New Zealand Ant Queens ID

Help with identifying the species your ants

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cjerg9
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:16 am
Location: Clunes Victoria

Re: New Zealand Ant Queens ID

Post: # 76764Post cjerg9
Mon Apr 19, 2021 5:16 am

Sorry for the late response but the first ant (small one) is Iridomyrmex sp. the queens are about 5mm in size

The second ant (large one) is Melophorus sp. they have a very distinct shiny golden marks on their abdomen and queen is about 8mm in size

Info about Iridomyrmex sp.
-do not require feeding until workers arrive (fully claustral)
-too small to bite or sting
-very easy to keep and grow large quite quickly

Info about melophorus sp.
-do not require feeding until workers arrive (fully claustral)
-fast moving but reclusive species
-love hot weather and sun exposure (this may mean she will hold off laying until warmer seasons)
-generally do not bite or sting
-slower to grow larger
-easy feeding setup method recommended as they can quickly run out

In regards to the Fluon it can be very hard to access and often needs to be purchased online. You may be able to get it from a hardware store or chemistry lab supply centre. Also what type of setup do you currently have them in?

WHTKalus
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:13 am
Location: Nelson

Re: New Zealand Ant Queens ID

Post: # 76775Post WHTKalus
Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:22 am

The small with nanitics is in a test tube with a small outworld made with a mozzarella pot...I mean...I am Italian, what would you expect?
The other I just caught, isn't laying eggs so far, so as you said, she is probably kind of hibernating, and she is just in a test tube.

cjerg9
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:16 am
Location: Clunes Victoria

Re: New Zealand Ant Queens ID

Post: # 76777Post cjerg9
Mon Apr 19, 2021 6:54 am

If you can’t get any access to Fluon you can try Vaseline or baby powder as a barrier but if they are persistent see if you are able to create some precise holes in a container and then stuff them tightly with cotton balls to allow for oxygen to diffuse in but also prevent them from escaping.

WHTKalus
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:13 am
Location: Nelson

Re: New Zealand Ant Queens ID

Post: # 76810Post WHTKalus
Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:33 am

I made the holes and stuffed them with cotton.
Seems the easiest at the moment.
I was thinking, that if both IDs are correct, both ants are from Australia, and on antwiki and other websites, there is nothing about those being in NZ...is it good or bad?

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AM1C39
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Location: Canada, ON
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Re: New Zealand Ant Queens ID

Post: # 76812Post AM1C39
Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:50 am

That could mean that they are native but nobody has discovered them in NZ or they are not native and have found there way into NZ and nobody has discovered that they have moved there or they are a different species that has already been discovered in NZ. You should get them identified by a myrmecologist because you could have just made a novel ant discovery!
My current colonies:
The miniature military(formica neogagates)
the power of war(camponotus novaeborecensis)
the black hearts(crematogaster cerasi
the blazing nation(Myrmica alaskensis)

cjerg9
Posts: 121
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2021 3:16 am
Location: Clunes Victoria

Re: New Zealand Ant Queens ID

Post: # 76813Post cjerg9
Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:01 am

WHTKalus wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:33 am
I made the holes and stuffed them with cotton.
Seems the easiest at the moment.
I was thinking, that if both IDs are correct, both ants are from Australia, and on antwiki and other websites, there is nothing about those being in NZ...is it good or bad?
Sadly there isn’t much information about New Zealand when it comes to ants and sometimes they just refer to Australia and New Zealand in a very similar context. Both share many species as they have the ability to travel and migrate. It is likely they could be new species, but like I said I was only really able to identify the genus not the species which is why I put sp. at the end. It is possible they are a very closely related genus or the same genus but just a different species. Ant wiki shows Iridomyrmex as a species that occurs in New Zealand on their “New Zealand” page but sadly don’t mention much about Melophorus. I find even under Australia titled pages there is not much information about them.

The New Zealand page here https://www.antwiki.org/wiki/New_Zealand lists a bunch of species and beside them a lot of them say “introduced from Australia” so like AMC mentioned above there is a possibility that other species have been introduced there similarly and we just haven’t discovered it yet.

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AM1C39
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Re: New Zealand Ant Queens ID

Post: # 76814Post AM1C39
Tue Apr 20, 2021 8:08 am

For better info have a look at antmaps.org.
My current colonies:
The miniature military(formica neogagates)
the power of war(camponotus novaeborecensis)
the black hearts(crematogaster cerasi
the blazing nation(Myrmica alaskensis)

WHTKalus
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:13 am
Location: Nelson

Re: New Zealand Ant Queens ID

Post: # 76847Post WHTKalus
Thu Apr 22, 2021 12:51 am

Ok, If I manage to get them grow a colony I will send some workers and/or alates to an expert...given that I found one in NZ.

WHTKalus
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2021 3:13 am
Location: Nelson

Re: New Zealand Ant Queens ID

Post: # 77188Post WHTKalus
Fri Apr 30, 2021 5:12 pm

So the Melophorus is just hanging on the wet cotton at the bottom of the test tube, I check it very rarely, because the minimum light or move makes her very agitated.
The Iridomyrex started to eat insects. I put in a super small cockroach baby, but it has been ignored. Yesterday I caught a small cricket out in the woods, and all nanitics stormed it.

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