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ANTdrew's Crematogaster divas journal

antdrew crematogaster journal divas

108 replies to this topic

#81 Online ANTdrew - Posted April 23 2019 - 5:28 AM

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Update 4/23/2019

 

Hope springs eternal! Thrud finally got her first nanitic yesterday, and a second one should be close behind. That's a lesson to me to not give up on queens. I gave her some Sunburst and a roach piece, and she made a bee-line for it. Now I need to find a home for these surplus colonies and a containment strategy because I can tell they are escape artists!

PHOTO 2019 04 22 23 21 16

Edited by ANTdrew, April 23 2019 - 5:29 AM.

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


#82 Online ANTdrew - Posted April 29 2019 - 8:13 AM

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Update 4/29/2019

 

All three of these colonies are doing pretty well and growing steadily. My biggest colony, Sigyn, has a large brood pile now. I think she'll have a big population boom soon in which case I'll hook her current container to a THA fortress. They send out a bunch of workers to swarm any protein sources now. Check out this brood pile:

IMG 5204
One of her full size workers came out with deformed antennae. I see the poor thing stumbling about looking rather lost. I imagine this is almost like being blind would feel for a human. It's rather heart warming to see how her sisters look out for her, but I hope I don't see any more ants looking like this. Has anyone else seen such a deformity before?
IMG 5205
 
Frigg has 11 workers now and is feeding pretty consistently. I hope they can start catching up to my largest colony soon.
Thrud has three workers now. I still have her in her test tube, which makes feeding kind of pain. I'll be opening up her tube ASAP and giving them a homemade out world to help with feeding.
 
I've seen two cases of ants walking carefree across the band of fluon at the top of their box. I'll definitely be keeping these in a containers with great lids!

 


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


#83 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted April 29 2019 - 8:31 AM

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You have learned well. My largest colony now has almost 200 workers. About 40-50 of them found a gap next to the water tower in their Mini Hearth, and are nesting in it.

Edited by Ant_Dude2908, April 29 2019 - 8:31 AM.


#84 Online ANTdrew - Posted April 29 2019 - 12:06 PM

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


#85 Online ANTdrew - Posted May 6 2019 - 7:07 AM

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Update 5/6/2019

 

If you've followed this journal a bit, you'll remember that not too long ago I was ready to give up on two of these queens. I'm happy to report that all three are thriving now, even Thrud, my last queen to get workers. She has been growing in numbers steadily and currently has five workers. I learned from my earlier mistakes and have been giving her a new nectar drops and some insect bits every night since I know how fast the nectar dries near the heat cable. Last night, I gave Thrud her own out world to make feeding easier. In old Norse this would be called Thrudheim= "The strong abode." I think that has a nice ring to it! Given her difficulties, this colony has grown on me in an under-dog kind of way. I don't know if I'll be willing to part with her now.

The other two colonies are growing FAST with lots of full size workers eclosing. This is my favorite type of ant I've kept, for sure.

 

PHOTO 2019 05 05 22 12 43

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


#86 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted May 6 2019 - 7:18 AM

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I have gifted you with a small portion of my Crematopowers!

#87 Online ANTdrew - Posted May 6 2019 - 7:36 AM

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:lol: striving toward the coveted title of "CrematoMaster"

Many seek, but few find it...


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


#88 Offline Rstheant - Posted May 6 2019 - 2:21 PM

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I have gifted you with a small portion of my Crematopowers!


Jes, jes stop!!


:lol:

#89 Online ANTdrew - Posted May 16 2019 - 7:45 AM

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Update 5-16-2019

 

I'm down to two divas now. I gifted one of the successful Crematogaster colonies to my ant-keeping buddy at the local nature center yesterday. This is the one I had named Frigg. If you remember, she was down to only one worker at one point, and things were kind of dicey. Well, she rebounded in a big way and has over thirty workers now and a mountain of brood. The turning point was getting them an out world and constant access to nectar in a liquid feeder. I wish her the very best as I really grew to love all these three during this months long process.

Frigg

 

My other two divas are prospering, and I moved them up out of the spare bathroom they've been in since January. My father in law will be staying down there, so I can no longer use it as a dedicated ant room. :ugone2far:

I love this species; they have all the characteristics that make for a great ant keeping experience.


Edited by ANTdrew, May 17 2019 - 5:08 AM.

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


#90 Online ANTdrew - Posted May 29 2019 - 10:48 AM

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Update 5-29-2019

 

 My two remaining colonies continue to thrive. Their spot up in my kitchen keeps getting warmer, and I think they love it. Sigyn probably has about 50 workers now and tons of brood. The new generations coming in are huge compared to the nanitics. I could feed these ants everyday and they would eat it all. The only issue I'm running into is that the band of fluon around the top of their box is not stopping them. This makes removing their lid tricky as I have to brush ants back into the box sometimes - and damn are these ants fast! :o Does anyone have any suggestions for tackling this? Would a different kind of barrier be better?

IMG 5362
 
Thrud has twelve workers and a big brood pile, too! I still need to figure out what to do with her because I don't want to get overwhelmed or burnt out with too many fast growing colonies.
IMG 5361
 

I got a new clip on macro lens for shots like this:

IMG 5347

 

 


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


#91 Online ANTdrew - Posted May 30 2019 - 4:46 PM

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I actually WAY underestimated Sigyn’s population. After a careful count using a photo, I can say it’s more like 80 with lots on the way!
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#92 Offline CatsnAnts - Posted May 30 2019 - 5:16 PM

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I actually WAY underestimated Sigyn’s population. After a careful count using a photo, I can say it’s more like 80 with lots on the way!


Wow, that’s awesome! :D
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Yep, I got no colonies, takin a fresh start!

#93 Online ANTdrew - Posted June 3 2019 - 4:54 AM

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Update 6-3-2019

It was quite a weekend dealing with these Houdinis. Due to humidity trapped in their foraging container by a poorly ventilated lid, these ants were able to climb easily on the fluon I had applied. I even saw one walking upside down at one point. They couldn't get out while the lid was on, but accessing them was getting increasingly difficult as their numbers keep climbing. I tried renewing the fluon and leaving the lid open, but over time I started to notice ants had climbed past the fluon and out. It seems that vertical surfaces with fluon may slow them down a bit, but their grip is such that eventually they find ways up. I got pretty discouraged by this really, but I didn't want to give up, so I tried a new open top lid. This lid lets out the humidity, but the ants can't climb upside down to exit - at least for now!

IMG 5419
 
The flip side of this set-back is that the colony is absolutely thriving. They launch big feeding frenzies for any protein.
IMG 5402

 

I think they just have a strong instinctual urge to explore wide distances. I know these ants set up wide ranging satellite nests and use long scent trails. I think I might try to work with this instinct by giving them several out worlds connected by long tubing so they can really roam. Something tells me this won't be the last time they find a way to escape, though!

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


#94 Online ANTdrew - Posted June 5 2019 - 4:07 AM

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Update 6-5-2019

I'm down to only one diva now. I sold Thrud to a new ant keeper who recently joined this forum. At one point, this queen had eaten all her eggs and halfway drowned in a test tube mishap. She showed a lot of resilience and at the point of sale was up to 23 workers with a big brood pile! I wish her the very best!

 

I will keep Sigyn, who continues her rampant growth. I gave her a whole earwig last night, and this morning I couldn't find any remains of it. My goal is to keep only a few well cared for colonies, so I don't get burned out.

 

Here is my farewell shot of Thrud :*(:

IMG 5421

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


#95 Online ANTdrew - Posted June 11 2019 - 3:56 AM

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Update 6-11-2019

A while back, I wrote about a worker with deformed antennae in this colony. Well, Curly is alive and well, and I kind of enjoy being able to recognize one of the workers on an individual level. It makes me think how cool it would be if there was a way to easily mark workers to distinguish them in some way. Perfect view of the heart-shaped gaster in this shot:

IMG 5449

 

Sigyn laid a BIG pile of eggs. These should put the colony over 100. I'm debating whether to just keep them growing in test tubes or shell out for a nicer THA formicarium. What do you advise, CrematoMasters? 

IMG 5450

Edited by ANTdrew, June 11 2019 - 3:57 AM.

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


#96 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted June 11 2019 - 5:15 AM

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I'd say raise them in test tubes until the 200 mark, then move them into a THA Fortress. :) That is what I'm doing.
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#97 Online ANTdrew - Posted June 11 2019 - 5:24 AM

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That's exactly what I'll do. I don't really care for using mini-hearth with fast growing escape artists.


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


#98 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted June 11 2019 - 5:43 AM

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My large colony had a small die off. Back in April when I moved them into a Mini Hearth, they were too small of a colony, so they did not forage as much as they should've, resulting in the queen laying less and less eggs, and going from 150 workers to 85 workers. They are back in a test tube and seem happier. :)

#99 Online ANTdrew - Posted June 11 2019 - 6:00 AM

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I read that, and that got me wondering what to do. Honestly, it's hard to improve on tubs and tubes in my experience. I wonder why this happened??? 


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


#100 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted June 11 2019 - 6:05 AM

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They didn't forage as much as they could've. They did not get the sustenance they needed to thrive. the nest was too big.

Edited by Ant_Dude2908, June 11 2019 - 6:05 AM.






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