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Kalidas Acromyrmex Versicolor journal

acromyrmex versicolor leaf cutter

90 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Kalidas - Posted October 15 2018 - 10:31 AM

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So I guess I should make one these ant journals now right?

So my trip this weekend had me leaving Joshua Tree with 3 Acromyrmex Queens. One of which I am nearly certain she still has her fungus pellet (got her during the nuptial flights, her wings were off but she had not started digging yet). The other two I am nearly positive they don't(got them hours later as they were just walking around, probably foraging)

This morning I moved them from being in just their little snap cap containers and place their containers (now without lids) into Mason jars with a small amount of white sand as a foraging area. Their snap caps still had the mud I had placed in there still inside.

All three were still moving and alive. One had really trashed her container it had mud all over the place, as if she was digging pretty feriously in the mud. The first queen her set up was a little less mud then the second 2 but had little pebbles I added when I caught her. So it was mud on top of these pebbles almost making a little natural cave and she was hiding under there. But when I opened the caps she came out to investigate. I gave all 3 rose petals and leaves in case there is fungus, along with moist cotton balls in the foraging area for some much needed water.

So far I am very pleased to see them all alive and well this morning. Probably gonna leave them alone for about a week, then I will check on them and see if any brood show up.
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#2 Offline Zeiss - Posted October 15 2018 - 7:36 PM

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You might want to use dried out rose petals, I find those to work quite well in their founding stages.  There should also be a list of what they like in here at the top.  

 

Make sure they do not get their fungus trapped in the cotton, it will die very quickly.

 

Good luck!



#3 Offline Kalidas - Posted October 15 2018 - 8:35 PM

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Well I moved them into a test tube set up today. Made three test tubes with cotton balls and water, and to hopefully keep the fungus (if there is any) away from the cotton I put their mud I had collected against the cotton balls so they don't directly touch the cotton ball... It's mud then cotton.

I didn't seal them and placed them back in the Mason jars(on the side) and now to give them a nice long break. At least a week of total dark silence.

#4 Offline Zeiss - Posted October 15 2018 - 9:23 PM

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Hopefully fungus and molds don't start to grow from the un-sanitized mud touching the wet cotton.  One way I have used in the past is to stuff the tip of a cotton glove with cotton balls which prevents loads of stringy cotton being brought out as often.



#5 Offline Kalidas - Posted October 16 2018 - 5:01 AM

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Yeah let's hope not.

Oh that's a good idea

#6 Offline ANTdrew - Posted October 16 2018 - 5:27 AM

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Good luck, man!

 What an exciting species. I hope these queens work out for you.


"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#7 Offline Kalidas - Posted October 16 2018 - 6:58 AM

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Thanks,yeah they are really cool. I hope they work out too... I mean even if they just start laying eggs and don't have the fungus I guess I could TRY and buy fungus from someone that has some. Worst case scenario I try again next season.

It's going to be hard to go a whole week ignoring them lol. I don't know how you all do it.

#8 Offline Rstheant - Posted October 16 2018 - 1:49 PM

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Dsp drew is selling some fungus.But it is really expensive...

#9 Offline Kalidas - Posted October 16 2018 - 1:51 PM

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How expensive is "really expensive"? Lol

#10 Offline Rstheant - Posted October 16 2018 - 1:52 PM

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Nurbs says that “over worrying” can also kill colonies. let nature take it toll/ pace
Around 50
Look at the comments at his ant adoption
Keep the ants in a leafy natural setup
May do better...

#11 Offline Rstheant - Posted October 16 2018 - 1:54 PM

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Just ask dsp how he takes care of his Acromyrmex

#12 Offline Kalidas - Posted October 16 2018 - 3:20 PM

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Let nature do it's thing around 50? Like 50 ants? Yeah I know not to worry too much, it's a big reason I'm giving it a week before I check again, and that will just be a quick check to make sure they're alive and see if they have any brood or fungus yet.

I do like a natural setup idea. I wonder if one of Drew's dirt formicariums could work for Acromyrmex? I know most people go with the clear containers but I wonder how a dirt box could do?

I read a lot of Drew's journal on them. I will need to read more of it. So much good info. I also read other journals, read a website dedicated to the care of leaf cutters, read about leaf cutters in the wild and how the build nests and how they function.

#13 Offline Rstheant - Posted October 17 2018 - 5:48 PM

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I personally won’t put that, and fungus costs 50 bucks. If you do put Acromyrmex in there, they would need place for fungus. Try Drew’s chamber Formicarium. That will work better, since there are many compartments.

#14 Offline Rstheant - Posted October 17 2018 - 5:58 PM

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#15 Offline Rstheant - Posted October 17 2018 - 6:02 PM

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Post some photos
Want to see colony
Can change/give different advice

#16 Offline Kalidas - Posted October 17 2018 - 6:06 PM

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Well I figured a dirt set up would have the ants building their own Chambers for the fungus. Yeah I see a lot of people using similar clear set ups with them, maybe it is the best setup for them in captivity... I guess I just feel bad for them because it seems so unnatural for them to live like that, but they probably don't care much to be honest... They are just ants after all

Yeah next week I plan on taking pictures. Was a little difficult this time around... Only had my phone and it takes pretty terrible pictures...

Edited by Kalidas, October 17 2018 - 6:07 PM.


#17 Offline dspdrew - Posted October 17 2018 - 6:43 PM

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I've kept some in Dirt Boxes before, but it's not a good idea. The problem is a lot of the time you can't see the fungus, so you have no idea if it's even alive. Also, if you need to give the queen more fungus, or swap the queen out with a new one, it's very hard.



#18 Offline Kalidas - Posted October 17 2018 - 6:49 PM

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Awe, okay I shall trust your guy's superior wisdom.

Another idea I had but may have the same issues you mentioned. Was to get some like firebrick and make a hearth style formicarium with either glass or acrylic on the side with magnets and filling it with dirt and moss. But I'm guessing it's a similar problem?

Edited by Kalidas, October 17 2018 - 6:58 PM.

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#19 Offline Kalidas - Posted October 22 2018 - 5:04 PM

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So update time!

There is some sad news, but also some good news.

Sad news first 2 of the 3 Queens died. Happy news one is still alive! She looked pretty active too.

More sad news, I see no sign of any brood or fungus... That can't be a good sign. Maybe Acromyrmex don't lay eggs if there is no fungus? Or I got really unlucky and this queen was never actually impregnated (though I did catch her during the nuptial flights and she had already removed her wings).

So it would seem my best hope to establish a colony with my last remaining queen is to some how get ahold of fungus from someone, and hope that not only she will care for it. But also start producing brood.

I know Drew sells fungus but I won't have the money till I get paid Friday and even then I have a lot of bills so I'm not sure I will have it this check...

But I will cross my fingers and hope for the best and see what happens.

Edited by Kalidas, October 22 2018 - 5:07 PM.


#20 Offline nurbs - Posted October 22 2018 - 8:31 PM

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Antkeeping is fun and easy if you follow some basic rules, but the species you are starting out with is very hard. 

 

I do hope you succeed, and I'm not trying to be negative - but realistically they are not going to do well, even if you have fungus. Don't let the experience with this species dictate your opinion of the hobby.

 

With every colony I sale, I also make sure they can be kept alive and thriving past the first and second year, so buyers can get solid advice on what and what not to do. If I can't do that, I don't sell them.

 

Most of us haven't successfully gotten Acromyrmex past the first and second year successfully and consistently. Once we as a community figure them out, I'm sure they will be much easier.


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