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Cloud's Pheidole navigans Colony(Updated December 8, 2018)


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Offline CloudtheDinosaurKing - Posted November 10 2018 - 12:24 AM

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On Wednesday, I flipped over a stone in my front yard and came across a good sized colony of Pheidole navigans. I looked around it for a little bit, and I saw the queen! I collected her and as much of the colony as I could, and there turned out to be over 100 workers, my largest ant colony. I made them a formicarium out of an old C.D. case, and they seem to be doing good in it so far. As expected with such a small species, some of the minors found some ways to escape, so I covered them all up. I plan to eventually make them a plaster formicarium, along with the rest of my ant colonies. Just by examining these ants a little closer and by watching their activities, Pheidole has become one of my favorite genera. I hope to one day own a colony of Pheidole tysoni. I also have a second colony, although all that is left is the queen and some brood. Her daughters all died due to lack of proper humidity, it's the third time I've made a mistake like this, the first was with my colony of Strumigenys membranifera, next my Strumigenys louisianae, and now my Pheidole navigans, the difference is that the queen survived this time, but I'm not sure if the brood is alive or not, only time will tell. If the brood is alive, then one of the pupae is close to eclosing. The queen seems to be doing okay and is remaining calm. I will refer to this colony as colony A and the larger colony as colony B. Here are some images of colony B, pictures of colony A coming tomorrow.

Pheidole navigans Formicarium
Their new formicarium.
Pheidole navigans
The big black individual in the center is the queen.
Pheidole navigans Queen
A closer shot of the queen.
Pheidole navigans
Pheidole navigans
Pheidole navigans
Pheidole navigans

 

 


Edited by CloudtheDinosaurKing, Yesterday, 8:56 PM.

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#2 Offline CloudtheDinosaurKing - Posted November 10 2018 - 6:32 AM

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These ants are insane! They found a way to escape! When I woke up this morning I was met with a few ants in their formicarium, just foraging and some on my desk. I looked everywhere, and I couldn't find the colony! I was sitting down at my desk, thinking of what to do when I saw a movement on my hot glue gun, there were a few ants going in and out of it. I thought that they may have made a nest inside of my hot glue gun, so I took it apart, and opened it. My hunch was right, they had made a nest deep inside the hot glue gun! I am so glad I noticed them! I also decided to introduce queen A to some of the workers of colony B, and as queen A was huddled up acting submissive, the workers moved in and started feeling her with their antennae. They then moved her to the rest of the colony and started to clean and care for her. The colony is currently in my aspirator, and I am going to move them back into their formicarium soon. I am so glad that I found them. I will definitely Make sure they can't escape this time. They actually escaped through the cotton ball that I fed them through, so I will probably replace the cotton with something better and more escape proof. This has been quite he experience for me!


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#3 Offline CloudtheDinosaurKing - Posted November 17 2018 - 12:25 PM

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It's been a while since I last updated, but queen A died. She was eaten by queen B. I did however just find another colony, I'll call them colony C. It's a rather small colony with only a few majors. Again, only one queen. I found them close to where I found colony A. I will get them a setup soon.


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#4 Offline Rstheant - Posted November 27 2018 - 3:01 PM

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You should put them in a mini hearth by Tar Heel.

#5 Offline CloudtheDinosaurKing - Posted November 27 2018 - 4:31 PM

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I prefer to make my own formicaria. I'm a pretty crafty boy. Currently, they are housed inside of a modified insect killing container with a hydro-stone base. They seem to be doing pretty good in it. I am planning on making them a plaster formicarium with some nice tunnels and chambers that replicate their nests in the wild, which I find all of the time.


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#6 Offline Rstheant - Posted December 1 2018 - 11:02 AM

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I prefer to make my own formicaria. I'm a pretty crafty boy. Currently, they are housed inside of a modified insect killing container with a hydro-stone base. They seem to be doing pretty good in it. I am planning on making them a plaster formicarium with some nice tunnels and chambers that replicate their nests in the wild, which I find all of the time.


Works too

#7 Offline CloudtheDinosaurKing - Posted December 1 2018 - 12:25 PM

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So they found the hole where the water goes in, and they dug through the hydrostone and escaped! I need to look for them, but I have an idea where they are. These ants are little escape artists!


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#8 Offline CloudtheDinosaurKing - Posted December 2 2018 - 3:09 AM

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Apparently they were still in the nest, they just had the queen and brood inside the tiny hole. I am glad they are still there. I do not want to loose these girls. I definitely need extra security for them however.


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#9 Offline Rstheant - Posted December 2 2018 - 1:08 PM

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You should get some containers from container store or pioneer plastics, which you should hydrostone, and make test tube molds in the wet hydrostone, and you could apply baby powder mixed with rubbing alcohol, to prevent further escapes.

#10 Offline CloudtheDinosaurKing - Posted December 5 2018 - 8:37 AM

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The colony is doing very well. They have made a small mound out of the hydrostone they have dug out, and they are starting to dig away from the hole on the outside. I will occasionally see the queen running out into into view and she stands out against the white hydrostone. Sometimes if I lift up the container, she and several workers will form a trail to the outside, but they always go back in. They seem to be very happy with their current setup. I plan on using hydrostone for ants more often, and I am planing to have a very realistic looking nest for them, and it will be fully transparent once I find the right container, but as it stands currently, they are doing great.


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#11 Offline CloudtheDinosaurKing - Posted December 6 2018 - 6:32 AM

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I am currently working on a new formicarium for these ants. It has a hydrostone floor which I will allow them to shape to their desired shape, and I am currently just waiting for the hydrostone to dry. I put them into a small container while I wait to put them back in, but I am not sure where the queen is. However, when I got all of the hydrostone out of the container, I saw an abdomen that may have been from the queen or maybe just a major. I had seen her running around a few minutes before I stuck them in the freezer to make the move easier. There is a possibility however that the burrow was deeper that I had thought and she ran into it, and when I dug the hydrostone out, I may have killed her. Let's hope that's not what happened.


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#12 Offline CloudtheDinosaurKing - Posted December 8 2018 - 12:52 PM

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Yesterday, I introduced the ants to the new formicarium, and they started digging almost immediately. This morning, their entrance holes can be seen all over the surface of the formicarium, and they're still working on them. I can see a few chambers in the hydrostone, but the view isn't very clear. This is definitely only a temporary nest as I will be getting some more hydrostone and some containers this weekend and  will make some even better nests for them and all of my ants. I will be able o get some even better photos once I make them. Here are some pictures:

 

Formicarium Layout
Main Mound
Mound
Mounds
Formicarium Layout
Formicarium
Main Tunnel
Ants on Mound

Edited by CloudtheDinosaurKing, December 8 2018 - 12:54 PM.

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#13 Offline AntsCalifornia - Posted December 8 2018 - 6:43 PM

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So they found the hole where the water goes in, and they dug through the hydrostone and escaped! I need to look for them, but I have an idea where they are. These ants are little escape artists!

Through the hydrostone!? Hyrostone is very hard once cured, how did they manage to chew through it?



#14 Offline CloudtheDinosaurKing - Posted December 8 2018 - 8:22 PM

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So they found the hole where the water goes in, and they dug through the hydrostone and escaped! I need to look for them, but I have an idea where they are. These ants are little escape artists!

Through the hydrostone!? Hyrostone is very hard once cured, how did they manage to chew through it?

 

I have no clue. They are very crafty little ants. I guess they just scrapped at it with their mandibles until they were finally able to get through.


Edited by CloudtheDinosaurKing, December 8 2018 - 8:26 PM.

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