Acromyrmex vericolor Foraging Queens vs Workers???

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Acromyrmex vericolor Foraging Queens vs Workers???

Post: # 4299Post Gregory2455
Mon Oct 26, 2015 5:37 pm

I think this is worth asking on this forum too because I want as many opinions as I can get. I have no clue what I witnessed yesterday. :shock:

So yesterday I went to the desert and I caught 28 Acromyrmex versicolor queens. (Yippee! :D ) However, about half of them were caught in a very strange way. There was a large column of foraging workers from a colony, and within the column, there were dealate queens that appeared to be following the column and/or trying to steal cut leaves from the workers. I caught about 14 queens like this and was stupid enough to not take any pictures or videos. I recall both A.vericolor being monogynous and that A.versicolor workers from a large colony attack founding queens of the same species?This is the weirdest interaction between queens and workers I have ever seen. I even watched one trying to walk back into the adult colony's nest.

I have come to two main guesses as to what was going on but both have large holes in the theory.

1) Founding queens leave founding chamber to go find food (normal behavior) for their growing fungus garden. They find a column of workers from an adult colony and in almost parasitic fashion walk into the column and try to steal food from the workers, but for some reason the workers are too stupid/inept to attack them.

2) These are alates that never left the adult colony and therefore never mated, however the workers stripped their wings and they now act as workers as well, sort of like what happens with alates in a captive enclosure that are not allowed to fly. This makes no sense because why would they have not tried to fly?

I really hope all of these are fertile, but I guess I will know anyway in 2-3 months...

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Re: Acromyrmex vericolor Foraging Queens vs Workers???

Post: # 4433Post WillWithAnts
Fri Nov 27, 2015 11:44 pm

Your second hypothesis has been reported in captive colonies, but not wild ones. Very odd.
Are they hibernating now?


Re: Acromyrmex vericolor Foraging Queens vs Workers???

Post: # 4452Post Gregory2455
Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:13 am

This was solved elsewhere. Due to the fact that it was so dry this year, it is likely that many alates just tore their wings off early and started serving as workers. According to who I got this information from who has worked extensively with this species, this has been observed before.


Re: Acromyrmex vericolor Foraging Queens vs Workers???

Post: # 4456Post GriffinAnt
Tue Dec 01, 2015 4:21 am

very cool behavor can always trust in nature to find a solution to problems

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