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Hello from SoCal, Orange County area


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#1 Offline Kalidas - Posted October 7 2018 - 7:12 AM

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Hello everyone I (like many people in this forum apparently) live in Socal. It's actually very surprising to see such an active ant collecting community so close to where I live.

So a bit about me, when I was young I always wanted to be an entomologist. I have fond memories of digging up and trying to collect giant red fire ants as pets. I remember my hands being stung so bad they would feel like they were on fire(untill I realized you could pull the stinger out ;) ). Sadly I never got to establish a colony, I just didn't have the know how to make it happen apparently.

As time went on I ended up becoming a pre School teacher and I now have kids of my own. A three year old with autism(and who is pretty affraid of bugs) and a newborn. honestly I wasn't even aware of this "hobby"/form of pet was even a "thing"(it's not really advertised like bee keeping is) untill recently when a video from Antscanada showed up on my news feed.

Memories of my childhood flooded my mind and brought me back to good times, before adulthood had come.

Now I find myself wanting to try my hand at Ant collecting as an adult.Maybe see if I can't get my kids involved one day. Hell maybe even my class room can get a chance at learning a thing or two about ant colonies. Just gotta some how convince my GF to allow it :D , she is not fond of bugs and so keeping some in the house could be a point of contention.

Well can't wait to hear from and maybe even meet some of you in the near future.

#2 Offline Patp3 - Posted October 7 2018 - 7:59 AM

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Welcome! Nice to meet another ant enthusiast! I'm new myself, and recently caught my first queens. If your local to so cal you can always buy a queen from one of the GAN members here in socal, that's how I got my first colony and it's nice to have ants that got a great start with an expert. Well best of luck, I'm sure I'll see you around!

#3 Offline Kalidas - Posted October 7 2018 - 8:25 AM

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I have definitely considered that. My reasons for wanting to do it the "old fashioned" way. Is one: I think the collecting and raising of a colony from scratch sounds fun.Two: The cheaper it is the easier it will be to convince the GF lol. Though a lot of these founding colonies being sold aren't bad in price to be honest.

I got my eye on those acromyrmex versicolor since their nuptial flights are still happening.
Or maybe even Myrmecocystus Mexicana. The repletes are so awesome to look at, and I hear their colonies stay small, which means not having to increase their nest size too often.

#4 Offline Gabraime - Posted October 8 2018 - 1:32 PM

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Welcome, Iam so close of you guys, I finally cought my first solenopsis queens this year too.

#5 Offline Kalidas - Posted October 8 2018 - 1:37 PM

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Oh nice, my GFs son live in San Diego. We got there most weekends. Solenopsis huh? Risky girls they are.

#6 Offline Gabraime - Posted October 9 2018 - 4:37 AM

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Yeah Solenopsis Xyloni, they are actually easy to keep, but they grow really fast! What I like a lot are those super majors workers.

#7 Offline Kalidas - Posted October 9 2018 - 8:34 AM

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Solenopsis ants sounds pretty cool, but I'm gonna try to avoid them to be honest. They grow to massive sizes of which I doubt I could contain indefinitely.

And they're stings hurt pretty good, and I have kids. Honestly I'm looking more towards those Myrmecocystus ants(either Mexicanus or Navajo). Only problem is I know they tend to have pretty high mortality rates and don't like moving nests so figuring out a way for them to grow into a larger neat is tricky aside from just going with a natural set up of a dirt box




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