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FeedTheAnts Ant Journals - Crematogaster and Camponotus - Virginia - 2019


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#1 Offline FeedTheAnts - Posted January 6 2019 - 11:04 AM

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Link to my old journal for my ant's 2018 timeline

 

I took both of my Carpenter Ant colonies out of hibernation earlier this week, so it's time to start journaling again.

 

Camponotus chromaiodes-1/06/19 - I finally named them - The Woozles

They have been pretty active surprisingly fast, which I hope to be a good sign. All of the workers(that aren't dead) are fully mobile, and I'm sure they will want to forage in no time :D

The colony didn't make it through hibernation with no casualties though, twelve workers died, which brings the population somewhere close to 25. 

Most of the dead workers actually drowned. I think bringing them out of hibernation caused some condensation or something, and the not yet mobile workers drowned in the thin film of water. 

The colony has been moved to a fresh test tube because their old one was filthy.

 
IMG 1969
IMG 1970
 

Camponotus castaneus-1/06/19 - I finally named them - The Heffalumps

These gals aren't moving around at all yet. I see their antennae moving though, so they aren't dead. It looks like a few of their larvae have turned brown, but I'm not entirely sure what that means.

 

IMG 1971

 

Ten gallon tank with Formica pallidefulva and Aphaenogaster fulva

Ya, so... I don't have this terrarium anymore. I had mentioned that I wanted to get some other kind of pet, possibly even some kind of arachnid. I decided to go with something less bug-like though, and I got a Leopard Gecko. He/She's now living in the tank. It was really hard for me to part withthe Abdo-Lemons(the Formica pallidefulva colony that used to live in the tank), especially since they were kinda my first colony, but with a new pet to take care of it's better that I downsized my ant collection.

 

But still, if the Camponotus chromaiodes colony gets up to a good size this year, I will definitely be buying them a new, larger tank to create my dream terrarium in. Terrarium keeping is still something that interests me a lot.

 

And of course I'm going to post a pic of my Leopard gecko, Gucci Puma.

DSC 0262

 

 

Crematogaster ashmeadi - The Valentine Soldiers - 1/06/19

There's nothing to say about this colony. They are still in hibernation in my fridge.

 

 

btw, I'll try to keep up with once a week updates, on Sundays.


Edited by FeedTheAnts, April 9 2019 - 7:18 AM.

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#2 Offline FeedTheAnts - Posted January 10 2019 - 6:03 PM

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The Woozles - Camponotus chromaiodes - 1/10/2019

At first glance they seem to have a good amount of workers, but in reality most of the ants in the nest are dead. I don't know why they don't take the dead out of the test tube, I've given them an outworld. I guess they haven't become active enough yet to start venturing out of the nest, which is understandable. 

I'm not worried about their survival though, because there are still almost 25 workers, and this colony has shown themselves to be really healthy in the past year. They also have a lot of young larvae from last year, so even if the queen doesn't start laying for a while they will still have workers on the way.

 

The Heffalumps - Camponotus castaneus - 1/10/2019

This is where it gets really pitiful. This colony was captured with seven workers last May. After a not very productive 2018, plagued with possible ant disease that kept killing the Colony's workers, they ended the year with 12 workers. 

Fast foward to post hibernation, and there are only 4 living workers. I'm not sure why so much of the colony died during hibernation, but hey, it isn't over till the queen dies, so I'm not giving up on this colony. Let's hope that they have a successful 2019 year.

 

The Valentine Soldiers - Crematogaster ashmeadi - 1/10/2019

I just got this colony out of hibernation, and when compared to my lumbering, slow Carpenter Ants, these are the polar opposite. The first thing I noticed was that there were soooo many dead ants on the surface of the dirt in their little dirt nest. But when I lifted up the little piece of wood that the colony lives under there was a ton of living ants. So ya, a lot died during hibernation, but the colony is still as large as it's ever been. 

I'd estimate the population at around 1000.


Edited by TennesseeAnts, January 10 2019 - 6:04 PM.

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#3 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted January 11 2019 - 8:02 AM

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Awww. I would have kept the Abodo-lemons! Btw, that gecko is too cute!
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#4 Offline FeedTheAnts - Posted January 12 2019 - 8:24 AM

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The Valentine Soldiers - Crematogaster asmeadi - 1/12/2019

Since taking them out of hibernation all the workers seem to want to do is carry the dead workers around and look for a place to put them. I was tired of seeing so many dead ants, so I put the lid of a jar, upturned and filled with water, into their tank. By this morning they have thrown most of the dead ants into the water, and so I dumped it out and flushed it.

 

If you remember from last year, this colony went from a population of 20, to having over 1000 workers. That made it really difficult for me to hibernate them, so I got the entire colony to move into a little dirt nest, hoping it would make the hibernation process more simple, and it did. The colony is still housed in this little dirt nest. I have no intention to move them out(despite how ugly it is), because I don't want to stress the colony at all. My goal for the Valentines is that they rebuild their numbers before I even think about changing their setup.

 

The pool of dead ants
DSC 0390
 
 
Their little dirt setup
DSC 0392

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#5 Offline FeedTheAnts - Posted January 14 2019 - 5:49 PM

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The Valentine Soldiers - Crematogaster ashmeadi - 1/14/2019

I've changed around their little dirt tank. There were two main changes that needed to be made. One, the dirt was too shallow and didn't drain well. This made hydration very hard. To fix this i just added a layer a better draining soil on top. Two, The piece of wood that was in the tank did not have many chambers and living spaces, so I swapped it for one that did. 

I nearly messed up big time when swapping it out though, and almost threw out the queen. I thought I had nearly finished brushing all the workers off the old piece of wood, but then I noticed more coming from inside of it. I had not yet noticed that they were in fact living in side of the wood, and was about to throw it out because I thought it was empty! Turns out the queen actually happened to be inside. So ya... I almost messed up big time %)

 
IMG 1699
 
The new piece of wood(it's partially buried)
IMG 1700
 
IMG 1702

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#6 Offline FeedTheAnts - Posted January 18 2019 - 9:56 AM

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The Valentine Soldiers - Crematogaster ahmeadi - 1/18/2019
They finally accepted some protein today, in the form of a cricket. They've been very busy digging since I added extra dirt to their terrarium, and it seems that the bulk of the colony is underneath the piece of wood.
 

 


Edited by TennesseeAnts, January 18 2019 - 10:38 AM.

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#7 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted January 18 2019 - 2:34 PM

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Last month I found a new Crematogaster queen that looks exactly like yours. Maybe she will last more than two months and make it to maturity like yours!

#8 Offline FeedTheAnts - Posted January 19 2019 - 8:53 AM

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The Heffalumps - Camponotus castaneus - 1/19/19

Since last update they have become a lot more active. The queen and all of the workers are finally moving around and acting fully mobile.

I saw a worker eating one of the brown larvae, I'm not sure if this is bad or good. I assume the larvae was dead though, because it was brown.

 

 

The Woozles - Camponotus chromaiodes - 1/19/19

These have started to forage a little, although they are uninterested in honey. They've gathered all of the dead ants and pushed them to the back of the tube. I wish they would just dump them in the outworld so that mold doesn't become a problem.

 

 

A few days ago I bought 24 large dubia roaches from a local pet store. If anyone has any tips for breeding these guys I would love to hear them. Right now they are in a critter crawler with dirt and toilet paper rolls.

DSC 0449
DSC 0448

Edited by TennesseeAnts, January 19 2019 - 8:54 AM.

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#9 Online ANTdrew - Posted January 21 2019 - 8:00 AM

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I love this journal and your approach to ant keeping.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#10 Offline Rstheant - Posted January 21 2019 - 11:46 AM

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For them dubias, just drop in a carrot slice every month and you’re good. They’ll eat pretty much anything.
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#11 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted January 21 2019 - 12:38 PM

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I feed all my feeders every week, usually some fruit. Any less and they start dying.

#12 Offline FeedTheAnts - Posted January 21 2019 - 2:51 PM

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I love this journal and your approach to ant keeping.

Thanks

 

For them dubias, just drop in a carrot slice every month and you’re good. They’ll eat pretty much anything.

 

I'll have to try carrot. Mine are really enjoying oranges and mealworms. They really do seem to like anything with calories. 


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#13 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted January 21 2019 - 3:05 PM

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Carrots are a favorite of mine as well.

#14 Offline FeedTheAnts - Posted January 23 2019 - 2:05 PM

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The Valentine Soldiers - Crematogaster ashmeadi - 1/23/2019

When I first got them out of hibernation they showed no interest in the canned mealworms that I had bought for my gecko, but yesterday they were foraging like crazy so I decided to give them a try again. I had no other protein because I didn't want to feed them the dubias just yet. I guess their taste for mealworms has changed over the past two weeks because this is what happened(within 45 seconds!).

 


Edited by TennesseeAnts, January 23 2019 - 2:07 PM.

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#15 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted January 24 2019 - 7:56 AM

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Btw, leopard geckos LOVE dubia roaches.
I used to have two leos, but one died the other day.... :boohoo:

#16 Offline FeedTheAnts - Posted January 24 2019 - 1:13 PM

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Btw, leopard geckos LOVE dubia roaches.
I used to have two leos, but one died the other day.... :boohoo:

My gecko is too small for the roaches I have now, so I can't wait till little ones start to appear. How old was your gecko when it died?


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#17 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted January 24 2019 - 2:47 PM

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Btw, leopard geckos LOVE dubia roaches.
I used to have two leos, but one died the other day.... :boohoo:

My gecko is too small for the roaches I have now, so I can't wait till little ones start to appear. How old was your gecko when it died?
I dunno. She was an adult when I got her a few years ago. She laid several eggs for me though.

#18 Offline FeedTheAnts - Posted January 28 2019 - 2:15 PM

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The Valentines - Crematogaster ashmeadi - 1/28/19

The queen sure has been busy laying eggs. Because they love heat and I heat them from below, I can usually get a pretty good view of the colony from under the tank. 

 

*Sorry for the shaky camera, this was not an easy angle to get.

 

 

The Woozles - Camponotus chromaiodes - 1/28/19

Workers of this colony were dying for no reason at all, so I decided to try a wood nest for them like I did last year. It's nothing much, just wood shoved up against the wall of a clear container.

 

DSC 0515

DSC 0513

Edited by TennesseeAnts, January 28 2019 - 2:18 PM.

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#19 Offline FeedTheAnts - Posted February 4 2019 - 5:13 PM

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The Valentines - Crematogaster ashmeadi - 2/4/19

Goodness, the brood pile has quadrupled in size from what it was just coming out of hibernation. The workers have hollowed out a huge chasm along the bottom of the tank, situated under the piece of wood. It would be cool to see some alates this year.

DSC 0570

 

On a non ant related note, I happen to come across the first fully developed roach in my colony, freshly molted. It was so cool to see it completely white! It seems to be a male though given it's wings, so I'm not expecting any baby roaches to come yet.

DSC 0564

Edited by TennesseeAnts, February 4 2019 - 5:13 PM.

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#20 Offline CoolColJ - Posted February 7 2019 - 4:16 PM

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all my roaches have wings, male and female
depends on species - mine are speckled lobster roaches

Edited by CoolColJ, February 7 2019 - 4:17 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Camponotus nigriceps, Myrmecia fulvipes, Colobopsis macrocephala
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/




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