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Greg's Formica fusca Journal (Discontinued)

formica journal formica fusca

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#1 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted October 8 2014 - 10:34 PM

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I caught four Formica cf. fusca queens in San Francisco, along with two Tetramorium Sp.E (caespitum) queens, in late July. Like the Tetraorium, I was not expecting flights while I was there, so all four queens came back together in a dry water bottle. :) One of these colonies started off on a great start, and got two workers really fast. Sadly, those were somehow exposed to mites from my Solenopsis xyloni colony, and after about a month, they succumbed to those evil little parasitic creatures. A second one of these got two workers as well, but was wiped out in the recent heat waves, along with the infertile Tetramorium queen, and my fruit fly culture. Another one of these turned out to be infertile, so I have one colony left. :| This one colony is up to four workers, and will be having a short hibernation period at a moderate temperature, like the Tetramorium.

Yes, yes, I know, you cannot see their petioles, that is because they are so FAT on sugar water, their gasters cover them up. :D

 

 


Edited by Gregory2455, February 20 2019 - 10:06 PM.


#2 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted October 8 2014 - 10:37 PM

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Another thing, these guys are SUPER sensitive to light.

 

They have also seemingly eaten the larva in the pictures and videos, so with no more warmth needed for brood development, these guys may be put in hibernation earlier. 



#3 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted October 21 2014 - 9:42 PM

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Should this colony be hibernated?



#4 Offline Crystals - Posted October 22 2014 - 5:55 AM

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In the location you caught them from, what are the weather patterns like?  Do they get snow, or are the ants not active all year?


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

 

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#5 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted October 22 2014 - 6:39 AM

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Yes, it was up in a mountain where I am pretty sure it snows.



#6 Offline Crystals - Posted October 22 2014 - 8:30 AM

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Try to research the location and see how long they have snow for (weather stations often have records on their site).  That will be your hibernation period.


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

 

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#7 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted October 22 2014 - 9:00 AM

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I am so nervous of hibernating them, I just may make a few "hibernation chambers" out of firebrick that cannot be flooded or anything.

#8 Offline Crystals - Posted October 22 2014 - 9:30 AM

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I have never had issues with flooding in a test tube during hibernation, just when it warms up.

If you put them into a firebrick or grout nest for hibernation, remember to hydrate the nest.  Don't let the nest dry out or the ants will start dieing.


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

 

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#9 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted October 22 2014 - 1:25 PM

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I have some Formica fusca too, they're in a wood nest right now!


I have some Formica fusca too, they're in a wood nest right now!

They will eat almost anything I give them, I usually feed them mealworms and honey though.



#10 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted October 22 2014 - 2:10 PM

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Mine enjoy fruitflies and hummingbird nectar. ;) But they are slowed down now for winter.

#11 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted October 22 2014 - 4:54 PM

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Mine enjoy fruitflies and hummingbird nectar. ;) But they are slowed down now for winter.

Do you mean what I wish was my Winter.  :(



#12 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted October 22 2014 - 4:59 PM

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What?



#13 Offline Alza - Posted October 22 2014 - 7:54 PM

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he was making a joke i believe, and it seems my initial thoughts on formica's body shape is completely different then what it actually is. 



#14 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted October 22 2014 - 8:04 PM

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Actually no. These are Formica, and I am pretty sure they belong to the species fusca



#15 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted October 22 2014 - 8:05 PM

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The reason you cannot see a petiole is because they are so dang fat in preparation for winter in those pictures that it is covered up by their gasters.



#16 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted October 22 2014 - 8:13 PM

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Notice that the petiole of some Formica fusca can be really pressed against their gasters.

Image by AntWeb.



#17 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted October 23 2014 - 5:29 AM

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What?

I meant my winters are freezing cold and under. I might as well hibernate!


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#18 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted October 24 2014 - 7:10 PM

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Update: 10/24/2014

Other than losing that larva from the last video, and not even eggs since, this colony is still pretty healthy. :)

I suspect, the reason they have no brood is in preparation for hibernation, as they are also showing other signs.

Here is a video of a quick snack they received. :)



#19 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted October 25 2014 - 6:00 AM

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Do not try to shine any lights on them I'm pretty sure they can see it. Also try feeding them a crushed mealworm for their larva that's what I did.



#20 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted October 25 2014 - 6:01 AM

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Also it does not look at all like they need hibernation, it looks like you gave them an energy pill.  :D







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