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