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Posts Tagged ‘queen ants’

Crematogaster lineolata queen with a retinue of workers. (Vermillion River Observatory, Illinois)

Crematogaster lineolata queen with a retinue of workers. (Vermillion River Observatory, Illinois)

This weekend we took a trip with some entomology students to the Vermillion River Observatory.  The astronomical function of the observatory has long been abandoned, but the site remains as a lovely nature reserve and one of the closest patches of decent forest habitat to where we live in Champaign-Urbana.

The acrobat ant Crematogaster lineolata was one of many ants we encountered, and in this nest the queen was right up near the surface.  She lingered long enough for me to get a few shots before she disappeared into the labyrinth of tunnels.

photo details: Canon mp-e 65mm 1-5x macro lens on a Canon EOS 50D
ISO 100, f/13, 1/250 sec, flash diffused through tracing paper

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Atta texana queen and worker

Ant queens are those individuals in a nest that lay the eggs.  They’re pretty important, of course, as without reproduction the colony dwindles and disappears.

Understandably, ant-keepers have an interest in making sure their pet colonies have queens.  Conversely, pest control folks trying to get rid of ant colonies need to be sure that they’ve eliminated queens.  Whether your interest is live ants or dead ants, I’ll give some pointers in this post for recognizing queens. (more…)

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