New Zealand, Major or Queen?

Help with identifying the species your ants

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BTechDerek
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:24 pm
Location: New Zealand

New Zealand, Major or Queen?

Post: # 65150Post BTechDerek
Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:06 am

I found this exceptionally large ant near one of the smaller wild colonies on my property. I almost thought this particular colony died out during the winter but it seems to be still alive now we are warming up. We believe the nuptial flight will occur around November 25th so this sighting has me really confused.

We believe this is Chelaner antarcticum, a common kiwi variant that has been poorly studied. I have however been watching them over the past few months and have seen no sign of majors nor winged alates.

https://youtu.be/8PkDoRjf_P8

[youtube]https://youtu.be/8PkDoRjf_P8[/youtube]

LasiusSapien
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:37 pm
Location: Bristol

Re: New Zealand, Major or Queen?

Post: # 65151Post LasiusSapien
Sun Oct 27, 2019 6:33 am

BTechDerek wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 5:06 am
I found this exceptionally large ant near one of the smaller wild colonies on my property. I almost thought this particular colony died out during the winter but it seems to be still alive now we are warming up. We believe the nuptial flight will occur around November 25th so this sighting has me really confused.

We believe this is Chelaner antarcticum, a common kiwi variant that has been poorly studied. I have however been watching them over the past few months and have seen no sign of majors nor winged alates.

https://youtu.be/8PkDoRjf_P8

[youtube]https://youtu.be/8PkDoRjf_P8[/youtube]
ok so i believe the big ant is Austroponera castaneicolor tho that's just a visual ID as to the little ones i thought Rhytidoponera impressa but you a few sp. that look very similar, sorry hope this is somewhat useful
1x Lasius Niger - early forging stage - 60-100 workers
1x Messor Barbarus - founding stage - <20 workers
1x Camponotus Turkestanus - claustral stage - 1 nanitic + brood
1x Odontoponera Transversa - semi-claustral stage - no eggs

BTechDerek
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:24 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: New Zealand, Major or Queen?

Post: # 65152Post BTechDerek
Sun Oct 27, 2019 7:29 am

Very interesting. There has been an Austroponera trapped 400 meters away from my place so that would be super cool. My home is in Wellington city next to the Zealandia reserve, which is further south than the supposed impressa occupied space. It is, however, interesting that these ants are pretty active at night in a wooded area which ,upon googling, is a impressa behaviour.

I figured since the little ants seemed to get along with the large one that they were of the same colony, but I guess that isn't necessarily true.

Here is an inaturilist report from "pretty sure is the same colony from July".

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/28423444

BTechDerek
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:24 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: New Zealand, Major or Queen?

Post: # 65166Post BTechDerek
Sun Oct 27, 2019 3:54 pm

I found a large one out at the small colony this morning. Oh my, could we have an Austroprenera colony nearby coming out of hibernation.

I had never even imagined that. I tried to follow it back home but the area it moved to has a huge covering of leaf litter so I lost him. Varying Austroprenera have different reproductive strategies so finding a Queen would be very hard. There is also no information on their nuptial date. I will keep a look out.. I hope they don't war with my smaller wild colony... This morning both nearby colonies seemed to be running on low activity.

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