Five Formica Queens!

What did you say? You found five queens? Yes, I did. At the Swauk Teanaway Grange in Cle Elum, Washington I found 5 queens on the pavement, 3 deรคlated, 2 still with their wings. The three queens above are labeled top to bottom by the letter codes, to track their progress.

Here are the links to the observation pages of the queens, see the description for the letter code of each queen:

Finding the Queens

I won a young naturalist scholarship with the Washington Butterfly Association, and on the first day of field trips we saw a lot of butterflies, but other things too. I saw someย Formica on the meadow, and a spider that Jon said was an ant-mimic. I managed to catch it and get a few good photos.

There was a very long, shallow, ditch with clear water, which had a hundreds of tadpoles, and a few adult frogs. It was amazing! Hovering over the ditch were two red damselflies mating on top of each other.

At the end of the day, the entire carpool went back the Swauk Teanaway Grange, where we rested and waited until 5pm for the building to open up again. In the meantime, my mom and I waited on the steps. Suddenly, my mother spotted a winged alate, which we caught. By the end of the hour, we found five queens, which we put in plastic bug jars. We couldn’t transfer them into test tubes because we had forgotten the cotton at the hotel.

The next day, we transferred them into test tubes, and by evening they arrived home, which is where I took the pictures.

My Tetramorium Queen Update

While moving the new queens into their upstairs linen closet, I checked on my Tetramorium queen. She unfortunately had no larvae nor pupae, and mold was accumulating in the nest, and a white cloud was in the water supply. I feel like she may be infertile, because it has already been a while since I caught her. Hopefully I will have better luck with myย Formicaย queens.

Later Footage of Queen Eย (see post here)

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