Flights of the Ant Aphaenogaster treatae

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Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society


The field ant Aphaenogaster treatae has unusual flights in that they take place at high temperatures (78° to 88°F) but only if light is reduced either by continuous gray skies or more frequently by moving clouds. Most flights take place when temperatures have been too high for workers to forage until clouds come by. A flight may be completed under a cloud which lasts only seven minutes. During the yearly flight period (from late June to early August) alates are constantly alert for these brief clouds and may emerge within a minute after the sun is shaded, and they can all disappear within one-half minute after it shines again.

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