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Dspdrew's Solenopsis xyloni Journal [66] (Discontinued)

journal solenopsis xyloni fire ant dspdrew

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#1 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 17 2013 - 8:44 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

7-13-2013

 

I found these Solenopsis xyloni queens at O'Neill Regional Park in Southern California, on June 26th 2013, wandering around on a paved road next to a large amount of S. xyloni nests.



Originally I had five of them, but one died, I gave one to my boss, and I released one, so now I have two. They started laying eggs two days later, and right now, both have pretty large piles of larvae.



#2 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 17 2013 - 8:45 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 7-23-2013

 

Both colonies have at least ten workers now. The first one eclosed two days ago.



#3 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 17 2013 - 9:12 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 9-17-2013
 
For some reason both of the two original colonies got up to around 40 workers and then suddenly had a mass die-off one day; first one, and then the other about two weeks later. One of those colonies completely died, queen and all. The other one now has just a few workers and practically no brood.
 
Since the last update, I have also added three more colonies to my collection. One of these was found in Murrieta, California, on 8-17-2013, walking on the floor of my parents' kitchen. So far it has a decent amount of workers, and a fairly large pile of brood. The other two were found on 8-26-2013, one in Palm Desert, California, and the other near Joshua Tree National Park in California.
 

 

 

 
Neither of these two have workers yet, but they both have very large piles of brood.



#4 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 21 2013 - 1:44 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 9-21-2013

 

Both queens from the Mojave Desert just had plenty of workers eclose today.



#5 Offline Crystals - Posted September 25 2013 - 11:20 AM

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Nice coloration.

How large do their colonies usually get?


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

 

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#6 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 25 2013 - 12:57 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Nice coloration.

How large do their colonies usually get?

Quite large in the wild, but as for captivity, I'm not sure, because most all of my ant colonies were started this season.



#7 Offline dspdrew - Posted October 6 2013 - 4:03 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 10-6-2013

 

These four colonies were all doing well, including the one with hardly any workers left after a sudden die off. Today though, one of the colonies I got from the queen I found in the Mojave Desert just completely died off, queen and all. Something obviously poisoned them all, because it looked the way it would have looked if someone had sprayed them with Raid. The day before I fed them a termite I caught during a Drywood Termite nuptial flight that happened around my apartment. The weird thing is, I gave some of those termites to a few other colonies of ants, including some of the other S. xyloni colonies, and I haven't had any other deaths. The only thing I can figure is that the specific termite I gave them was poisoned and not the others, or it was caused by something else, possibly the same thing that killed off so much of the first two colonies this happened to. I do know that whatever is killing them, seems to really only affect S. xyloni for some reason.

 

Here's a video of this colony the way I found it today.

 



#8 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 20 2013 - 5:36 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 11-20-2013

 

All three colonies seem to be doing just fine now. The one that almost died off has about 15 workers now from the brood of the last colony that died entirely. The queen has even produced a little pile of her own brood now too. The other two colonies are growing much larger now and probably both have over 100 workers now. in addition to that, they have really big piles of brood. Below is a video of one of the larger colonies and the dead scorpion they've been munching on for two weeks now.

 



#9 Offline Crystals - Posted November 21 2013 - 12:01 PM

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That is a nice sized pile of brood.

 

Surely that scorpian has dried out by now, right?  Or are they one the "goat ants" that will eat anything?


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

 

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#10 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 21 2013 - 1:35 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

That is a nice sized pile of brood.

 

Surely that scorpian has dried out by now, right?  Or are they one the "goat ants" that will eat anything?

Yeah, it's pretty dry, but a lot of my ants love dried out food. They continue to chew on it until there's nothing but a pile of powder left.


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#11 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 7 2013 - 10:10 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 12-7-2013

 

Both larger colonies have over 150 workers each now, and huge piles of brood.

 

 

 

 

One of them has a couple of much larger majors in their work-force now too.

 

You can see one of them here.

 

 

 

I have been feeding them everything from insects, to turkey, to apples, to honey. These things eat non-stop. The piece of turkey I put in there, they turned into turkey dust in just one day.

 

Here is what used to be a piece of turkey.

 



#12 Offline Crystals - Posted December 7 2013 - 4:39 PM

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Wow.  I have never seen "ant dust" before.  :D

None of my colonies do anything like that.


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#13 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 7 2013 - 5:08 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

The only ones I've seen do it so far, out of all my colonies, are Crematogaster, Solenopsis, and Pheidole.



#14 Offline Servercheck - Posted December 8 2013 - 2:27 AM

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From what I've observe in my past colonies, most of the smaller species do this.

#15 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 14 2013 - 7:00 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 12-14-2013

 

I sold one of the larger colonies today. One colony of S. xyloni that size is enough to take care of anyway. :)



#16 Offline dspdrew - Posted January 4 2014 - 7:06 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 1-4-2014
 
First of all, the small colony is still doing fine but hasn't really change much. The large colony is growing like crazy! I estimate about 800 workers now, and a couple thousand brood. They have pretty much filled both of their test tubes now.
 


 


 

 

 

 

 
Some of them even dug all the way through the cotton into the water and drowned. After a few drowned I noticed they weren't doing much digging in the cotton anymore.
 


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#17 Offline Crystals - Posted January 4 2014 - 9:40 AM

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Wow.

No species where I live grows that fast.  I think I may be happy about that fact...

 

I can only imagine how fun cleaning their outworld must be.  :D


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

 

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#18 Offline nurbs - Posted January 12 2014 - 3:26 AM

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Drew - I let my Solenopsis xyloni free about a month ago. They got pretty much into the thousands and had no more room for them. Completely overcrowded two test tubes and a large tupperware.

 

I live in a small apartment and even if I did build a large formicarium they would have outgrown it pretty fast.

 

I have a colony of Pogonomyrmex and C. clarithorax that are doing quite well also, but growing nowhere near as fast.

 

Went back to check on them in the wild and they seem to have settled in quite nicely under a rock.


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#19 Offline dspdrew - Posted January 12 2014 - 8:43 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Haha, yeah, I was actually starting to think about getting rid of mine too. They are just so active, and they never stop eating. There's always at least 50 of them at a time digging and digging at the cotton plugging the hole in the lid, and I'm afraid one day they're gonna pull it out while I'm at work.



#20 Offline LAnt - Posted January 23 2014 - 5:24 PM

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Have you been stung yet?


Edited by LAnt, January 23 2014 - 5:31 PM.






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