How to tell Solenopsis queens from other similarly shaped and sized queens

Help with identifying the species your ants

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techsy730
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Location: Tennessee, USA

How to tell Solenopsis queens from other similarly shaped and sized queens

Post: # 22025Post techsy730
Mon May 29, 2017 5:17 pm

I live in the Austin, Texas area. Solenopsis is VERY common genus around here, so much so that I have stopped collecting Solenopsis queens because I have so many of them, and would like to try a different species. However, I am sort of afraid that I am missing other species in doing so.

One genus I have been wanting to try is Camponotus, but given that both Solenopsis and Camponotus queens are quite big, both are frequently both red and black, and based on pictures online, seem sort of similar in shape, how can I tell at a glance whether a queen I encounter out and around is a Solenopsis or a Camponotus queen? Or possibly some other genus that looks sort of similar?

For example, IIRC, Crematogaster queens have a distinctive "point" on the end of their gasters. These sorts of distinctive features.

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Aquaexploder
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Location: Rhode Island

Re: How to tell Solenopsis queens from other similarly shaped and sized queens

Post: # 22026Post Aquaexploder
Mon May 29, 2017 5:28 pm

Solenopsis have a postpetiole and I believe and Camponotus don't.
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Crematogaster (2X)

Lasius Neoniger (2X)

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Batspiderfish
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Location: Maine

Re: How to tell Solenopsis queens from other similarly shaped and sized queens

Post: # 22036Post Batspiderfish
Mon May 29, 2017 8:38 pm

Aquaexploder wrote:
Mon May 29, 2017 5:28 pm
Solenopsis have a postpetiole and I believe and Camponotus don't.
Right; being from Myrmecinae, Solenopsis has two petiole nodes. Camponotus, from Formicinae, have only one.
If you enjoy my expertise and identifications, please do not put wild populations at risk of disease by releasing pet colonies. We are responsible to give our pets the best care we can manage for the rest of their lives.

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Theantguy13
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Location: Riverside county CA

Re: How to tell Solenopsis queens from other similarly shaped and sized queens

Post: # 22066Post Theantguy13
Tue May 30, 2017 11:18 am

Mate, solenopsis are common everywhere.
They are mostly invasive species, like S. Invicta,
and they are very abundant.
I'm in Socal and i catch so many S. Invicta and S. Xyloni queens, last year I caught around 40 or so.
Proud owner of 3 beautiful cats, a loving Siberian husky, and a varying amount of ants.

My ant queens still founding a colony:
Solenopsis Molesta
My ant colonies:
Solenopsis Xyloni

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Batspiderfish
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Location: Maine

Re: How to tell Solenopsis queens from other similarly shaped and sized queens

Post: # 22067Post Batspiderfish
Tue May 30, 2017 11:36 am

Solenopsis invicta is the only invasive Solenopsis in North America. Solenopsis richteri is also present as a non-native species, but they are insignificant next to S. invicta. Solenopsis xyloni is our native fire ant, and used to span across the Southern United States. Solenopsis geminata may also be a native species. Most (if not all) of the thief-ant Solenopsis are also native.
If you enjoy my expertise and identifications, please do not put wild populations at risk of disease by releasing pet colonies. We are responsible to give our pets the best care we can manage for the rest of their lives.

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Theantguy13
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Location: Riverside county CA

Re: How to tell Solenopsis queens from other similarly shaped and sized queens

Post: # 22081Post Theantguy13
Tue May 30, 2017 6:18 pm

Well ok then, point was that they are very common queens in most of the US
Proud owner of 3 beautiful cats, a loving Siberian husky, and a varying amount of ants.

My ant queens still founding a colony:
Solenopsis Molesta
My ant colonies:
Solenopsis Xyloni

Martialis
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Location: Indiana

Re: How to tell Solenopsis queens from other similarly shaped and sized queens

Post: # 22084Post Martialis
Tue May 30, 2017 7:13 pm

Aren't some Pheidole around the size of Solenopsis?
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xTNxANTMANx
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Location: Western Tennessee

Re: How to tell Solenopsis queens from other similarly shaped and sized queens

Post: # 22103Post xTNxANTMANx
Tue May 30, 2017 11:50 pm

I actually found a big nest of Solenopsis richteri this weekend. Well I've known about it for a while but they threw me off with being black when I am used to seeing red fire ants :D Solenopsis invicta. I find these gals more interesting then Solenopsis invicta. I also seen the colony at its most active with loads of workers and probably 50+ virgin Queens crawling all over the top getting ready for a flight but I don't think they flew as rain came in roughly an hour or so later. I would really love to have a colony of Solenopsis richteri....
Keeping:
Camponotus subbarbatus
Formica pallidefulva x2
Formica subsericea x4
Lasius sp
Tetramorium immigrans x2
Dorymyrmex bureni

Founding:
Formica pallidefulva
Unknown sp x2

Martialis
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Location: Indiana

Re: How to tell Solenopsis queens from other similarly shaped and sized queens

Post: # 22122Post Martialis
Wed May 31, 2017 7:52 am

Solenopsis richteri, the Black Imported Fire Ant, is an invasive species that was displaced by Solenopsis invicta. In their invasive range (now constituting a few pockets in the US), their closely related biology to S. invicta allows for areas where only hybrids of the two fire ants are present. Western Tennessee is one of their "pockets" of invaded land.
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