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Myrmicinae's Tapinoma sessile Journal


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22 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted August 15 2014 - 6:18 PM

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This journal will document the development of my captive Tapinoma sessile colony.

 

I found a single Tapinoma sessile queen alone beneath a rock on a wooded trail in Loveland, CO on July 13, 2014.  The area had a high concentration of Tapinoma sessile colonies - in fact, T. sessile seemed to be the most dominant species by far.  The trail was at the edge of a lake and had predominantly sandy/soggy soil.  The collected queen laid eggs shortly after settling down in a traditional test tube setup.  Now, she has what seem to be three large pre-pupae and a few small larvae.  It looks as if the first workers will be larger than I expected, compared to the queen’s tiny body size.  I probably won't take any photos until the workers eclose, since I don't want to disrupt the founding process.

 

I'm interested to see whether this colony will eventually become polygynous, considering that intranidal mating is supposed to be common in T. sessile.


Edited by Myrmicinae, August 15 2014 - 7:27 PM.

Journals on Formiculture:
Pheidole ceres
Tapinoma sessile

Old YouTube Channel:
ColoradoAnts

#2 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 15 2014 - 8:03 PM

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Crystal's gonna be jealous. :lol:



#3 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted August 17 2014 - 2:03 PM

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August 17, 2014

 

When I checked on her today, I noticed six pre-pupae.  Each one is so huge...  I'm always surprised at how much a single queen can produce from only her body reserves.


Edited by Myrmicinae, August 17 2014 - 2:05 PM.

Journals on Formiculture:
Pheidole ceres
Tapinoma sessile

Old YouTube Channel:
ColoradoAnts

#4 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 17 2014 - 2:18 PM

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Pictures!  :D



#5 Offline Crystals - Posted August 18 2014 - 6:02 AM

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Crystal's gonna be jealous. :lol:

Not too jealous, I found  a colony on vacation at the end of July and took 3 queens and about 50 workers.  :D

Although I will admit that it was the only Tapinoma colony I have ever found.  I am waiting to see how they do before creating a journal for them, many people don't have much success with this species in captivity past the 6 month point.

 

Yes, the queen and workers are very close in size.  It is more the difference in their shape, with the queens having the longer gasters.


"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

My Colonies


#6 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 18 2014 - 8:11 AM

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Haha, I do the same with my journals. I try to wait until I see the very beginnings of larvae before starting a journal.



#7 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 18 2014 - 10:31 AM

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Though I only have like two journals so far, what I have been going with is waiting for at least one of the queens to have pupae before making the journal which make my Pogonomyrmex rugosus and Forlius pruinosus eligible for a journal too now... My Myrmecocystus journal is an exception- I am just really excited for them.


Edited by Gregory2455, August 18 2014 - 10:31 AM.


#8 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted August 18 2014 - 12:12 PM

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August 18, 2014

 

Here are some photos I took today of the queen and her brood.  She was surprisingly calm, even with the flash and vibrations.

 

IMG 1898

 

IMG 1902
 
 

 

 


Edited by Myrmicinae, August 18 2014 - 12:18 PM.

Journals on Formiculture:
Pheidole ceres
Tapinoma sessile

Old YouTube Channel:
ColoradoAnts

#9 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted August 18 2014 - 12:19 PM

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Not too jealous, I found  a colony on vacation at the end of July and took 3 queens and about 50 workers.  :D

Although I will admit that it was the only Tapinoma colony I have ever found.  I am waiting to see how they do before creating a journal for them, many people don't have much success with this species in captivity past the 6 month point.

 

Yes, the queen and workers are very close in size.  It is more the difference in their shape, with the queens having the longer gasters.

 

Congratulations!  You should definitely start a journal for them.  From the literature I have managed to find on T. sessile, it seems that nectar and honeydew make up a major portion of their diet.  That may be part of the reason that they don't often survive well in captivity.


Edited by Myrmicinae, August 18 2014 - 12:24 PM.

Journals on Formiculture:
Pheidole ceres
Tapinoma sessile

Old YouTube Channel:
ColoradoAnts

#10 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 18 2014 - 12:51 PM

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How long do these live?



#11 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 18 2014 - 1:43 PM

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Well the ones that kept invading my apartment sure liked my cricket food--crushed up cereal.



#12 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted August 18 2014 - 1:48 PM

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How long do these live?


I don't think anyone knows for sure. The queens were reported to only live several months in a laboratory, but they weren't exactly well cared for.

Edited by Myrmicinae, August 18 2014 - 1:48 PM.

Journals on Formiculture:
Pheidole ceres
Tapinoma sessile

Old YouTube Channel:
ColoradoAnts

#13 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted August 18 2014 - 2:18 PM

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Well the ones that kept invading my apartment sure liked my cricket food--crushed up cereal.


Diet must vary regionally, just like everything else about this species does.
Journals on Formiculture:
Pheidole ceres
Tapinoma sessile

Old YouTube Channel:
ColoradoAnts

#14 Offline Crystals - Posted August 19 2014 - 5:49 AM

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Is your queen really that dark?  Or is is just the camera?

My workers are typical Tapinoma workers, but the queens are a bit lighter in color (especially their gasters).


"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

My Colonies


#15 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted August 19 2014 - 10:56 AM

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Is your queen really that dark?  Or is is just the camera?

My workers are typical Tapinoma workers, but the queens are a bit lighter in color (especially their gasters).

 

She is indeed very dark, although the lighting accentuates it a bit.  I see a lot of variation in coloration throughout the populations around here.  I have even seen individuals with some red on them.


Journals on Formiculture:
Pheidole ceres
Tapinoma sessile

Old YouTube Channel:
ColoradoAnts

#16 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted August 19 2014 - 12:54 PM

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August 19, 2014

 

Yesterday, I offered this queen a frozen/squished fruit fly.  She dragged it around the tube for a while and then began chewing on it, although most of it remains unconsumed.  After this feeding, she has become much more alert and some of the larvae have grown noticeably.


Edited by Myrmicinae, August 19 2014 - 12:57 PM.

Journals on Formiculture:
Pheidole ceres
Tapinoma sessile

Old YouTube Channel:
ColoradoAnts

#17 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted October 4 2014 - 10:43 AM

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October 4, 2014

 

After the last post, I continued to feed this queen occasionally with fruit flies and THA ant juice.  Oddly, on all occasions, the queen’s first encounter with the ant juice seemed to cause some panic and excessive grooming, although it was always consumed eventually.  The first nanitic eclosed on September 10.  The worker numbers rose to six soon afterwards, but then fell to five again on September 24, after one of the workers vanished without trace.  Another worker did eventually eclose and, now (October 4), the tiny colony includes six nanitics, one queen, and a small cluster of brood.  Their favorite food by far is maple syrup.  The workers insist on laying scent trails whenever I offer them a droplet, even if it is only a couple centimeters away from the rest of the colony - also, trophallaxis is frequent.  Below is a photo from September 21.
 

IMG 2514

 


Edited by Myrmicinae, March 10 2015 - 9:09 AM.

Journals on Formiculture:
Pheidole ceres
Tapinoma sessile

Old YouTube Channel:
ColoradoAnts

#18 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted March 28 2015 - 6:50 AM

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I should mention that this colony went into hibernation (in a mini fridge) on November 13, 2014.  I am going to wait to take them out until I have a new formicarium prepared, as their test tube is quite moldy.


Journals on Formiculture:
Pheidole ceres
Tapinoma sessile

Old YouTube Channel:
ColoradoAnts

#19 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted April 8 2015 - 9:53 AM

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I removed this colony from the mini fridge on April 2, 2015 and found that most of the workers had died.  There are now only three left.  :(  Over the last few days, they have gladly taken honey but have shown very little interest (mostly fear) when presented with fruit flies.  Brood development seems to be proceeding at a good rate, however.

 

I attached another test tube to their old one, but they have yet to move.


Edited by Myrmicinae, April 8 2015 - 10:16 AM.

Journals on Formiculture:
Pheidole ceres
Tapinoma sessile

Old YouTube Channel:
ColoradoAnts

#20 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted April 17 2015 - 7:04 PM

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I gave up on trying to move these ants.  They are very stubborn.  If they really want to live in a moldy tube, I will let them.  :ugone2far:

 

That said, the brood has been developing quite rapidly.  There now appear to be about nine pre-pupae and three medium-sized larvae, along with some eggs.  They have been feeding mainly on organic honey and frozen fruit flies (they did finally accept the latter).  I also offered them a mixture of bee pollen, honey, and royal jelly, but, oddly enough, they seemed terrified by it.


Edited by Myrmicinae, April 17 2015 - 7:06 PM.

Journals on Formiculture:
Pheidole ceres
Tapinoma sessile

Old YouTube Channel:
ColoradoAnts




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