some stories. Good luck!
Trying to find a queen ant :D

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DelcoAnts
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Re: New guy needs ID on two queens in Philadelphia, PA suburbs

Post: # 73810Post DelcoAnts
Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:37 pm

Antlord,

Thank you for the URL! I will spend some time hunting around in those lists, but it's kind of like a shot in the dark for me. I am very new at this, and not very familiar with the different families of ants. I can identify Tetramorium immigrans because that was the species of the first three queens I caught, and they were distinctive looking enough for me to identify them from photos online. I'm about 80 percent sure I can identify Lasius neoniger. Identifying both these species was made easier because I happen to have both living in my front yard and therefore I am very familiar with them. unfortunately, they are the only two species I can identify.

Queens 4 & 5 are totally new to me. It doesn't help that I'm having a lot of trouble getting a clear photo of them. I took a few more photos tonight, but I don't want to disturb them again for at least a week. I'm afraid of stressing them out. I put a ruler up to both queens and they are both 5mm long, much smaller then Lasius neoniger. They are a brownish/reddish hue and appear to have a shiny exoskeleton.

Below are the latest photos I took tonight (9-14-2020). They are all of Queen 5. I hope they are a bit clearer.

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Thanks again for your help!
<Insert witty, insightful, and helpful ant comment here>

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antnest8
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Re: New guy needs ID on two queens in Philadelphia, PA suburbs

Post: # 73824Post antnest8
Tue Sep 15, 2020 10:23 am

Definitely looks like tetramorium immigrans! It could possibly be Pheidole but since those are rarer and incredibly hard to tell the difference on the queens, just consider her Tetranorium. If the workers suddenly have giant heads you'll know the difference :lol:
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https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=19099
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    How To Identify Ants

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Re: New guy needs ID on two queens in Philadelphia, PA suburbs

Post: # 73847Post DelcoAnts
Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:48 pm

Antnest8,

Thanks for your reply! I am certain that Queens 4 & 5 are not Tetramorium immigrans, although I know the second round of photos I posted last night do make it look that way. I actually have 3 Tetramorium immigrans queens, unfortunately all of them are infertile. My profile picture is one of those Tetramorium queens. Queens 4 and 5 are much too small to be Tetramorium immigrans. They are only 5 millimeters long. They are also of a more orangish hue. This can be seen better in my first set of photos from my original post. The second set of photos makes the queens appear darker then they really are. Getting a good photograph of them is hard because they are so small.

I will do some research into Pheidole and see if they look like a match. I've looked at some photos of Pheidole pilifera queens, but they don't look right to me.

I was looking around the web at ant photos last night and thought that Solenopsis molesta ("The thief ant") might be a match. I read that they have their nuptial flights in late July and August around dusk, and that fits the bill perfectly! Their color can range from brown to orangish, which also fits. The size of 4 to 5 millimeters is also a match. They are native in my region so that matches too. Some of the photos I've seen online of Solenopsis molesta queens are convincing. For instance, look at the photo at this URL (https://i.imgur.com/JjlVKH4.jpg) and compare that with the original photos I posted of Queens 4 & 5. From what I've read, Solenopsis molesta queens only live a year in the wild. It would be disappointing to catch a queen that won't last any longer then a year.

I wish I could take better photos of Queens 4 and 5. I don't want to bother them again this week for fear of stressing them out, so I'm working off of the same photos I posted to try to identify them. If i don't get this figured out by then I will post more photos.

Thanks again for your input Antnest8!
<Insert witty, insightful, and helpful ant comment here>

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antnest8
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Re: New guy needs ID on two queens in Philadelphia, PA suburbs

Post: # 73894Post antnest8
Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:23 am

DelcoAnts wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 2:48 pm
Antnest8,

Thanks for your reply! I am certain that Queens 4 & 5 are not Tetramorium immigrans, although I know the second round of photos I posted last night do make it look that way. I actually have 3 Tetramorium immigrans queens, unfortunately all of them are infertile. My profile picture is one of those Tetramorium queens. Queens 4 and 5 are much too small to be Tetramorium immigrans. They are only 5 millimeters long. They are also of a more orangish hue. This can be seen better in my first set of photos from my original post. The second set of photos makes the queens appear darker then they really are. Getting a good photograph of them is hard because they are so small.

I will do some research into Pheidole and see if they look like a match. I've looked at some photos of Pheidole pilifera queens, but they don't look right to me.

I was looking around the web at ant photos last night and thought that Solenopsis molesta ("The thief ant") might be a match. I read that they have their nuptial flights in late July and August around dusk, and that fits the bill perfectly! Their color can range from brown to orangish, which also fits. The size of 4 to 5 millimeters is also a match. They are native in my region so that matches too. Some of the photos I've seen online of Solenopsis molesta queens are convincing. For instance, look at the photo at this URL (https://i.imgur.com/JjlVKH4.jpg) and compare that with the original photos I posted of Queens 4 & 5. From what I've read, Solenopsis molesta queens only live a year in the wild. It would be disappointing to catch a queen that won't last any longer then a year.

I wish I could take better photos of Queens 4 and 5. I don't want to bother them again this week for fear of stressing them out, so I'm working off of the same photos I posted to try to identify them. If i don't get this figured out by then I will post more photos.

Thanks again for your input Antnest8!
If you found Solinopsis Molesta, then congrats and good luck!! I've always wanted some of these guys, but was also scared to, since the workers are only like, 1mm long :shock: , Still they are really cool and probably why I didn't identify right since I have seen about 1 million Tetremorium queens and not a single Molesta queen (have the workers around our house though).
Some of My Informative Sheets
https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=19099
Includes :
  • Ant Care Sheets
    Queen Hunting
    How To Identify Ants

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DelcoAnts
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Re: New guy needs ID on two queens in Philadelphia, PA suburbs

Post: # 73898Post DelcoAnts
Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:43 pm

Antnest8,

If queens 4 and 5 really are solenopsis molesta, it is going to be quite a challenge! I'm going to have to make sure my setup is very tight!

Hopefully the queens will survive the winter. I'm worried that the nanitics won't emerge before the queens goes into brumation. They are larva now. I'm worried that the queens will go into brumation and the larva will not have anyone to care for them. Can larva go into brumation too? What about pupae?

I'm hoping that someone out there with more ant knowledge then me can confirm that the queens really are solenopsis molesta.
<Insert witty, insightful, and helpful ant comment here>

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antnest8
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Re: New guy needs ID on two queens in Philadelphia, PA suburbs

Post: # 73901Post antnest8
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:02 pm

Brood can go into brumation. If they turn into pupae though, they will hatch, only eggs and larvae do as they are the only kind of brood that need constant care

At least I have a bit of ant knowledge :lol:
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https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=19099
Includes :
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    Queen Hunting
    How To Identify Ants

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DelcoAnts
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Re: New guy needs ID on two queens in Philadelphia, PA suburbs

Post: # 73909Post DelcoAnts
Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:09 pm

antnest8 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:02 pm
Brood can go into brumation. If they turn into pupae though, they will hatch, only eggs and larvae do as they are the only kind of brood that need constant care

At least I have a bit of ant knowledge :lol:
Thank you for that information! I suppose any pupae would be slow to emerge during the winter months if the larva reach that stage before brumation. If they do emerge, I suppose they will just go into brumation until the spring like the queen.
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Re: New guy needs ID on two queens in Philadelphia, PA suburbs

Post: # 73924Post antnest8
Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:19 pm

Yes, newly Eclosed workers will go into brumation immediately during hibernation.
Some of My Informative Sheets
https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=19099
Includes :
  • Ant Care Sheets
    Queen Hunting
    How To Identify Ants

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