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Myrmica rubra colony lifespan

Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:54 am
by Macatak
Quick question, but I read that a myrmica rubra has a lifespan of 2-3 years. If this is the case how long does a a captive colony last? I understand that in the wild queens are replaced by other queens following nuptial flights as the species are polygynous. But how can this happen in a captive setup?

Re: Myrmica rubra colony lifespan

Posted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 11:35 am
by ClashOwenBash
Macatak wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:54 am
Quick question, but I read that a myrmica rubra has a lifespan of 2-3 years. If this is the case how long does a a captive colony last? I understand that in the wild queens are replaced by other queens following nuptial flights as the species are polygynous. But how can this happen in a captive setup?
They do naturally live longer in captivity however I've always forgotten which queen is which so can't tell you an exact age of any of my previous colonies queens. I tend to found Myrmica colonies using multiple queens and sometimes drop an extra Myrmica queen into the formicarium to then naturally enter the nest (once the Myrmica colony has matured).
On top of this some ant species's elates mate just before a nuptial flight and so often end up never leaving the nest. AntsCanada's Dark knight colony did this and now has lots of queens instead of the original two!

I personally like being able to add an extra queen every year as I can still enjoy nuptial flights even if I don't have the space to found any more colonies as I can just go looking for a queen to add to my polygyne colony :D

Re: Myrmica rubra colony lifespan

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:27 am
by Macatak
Thanks for the info and advice. There are several rubra nests near by so I will be able to try adding queens each year.