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ANTdrew's Crematogaster divas journal

antdrew crematogaster journal divas

125 replies to this topic

#41 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted March 12 2019 - 6:27 PM

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Siggyn, my second queen, has three workers and a good brood pile now. I’m most hopeful for her. Frigg still has her lone worker and some good larvae. This may still work out after all.
My third queen still has no workers, and I can’t see her brood anymore. I’m worried she ate them.
In retrospect, I wish I had put these queens in THA starter formicariums that can be refilled with water. I also wish I had left them hibernating longer because I blame their heat cable for drying out the tubes. From now on, all my ants will be in diapuse from first frost to last frost.

I am trying to move mine into a Mini Hearth. Their tube is dry and the colony that is in it is stubborn.

#42 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 15 2019 - 4:44 PM

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Some good news: queen two, Sigyn, is up to five workers now with a nice looking brood pile. I gave her a drop of Sunburst nectar and a fruit fly last night. When I checked tonight, the queen and a worker were chowing down on the fly and the nectar drop is basically gone.
Queen one, Frigg, still has only one worker and more brood. My third queen ate all her brood and is not doing too well. I’m losing hope for her and may release her.

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


#43 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 17 2019 - 11:01 AM

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Photo update 3/17/2019

Frigg still has one worker, but one of her pupae is turning dark and should eclose any day now.

IMG 4962

 

Things are looking better and better for Sigyn. She's up to eight workers now! She's the queen I've disturbed the least, and she's made the most progress, so lesson learned.

IMG 4961

Edited by ANTdrew, March 17 2019 - 11:03 AM.

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


#44 Offline Rstheant - Posted March 17 2019 - 11:05 AM

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You should put them in your good bead container like formicarium! It’s good to see these colony doing good. Have you tried feeding them crickets?
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#45 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 17 2019 - 11:22 AM

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I would love to find a small bead container with maybe six compartments for them. I see a Container Store run in my near future. So far, I’ve only fed them crushed fruit flies, honey water, and Sunburst.

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


#46 Offline Rstheant - Posted March 17 2019 - 11:26 AM

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Nice, for me, crickets are a miracle food for most of my colonies.

#47 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 22 2019 - 6:55 AM

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Things are going well for these queens, especially Sigyn. She currently has 12 workers and a lot more pupae. I decided to place her tube in a small outworld I made out of a BoxBox container, and I put a cap with a small opening on the tube to let them explore. I gave them a mealworm segment, and they hollowed it out within a day. Here's a poor quality photo of the simple set-up:
 

IMG 4970
 
Frigg still has one worker, but one of the pupae is getting dark. I have no idea why her brood is developing so much slower.
My third queen laid a new pile of eggs, so I won't give up on her yet. I'll try my best not to disturb her.

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


#48 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted March 22 2019 - 7:26 AM

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You are catching up to mine! My new queen has a boost worker now, and the large colony has 40 and lots of new eggs. (There is still tons of pupae.)
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#49 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 23 2019 - 7:57 AM

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Sigyn is voracious. I fed her colony a quarter piece of a dubia roach last night, and five workers came out quick to feed on it. By morning, they had hollowed out all but the shell. I dropped in three crushed fruit flies near their tube this morning, and they dispatched those, too. I love how they wag their gaster up and down when they taste something they like. I also got to observe a worker feeding the queen.
Frigg has two workers now, but a third got stuck in honey and perished. From now on, I’m giving them nectar soaked in a cotton bit. Live and learn.

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


#50 Offline antsinmypants - Posted March 23 2019 - 11:13 AM

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Are you feeding them flightless fruit flies or wild caught ones?


Edited by antsinmypants, March 23 2019 - 11:23 AM.


#51 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 23 2019 - 11:37 AM

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Wingless flies from Josh’s Frogs. They’re in a nasty culture container up in my kitchen, lol.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#52 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted March 23 2019 - 4:19 PM

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I found a new queen that I think is C. cerasi. She is smaller than my lineolata queens.

Edited by Ant_Dude2908, March 23 2019 - 4:19 PM.


#53 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 23 2019 - 5:31 PM

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Amazing! What’s your technique for finding so many Crematogaster queens?

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


#54 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted March 23 2019 - 5:40 PM

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Just crack open any small twigs. Don't pound on them, just twist. It will take practice to identify which will most likely have them, but make sure to be patient. It takes some time to do it, but is totally worth it! I also found a mature colony, but left them alone.

Edited by Ant_Dude2908, March 23 2019 - 5:41 PM.

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#55 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 29 2019 - 6:02 AM

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Update 3-29-2019:

Some good and bad news to report: Sigyn continues to thrive. She has four new workers about to eclose and should hit 20 workers very soon. They are feeding very well, and I'm glad to see them using the byFormica liquid feeders for nectar and plain water as needed. Believe it or not, these gals are outpacing even my Tetramorium in terms of growth and voraciousness at this early stage! It certainly helps that I've learned from so many mistakes. 

On to the bad news: my two slacker queens, Frigg and Thrud continue struggling. Frigg got up to three workers, but I found one curled up dead today. My only explanation is that the nectar I gave them on Saturday must have dried up, so she starved. I blame this on the fact that her tube was still taped to the other new tube, but she refused to move. This obviously made feeding harder. I gave up today and forcefully moved the colony and brood into the new tube using a woodpecker feather. Dumping ants is against my philosophy of ant keeping, but I guess it is necessary sometimes. I got out as much of the tiny eggs as I could with the feather and put them in the new tube. Hopefully, her two slacker workers will find them and arrange them well. 

There were a few eggs I couldn't get out of the old tube easily, so I put the whole tube in Sigyn's outworld as a kind of brood boost. Hopefully, some of her workers will find them, and luck will favor the vigilant! 


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


#56 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted March 29 2019 - 7:36 AM

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My large colony has just about 55 workers and 300 brood. The smaller colony has 1 worker and 20 brood. I have decided that they are C. cerasi, like I originally thought.

#57 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 1 2019 - 9:11 AM

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Update 4/1/2019

IMG 5004
 
IMG 5005

 

 

Things continue to go excellently for Sigyn, and several ants are ready to eclose very soon. She has 14 workers at the moment, and her gaster is highly distended with more eggs. They are feeding very well, and dubia roaches are their favorite item so far. I'm pretty sure the eggs in Frigg's tube are gone, so hopefully this colony adopted them.

 

I found another dead nanitic in Frigg's tube, so she is back to one worker now. I'd really like to get advice as to what I should do from experienced CrematoMasters out there. Should I release these two struggling queens, or should I take their brood and give them to my successful queen? Something about that strikes me as inhumane, though. Maybe I should just keep waiting to see if more nanitics will arrive and actually survive to build up the colony. Please advise!  :facepalm:


Edited by ANTdrew, April 1 2019 - 9:18 AM.

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


#58 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted April 1 2019 - 9:25 AM

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I am the most active CrematoMaster, so I will help lol! I would brood boost the unsuccessful queens. They might just be unfit for the founding stage.
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#59 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 1 2019 - 9:44 AM

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So do you mean find wild brood to boost with or taking brood from Sigyn? I don't see myself taking brood from my successful colony.


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


#60 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted April 1 2019 - 9:48 AM

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I would find a wild colony and take their brood. They don't need it! :)





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