Triggering a nuptial flight?

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Mauritaniants

Triggering a nuptial flight?

Post: # 1840Post Mauritaniants
Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:34 pm

I was reading an article about nuptial flights* and it got me wondering. For the ant keepers here with mature colonies that produced alates, did any of them ever try to attempt to fly out of your formicarium? Has anybody ever tried to simulate the annual weather conditions that supposedly "trigger" these colonies to deploy their alates?

*http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-18983219

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WillWithAnts
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Re: Triggering a nuptial flight?

Post: # 2055Post WillWithAnts
Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:49 pm

Usually you would just put your colony is a shaded, cool, and safe part of your yard and let them fly. On the other hand, you could just keep them inside and they wouldn't have the environmental cues to fly.
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Re: Triggering a nuptial flight?

Post: # 2091Post antscanada
Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:45 am

Mauritaniants wrote:I was reading an article about nuptial flights* and it got me wondering. For the ant keepers here with mature colonies that produced alates, did any of them ever try to attempt to fly out of your formicarium? Has anybody ever tried to simulate the annual weather conditions that supposedly "trigger" these colonies to deploy their alates?

*http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-18983219
Every time I have colonies produce alates, the males always end up trying to fly out of their outworld more so than the females for some reason. I have seen this with Myrmica sp, Tetramorium sp E, Oecophylla smaragdina, and Solenopsis geminata. I end up finding a few males around the room, that managed to actually fly out of their outworld.

Some queens try to fly but they end up either returning to the nest after being unable to fly anywhere, or they break off their wings and start acting like workers, or they die. I think indoors, the ants lack the environmental cues and the space needed for a mass nuptial flight to take place. Some swear up and down that they have been able to successfully get ants to mate in captivity, but it is generally hard. Plus, I imagine inbreeding isn't as good as having unrelated ants mate.

Some species of ants are truly pestiferous, like Solenopsis geminata, Linepithema humile and Trichomyrmex destructor and they apparently can have flights within a home.
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