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Cole Dybik

claustral factors in raising queens

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Claustral is a term that you will see being used very... very... commonly. there are three types of queens. Fully-Claustral, Semi-Claustral and social parasites(which are basically spicy semi-claustral queens)

Fully-Claustral Queens, 

Fully clausteral queens are the classic queen with no need to forage or eat until a couple weeks after nanitics eclose from their first pupae. Fully clausteral queens have large full, long gasters which are very oval like in shape, along with being a lot bulkier than semi claustral queens. Fully clausteral queens actually have smaller heads since they need not fight during the founding stage and just wait it out till their workers can forage and put on their big girl pants. 

Fully-Claustral Queens,  do NOT forage during the founding period and just wait out the founding stages caring for brood, 

image.jpeg.7a5adb67ecf8da87c4fa781a3982dd7b.jpeg This is a lasius species queen and you can see the smaller head along with the large thicc gaster being able to metabolise the wing muscles to feed her brood and to fast for many a months. 

Semi-Claustral Queens,

Semi clausteral queens are BORN with their big girl pants on. Have small gasters, a generally thinner body, have a larger head filled with muscle to forage and fight during the founding stage as they do not have the reserves to be able to wait out the founding stage and must forage in order to feed the brood and herself.

Image result for semi claustral queen ant This is a semi claustral Pseudomyrmex apache species native to florida which is clearly semi claustral due to the thin body shape and is distinguishable from a fully claustral queen due to the thin physique and thin gaster, with the larger head

Social Parasites

Social parasites are several species of ants that do not have the instincts to care for brood, some more than others, the most common social parasites are Lasius and Formica parasites. Parasites take over colonies by killing the queen and taking the workers for herself and laying her own eggs and her workers outnumber the other species and eventually becoming a colony of only the host species. Social parasites cannot care for brood and have small bodies with long legs for speed and agility and large heads due to the fact they need to be able to win a fight against other queens so they must be well equipped to fight instead of raising brood. Formica parasites are easier to raise than Lasius parasites as Formica parasites are able to open pupae when Lasius are not able to care for brood whatsoever. Often Social parasites have smaller gasters due to the fact that can be a weak point for them in combat


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