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DJoseph98’s Ant Colonies


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#1 Offline DJoseph98 - Posted June 14 2019 - 7:37 PM

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I’ll post more pictures as soon as I can find a way to get the right lighting. I only have a cheap phone and a clip on macro lens.

 

So, here’s my current list of colonies:

            1x Camponotus chromaiodes

                        Founded 4/16/19, collected in Pikeville, Ky. As of 6/4/19, she has pupa and a sizable brood pile.

 

            1x Camponotus herculaneus (I think, it looks different from my C. chromaiodes)

Founded 5/1/19, collected in Pikeville, KY. As of 6/4/19, she has just eggs. I think this is due to frequent disturbances and this has stopped.

yZkGXEf.jpg

            1x Camponotus nearcticus

Founded 5/1/19, collected in Pikeville, KY. As of 6/4/19, no brood at all. Lots of cotton pulling still, fed some honey on 6/4/19 to keep it going. Still has wings.

 

            1x Forelius mccooki (or F. pruinosis) 3 queens in a single tube.

Founded 6/10/19, collected in Van Lear, KY (All three).They had some eggs as of 6/14/19. Unsure of exact identity but I will hopefully fix this soon. Shouldn’t matter since these are closely related.

vXoH5XC.jpg

            1x Monomorium minimum

Founded 6/12/19, collected in Van Lear, KY. She has a batch of eggs already as of 6/14/19. Only one queen so far but I will add queens as I find them (hopefully).

vHW43Q4.jpg

            1x Pheidole sp.

Founded 5/24/19, collected in Van Lear, KY. She has no eggs as of 6/4/19 and is brachypterous…

See this topic for more info -> http://www.formicult...ith-this-queen/

3KXqNUe.jpg?1

 

            3x Tetramorium immigrans (Monogynous groupings)

                        1st: Founded 5/29/19, no eggs as of 6/4/19 (Collected in Van Lear, KY)                                         

                        2nd: Founded 6/6/19, no eggs yet. (Collected in downtown Lexington, KY)                                   

                        3rd: Founded 6/6/19, no eggs yet. (Collected in downtown Lexington, KY)

 

            1x Tetramorium immigrans (Three queens in a pleometrotic group)

Founded 6/7/19, all three collected in Van Lear, KY. No aggression between the three just lots of antenna touching, one still had wings. Due to pleometrotic behavior, I understand that in the end there can only be one. I brood boosted this colony with six darkening pupa, four white pupa, and five large larvae. As of 6/14/19 they had four workers from the pupa, a fresh batch of eggs, and had consumed a termite worker.  

Z8DER4V.jpg


Edited by DJoseph98, June 15 2019 - 8:45 PM.

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#2 Offline DJoseph98 - Posted June 16 2019 - 6:43 PM

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Caught three more M. minimum queens and added them to the tube with the first.

#3 Offline DJoseph98 - Posted June 27 2019 - 6:39 PM

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Update 6/27/19:

C. chromaiodes has first nanitic! Been feeding lots of honey though it seems the queen is eating it all... She's is becoming physogastric but that may be the honey.
C. herculaneus has all pupae and several eggs

F. pruinosis three queen colony had a queen die, but they have a large brood pile.

M. minimum group doesn't have any eggs and they don't seem to be doing well so I added some wild workers who immediately accepted them. Hopefully will end for the best.

Pheidole spp brachypterous queen died, I just checked on her and she was covered in green mold. COD unknown since it could have grown post mortem (hadn't checked on her for a while).

T. immigrans monogynous queens all lack eggs but one of them from Lexington, KY has a HUGE batch of eggs and is physogastric.

T. immigrans (pleomtrotic and brood boosted) has eight workers from brood boost and huge pile of their own eggs and larvae! All queens seem healthy and unharmed no signs of aggression still.

 

C. nearcticus queen still lacks any brood at all, so pretty sure she is infertile

 

I have begun several new colonies in the founding stages. 

 

Crematogaster spp monogynous founding, already has a bundle of eggs

Formica cf pallidefulva who is very physogastric and has several eggs

A very dark colored Pheidole queen which I have not identified yet so I will update on that ASAP.

Three of what I believe to be Pheidole dentata. I kept them together initially and they huddled together and behaved like they were completely okay with each others presence so I left them in the same founding setup. 

Found one more Pheidole dentata  tonight that I will add to their setup in the morning.

Finally, I have found what I believe to be Lasius americanus though it is a bit early in the season. So far she has only been cotton tugging and still has her wings. 

Started second Forelius pruinosis colony which was four queens but one died. Checked on them the next day and it appears that her "sisters" ate what was left and had a large pile of eggs already. Will combine with the original colony as soon as both groups have nanitics.


Edited by DJoseph98, June 27 2019 - 6:41 PM.


#4 Offline DJoseph98 - Posted July 2 2019 - 3:58 PM

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Update 7/2/19:

Camponotus chromaiodes has four workers! I fed them the body of a small grasshopper and some honey, they seemed thrilled with the protein.HvKHXA7.jpg

 

Camponotus herculaneus hasn't changed any but I finally got a good photo.

cqaQmUy.jpg

Forelius cf pruinosis ALL queens and brood of the first group/founding colony I setup have died. At first all but one queen died, and the others looked like they had been eaten (recycling?). The second colony founding group has had a similar situation but there is one queen left with a large brood batch. Her sister queens look like they had been recycled as well.TIB0mWd.jpg

Crematogast spp. has a good size brood pile. No pic.

 

Formica cf pallidefulva has six eggs and is still cotton pulling strangely.

uWMwiEk.jpg

Pheidole dentata three queen group has brood pile (unable to count)  and they seem to be getting along well still. Two queens seemed lighter than the other but look identical in most other lighting.v5qankD.jpg

 

Pheidole dentata two queen group is doing quite well (I found a second queen the morning of 6/28/19 and added her to the other queen's tube). They got along great, almost instantly and they have a brood pile.l77WlPl.jpg

 

Lasius americanus still has not laid any eggs. Id may not be accurate so no pics until I get an ID confirmation.

 

T. immigrans Lexington Collected Queen (Queen #1) has finally laid a sizable pile of eggs after almost a month!

VgijVoR.jpg

 

T. immigrans Lexington Collected Queen (Queen #2) has a huge pile of larvae (no eggs or pupae visible).

0UXY2dD.jpg

 

T. immigrans Van Lear Collected Queen has not laid any eggs still so no pics.

T. immigrans three queen pleometrotic and brood boosted colony (whereby to be referred to as The Fates) have eggs, small larvae, a few pupae, and eight workers. They were fed today a grasshopper leg and some honey which they immediately took. No good pics. 

 

M. minimum  do not have any eggs yet that I can see but he queens drank quite a bit of honey.

Hro4sI5.jpg

 

I moved both into homemade plaster formicariums which seem to have become WAY too humid. They liked it much better than their tubes though. This is why I couldn't get a good picture of The Fates.

 

The containers are 5 cm tall, diameter of 4 cm. I will change the designs some to help improve airflow, reduce humidity, and increase the space utilization for chambers.

eSQxUza.jpg


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#5 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 2 2019 - 5:03 PM

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I like the name The Fates. Reminds me of the three Norns from Norse mythology Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#6 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted July 2 2019 - 6:26 PM

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Nice ants! Btw the Camponotus herculeanus are just Camponotus chromaiodes, but with a rarer gene that gives her the high red. I have found this as well.
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#7 Offline DJoseph98 - Posted July 2 2019 - 7:07 PM

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Nice ants! Btw the Camponotus herculeanus are just Camponotus chromaiodes, but with a rarer gene that gives her the high red. I have found this as well.

In that case which would be the most appropriate name for taxonomy's sake? The two queens seemed to have different shades on their gasters when I first collected them. I'll take some pictures of my established colony without the red vinyl to get a better idea

#8 Offline DJoseph98 - Posted July 2 2019 - 7:11 PM

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I like the name The Fates. Reminds me of the three Norns from Norse mythology Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld.

Thanks! I was thinking of the greek Fates to be honest. I was also thinking of naming them the Gorgons since with multiple queen T. immigrans founding things tend to get ugly (pardon my pun).
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#9 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted July 3 2019 - 6:06 AM

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Nice ants! Btw the Camponotus herculeanus are just Camponotus chromaiodes, but with a rarer gene that gives her the high red. I have found this as well.

In that case which would be the most appropriate name for taxonomy's sake? The two queens seemed to have different shades on their gasters when I first collected them. I'll take some pictures of my established colony without the red vinyl to get a better idea

Just Camponotus chromaiodes.

#10 Offline DJoseph98 - Posted July 8 2019 - 5:55 PM

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Update 7/8/19:

 

There was an incident due to some miscommunication with a friend that ended up placing my shoebox with my founding colonies in the sun that led to some flooding and death.

 

Camponotus chromaiodes (The first one I founded) now has six workers. No more pupae, but they have a pile of eggs and some small larvae. They have been happily accepting pieces of grasshopper and locust as well as plenty of honey.

 

Camponotus chromaiodes (Formerly misidentified as C. herculaneus) has devoured her larvae and eggs. Only her six pupae are left... I am unsure if I should take her pupae and give it to the first colony I have if she is eating her brood this much. 

 

Forelius cf. pruinosis has sizable brood pile but the bodies of her fallen comrades caused a mold outbreak on the cotton. I may try encouraging her to move tubes to prevent it from spreading to her brood.

 

Crematogaster spp. has a large brood pile with several large larvae that look ready to pupate!

 

Formica cf pallidefulva has passed away. Most likely from heat exhaustion, though I don't quite understand how she succumbed but other did not.

 

Pheidole dentata colonies (three queen and two queen) both have more brood! Since I want to have a colony with five queens (they weren't together originally because they were started at different times) I may try placing test tubes together when they have pupae. That way there is too much brood to abandon or that eventually the callow workers will meet when they eclose and share a colony identity.

 

Lasius neoniger (formerly misidentified as Lasius americanus) has three eggs but she might not be fertile still.

 

Lasius neoniger #2 (Collected in Georgetown, KY) dealate found on 4th of July, found a second but she passed away recently as well though not by any of my actions.

 

Tetramorium immigrans Queens

Lex Queen #1 has had a mold takeover her brood, and she seems to have given up (I don't blame her). I will allow her to pass on peacefully, so on this journal I say she has passed on.

Lex Queen #2 (now just Lex Queen) has sizable brood pile, with some pupae!

Van Lear Queen is dead. I think she was sterile.

Fates are doing well and have a sizable appetite for protein (Spider legs, grasshopper parts, etc). They are still happy in their little plaster formicaria. All three queens alive.

 

Monomorium minimum colony had a breakout! I must not have fitted the lid back on very well and all the workers escaped leaving behind the queens... They were not very loyal subjects. I placed all three queens into a test tube again since they didn't have any brood after feeding them honey again. I found three more queens on two separate occasions. The first occasion I found one and placed her in a tube of her own. The second I placed the two I found in with the original three. The five group shall be the Monomorium minimum Penta. The other shall be referred to as the monogynous founding group (Founded 7/3/19) which already has a sizable brood pile! 

The plan for this queen is to start a colony with the monogynous founding style and add the other queens when she gets nanitics (if they don’t start their own by that time). I guess when I added queens constantly during the founding stage previously it had put too much stress for them to rear brood so this is kind of my way to recover. And the added workers didn’t seem to help much since they abandoned ship to locate their old colony.

 

Solenopsis molesta five queen colony founded last night, all getting along very well! Will do some research to figure out what exactly this species is like to keep.

 

Overall, this leaves me with Twelve Test Tubes occupied and One Formicaria Occupied. Assuming combining the P. dentata colonies and the M. minimum groups goes well, I will have Eleven Colonies total by the end of it all.


Edited by DJoseph98, July 8 2019 - 5:55 PM.

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#11 Offline DJoseph98 - Posted July 18 2019 - 9:22 AM

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Update 7/18/19:

Camponotus chromaiodes #1 is doing well, I moved them into a tub and tube setup. Will leave them alone for a while so they can thrive without interference. I gave them three pupae. They devoured the one that was becoming dark (they treated it weird from the start) but they treated the paler ones as brood from the start.

 

Camponotus chromaidoes “H” is not doing too well. She left a few pupae to rot (I still don’t understand how so I gave the not rotting ones to the colony I mentioned above). I provided some protein and honey for her and she has already laid another egg so maybe it’s not too late. I will try and get her in a new tube so that she doesn’t risk a bacterial takeover.

 

Forelius cf. pruinosis is doing okay but some white mold is spreading across the tube. I expect brood to eclose in the next five days or so, but I will provide another tube so that she can move away from the spreading mold as soon as possible before it takes over her brood. I will use one of my new 13mmx100mm test tubes.

 

Crematogaster spp. is doing amazing! Her brood pile is almost twice as big as her with plenty of brood of all stages! She should have workers around the same time as my Forelius.

 

Pheidole dentata are doing very well, my three-queen group has a large brood pile with larvae that look ready to become pupae. The two-queen group has a very sizable brood pile as well with smaller larvae.

 

Tetramorium immigrans has bad news and good news. The Fates have all passed away. They dug their way through some more wet plaster to the reservoir, and it tipped flooding the whole thing overnight. This leaves only one Tetramorium group, which is now a colony! She had workers eclose yesterday, and I also provided 17 pupae from a colony outside that I accidentally disturbed.

 

Monomorium minimum is doing incredible. My five-queen group (now four queen) has a massive brood pile! My single queen founding group has a sizable brood pile as well with pupae as well!

 

Solenopsis molesta group died literally by the next morning after I caught them. I have no idea what happened here, there didn’t seem to be any obvious issues.

 

Lasius neoniger groups passed away. I’ll try again around Labor Day.



#12 Offline ANTdrew - Posted August 3 2019 - 5:08 PM

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Update?

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#13 Offline DJoseph98 - Posted August 4 2019 - 6:27 PM

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Update?

Update comin up



#14 Offline DJoseph98 - Posted August 4 2019 - 6:31 PM

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Update 8/4/19:

Camponotus chromaidoes #1 all died. Not quite sure what happened.

I think it may have been overheating; in any case, I gave the brood to my Camponotus chromaiodes “H”, now to be known as just Camponotus chromaiodes. She ate most of the brood I gave her and laid new eggs so maybe she’ll make a comeback and I’ll finally have a successful Camponotus colony.

 

Forelius cf pruinosis has its first nanitic as of 8/3/19! Should have more on the way soon.

 

Crematogaster spp. queen had been killing and eating eclosing nanitics for some reason but finally one has survived and is completely darkened. Will have additional workers in a few days and she has been laying eggs.

 

Pheidole dentata ->

  • My Three Queen founding group has three nanitics as of today! The first eclosed on 8/3/19. I gave them part of a cricket thorax which freaked out the queens at first until one realized it was food not fiend and started eating.
  • My Dual Queen founding group had a queen die, so now it’s my Single Queen founding group. There doesn’t seem to be any pupae but plenty of eggs and larvae.
  • I also found four more queens on 7/28/19 which I proceeded to place into a 13 mm test tube (I keep the others in 16mm) together and they are getting along great! They had a huge egg pile two days later. Every time I check on them though it looks like they are circling around a single queen. I once caught one laying an egg and the others were all touching that single one with their antenna kind of like midwives.
  • I hope to combine the Single Queen and Three Queen groups when the Three Queen colony has more nanitics, and if this proceeds well, I will also try to combine with the four queen colony (this is only if the single queen doesn’t turn up dead a week after). I want to make sure there are plenty of workers to care for everyone. As a note for anyone who wants to keep this species, the nanitics are REALLY small and don’t seem to have any trouble climbing upside down in the test tube at all.

 

My Tetramorium immigrans colony has at least 20 workers now, though it seems two nanitics have died. They weren’t torn apart so it was probably due to trauma from a flooding incident a little while ago (keeping everyone on a slant to avoid this from happening again) rather than aggression with broost boosted individuals. I gave them a lifetime supply of dog food crumbs and a tube with sugar water and they seem happy. Just gave them most of a cricket thorax which they seemed excited about as well.

 

Monomorium minimum ->

  • Monomorium minimum monogynous queen has a lot of pupae (at least 10).
  • The Monomorium four queen group has become a two queen group but it seems that the only ones that have passed away were not the ones contributing to the brood pile. The brood pile has a lot of eggs and larvae but not any pupae yet.
  • Will combine these two colonies when the monogynous founding group has close to 10 workers (should be in the next 10 days from the number of pupae there are).

I found another Solenopsis molesta queen! They were having a flight that was being attacked by a bunch of dragonflies and she was the only one who still had her gaster (lucky me, she was also fertile). I gave her a Camponotus egg that had exploded during the afore mentioned brood transfer. She grabbed it immediately and bolted for the wet cotton. It was gone the next day, her gaster was twice as large and she had a large brood pile going. I wholly recommend feeding Solenopsis molesta queens other ant brood before putting them away for founding. I am planning on raiding a nearby Lasius colony for their brood so I can freeze it and save for later feeding.

 

 

I also found what appears to be Temnothorax americanus the other day which is a slave raider. I found two workers of the same species and they got along fine with the queen however since I have no idea how to find a Temnothorax colony to provide as an initial host I don’t think this will o anywhere. Provided honey and food now to see if they take care of her. Honestly, don’t expect too many updates on this one because I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to go anywhere.

 

I also provided scrambled eggs from my breakfast to most of my colonies while they were founding since my last update, and everyone has eaten it and provided it to larvae (since it makes them look like they have a yellow glob inside them) and have been giving honey to the Monomorium, Forelius, and Crematogaster. I am also in the process of coming up with some procedure to safely and successfully combine my Pheidole colonies and combine my Monomorium colonies to avoid needless death and tension.

 

As of today, I have 10 founding colony groups and if combinations are successful, I will have 7 colonies (this includes the Temnothorax founding queen even though I’m pretty sure this won’t work). I’ll post pics upon request since imgur is kind of a hassle for me to use.


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