Question regarding multiple queens in single colony

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Abadayos
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 11:19 pm

Question regarding multiple queens in single colony

Post: # 55127Post Abadayos
Sun Jan 06, 2019 7:12 am

Good evening everyone.

I have got a question regarding ant colonies with multiple queens (polygynous). I have been offered a colony with 2 queens and a brood with several workers (I think it was pheodole? pheodoil...something like that)

My question is, what are the Pros and Cons and main differences for a colony of the same species and genus with only a single queen vs one with multiple? Also is it possible to add additional queens to a colony that's already established or is it only really possible at the start?

I'm assuming multiple queens obviously results in a much more rapid population growth and giving the colony a 'buffer' should one queen die for whatever reason.

Finally is pheodole, or however you spell it, capable of doing that queen cloning trick that lets a queen mate with a member of the same colony and it not be incest and results in her being, lack of a better word, viable and adding herself to the existing colony?

Lot's of questions I know and I'm sorry, I just want to get this straight in my head so I know what I may be getting myself into should I decide to go down this path

Thank you in advance

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UnrealSparks
Posts: 140
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:45 pm
Location: Turin

Re: Question regarding multiple queens in single colony

Post: # 55150Post UnrealSparks
Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:11 am

Hello,
I've never kept any polygynous species so, anything I'll say is stuff I read on the internet or seen on Youtube.

The species you're talking about is spelled Pheidole (also known as big headed ants because of their soldiers massive heads) and they're pretty tiny, but voracious. :lol:

So, regarding multiple queens I'd say:

PROS
1) Faster growing rate
2) Backup queen in case of death of the other
3) Larger colony size
4) Possibility of colony merging or autoreproduction (but only in a few species)

CONS
1) More care and food required
2) Considering the pros they could become invasive
3) Since they grow quicker, they'll also need to expand their nest sooner and more often

As far as I know, polygynous Pheidole species are not able to autoreproduce, but I've seen some videos where if you introduce new queens in an already established colony they may or may not be accepted.

Maybe other users could add more about their experiences. Hope I answered some questions. :)
Keeping the following species:

- Messor Barbarus
- Pheidole Pallidula
- Camponotus Barbaricus
- Lasius Niger
- Lasius Flavus
- Lasius Emarginatus

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