White-footed Ants: Technomyrmex

These ants are extremely common and have colonised most of the world using uncommon habits. Unlike most other ants, up to half of the colony will be fertile females called Intercastes. An established colony will produce winged males and females once a year in spring but after a new colony is established, the queen will eventually die and breeding is taken over by the intercastes. All the females lay what’s called trophic eggs – infertile eggs used as food so they don’t have to rely solely on foraging for nourishment. It’s for these reasons colonies are not confined and can spread over large areas with little sub-colonies popping up in many different locations. Such as behind bark, in gum nuts, in abandoned galls, under your garden fork, inside your old telly, etc. etc.

Technomyrmex female ant moves some of her brood after the nest is disturbed by the photographer.
Technomyrmex Cluster
A colony of Technomyrmex ants gather on a leaf while looking for a new spot to nest.
Take Cover
Technomyrmex ants that had been hiding in an abandoned rattle ant nest. The paler one is possibly newly emerged from pupation.
Ant Brood
A small colony of Technomyrmex ants found under bark. Centre top is a male.

See more lovely ants here: aussiebugs.com.au/Hymenoptera/Ants

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