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I'm still alive


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#1 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted October 23 2018 - 1:38 PM

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Hey everyone! I know I haven't been posting here for a while, but I just wanted to give a quick update on where I've been and what I've been up to. For those who know me well, I tend to separate myself from the community periodically due to wide number of reasons. Sometimes it's simply because I want to go back to enjoying the hobby without interacting with the community directly the way I once did when I first began keeping ants and other times it's because my life has gotten to hectic / chaotic to keep up. In this case, it's been a mixture of both.

 

- first off, I met someone! Her name is Avery and we've been dating for about five and a half months now!!! I've never been much of a social butterfly and I've always had a hard time getting out there and meeting people, but we met online (don't worry, I did everything in my power to make sure I wasn't being catfished lol) and for the first time in my life I feel like I've found someone who truly gets me. Early on, when the topic of our mutual love of exotic pets came up I was originally terrified to bring up my ant colonies given how I've been rejected dozens of times due to my passion for entomology. Not only was so extremely supportive, but she actually is FASCINATED by them. Turns out she used to study forensic entomology, who knew? she helps me ID them, helps me with my research and even helps me take care of them! We're actually rearing a 300 strong T. immagrans colony together right now and she absolutely loves them. I swear, whenever I have her over she almost makes a B-line for my room in order to check up on them and see how they're all doing lol. I couldn't be happier, I just wish I got to see her more often. I'm not gonna go into too much detail, but she lives a considerable distance away, neither of us have cars and her family doesn't like me very much out of there own racial prejudices. As long as were there for one another though, I'm sure we'll be fine.

 

- For those who are aware, I'm aiding a professor over at Harvard University in collecting ant species for a state wide census, which is appearantly the first of its kind. Over the passed three months, I've bagged about 48 different species from across the state including a species of Stenamma that I have never seen in the wild. I have also been hard at work conducting my own research for a paper I hope to publish within the next year or so detailing the behavior, biology and nest architecture of an under-studied species that lives here in New England. I've been working on this project for two years now and I can't wait to have it released. That is all I can say for now unfortunately, but so far things have been going fairly well with several new discoveries related to their reproductive habits, diet and nest structure.

 

- I'm still keeping ants and although this year had many ups and downs (a low turnout of queens, unexpected worker mortality in mature colonies, etc.) I am happy to say that I have grown some pretty good-sized colonies. the largest of these colonies is a 1,000 strong Tetramorium immagrans colony that I've been working on for about a two years now. I also have two 800-900 strong Tetramorium colonies, a 200 strong Tetramorium colony that I am raising with my girl friend, a 300 strong Aphaenogaster picea colony, A small Crematogaster cerasi colony, a 70 strong Solenopsis molesta colony, Some wild caught Monomorium emarginatum colonies (one with 2,000 workers and the other with 200 or so), A small Camponotus chromaiodes colony, a 25 strong Formica subsericea coloniy, four small R. flavipes termite colonies and a handful of Lasius neoniger queens I caught in September. phew, that's a mouthful lol.

 

- Aside from that college and family drama among other things have made it a bit difficult to find the time to post. Hopefully things will calm down soon.
 


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#2 Offline Nare - Posted October 23 2018 - 4:24 PM

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Well you couldn't have picked a better time to come back termite wise. I'm keeping the same species, and if you were to journal yours, I'd follow it closely! I'll save a whole ton of questions about them for if you do create a journal. Anyways, welcome back!


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I keep termites - check them out! I've also made a guide...


#3 Offline T.C. - Posted October 23 2018 - 6:52 PM

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Welcome back bud. Do you have a license? I'm the king of finding okish cars real cheap.
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#4 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted October 24 2018 - 7:01 AM

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Well you couldn't have picked a better time to come back termite wise. I'm keeping the same species, and if you were to journal yours, I'd follow it closely! I'll save a whole ton of questions about them for if you do create a journal. Anyways, welcome back!

I actually used to do a journal for mine but gradually stopped posting due to just being way too busy. I might have to pick that up if you think people (including yourself) would be interested!


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#5 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted October 24 2018 - 7:02 AM

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Welcome back bud. Do you have a license? I'm the king of finding okish cars real cheap.

 

Thanks man! really appreciate it, but I don't have a license. I don't even have a permit yet :(. Right now I'm just saving money for a car, but I am going to working on getting a permit some time in the next few months.



#6 Offline AntsBC - Posted October 24 2018 - 2:32 PM

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first off, I met someone! Her name is Avery and we've been dating for about five and a half months now!!!

 

I wish I could find a Girl that's interested in ants although I don't think I ever will. Statistically you just won a lottery with that "find".   (y)


Edited by AntsBC, October 24 2018 - 2:36 PM.

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Currently Keeping:

 
Formica cf. fossaceps (parasitic) - Journal
Formica neogagates 
Formica pacifica - Journal
Formica podzolica
Lasius americanus
Manica hunteri - Journal
Myrmica incompleta
 

Instagram

YouTube 

 

 


#7 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted October 25 2018 - 3:09 AM

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first off, I met someone! Her name is Avery and we've been dating for about five and a half months now!!!

 

I wish I could find a Girl that's interested in ants although I don't think I ever will. Statistically you just won a lottery with that "find".   (y)

 

 

Thanks, but don't be so quick to doubt yourself. I'm sure you'll find someone like that if you look hard enough. I've met girls that told me they would vomit or even pass out if they saw as much as a photo of any insect so trust me when I say that while it's not impossible, your gonna have to get through a lot of clutter in order to find someone who truly understands. They exist, but Avery is only person I've found who hasn't given me a hard time for rearing ants. Usually, if you first bring up your love of ants and the girl your seeing asks a ton of questions about how there reared and how they behave as opposed to being outright disgusted, your generally in the clear. Bonus points if you find out she's been researching miscelaeneous information about them on her own or if she starts messaging you in the middle of the night to ask you questions about the "pretty ant she saw online while searching up how to keep them" (Avery, I'm looking at you lol).


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#8 Offline ANTdrew - Posted October 25 2018 - 10:46 AM

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That's a nice story you've shared. I'm happy that you are going a good season in your life. I've been going through a rough season myself, so ants have been my distraction. Luckily, my wife tolerates my new colonies.


Edited by ANTdrew, October 25 2018 - 10:47 AM.

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


#9 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted October 25 2018 - 4:21 PM

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That's a nice story you've shared. I'm happy that you are going a good season in your life. I've been going through a rough season myself, so ants have been my distraction. Luckily, my wife tolerates my new colonies.

Thanks man, that means a lot to me. Yeah, this has been a pretty rough time for me and the ants have certainly helped. I don't have a lot of family (my dad was never around, I have had a few deaths in the family, the majority of my mom's side of the family lives far away, etc.) so having a falling out like this between me and my family certainly hit me hard. Thankfully it seems as though things are starting to return to the status quo a bit. Avery has been my rock throughout most of this, giving me a shoulder to lean on when I was at my lowest points. She is studying to become a psychiatrist at the moment, so she loves helping people with their problems. I'm just glad I have someone like her at the moment. whether or not she's aware of it she's helped me through so much. 

 

Honestly, that's all I really wanted from a partner when it came to them accepting my hobbies. They didn't have to take the same level of interest I have in it or join me on collecting trips. I just wanted someone who can tolerate it. That kind of changed when I met Avery though. 


Edited by ctantkeeper, October 25 2018 - 4:22 PM.


#10 Offline Sherridaniels - Posted February 6 2019 - 2:45 AM

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Great post. Loved reading it.






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