Prenolepis imparis (The Winter Ant)

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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