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To the philippenes and beyond!


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#1 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted January 8 2019 - 5:32 PM

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Hey guys, I have some extraordinary news! I was just offered an apprentiship by an entomologist over in boston with the intent of giving me a chance to study abroad in exchange for some help with his work!!! Being in academia, he has offered to help me complete the paperwork needed for an international permit, which would allow me to return back to the states with live specimens legally that I can use for my own research! I've also been told that we should be embarking on a trip to the Philippines in six months from now and that I can bring back anything I want as long as the setups I keep them in follow several regulations and are inspected prior to being used. I've already begun researching the various genera and have my hands full with processing and memorizing the 100 genera that exist there. I've yet to hear much in terms of details, given that he is currently stationed somewhere in Brazil conducting his own research and that his son has to relay this information in his absence. More will hopefully be explained later on when he comes back home to the states. I'm beyond excited, words utterly fail in expressing how I feel at the moment of writing this. 

 

Before I take this trip, I understand that their will be a ton of prep work involved. Any info regarding your own personal experiences traveling up there, what to and what not to expect, feild guides that might be worth purchasing and what species may be starting their flights in May-June (which is the timeframe in which I plan to leave) would be greatly appreciated.


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#2 Offline ponerinecat - Posted January 8 2019 - 7:02 PM

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LUCKY :o  (y)  :yes:

 

If you can, please update your finds and what kind of work is involved, as I would like to do the same.


Edited by ponerinecat, January 8 2019 - 7:05 PM.

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#3 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted January 8 2019 - 9:59 PM

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LUCKY :o  (y)  :yes:

 

If you can, please update your finds and what kind of work is involved, as I would like to do the same.

Thanks lol. I'm still mentally recovering from the shock. This is something I've always wanted to do since I first got into myrmecology, so It's an amazing privilege to be able to head out there on a paid flight and do what I love. My girlfriend has been super supportive and we both agreed that this is exactly what I need to get my career (I want to go into comparative evolutionary biology / ethology) off the ground. I'm kind of just trying to stay reserved for the time being, just in case things change / don't work out. I've had things like this teased and then painfully stripped away at the last second, so It's important to just be prepared for anything. I have a strong feeling it's gonna work out though.

 

Definitely! As soon as I come back I will make sure to share what I've found. I told my girlfriend that I might exercise my creative muscles a bit by creating a travel-loge style sketchbook full of drawings of various things I've found on the expedition, so that might be something to look foreword to. I dabble a bit in illustration, so that should help keep me from getting rusty.


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#4 Offline CoolColJ - Posted January 9 2019 - 5:50 AM

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Keep an eye out for Carebara ;)
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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/

#5 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted January 9 2019 - 4:00 PM

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Keep an eye out for Carebara ;)

That's the one I have my eye on the most. Hopefully it flies during my stay.


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#6 Offline ponerinecat - Posted January 9 2019 - 4:36 PM

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Look out for discothyrea, leptanilla, myrmoteras, eurhopalothrix, dacenitops, echinopla, and calyptomyrmex, all very obscure ants. Also look for eurprenolepsis, a nomadic ant that only eats mushrooms, and metapone, a walking cylinder that lives with termites.


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#7 Online Leo - Posted January 9 2019 - 4:51 PM

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Catch at least a dozen carebara alates if you find them. Very low success rate in my experience.


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#8 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted January 9 2019 - 6:37 PM

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Catch at least a dozen carebara alates if you find them. Very low success rate in my experience.

I've been told that their mortality rate in captivity is very high. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, given that that particular species is what I am most likely to give a go at rearing.



#9 Online Leo - Posted January 9 2019 - 8:01 PM

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Lol I caught 20 alates. Only one is still alive and has some workers. She only has about 20 workers and I caught her last August....



#10 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted January 9 2019 - 8:21 PM

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Lol I caught 20 alates. Only one is still alive and has some workers. She only has about 20 workers and I caught her last August....

Wow, that's insane. I'll probably do some backlighting during my stay, so that should help quite a bit. Quick question, are they polygyne? I know it sounds kind of random, but it might be worth a shot if I want fast growing, productive colonies. 



#11 Online Leo - Posted January 9 2019 - 10:11 PM

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Can be. Depends on them. Mine generally killed each other. Yet a few would pair up with no aggression.



#12 Offline LC3 - Posted January 9 2019 - 10:36 PM

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Spoiler
 

 

June and July are the peak times for Macrotermes gilvus flights which are one of the three fungus growing species present there (the other two are Odontotermes spp.) No idea when the other termite species fly. 

 

Typically they fly between 3AM - 5AM from March to November in temperatures around 23-26C with a relative humidity of 83 - 98%. Flights last for around 1 - 2.5h. Apparently the flights tend to be more localized/drawn out and occur as a series of individual swarms. At least these are the records for Malaysia. Fungus is spread via horizontal transmission with mushrooms (applies to Odontotermes too)

https://academic.oup...8/6/1697/361579

 

http://termitesandan...mes-gilvus.html

More general info^

It's really easy to ID M. gilvus from other similar looking species due to the rather broad and thin pronotum of the major soldiers. 

 

 

To ID Alates per respective subfamily:

Termitidae: Wing scales even in size

Rhinotermitidae: Front wing scale larger, overlaps hind wing scales slightly, pronotum flat and crescent shaped.

Kalotermitidae: Front wing scales significantly larger, overlaps most of hindwing scale, pronotum wider or as wide as head and really large.

 

Other genera present:

Kalotermitidae:

Cryptotermes: drywood (powderpost) termites.  (2 sp.)

Glyptotermes: drywood termites (3 sp.)

Incisitermes: drywood termites (2 sp.)

Neotermes: dampwood termites, I think they're arboreal or live in live trees sometimes? (5 sp.)

 

Rhinotermitidae:

Coptotermes: subterranean termites, carton building, major structural pest. (3 sp.)

Heterotermes: subterranean termites (H. philippinensis)

Prorhinotermes: (semi)-subterranean/dampwood termites (P. flavus)

Schedorhinotermes: subterranean termites (3 sp.)

 

Termitidae:

Macrotermitinae: fungus growing termites

M. gilvus: mound building, subterranean foraging termites.

Odontotermes: subterranean or mound building termites.

 

Nasutitermitinae: Cone head termites

Bulbitermes: constructs low lying spherical nests on trees (5 sp.)

Grallotermes: (2 sp.)

Lacessititermes: Very leggy, open foraging, lichen feeding termites (3 sp.)

Nasutitermes: either subterranean, mound building or arboreal. (20 sp.)

 

Termitinae:

Microcerotermes: arboreal or not, mound building, wood infesting termites. Those termites AntsCanada has (3 sp.)

 

From:

https://www.termiteworldwide.org/

(There's a few mistakes/oddities on this map or species not included but it is definitely good enough)


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Colonies

Spoiler

 

 


#13 Offline Canadian anter - Posted January 10 2019 - 3:37 PM

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When I was in Yunnan in July, I found a ton of Oecophylla queens, Polyrachis queens, Camponotus, Those turtle ants and Tetramorium queens all over the place.
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#14 Online Leo - Posted January 10 2019 - 5:03 PM

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lol, I really want to go to yunnan. But mom said no =(



#15 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted January 10 2019 - 6:09 PM

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When I was in Yunnan in July, I found a ton of Oecophylla queens, Polyrachis queens, Camponotus, Those turtle ants and Tetramorium queens all over the place.

I am definetly excited about the prospect of finding Polyrachis and Oecophylla, two personal favorites of mine (atleast in my top ten). As for the turtle ants, I don't think they have cephaloates. Is there another genus that goes by that common name? When did you go btw?



#16 Online Leo - Posted January 10 2019 - 7:54 PM

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cataulacus are our turtle ants. Oecophylla are quite easy to keep.


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#17 Offline Canadian anter - Posted January 10 2019 - 7:54 PM

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It says July???? Also it's cataucalus or something like that. I'll post pics

#18 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted January 11 2019 - 11:38 AM

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It says July???? Also it's cataucalus or something like that. I'll post pics

oops, sorry. I guess I missed that. 



#19 Offline FSTP - Posted January 11 2019 - 12:18 PM

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How cool! My mom is from Sibu, I've always wanted to go but always missed out when my parents would go because of one thing or another.


There are videos of my ants here: https://www.youtube....bN5yYK2KWXA0vQ?


#20 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted January 11 2019 - 7:04 PM

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Oh heck, congrats boyo!


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Hawaiiant (Ben)

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