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So you want to dig up Myrmecia?

guide myrmecia

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#1 Offline Mathiacus - Posted November 25 2014 - 1:00 AM

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 greetings intrepid anter!

 you found a shiny Myrmecia nest and you would like to possess the contents found within? let me help you on your way to a happy experience.

 

first you will need a few things. three pairs of soft tweezers, if you can grip and pull a hair out with them they are too hard. I got some cheap and nasties from the $2 shop, they are really thin metal and warp easily, perfect! why three? you WILL panic and drop a pair or two into the ant collection container. there is no shame in this my brave friend.

 

next is the collection container for you to lose your tweezers into. I have found that a tall large jar or container that is round is perfect. think about those big jars that the weightloss shakes come in. clean it well and then invert it, apply a spray of oil from a spray cooking oil can around the tapered top near the lid. you will need to wipe well with a tissue or paper towel to remove the excess (runs and drops of oil = ant death!).

 

next is a hand trowel, tiny little wannabe shovel. this will be your digging tool. anything larger could result in you finding two halves of a queen and killing a colony for no reason.

 

take water, you will be on your knees next to this hole for up to 5 hours.

 

be paranoid, it will serve you well.

 

 oh, jeans will not save you at all, they can sting through denim and you get no warning bite or touch.

 

 now that we have the kit all sorted let us move onto site preparation. clear the ground between you and the hole, you don't want them coming at you from cover. (and they WILL come for you). work out a comfortable position for you to be able to reach and deposit ants into your collection container. you must pick a spot for the container that ensures that it can not be knocked over! locate and identify your escape route, you may need it a few times.

 

 these ants when foraging are timid and will avoid you if they spot you, while on nest defense they will swarm you. if they are looking dead at you from within 1 meter and their antennae are dancing, they are plotting your death, beware! they can and will jump! never allow one to be above you, EVER! the speed these guys can cover the ground is amazing, maybe stir them a little and observe them before you set up.

 

 so you are all full of confidence, your site is prepped and you are itching to find the queen? go slow mate! you do not want the entire nest to be alerted. start by lightly scraping the entrance with your tweezers, this should cause a few to come leaping out. they will not rush around blindly like most ants, they will rush out, stop, look around then rush towards any movement. after the first defenders come out you may choose your style. you can either grip them with the tweezers and drop them in the container or let them grip the tweezers and you have to bang them in. either way works, I'm a gripper my mate is a banger. they will be hard to get off the tweezers a lot of the time, use a twig to knock them off.

 

 this is when you will be stung! you will be so engrossed trying to get the angry ant off your tweezers that one will slip unseen onto you and tag you. or you will not respect how fast they move on your tinly little metal sticks that they will be on you before you can say "get off ya [censored]!" go slow, relax and think ahead. you can do this!

 

 you have now scraped a few times and all is quiet? time to dig! push the dirt gently aside, you are aiming to have a funnel of loose dirt ringing the hole, this will slow down their future advances and make this whole process so much safer. dig slowly, dragging the blade ACROSS the earth, never push it in if you can avoid it. think bulldozer as opposed to excavator. when you see ants come out, stop, put the trowel in a safe spot and return to your tweezers. rinse, repeat.

 

 hours pass, you are alive, your jar is full of death and you are now laying on your side with most of your arm in a hole in the ground(remember the rule about not letting them get above you). time to not rush. during the digging process they will have stashed all the brood down deep near the queen. when you encounter your first sausage (pupae) STOP! it is time to dig with your tweezers. gently disturb the sausage, it should move aside and reveal quite a stash, you need to discover which way the chamber runs. once you have done this deepen the pit away from the chamber then tunnel under it, they will fall harmlessly into the pit and you can collect them at leisure without damaging them(by this stage I usually go with my bare hands). if you have found the sausages the population of ants should mostly be in your jar but do not let your guard down. once you have collected them all you may need to hunt for other tunnels, use the end of your tweezers to scrape the walls when you hit loose dirt it is likely you have found a tunnel that your scraping has covered over. the queen is almost yours!

 

 still with me? good you scrape the wall and the queen appears! she will look to escape, if you can not stop her gently LET HER GO! she will not be able to get far and eventually she will run out of places to hide. collect her how you wish. I have collected all 7 that I have unearthed by going from behind with tweezers, none have suffered from this treatment. drop her in the jar, fill the hole and enjoy your new pets!

 

 while you are there foragers will be returning, they will crawl over you, do not panic, you are just terrain to them. it is only the ones that are present in the nest during the destruction that are a threat to you. every now and then be kind to yourself. stand up, stretch have a drink. this does take time and rushing could just ruin everything.

 

 

 I hope this helps

 

 matt


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#2 Offline Crablord - Posted November 25 2014 - 5:53 AM

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Lol that was a funny read.
Cheers for the info mate. I've located a nest under a massive rock. If I could move it, I'd say I'd uncover everything. Hopefully they aren't too far under the rock. Fingers crossed. If I don't make it back, you know why.

#3 Offline Oz Ant - Posted November 25 2014 - 11:34 PM

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Hahaha! Great run down Mathiacus! That's exactly how I collected my colony! If only I'd thought about not rushing so much I wouldn't have been stung three times



#4 Offline Crablord - Posted November 26 2014 - 12:13 AM

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It's storming here today so I couldn't do it. Oz ant, could you post a tutorial for your formicarium? Material, tools ect. It looks epic.

#5 Offline Mathiacus - Posted November 26 2014 - 12:17 AM

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Posted Image got a few hundred of these. 😂 no storms here today.

#6 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted November 26 2014 - 12:19 AM

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A few hundred queens!?



#7 Offline Mathiacus - Posted November 26 2014 - 12:19 AM

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Nope. Just one queen but a few hundred ants total.

#8 Offline Crablord - Posted November 26 2014 - 2:09 AM

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You dug up another nest? How deep was it?

#9 Offline Mathiacus - Posted November 26 2014 - 2:12 AM

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This one went about one meter down.

#10 Offline Crablord - Posted November 26 2014 - 2:19 AM

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Dam. How long did it take?

#11 Offline Mathiacus - Posted November 26 2014 - 2:44 AM

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Two of us. About 3 hours.





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