Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Crematogaster cerasi Flying Early

Early one morning recently I discovered what I think is Crematogaster cerasi flying.

Normally I find their nuptial flights in August or September. I guess they're ready to fly in July but typically at this time of year we get a 4 week long drought. They've never done it this early in years past. A good rain fall came through the area and triggered the whole thing. The colony I found was sending up only males, a tactic done to prevent inbreeding. Colonies will only produce either males or queens, or lean heavily towards one gender or the other each year.

They fly early in the morning and are typically done by noon. Queens look rather bulky, only slightly bigger than a pavement ant queen, Tetramorium.