Queens found in Utah on June 13th

Help with identifying the species your ants

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AntSquirrel
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:23 pm
Location: Utah

Queens found in Utah on June 13th

Post: # 59825Post AntSquirrel
Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:57 pm

I need help identifying these three queens I found!

I was camping with some friends in the mountains a few weeks ago and there were tons of new queens running around. At first I thought they were just large carpenter workers of some sort, until a few after a few days of being there I realized they weren't (I saw males flying around, and a few queens with wings still attached) so I caught one and my friend caught two more and gave them to me after I expressed my interest in ants and pointed out which ones where the queens. She said the two she found were fighting when she found them. The day I caught them was June 13th but they were all over camp before that, at least since the 11th I believe, but they might have been out before that. I took the three home the next day and put them in test tube setups. They're already laying eggs and showing different personalities. I've given them temporary names based on the metallic markers I put on the paper that's covering their test tubes so it's easier to tell them apart.

Bronze seems fairly mild mannered and was the second queen to start laying eggs, she's also as the most eggs. She is keeping them grouped together and staying close to them. Today when I was taking pictures she was staying very still. She doesn't seem to mind being checked on.

Gold is also pretty mild mannered. She's the last to lay eggs and so far only has two eggs, but she is obsessing over them. Her gaster has also grown noticeably larger, but I don't think this is the case for the other two. She kept picking up her two eggs and putting them together and looking around a bit nervously when I was taking pictures of her. She also doesn't mind too much being checked on, but it's clear she's not thrilled about it either.

Silver is smaller than Bronze and Gold and a bit more aggressive and easily agitated. She was the first to lay eggs but they are somewhat scattered around and she doesn't care for them nearly as much as the other two. She stood over them when I checked on her but rather than moving them together or picking them up or anything she only obsessively cleaned herself. She's also acting generally sickly today despite moving around a lot. I'm not too hopeful about her honestly.

When I first caught them I put them in three separate water bottles with napkins shoved into the top since it was the closest thing to a test tube setup as I could get at the moment. Ant hunting wasn't on my mind when I was packing for the camping trip so I had to work with what I had. I mixed up Bronze and Gold when moving them to their test tubes so I don't know which one did what, but one found a nice cave in the napkin and settled in there and probably would have started her colony in there if I didn't move her, she was clearly getting ready for that. The other stayed relatively calm and curled up by the opening of the bottle and watched for a way out. Silver on the other hand was constantly trying to find a way out and didn't want to hold still.

I've spent some time trying to ID them myself but that seems to be a bit of a struggle. These are the first queens I've ever caught and I'm hoping to start my first colony! I'm fairly sure they're in the Camponotus family? But I'm not an expert. If they are I do need to know whether or not there's a risk of them destroying the wood in my house if they escape. My mom isn't going to want to let me keep them if they will tear apart the wood in our walls. (Honestly I don't want ants destroying my house either so it's not just her) But I do know not every species in Camponotus does that.

It would be a huuuuge help to me if anyone can tell me what these beautiful queens are and what I might need to do to make their nest when they're ready. I can't buy a fancy setup right now, so I intend to make as nice of a setup as I can, but I may need information about what this species needs for their home. (Assuming they survive and I'm able to keep them)

I've done my best to take good pictures of all three of them, but I'm afraid my camera wasn't cooperating much today. Let me know if I need to take better pictures or take pictures from another angle!

Bronze:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1kNpFCf4fB_r2fuz8i2fptm1v34ZDpxDg
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1bi1c1l9eHLU4yhr_KpV-E9zg3tMAjueD

Gold:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1MDbOZDHfX6UOwDb5yKSGjY_oMDuxLXT9
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1oQD8psdt7622benQUTYpeoZI_mQ4kdWZ

Silver:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1B4fsviBXIOcOYR3xwMIas_BjX2RGDmKQ
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1SOy1MMwHoFuz9MzILwESRlbjfHECB3zX

pedalien
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:18 pm

Re: Queens found in Utah on June 13th

Post: # 60044Post pedalien
Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:56 am

All Queens based on the images you've provided are of the Camponotus spp.
This is based on the assumption that the ruler in the images is based on centimeters, rather than inches.

Furthermore, Camponotus spp. usually have their nuptial flights during this time in North America, which supports all of them being Camponotus spp.

All Bronze, Gold, and Silver are about the same length, 1.5cm, or 1/2in, and same color (Black)
They all have one Petiole prior to their gaster, and the top of their abdomen is rounded, rather than indented in.

So all Bronze, Gold, and Silver are of the Camponotus spp. (A.K.A Carpenter Ant).
These are relatively easy to keep and cater for, but take longer than other species' in North America to be founded.
Here is a link all about the Camponotus spp.:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUCoajYwo8s

This video should be able to cover most of your questions on your new 3 Queens.

Ive caught a Camponotus spp. Queen before, but unfortunately she didnt lay anything, and died. So dont be discouraged, as you've got 3 which gives your a pretty good chance of at least 1 Queen laying.

Good Luck on your newly caught Queens! :D

AntSquirrel
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:23 pm
Location: Utah

Re: Queens found in Utah on June 13th

Post: # 60060Post AntSquirrel
Sat Jun 29, 2019 5:02 pm

Thanks! I suspected they might be camponotus of some sort! I was kind of hoping for an exact species identification rather than just the family, but it sounds like that isn't easy to do with a lot of camponotus ants.
They've all started laying eggs! But I'm thinking maybe only Gold is fertile based on the behaviors of the three, but I suppose we can only wait and see whether or not this is the case. Already I've been planning how I'll make the formicarium despite the fact I know they won't even need it for a long time if at all! Also, yes, the ruler in the pictures is in centimeters! I probably should have specified that in my original post, oops!
Camponotus Modoc Queens:
Gold: Four workers
Bronze: It's complicated
Silver: Gone :,<

Tetramorium Caespitum Queens:
Rose: 5-6 workers
Iris: Likely not fertile
Wings: Almost certainly not fertile
Stubby: Gone :,<

pedalien
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Jun 26, 2019 6:18 pm

Re: Queens found in Utah on June 13th

Post: # 60069Post pedalien
Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:04 pm

To be more specific on the species is impossible without looking at the exact features of their bodies. Antenna, Abdomen, Thorax, etc.

They are definetely Camponotus spp. based on the pictures you've provided. To roughly estimate what they are exactly:
Camponotus Pennsylvanicus

The video I provided above should help you in terms of keeping them in the future. In terms of or Formicarium, Outworld, or a 2 in 1, check your other forum as I've provided info on there:
https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=14906&p=60045#p60045

Based on behaviors you described, Bronze and Gold are probably fertile.
Silver could be fertile, but based on her behaviors, probably not.

There is no sure way to tell when a Queen Ant is fertile unless 1 of these 3 occur:
*Her Nanitics appear (First round of workers) = Fertile :D
*Male Aletes appear = Not Fertile :(
*Queen dies = Not Fertile in any way

If you want to take creativity into your own hands and make a Formicarium, I suggest you do so close to the date of when their Nanitics appear, or at least when they get into the Pupa stage.
Otherwise, I greately recommend AntsCanada All you Need kit for Camponotus spp. here:
https://www.AntsCanada.com/shop/all-you-need-camponotus-hybrid-gear-pack/

It is a bit pricey, but the kit is specially designed for your ants' genus and their needs.
If you cant afford it, then creating your own 2 in 1 Formicarium is probably your best bet.
If you'd like more tips on creating your own Formicarium, I suggest we continue that discussion on your other forum which is on that topic.

Glad I can help! :D

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ooper01
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Re: Queens found in Utah on June 13th

Post: # 61579Post ooper01
Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:32 pm

Good chance they are Camponotus Modoc. We don't get Pennsylvanicus here in Utah as far as I know.
~ ooper

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AntSquirrel
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jun 25, 2019 4:23 pm
Location: Utah

Re: Queens found in Utah on June 13th

Post: # 63929Post AntSquirrel
Sat Sep 07, 2019 8:46 pm

OH! I bet you're right! Thank you so much!
Camponotus Modoc Queens:
Gold: Four workers
Bronze: It's complicated
Silver: Gone :,<

Tetramorium Caespitum Queens:
Rose: 5-6 workers
Iris: Likely not fertile
Wings: Almost certainly not fertile
Stubby: Gone :,<

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