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Oregon newbie seeking advice

advice newbie oregon clackamas pheidole pogonomyrmex beginner

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#1 Offline HYLIAN - Posted April 23 2019 - 12:53 AM

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Hello! I am the aforementioned newbie, residing in beautiful if atrociously expensive Oregon.

I'll cut to the chase. I've done a little research to find out what I can legally raise here, and I've identified a couple kinds of ant that really capture my interest: pheidole ("big-head") and pogonomyrmex ("harvester"). According to AntWeb, there are only two species of each in Oregon; californica and creightoni, and occidentalis and salinus, respectively. My questions are:

Are any of these a good choice for a beginner?

Is there a resource to help me track down a searchable region where they're typically found? By 'searchable region' I mean something along the lines of, "in Westmoreland park," or, "just outside of Kaiser city limits."

As a beginner, should I even worry about hunting down a specific breed? Or should I simply stay local, identify whatever I find, and raise that breed (and/or other local breeds) until I have a few more notches on my belt? For reference, 'local' is Clackamas county.

Apologies if I'm a little over-earnest; I'm excited and I wanna do this right.

Thank you for reading; I hope to be able to plug in to the community here!

#2 Offline B_rad0806 - Posted April 23 2019 - 3:33 AM

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Try to research about any Camponotus species. They are always a great species to start with.


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#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 23 2019 - 5:15 AM

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Good luck on your first year!

I think it really just comes down to what you're lucky enough to find. By nature, the most common queens will likely be hardy species as well. You can certainly try to target species, but it comes down to luck in a way. Last year I wanted to find Formica, and I went out to nature centers and parks literally every afternoon with my kids in a stroller. I only found one queen, and she promptly died in her tube. Luckily, I found a bunch of other queens, though.

I did the same thing in September looking for Lasius, and I actually lucked out and found Crematogaster instead. :lol:


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#4 Offline HYLIAN - Posted April 24 2019 - 1:11 AM

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Try to research about any Camponotus species. They are always a great species to start with.



Duly noted, and thank you for the recommendation! They do seem to have the strongest presence in Oregon, next to the Formica genus.

Good luck on your first year!
I think it really just comes down to what you're lucky enough to find. By nature, the most common queens will likely be hardy species as well. You can certainly try to target species, but it comes down to luck in a way. Last year I wanted to find Formica, and I went out to nature centers and parks literally every afternoon with my kids in a stroller. I only found one queen, and she promptly died in her tube. Luckily, I found a bunch of other queens, though.
I did the same thing in September looking for Lasius, and I actually lucked out and found Crematogaster instead. :lol:

Oof, Lady Luck never did take a shine to me. Haha. It's good information though, and it helps me to prepare mentally for my first attempt at finding a queen. Thank you for the well-wishes! I hope you have good luck this year as well! :D

Edited by HYLIAN, April 24 2019 - 1:12 AM.


#5 Offline Leo - Posted April 24 2019 - 2:23 AM

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Good luck on your first year!

I think it really just comes down to what you're lucky enough to find. By nature, the most common queens will likely be hardy species as well. You can certainly try to target species, but it comes down to luck in a way. Last year I wanted to find Formica, and I went out to nature centers and parks literally every afternoon with my kids in a stroller. I only found one queen, and she promptly died in her tube. Luckily, I found a bunch of other queens, though.

I did the same thing in September looking for Lasius, and I actually lucked out and found Crematogaster instead. :lol:

Lmao, I get real lucky, and my school is on a mountain so I can check for queens daily, yesterday was also one of the luckiest/most successful anting trips in my life! Found 6 ponerine queens, 1 colony of leptogenys and 2 alates of acanthomyrmex glabfemoralis (first time documented in Hong Kong). And It wasn't even supposed to be an anting trip! I was going on a hike with friends. Try different locations on random days and might just get lucky!


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#6 Offline ponerinecat - Posted April 25 2019 - 5:03 PM

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Good luck on your first year!

I think it really just comes down to what you're lucky enough to find. By nature, the most common queens will likely be hardy species as well. You can certainly try to target species, but it comes down to luck in a way. Last year I wanted to find Formica, and I went out to nature centers and parks literally every afternoon with my kids in a stroller. I only found one queen, and she promptly died in her tube. Luckily, I found a bunch of other queens, though.

I did the same thing in September looking for Lasius, and I actually lucked out and found Crematogaster instead. :lol:

Lmao, I get real lucky, and my school is on a mountain so I can check for queens daily, yesterday was also one of the luckiest/most successful anting trips in my life! Found 6 ponerine queens, 1 colony of leptogenys and 2 alates of acanthomyrmex glabfemoralis (first time documented in Hong Kong). And It wasn't even supposed to be an anting trip! I was going on a hike with friends. Try different locations on random days and might just get lucky!

 

I've never been so lucky... :(



#7 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted May 6 2019 - 1:39 PM

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Pheidole can be good for a beginner, but I just try to keep whatever I find. Harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex) have painful stings so watch out for that. Formica stress easily from what I have heard. However if Formica make it past their founding stage they seem unstoppable. Watch TarheelAnt's Formica subsericea colony. IT IS MASSIVE!


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#8 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted May 6 2019 - 1:47 PM

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Formica are unstoppable. I got a Formica pacifica colony to maturity in 2 and a half years. Formica pacifica are found in your area easily.

#9 Offline ponerinecat - Posted May 9 2019 - 4:49 PM

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My formica queen laid eggs in the aspirator vial...



#10 Offline HYLIAN - Posted June 13 2019 - 5:53 PM

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Pheidole can be good for a beginner, but I just try to keep whatever I find. Harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex) have painful stings so watch out for that. Formica stress easily from what I have heard. However if Formica make it past their founding stage they seem unstoppable. Watch TarheelAnt's Formica subsericea colony. IT IS MASSIVE!

 

I hear you; at this point I'll be glad for anything. I've heard about Harvester stings; how do they compare to wasps? And holy sweet mother of chitin you are not kidding. Formica forever. :0

 

Formica are unstoppable. I got a Formica pacifica colony to maturity in 2 and a half years. Formica pacifica are found in your area easily.

 

Duly noted, and thank you for the tip! I had a glimmer of hope a couple weeks back, but ultimately I've been unsuccessful so far.

 

My formica queen laid eggs in the aspirator vial...

 

Is Formica the honey badger of ants?



#11 Offline HYLIAN - Posted June 13 2019 - 6:24 PM

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Swing and a miss you guys. :C

 

https://imgur.com/a/nLggA3k

 

I was out on the coast, up at Cannon Beach, and there just so happened to be an enormous nuptial flight. I was totally unprepared, but I tried to make do with a rinsed out pill bottle. Not the best selection, I realize, but I couldn't find anything more suitable. Made sure she had the wing stumps, gave her some water in a cotton ball, and in she went. She survived the trip back, and continued... just, hanging out for almost three weeks. Never laid eggs though. Checked on her once a week after putting her into a desk drawer in the guest room to make sure she had water and air. The cotton in her setup eventually got pretty raunchy, so I decided to move her to a proper test tube since she still hadn't laid any eggs. She moved pretty willingly and settled down after a few minutes of figuring out where she was. With the fresh water and the clean test tube, I put her back in the dark warm spot (a desk drawer in the guest room) and let her be. Came back that weekend and found that she had joined the Great Colony in the Sky. I honestly kinda figured that something like this might happen with my first go at things, but I'm still pretty bummed. I got a tip from a kind dude and fellow Oregonian on another thread here today; he saw some Camponotus Pennsylvanicus down by a local river, so I might give it another go. I might also see if I can find GAN farmer or another ant-keeper in Oregon who's selling. Either way, I was hoping to hear your thoughts. Where did I mess up? What could I have done better? Thanks in advance, and thank you all again for all the responses I've received so far. This is a pretty splendid community! <3


Edited by HYLIAN, June 13 2019 - 6:24 PM.


#12 Offline Dukagora - Posted June 28 2019 - 6:40 PM

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Pheidole can be good for a beginner, but I just try to keep whatever I find. Harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex) have painful stings so watch out for that. Formica stress easily from what I have heard. However if Formica make it past their founding stage they seem unstoppable. Watch TarheelAnt's Formica subsericea colony. IT IS MASSIVE!

 

I hear you; at this point I'll be glad for anything. I've heard about Harvester stings; how do they compare to wasps? And holy sweet mother of chitin you are not kidding. Formica forever. :0

 

Formica are unstoppable. I got a Formica pacifica colony to maturity in 2 and a half years. Formica pacifica are found in your area easily.

 

Duly noted, and thank you for the tip! I had a glimmer of hope a couple weeks back, but ultimately I've been unsuccessful so far.

 

My formica queen laid eggs in the aspirator vial...

 

Is Formica the honey badger of ants?

 

 

Pogonomyrmex stings aren't exactly pleasant. I don't think its much different than a wasp sting but it my vary from person to person. Feel free to just go ahead and pick one up and see what you think though =p


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#13 Offline AntsDakota - Posted June 29 2019 - 1:06 PM

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Hello! I am the aforementioned newbie, residing in beautiful if atrociously expensive Oregon.

I'll cut to the chase. I've done a little research to find out what I can legally raise here, and I've identified a couple kinds of ant that really capture my interest: pheidole ("big-head") and pogonomyrmex ("harvester"). According to AntWeb, there are only two species of each in Oregon; californica and creightoni, and occidentalis and salinus, respectively. My questions are:

Are any of these a good choice for a beginner?

Is there a resource to help me track down a searchable region where they're typically found? By 'searchable region' I mean something along the lines of, "in Westmoreland park," or, "just outside of Kaiser city limits."

As a beginner, should I even worry about hunting down a specific breed? Or should I simply stay local, identify whatever I find, and raise that breed (and/or other local breeds) until I have a few more notches on my belt? For reference, 'local' is Clackamas county.

Apologies if I'm a little over-earnest; I'm excited and I wanna do this right.

Thank you for reading; I hope to be able to plug in to the community here!

The genus Pheidole has excellent beginner species. However, you should probably wait on Pogonomyrmex until you get a little more experienced. Also, I would suggest being open to other beginner species as well, as I have no idea how common Pheidole are in Oregon.


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"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version

 

 


#14 Offline Mdrogun - Posted June 29 2019 - 5:16 PM

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As a beginner, should I even worry about hunting down a specific breed? Or should I simply stay local, identify whatever I find, and raise that breed (and/or other local breeds) until I have a few more notches on my belt? For reference, 'local' is Clackamas county.

I'm in love  :lol: . This, this, this one hundred times this. I always see people coming into the hobby and are like "I want to keep x." X is often one of the rarer, harder to keep species in their area. It's best to just see what you can find in your area. Get some experience going. Then, if you're feeling adventurous, make some bigger trips to other parts of the state to hunt down the cooler stuff if it can't be found in your area. It's not worth it to drive 4 hrs for your first queen because people's first ants have the highest risk of death.


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Ready for Nuptial flights!






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