Genus/Species Identification. Prenolepis Imparis? Camponotus Castaneus? With photos. Severn, MD, US

Help with identifying the species your ants

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kykel09
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:31 pm
Location: Maryland

Genus/Species Identification. Prenolepis Imparis? Camponotus Castaneus? With photos. Severn, MD, US

Post: # 41496Post kykel09
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:15 pm

Hey everyone.

I need a bit of help identifying this one. She's dark orange in color with long thin legs and long thin antenna. I initially thought her to be a Camponotus castaneus but now I'm not so sure. She's a bit small for a carpenter ant, being about 9-11mm in length. Also, her head doesn't look very camponotus like. Through additional research I came across Prenolepis imparis, and while she looks similar, there are a few things that don't match their either. One, I caught her at the beginning of July. Everything I've found says Prenolepis imparis fly early spring. That aside, her gastor looks a bit small but otherwise she looks very much like a prenolepis imparis.

Opinions? Suggestions? Help?

Pics (The queen is currently in a 17mm wide test tube so it really shows her size):
Image

Image

Image

Image
Maryland GAN Farmer

Owns:
Lasius Neoniger
Camponotus Noveborecensis
Camponotus Nearcticus
Solenopsis Molesta (7 queen colony)
Phiedole Bicarinata (3 queen colony)

WIP:
Lasius Claviger (parasite queen)

TheRealAntMan
Posts: 547
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:59 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: Genus/Species Identification. Prenolepis Imparis? Camponotus Castaneus? With photos.

Post: # 41497Post TheRealAntMan
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:21 pm

Parasitic Formica. She’ll need Formica host pupae to start her colony. (6-12)
An ants' strength can be rivaled by few animals compared to relative body size.

kykel09
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:31 pm
Location: Maryland

Re: Genus/Species Identification. Prenolepis Imparis? Camponotus Castaneus? With photos.

Post: # 41508Post kykel09
Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:27 pm

TheRealAntMan wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:21 pm
Parasitic Formica. She’ll need Formica host pupae to start her colony. (6-12)
That doesn't make sense. She's already laid a batch of 3 or 4 eggs. Parasite queens won't lay eggs without host workers.
However, your post sparked my interest and I looked into it and came across Formica dolosa and Formica Pallidefulva. Anyone know if these match?

She has the three dots on her head just like the queen in this pic.
https://bugguide.net/node/view/47716
Antwiki: http://www.antwiki.org/wiki/Formica_dolosa
Maryland GAN Farmer

Owns:
Lasius Neoniger
Camponotus Noveborecensis
Camponotus Nearcticus
Solenopsis Molesta (7 queen colony)
Phiedole Bicarinata (3 queen colony)

WIP:
Lasius Claviger (parasite queen)

Thorond0r
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:50 am
Location: Rhenen, Netherlands

Re: Genus/Species Identification. Prenolepis Imparis? Camponotus Castaneus? With photos. Severn, MD, US

Post: # 41513Post Thorond0r
Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:22 pm

The three dots on her head are ocelli, light receptors, a sort of "eyes", and almost all queens of all species have these as far as i know...
As for the species, i'm pretty sure it is indeed a Formica but i don't know which one...
First year of antkeeping, already enjoying it!

Currently founding:

Lasius niger
Lasius umbratus
Lasius flavus


Still hoping to find a Formica queen.

TheRealAntMan
Posts: 547
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:59 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: Genus/Species Identification. Prenolepis Imparis? Camponotus Castaneus? With photos.

Post: # 41533Post TheRealAntMan
Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:25 pm

kykel09 wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:27 pm
TheRealAntMan wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:21 pm
Parasitic Formica. She’ll need Formica host pupae to start her colony. (6-12)
That doesn't make sense. She's already laid a batch of 3 or 4 eggs. Parasite queens won't lay eggs without host workers.
However, your post sparked my interest and I looked into it and came across Formica dolosa and Formica Pallidefulva. Anyone know if these match?

She has the three dots on her head just like the queen in this pic.
https://bugguide.net/node/view/47716
Antwiki: http://www.antwiki.org/wiki/Formica_dolosa
Could be infertile eggs. I think it’s a Parasitic ant because of the typical small parasitic gaster. But I could be wrong.
An ants' strength can be rivaled by few animals compared to relative body size.

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Batspiderfish
Posts: 3345
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Genus/Species Identification. Prenolepis Imparis? Camponotus Castaneus? With photos. Severn, MD, US

Post: # 41539Post Batspiderfish
Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:01 pm

Formica sp. from the pallidefulva group. Just has a small gaster. You might want to consider feeding this one, but sometimes they just look like that.
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.

TheRealAntMan
Posts: 547
Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 5:59 pm
Location: Chicago, Illinois

Re: Genus/Species Identification. Prenolepis Imparis? Camponotus Castaneus? With photos. Severn, MD, US

Post: # 41542Post TheRealAntMan
Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:32 pm

Batspiderfish wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:01 pm
Formica sp. from the pallidefulva group. Just has a small gaster. You might want to consider feeding this one, but sometimes they just look like that.
Ah that explains why it has a small gaster.
An ants' strength can be rivaled by few animals compared to relative body size.

kykel09
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:31 pm
Location: Maryland

Re: Genus/Species Identification. Prenolepis Imparis? Camponotus Castaneus? With photos. Severn, MD, US

Post: # 41577Post kykel09
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:00 am

I managed to get 2 slightly better photos. You can more clearly make out blond pubesence on both the head and the gastor. Also, you can more efficiently see her color and her eggs in her mouth.

This photo also kind of illuminates that there is a slight ridge between the segments of her gastor.
Image

Image

I'm quite confident at this point that this is the Formica genus. However, I may need to wait until she has workers to narrow down her species. According to AntWiki, Formica Pallidefulva tends to have a color divide and once you move north they darken to a red/redbrown color. So I feel like it's less likely she's Pallidefulva as she is noticeably orange. That does however still leave a few options I'll need to research farther into.
http://www.antwiki.org/wiki/Formica_pallidefulva

Formica incerta - Typically darker in color and often has a black gastor so slightly unlikely as my queen is not bi-colored. Also, predominately a northern species, though has been cataloged in Maryland. Also, these ants tend to be shiny which my queen is a bit dull.
http://www.antwiki.org/wiki/Formica_incerta

Formica dolosa - Probably the strongest contender. Dark noticeable orange like mine and also has a smaller appearing gastor with blond pubesence both on the head and the gastor. Consistent coloring and though I can't find a lot of photos, the few I have found definitely show some ridge between the gastor segments. Also, the color isn't shiny, which matches my queen. She's orange but kind of a dull orange.
http://www.antwiki.org/wiki/Formica_dolosa
Maryland GAN Farmer

Owns:
Lasius Neoniger
Camponotus Noveborecensis
Camponotus Nearcticus
Solenopsis Molesta (7 queen colony)
Phiedole Bicarinata (3 queen colony)

WIP:
Lasius Claviger (parasite queen)

User avatar
Batspiderfish
Posts: 3345
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Genus/Species Identification. Prenolepis Imparis? Camponotus Castaneus? With photos. Severn, MD, US

Post: # 41602Post Batspiderfish
Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:47 am

Yes, these options are all from the pallidefulva species group of Formica. Ants from this group also vary pretty wildly in coloration at ranges farther North than Maryland. You are also right that workers are easier to identify.
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.

kykel09
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2017 10:31 pm
Location: Maryland

Re: Genus/Species Identification. Prenolepis Imparis? Camponotus Castaneus? With photos. Severn, MD, US

Post: # 41609Post kykel09
Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:58 am

Batspiderfish wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 10:47 am
Yes, these options are all from the pallidefulva species group of Formica. Ants from this group also vary pretty wildly in coloration at ranges farther North than Maryland. You are also right that workers are easier to identify.
I appreciate all the help so far. I'll just hold off until she has workers and post some photos then to see if that helps narrow it down to a species.
Maryland GAN Farmer

Owns:
Lasius Neoniger
Camponotus Noveborecensis
Camponotus Nearcticus
Solenopsis Molesta (7 queen colony)
Phiedole Bicarinata (3 queen colony)

WIP:
Lasius Claviger (parasite queen)

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