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Ferox's Trachymyrmex septentrionalis Journal! (Updated July 18th, 2019)


67 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted May 17 2019 - 5:44 PM

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So today, I was walking through the woods at my park just after sundown, when I noticed a little mound nest. I looked closer to see if it could maybe be Trachymyrmex septentrionalis. I saw no movement, until I saw a small ant walking across the top of the mound. I thought it was Aphaenogaster, and took a closer look. I was shocked to realize she was Trachymyrmex septentrionalis! I flipped out in excitement! I pulled out my phone to record her, and was able to for only a few seconds until she ran into the discrete nest entrance. I saw another one though, carrying a piece of soil. I was able to record her for longer. i had to go back home, but I've marked the location of the nest with a stick. I'm gonna come back tomorrow with a shovel and excavate the nest, slowly and carefully. I am SOOOOO excited to have a colony of Trachymyrmex septentrionalis!!!  :yahoo:  :shout:  :dance:  :dance2:


Edited by Ferox_Formicae, July 18 2019 - 6:44 PM.

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#2 Offline Acutus - Posted May 17 2019 - 5:51 PM

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Will be watching to see how it goes. I haven't found any yet but from the habitat description I know a few places they will surely be. :D


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Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#3 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted May 17 2019 - 5:56 PM

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Where should I find these?!

#4 Offline Acutus - Posted May 17 2019 - 6:05 PM

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They way I was reading it said Sandy soil in like Pine Barrens where Opuntia cactus grow.


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Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#5 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted May 17 2019 - 6:07 PM

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I found these ones in a small forest with mostly deciduous trees and not really sandy soil, and there are no cacti.


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#6 Offline Acutus - Posted May 17 2019 - 6:14 PM

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"In the northern part of its range, T. septentrionalis occurs exclusively on pure sand soils in open habitats and open woodlands of the Pine Barrens."

 

 

 

Once you know what to look for they're pretty easy to find. Check out the video I made about them to see what the habitat I found them in looked like. I live out by the Pine Barrens so we have a mixture of Oak and Pine Trees. Where you find very sandy well drained soil and some shrubby plants along with prickly pear (that flat sort of cacti we have up here) find a large oak tree and look around under it. You'll find crescent moon shaped mounds. 

 

Just a couple quotes from other threads. :) Been doing my homework on this species as I want to try these next year. Unless you have the required stuff for them to make the fungus they'd be hard to keep.

 

Of course doesn't meant they wouldn't live in other locations. The Florida research I have been trying to read mentions Turkey Oak a lot. Well drained soil definitely seems to be key though.


Edited by Acutus, May 17 2019 - 6:19 PM.

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Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#7 Offline 123LordOfAnts123 - Posted May 17 2019 - 7:28 PM

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The issue with finding Trachymyrmex queens that have dug their founding chambers already is they likely have since deposited their buccal pellet. Without it, the queen can’t grow her own incipient colony. Queens forage and excavate for up to a month after mating, so finding them without a fresh pellet is very common.

It helps to have a donor colony to take fungus from in these cases.
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#8 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted May 18 2019 - 10:45 AM

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I pulled off the excavation! Getting every single worker, every single piece of fungus, every single brood (which was inside of the fungus), and the queen! Truthfully, I'm really surprised! The colony has anywhere between three and four-hundred workers, and contained two fungus chamber, the lower of which contained the majority of the workers, fungus, and the queen, who was huddles in the back. She was actually the last ant I found. Something I found out about these ants that I didn't know is that they're actually polymorphic, having quite a few castes of workers, kinda like my Aphaenogaster. These ants are so cool, and I have some nice plans for the nest... ;)


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#9 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted May 18 2019 - 9:32 PM

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Pics or it didn't happen :lol:.
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#10 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted May 19 2019 - 5:23 AM

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IMG 5998[1]
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#11 Offline Acutus - Posted May 19 2019 - 5:27 AM

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So how large was the fungus? I definitely gotta try this!

 

Also how much digging did you have to do? How Deep? how Wide?


Edited by Acutus, May 19 2019 - 5:40 AM.

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Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#12 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted May 19 2019 - 10:20 AM

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So how large was the fungus? I definitely gotta try this!

 

Also how much digging did you have to do? How Deep? how Wide?

Each chamber was the size of two of my fists, with the fungus fitting snugly inside, with room for the ants to move around. I had to dig down about 18 inches and the hole I dug was about a foot wide.


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#13 Offline Acutus - Posted May 19 2019 - 10:23 AM

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So how large was the fungus? I definitely gotta try this!

 

Also how much digging did you have to do? How Deep? how Wide?

Each chamber was the size of two of my fists, with the fungus fitting snugly inside, with room for the ants to move around. I had to dig down about 18 inches and the hole I dug was about a foot wide.

 

 

Good to know. Gonna try and Not get them that way but we'll see. :)


  • Ferox_Formicae likes this

Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#14 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted May 20 2019 - 6:03 AM

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So I've planned out the formicarium, and I think it's gonna be awesome! It's going to be a ten gallon glass terrarium with a grout nest about a foot deep with the chambers carved out into it. Each fungus chamber will be about six inches wide by six inches tall by six inches deep, with tunnels connecting them. The soil on top is going to be a sand to dirt mixture of about 4:1, like the soil I found them in, and rather loose so the ants can move the dirt around to form their characteristic crescent mound. I've uprooted some plants from around where I found them, some dry-loving grasses, clovers, some flowers, pine and other tree saplings, and lots of really pretty lichens. I also found an opossum skull yesterday that will give the formicarium some nice interior decoration. The formicarium will also have a light system over it to help the plants grow and to give it a nicer, brighter look. I will also be adding sticks and twigs into the formicarium. This formicarium will not only contain the Trachymyrmex, it will contain other insects as well. I will be putting springtails, isopods, and my Chinese Praying Mantis, Ying, into the formicarium. In June, I will also be placing another ant colony into it, my first non-local ant colony, and probably my only one. They're arboreal, being the most prevalent ant species in Red Mangrove swamps. They are herbivorous for the most part, and never consume and non-liquid foods. They're Myrmecines with a specialized major caste for plugging the nest entrance, perfectly carved to match the size of their specialized heads. These ants are only found in Florida and some places in the Caribbean. They also live in some of the places Trachymyrmex septentrionalis lives, just higher up in the trees, pretty much out of their reach. I think most of you can guess what these ants are... ;)
This will hopefully be a nice formicarium, and I think it will be my best and most advanced one yet! :)

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#15 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted May 20 2019 - 6:36 AM

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Wait, you imported a Cephalotes colony from Florida? Did you get a permit? Nice job on the formicarium by the way!

#16 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted May 20 2019 - 7:17 AM

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Wait, you imported a Cephalotes colony from Florida? Did you get a permit? Nice job on the formicarium by the way!

I have not yet gotten the colony, I will hopefully be getting them in June when I go to Florida, and I don't need a permit as it is apparently legal to bring ants across state borders depending on the species and whether or no they could survive in that state if released, which Cephalotes varians cannot.


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#17 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted May 20 2019 - 7:45 AM

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Oh, cool! Now I want one.... How much would you charge? For a small colony of around 10-15 workers and a queen?

#18 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted May 20 2019 - 7:50 AM

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Oh, cool! Now I want one.... How much would you charge? For a small colony of around 10-15 workers and a queen?

Given their rarity, I'd say around $80.


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#19 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted May 20 2019 - 7:51 AM

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I will think about it. What is their care info? Also, could they survive in Nashville Tennessee? I'm guessing they could during the summer, but die in the winter.I

Edit: How large are these ants?

Edited by Ant_Dude2908, May 20 2019 - 7:53 AM.


#20 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted May 20 2019 - 8:02 AM

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I don't think you can ship these across borders, just take them, but not sell them.


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