On 7/21/2015 I arrived in the desert nearly in the dark. I quickly set up my black light and went off to dig up queens. Everything else from the trip was caught from the ground, but when I got back to check on my black light, a surprise was waiting for me. Easily over 1,000 Crematogaster sp. males, and over 100 Crematogaster sp. queens, along with many many other insects were all sitting on the black light! There were so many males, they were trying to mate with the beetles and katydids that decided to land on the cloth as well. Of course, when the light started attracting nocturnal Myrmecocystus and Camponotus workers, many of the males became easy prey. I took all of the queens and eventually shook the males and other insects off the cloth when it was time to go.
I did not have enough test tubes on site for all of the queens I caught that night! After thinking for a few minutes I thought the best idea to save test tubes was condense all 100+ Crematogaster queens into just a few test tubes until I got home. This turned out to be a good call, as a little later I did end up finding a lot more Myrmecocystus mexicanus and Pogonomyrmex rugosus queens. Sadly, even though the queens cooperated with each other, there was an issue. As they were all stressed from being captured, they were all releasing their toxic fluids from their gasters in defense. They ended up gassing themselves, and over 20 queens died.
I had to open up two more shelves just for Crematogaster queens. Other than the seven test tubes under the Dorymyrmex insanus labels, all of the test tubes on these two shelves are Crematogaster sp. queens. There are also a couple more in a hotter room of the house. After the deaths my spicy Crematogaster juice gas, I was left with 80 queens.
Anyway, a little less than a week after most of them laid eggs, some were getting larvae. To my pleasant surprise, (and horror) it seems anywhere from 90-99% of these are fertile.
Now, a few days ago, this was confirmed after most of their oldest larvae pupated.
As of now I am planning on selling 70-90% of all of these colonies. If you are interested in buying some, please visit and read this thread.
Edited by Gregory2455, February 20 2019 - 9:41 PM.