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Author Topic: Prenolepis imparis (The Winter Ant)  (Read 8388 times)
MrILoveTheAnts
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« on: March 16, 2007, 05:06:06 PM »

First couple of warm days of the year ring in the nuptial flights of Prenolepis imparis. This species of ant is only active during the winter months, when most other ants would be hibernating. For those of you with top hive feeders these ants might look familiar. Workers range from dark black to a light yellow/brown color, similar to honey bee color variation per colony.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Ants%202007/Pimparisforage.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Pimparis.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v735/mrilovetheants/Ants%202007/Look.jpg

Queen ants fly in the late afternoon, and are a magnificent shade of red/orange.





Colonies tend to be located around trees. New queens produce workers over the summer that later forage next year. Colonies that are 2 years or older then get into their natural life cycle. Unlike other ants egg laying is only done at certain times of the year. Starting in August and September eggs are laid and the workers reopen the nests to forage. Every enzyme in their bodies are made to preform in near freezing conditions. The younger workers in the nest are filled up with sweet liquids. These enlarged, "repletes" as they are called, are similar to the western Honey-Pot ant's repletes but are much smaller. Foraging almost completely stops by April and colonies close up and become inactive until next August. This strategy allows this ant to survive in areas where invasive species have almost completely taken over.
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nepenthes
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Little honey bee in flight


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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2007, 07:39:03 PM »

And you guys thought i knew something about ants, wait till MILTA gets going.

How many more have you caught?

I checked the colony's at my house, found 15-20 males in one.
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"I have never wished to cater to the crowd, for what I know they do not approve, and what they approve I do not know." - Epicurus.
MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2007, 02:40:25 PM »

I have still only two of these, that I'm having co-founding a nest. They haven't had the right number of good days in a row yet for them to swarm but I'm sure I'll get more.
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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2007, 12:04:48 AM »

Once again colonies are active again after a summer period of inactivity. And they've found the sugar water feeder to at least one of my hives.


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Cindi
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« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2007, 10:38:03 AM »

MrILoveTheAnts.  Those pictures are absolutely incredible, they are so clear, so beautiful. You knowledge of the ant kingdom is impressive too.  Thanks for taking us into this world of the ants!!!  Ants are really incredible insects, as are the bees.  Have a wonderful day, beautiful life.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
reinbeau
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« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2007, 08:28:30 PM »

MrILoveTheAnts, do they live up as far north as my area?
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- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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MrILoveTheAnts
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2007, 09:51:30 PM »

reinbeau: Yes I think they do occur in your area. Might even be as high is Canada. Some verities of this ant might be darker or lighter then the ones I have pictures. The replete caste (honey pot ants) is usually a dead giveaway, they measure close to 4mm long.

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reinbeau
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« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2007, 07:02:30 AM »

I don't think I've ever seen them, but I may not be looking in the right places.  I do tend to observe the ants when I find them - then again, I tend to observe everything in nature! 
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- Ann, A Gardening Beek -  ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

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Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2007, 08:40:03 AM »

MrILoveTheAnts.  OK, you have sent me on a mission.  The next nice day, that may be a while, I am going to check out some nature, like Ann, I love to observe ants and nature, I am usually on my knees outside weeding, planting and it is surprising the insects that are way down on the ground.

The funniest insect that I see is the funny spiders that live under the ground.  When I unearth them acidentally, they run away with their little sac of eggs on their backs.  I have no clue how they can keep these egg sacks on their backs, but they do.  And I have also seen this same species of spider with all the little babies on the back in a ball too.  So cool, so funny, it makes me laugh.  I watch them and it is not long before somehow they are gone, back under the ground in another spot.  Coool, the world below our feet.  have a wonderful day, beauty of a life.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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