This is a website for anyone interested in Myrmecology and all aspects of finding, keeping, and studying ants. The site and forum are free to use, and contain no ads for members. Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation points to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Posted March 2 2019 - 11:20 AM
So a while back i caught 2 small alates (when i say small they may seem big some tome of you but I live in South Africa and we have macrotermes alates so our perspectives are a bit different). Unfortunately I didn't pay much attention to them (which is funny as they're now my favorites) and didn't record the date. They laid eggs which seemingly to forever to hatch (about 2-3 months). They know have nymphs and presoldiers and depending on how much smaller their nanitics are than normal workers I will have workers in a week or so. I have some pictures and vids recorded with a microscope so enjoy these are the newest videos, you can see some presoldiers:
24th February - this is one of my favorite videos of them, there are no presoldiers but i got many good visuals
1st march - this is my favorite one, there are lots of presoldiers and you can see the king and queen grooming nicely
Hey guys, so I know there wasn't an update last week, this is because i still had no workers, but I now have 2 workers and a soldier there will be videos and I have a lot to explain but Firstly:
Something I completely forgot to mention last time is why these termites are called snouted harvester termites, these termites are nasutes meaning they have nasute soldiers so that will explain the snouted part. But by far one of the coolest things about these termites is that unlike other termites who spend there life underground, these termites come out at night and forage for grass, so this explained the harvester part.
Okay so onto the updates, my first ever worker-caste was a soldier, which is interesting as they are generally not first, one thing I've noticed with these termites is that even after they've molted they take a while (1 - 2 days) before they begin to work, after that time the worker took a strategic position at the nest entrance. A while later I got my first ever actual worker, I'm not sure what caste it was since my species has 5 total working castes but i suspect it was a medium sized worker (termite nanitics are smaller than normal workers so its hard to tell). At first it just acted like a nymph but it them began to care for some brood, this worker was later joined by a 2nd one. By now i was concerned as the king was looking skinny so i decided to give them some grass, at first they seemed uninterested but soon after this the king began to break it down, as i began to notice bite marks on the grass and on the under-side of the king i noticed his digestive track, however on the workers there were no visible digestive tracks. i them replaced this grass with a piece that looked better and the king really began to eat it, as of this morning I've noticed visible digestive tracks. So all seems good for this colony.
There are still some setup issues though. Whenever there are cold nights or days, the container gets condensation on it and nymphs, eggs and workers get stuck on it and this setup is several months old and is getting dirty, i want to move them into a new setup but i am scared of killing them and if I'm going to move them, I'm going to only do it once at this size (when they get bigger they will obviously need to be moved. they won't be foraging outside for a while though and ill still be directly feeding them. I'm not sure what to put them in but it needs to be high visibility. if you have any suggestions please post them
Here are some videos and I've tried a new method of photography: (sorry for vertical video)