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Dspdrew's Subterranean Termites Journal (Discontinued)

desert subterranean termites dspdrew journal

104 replies to this topic

#1 Offline dspdrew - Posted October 22 2013 - 6:25 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

8-26-2013

 

During my trip to the Mojave Desert on August 25th 2013 I witnessed a huge termite nuptial flight, and decided to capture a few of the paired dealates I saw walking around in tandem. I got two pairs of the large ones that were the majority of what I saw, and one pair of some much smaller ones. When I got home I filled two square containers and one smaller round container with dirt and put pieces of news paper and cardboard on the top. I put lids on the containers with holes in them just big enough to allow them to breathe.

 

gallery_2_158_32251.jpg

 

 

Right away the termites started digging tunnels and created their founding chambers. I put all three containers into the cupboard where they can remain dark and undisturbed.


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#2 Offline dspdrew - Posted October 22 2013 - 6:29 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 9-15-2013

 

I can still see the termites moving around in the bottom of the round container and one of the square containers. I added a little bit more moisture to the square containers. The smaller termites in the round container have build a mud tunnel all the way up to the top.

 

gallery_2_158_8960.jpg


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#3 Offline dspdrew - Posted October 22 2013 - 6:30 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 10-1-2013

 

I still see termites moving around in the round container, but no more signs of life in the square ones.


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#4 Offline dspdrew - Posted October 22 2013 - 6:34 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 10-21-2013

 

I just checked on the termites, and in the round container, I now see little white nanitics! I tried to get a picture or video, but by the time I got my camera out, they had all moved away from the sides of the container. I'll try again later. The square containers were still showing no signs of life, so I pulled the dirt out of one, and found either the king or queen still alive but very skinny at the very bottom. I put the dirt back in and dropped the termite back on top of it.


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#5 Offline dspdrew - Posted October 27 2013 - 7:45 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 10-27-2013

 

Nothing has changed with any of these that I can see. I did manage to get some video this time though. I also notice, and you can see this in the video, that the queen's abdomen is starting to bloat up.

 

In this video you will see one of the little white nymphs running through the tunnel along the bottom edge, and then you can see the queen and her beginning-to-be bloated abdomen.

 


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#6 Offline Crystals - Posted October 28 2013 - 1:45 PM

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But very interesting project.  Can't wait to see how it turns out.

How are you planning on moving them when they outgrow that container?


Edited by Crystals, October 29 2013 - 2:02 PM.

"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

My Colonies


#7 Offline Mercutia - Posted October 31 2013 - 2:16 PM

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Way cool. Are the queens of the expanding gaster type... I forget the word... physogaster? Something gaster.



#8 Offline dspdrew - Posted October 31 2013 - 6:31 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

But very interesting project.  Can't wait to see how it turns out.

How are you planning on moving them when they outgrow that container?

Not  sure exactly, I'll have to figure that one out. I don't know much about termites and if and how they move their nests. As for the workers, they make mud tubes anywhere they want to go, so they would eventually build one right out the top of the container and down the sides into whatever container I put that little one in.

 

Way cool. Are the queens of the expanding gaster type... I forget the word... physogaster? Something gaster.

I'm pretty sure these are, every time I see any pictures of subterranean termite queens they look that way.



#9 Offline dspdrew - Posted October 31 2013 - 8:22 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 10-31-2013

 

Today I saw both the king and queen, and at least three nymphs, so that's good news.



#10 Offline Michaelofvancouver - Posted November 21 2013 - 5:52 PM

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This journal is like the only journal with pictures I have ever seen for termites. Really cool. Do you know if fluon works for termites?


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Here's my leopard gecko/ant youtube: https://goo.gl/cRAFbK

 

My ant website.

It contains a lot of information about ants, guides, videos, links, and more!

If you have any feedback, please post here or PM me, don't be shy!

 

I currently keep:

Camponotus modoc

Formica podzolica


#11 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 21 2013 - 9:05 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

This journal is like the only journal with pictures I have ever seen for termites. Really cool. Do you know if fluon works for termites?

Yeah, it's next to impossible to get any information on keeping termites, specifically starting a colony from a brand new king and queen. This is all just an experiment for me, but so far it's going pretty good I guess. As for you question about fluon, I have no idea how it affects termites, but generally termites cant walk on any smooth surfaces anyway. What's funny is I was just going to update this today.



#12 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 21 2013 - 9:20 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 11-21-2013

 

The colony is still alive and well. It looks like there are even more nymphs in there now. I also noticed under the pieces of cardboard on the top, a perfect little hole leading down into their nest, so I assume this is where they're coming up to eat. I still can't tell the difference between the king and the queen, and the queen obviously still hasn't gotten any larger. I got another little video of them. You can't see much and it's not all that exciting, but this time you can actually see their little cluster of eggs.

 



#13 Offline Servercheck - Posted November 22 2013 - 8:59 PM

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I'll be following this journal closely! I'm also hoping to get a termite colony going so I can have constant food for my ant colonies. 

 

I tried twice before, once with an already existing colony that was dug out when my dad was changing the medium of a potted plant. That colony already had a soldier and a few workers and nymphs. I put them in a glass jar with some original dirt and cardboard, but they died later.

 

Another time I got a pair following each other after a flight. I actually managed to get that pair to nearly the same stage as your colony now. I could see they had one or two nymphs and a little eggs. Sadly, the nymphs disappeared and the two died soon after.

 

So I'll be trying next year when the flights starts.



#14 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 23 2013 - 3:14 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA
Another time I got a pair following each other after a flight. I actually managed to get that pair to nearly the same stage as your colony now. I could see they had one or two nymphs and a little eggs. Sadly, the nymphs disappeared and the two died soon after.

Hmm, good to know. Yeah, when I caught  these it was during an insane termite mating flight in the desert where there were trillions of them flying. There were pairs of them walking EVERYWHERE, it's kind of funny that I only ended up coming home with three pairs. Next year I hope to catch the flight again, and I plan to grab at least 50 pairs then.


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#15 Offline Servercheck - Posted November 23 2013 - 4:29 AM

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Yeah, when trying to start a termite colony, as many pairs as possible is the way to go.

You can always feed them to ants later if you have too many colonies.
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#16 Offline Michaelofvancouver - Posted November 24 2013 - 7:01 PM

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I think Lucian PMed me with his guide on raising food for ants, including termites, a couple of months ago. So I know a little bit about termites.


Here's my leopard gecko/ant youtube: https://goo.gl/cRAFbK

 

My ant website.

It contains a lot of information about ants, guides, videos, links, and more!

If you have any feedback, please post here or PM me, don't be shy!

 

I currently keep:

Camponotus modoc

Formica podzolica


#17 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 24 2013 - 7:43 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

I think Lucian PMed me with his guide on raising food for ants, including termites, a couple of months ago. So I know a little bit about termites.

Yeah he wrote up some nice guides, but there's no information on raising a new colony, only info on taking care of a captured mature colony.



#18 Offline Michaelofvancouver - Posted November 24 2013 - 8:15 PM

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Yep, but termite nests are pretty common, so you can find one and excavate part of it. In some species, any worker can become a queen or king.


Here's my leopard gecko/ant youtube: https://goo.gl/cRAFbK

 

My ant website.

It contains a lot of information about ants, guides, videos, links, and more!

If you have any feedback, please post here or PM me, don't be shy!

 

I currently keep:

Camponotus modoc

Formica podzolica


#19 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 24 2013 - 9:43 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Yep, but termite nests are pretty common, so you can find one and excavate part of it. In some species, any worker can become a queen or king.

I hear and read that a lot, but it has never worked for me.



#20 Offline Michaelofvancouver - Posted November 25 2013 - 7:02 PM

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I hear and read that a lot, but it has never worked for me.

Oh. Well my parents will NEVER EVER let me have termites, because my dad hates them. So I guess I won't be trying, but I'm always glad to get new info.


Here's my leopard gecko/ant youtube: https://goo.gl/cRAFbK

 

My ant website.

It contains a lot of information about ants, guides, videos, links, and more!

If you have any feedback, please post here or PM me, don't be shy!

 

I currently keep:

Camponotus modoc

Formica podzolica






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