I found a new Tetramorium Queen today, already deälated! This morning my mother woke me up to tell me that there was substantial evidence of nuptial flights in our area: infront of our house there is a glass door, and the spiders love setting up shop there, especially the Common House Spiders, because the porch light attracts many gnats and flies directly into their webs.
It happens that the porch light does not only attract gnats and flies, but ant alates as well. The spider webs were full of hundreds of male and female Tetramorium alates, mostly dead. It horrific.
Although many ants lost their lives that day, I knew that not all of them would have fallen pray to the spiders. I inspected the front patio/walkway infront of of our front door, and sure enough – there it was! A single wing, fresh and glossy being carried away by a Tetramorium worker. What was more, it was the right size and shape to be an alate wing.
I didn’t have to look far to find its owner – a queen. She was beautiful, but I got there just in time. She was being attacked by two or three workers, biting on to her and attempting to drag her away. She was struggling.
I took my container and vigourously shook off the vicious workers. Relieved, she crawled right into my vial without any complaints. Wouldn’t blame her after that traumatic experience, she wasn’t the only one to fall victim to already established colonies. A male was being dragged alive to the nest, not even resisting his doom.