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AntsBC's Parasitic Formica ravida Journal (Updated: June 19, 2019)

parasitic formica formicaravida ravida f. rufa group journal antsbc

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#1 Offline AntsBC - Posted June 17 2019 - 5:28 PM

AntsBC

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Hey everyone,

 

This is my journal on my Formica ravida queen/colony.

 

This past week, I was in Calgary for hockey. I was aware that Alberta has some very cool Formica rufa group spp., (which I am particularly interested in), so I tried my best to visit parks in hopes to find some colonies.

 

A managed to find a park where Formica ravida, F. obscuripes, and F. ulkei were all present, which was quite exciting for me. The first day I visited there, the conditions weren't really ideal for nuptial flights, so I didn't see any queens. I came back a few days later, after a recent rainfall, when it was particularly hot outside, and I saw many F. ravida queen dealates searching for host colonies to infiltrate. I only collected one queen, since the Formica rufa group is diminishing in numbers across North America. 

 

I collected five F. ravida workers from the colonies nearby, and the queen and workers accepted each other. I had them in a plastic bag, as I didn't have anything else to carry them in. The bag definitely wasn't ideal, and unfortunately after around an hour only the queen remained. I would have moved them all into a water bottle or something better, but I never got the chance. I was hiding them from my parents too, as they said I wasn't permitted to bring any ants home from the trip.

 

The queen made it to the airport, through customs, onto the plane, and back to my house alive; all in the plastic bag. Although I was hoping, I wasn't really expecting her to live. Because of this, I have high hopes for her. 

 

She really wasn't looking too good after I got home. I transferred her to a test tube, and fed her some honey. This morning, she looked a lot better. 

 

Once I got home from school, I introduced some Formica pacifica host workers to her. She has around three at the moment, and I just baited around 25 more using a sugar water test tube. I'll separate that group from their colony for a few days, and then I'll introduce them to the queen and her workers.

 

Here's some photos:

 

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Edited by AntsBC, June 19 2019 - 5:51 PM.

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My Active Journals:

 

Formica fossaceps (Parasitic sp.)

Formica ravida (Parasitic sp.)
Formica pacifica 
Lasius americanus 
Manica hunteri

 

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#2 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted June 19 2019 - 10:36 AM

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It’s legal to move ants across borders there?
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#3 Offline rbarreto - Posted June 19 2019 - 10:58 AM

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It’s legal to move ants across borders there?


Yes

My journal featuring most of my ants.

My other journal featuring Formica Bradleyi.

Check our my store here!


#4 Offline Acutus - Posted June 19 2019 - 2:23 PM

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Nice! she's cool looking! :D


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Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva

Formica subsericea


#5 Offline AntsBC - Posted June 19 2019 - 2:44 PM

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Update #1: Wednesday, June 19, 2019

 

Yesterday, I introduced the workers I was talking about in the last post. The queen accepted them. I used, what I like to call, The Fridge/Pheromone Combo for introducing the workers.

 

The Fridge/Pheromone Combo is essentially when you gather around 10 workers from one Formica fusca group colony, then around five workers from different Formica fusca group colonies, and mix them together in a test tube. Then, you put the test tube in the fridge, (you have to be pretty quick to put them in the fridge, as they will usually start fighting after you mix them together). You leave them in the fridge until they have almost curled up; I usually open the fridge door every minute or so to see where they're at, because you don't want to kill them. And then after you take the test tube out of the fridge, the workers will get along fine! To complete the method, you introduce the chilled workers to your parasitic queen.

 

I find this method is the easiest and most successful way to raise Formica social parasites, and I've never had it backfire on me. For me, the pupae method is a big hassle, and I find if you introduce workers right away, your queen will actually have a higher success rate then if you introduced pupae first. Parasitic queens generally don't want to take care of brood.

 

Anyways, here's a photo of the queen with her Formica pacifica host workers. I must admit, she is really beautiful.

 

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And here's a video:

 

https://youtu.be/7Hq4z5_3cmg


Edited by AntsBC, June 19 2019 - 2:53 PM.

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My Active Journals:

 

Formica fossaceps (Parasitic sp.)

Formica ravida (Parasitic sp.)
Formica pacifica 
Lasius americanus 
Manica hunteri

 

Instagram // YouTube 


#6 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted June 20 2019 - 9:30 AM

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It’s legal to move ants across borders there?

Yes
Lucky. I am assuming because of similar climate?
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#7 Online Ant_Dude2908 - Posted June 20 2019 - 9:31 AM

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It’s legal to move ants across borders there?

Yes
Lucky. I am assuming because of similar climate?

No, they just don't have the unnecessarily strict laws we have. :ugone2far:
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#8 Offline AntsBC - Posted July 11 2019 - 4:15 PM

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Update #2, Thursday, July 11, 2019:

 
This queen has been through a lot. We'll see if she makes it.
 
Basically, a little while after I connected this colony to an outworld, all the workers began to slowly die. Disease seems to be the best answer for this, as the workers were becoming immobilized slowly. If it was the queen that was killing them, they would have died more quickly.
 
In attempts to save the colony, I put the remaining four workers and the queen in a new test tube.
 
Fast forward a week, all the workers are dead, and only the queen remains.
 
Today, I collected two wild F. pacifica workers from seperate colonies, chilled them, and introduced them to the queen. She seemed to have accepted them, only time will tell if that continues. 
 
I'm assuming she will wait until after hibernation to lay eggs, if she makes it that far.
 
Today has been a super crazy ant/culture day. I've been having problems with one of my other parasitic Formica colonies, who have pupae at the moment. I also opened my garage today and found out my fly farm had a defect in it, as there were 500 maggots crawling over the floor... 

Edited by AntsBC, July 11 2019 - 4:20 PM.

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My Active Journals:

 

Formica fossaceps (Parasitic sp.)

Formica ravida (Parasitic sp.)
Formica pacifica 
Lasius americanus 
Manica hunteri

 

Instagram // YouTube 


#9 Online Ant_Dude2908 - Posted July 12 2019 - 6:05 AM

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Be glad it was in the garage!
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