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Animal Behaviour


In southern Michigan the ant Formica obscuriventris Mayr constructs superficial nests under logs and piled-up leaves. Covered runways connect widely spread chambers.In 1962 one colony released approximately 3000 winged ants in 16 flight days between July 27 and August 24th. An estimated 2587 males flew, and the first nine flights were exclusively male. Females took part in six flights, but most (362 of the 422) flew on one day.The best flights occurred when bright sun warmed the ground after cold nights. Males could move out of the nest at 57 [deg]F. and could begin flying at 63 [deg]F. They flew best at about 68 [deg]F. and and seemed unable to fly at temperatures above 72 [deg]F. Females began flying at 66 [deg]F. and flew best at 69 [deg] to 70 [deg]F. Any dimming of light delayed or stopped flights even though temperatures might be favourable. Flights were prevented by overcast sky, rain or soaked ground.


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