Monday, March 23, 2009

Anting Season is Officially Open

Colonies are warming up and a few have even flown. The season for all things ants has officially started. This is also the ideal time to catch colonies! Pictured above is an Aphaenogaster colony, queen present in the middle, that was under a rock out in my yard. I've had a few opportunities to catch assorted Formica colonies this way too, and even the nomadic Tapinoma is emerging.

Some Myrmecocystus are flying out west I believe along with Prenolepis imparis where found all over the countrie. I've caught a single queen so far this year and she's already produced eggs.

Captive queens of Lasius neoniger have huge piles of eggs and larva. It is taking longer than I recall for Lasius brood to develope but I can't complain the results. Some queens have mounds of eggs equal or greater in size to the queen herself! I definantly like hibernating ants now, but only when it works. (I lost some Pheidole queens that way and don't understand why.)

Termites here in NJ are producing alates (winged kings and queens) and will be flying probably sometime in April or May. As I recall they do so either in the early morning or around noon. When swarms aren't eroupting inside homes they can be found by their gleeming wings in the sun. Birds and very active Formica are another good sign of a flight. Locate wondering pairs and catch them both. Test tube setups and clustral cells work with termites but I believe they need soil in their container along with small bits of dead wood and grass.