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Dspdrew's Myrmecocystus navajo Journal [134] (Updated 1-22-2019)

dspdrew myrmecocystus myrmecocystus navajo journal

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#1 Offline dspdrew - Posted March 21 2014 - 6:26 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

3-21-2014

 

On March 16th 2014, I dug up two colonies of Myrmecocystus navajo in Pinyon Pines, California, which is located on the eastern (desert) side of the San Jacinto Mountains. Both of these colonies were only a few inches deep, and very small; one had about 10 workers, and the other had about 15. For right now, since the colonies are fairly small, I'm just keeping them both in simple test tube setups.

 

It's been about five days, and the smaller colony already has a new cluster of eggs.

 

Original ID thread: http://forum.formicu...s-ca-3-17-2014/

 

gallery_2_154_64086.jpg
 
gallery_2_154_17107.jpg
 
gallery_2_154_12130.jpg


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#2 Offline jimbodw07 - Posted March 30 2014 - 11:15 PM

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Very nice! Right now I am eying a Pogonomyrmex californicus (bi-color) colony that looks like it had just started this year. There aren't too many workers and I'm thinking about digging up that colony. As of now, it's very hard to acquire these queens. You said that you dug a few inches deep to acquire this colony. How wide did you have to dig to get the colony?

Good luck with this colony!


There are two kinds of sufferers in this world:
Those who suffer from a lack of life...and those who suffer 
from an overabundance of life.
-Waking Life

#3 Offline dspdrew - Posted March 31 2014 - 12:59 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Thanks. I got two of them actually, and probably could have gotten a lot more, but I really wasn't even trying to dig up a colony, that's that crazy part. I thought they were founding chambers, so I just took one little scoop with a little trawl, and there they all were. After this I did try a few others just out of curiosity, but I only saw a few workers in those scoops, so I didn't continue digging. Yeah, I want some of those P. californicus really bad. Good luck digging them up, a few times last year I thought I came across a brand new colony of Pogonomyrmex because there were hardly any workers, they were very small, and the nest was very small, but once I took the first scoop, I was quite surprised.



#4 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 26 2014 - 7:36 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 8-26-2014

 

Both colonies are doing okay, but both have shrunk quite a bit since I got them.

 

On 8-5-2014 I dug up quite a few new M. navajo queens in Pinyon Pines, California (the same place I dug up my original two colonies), and about a week and a half later I dug up a few more in Lucerne Valley after some recent rain came through. These all have eggs so far, and most of them even have a few larvae.

 

Two of these queens are pure yellow unlike all the rest that are a darker golden color.

 

Here's one of the really light yellow colored queens.

 

 

 

 

This is a video showing how easy it was to dig these queens up. The ground in Pinyon Pines is very sandy and soft.

 



#5 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 26 2014 - 7:42 PM

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Where I was digging, all the founding chambers would turn up to yield Pogonomyrmex rugosus. I also stopped at Lucerne Valley, but still only was digging up Pogonomyrmex rugosus... Maybe next year I will come home with more than one.  ;)  And hopefully that one won't die on me.  :/



#6 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 26 2014 - 7:46 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Not sure where you were exactly or when you were there, but we found lots of these and a few M. yuma queens all along Camp Rock Road on 8-16-2014. I think one or two founding chambers turned out to have P. rugosus in them.



#7 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 26 2014 - 7:49 PM

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It was just a stop along the highway, I was curious to see if I would catch anything other than P.rugosus... Sure enough, nothing BUT P.rugosus.



#8 Offline AntsNational - Posted August 28 2014 - 8:42 AM

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Gorgeous queens & neat video ! How are your colonies doing now?



#9 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 28 2014 - 8:49 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Doing well so far, hardly any deaths. Right now they are just barely getting larvae.



#10 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted September 16 2014 - 7:32 PM

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How many of these do you have?



#11 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 22 2014 - 4:09 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 9-22-2014

 

A couple of the new queens from both locations got their first workers today. I have had a few deaths lately. As of right now I have 16 of the new queens left.

 

The old colonies I found last year both are not doing all that great. They both have shrunk a bit.



#12 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted September 22 2014 - 4:15 PM

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Exactly how mine are right now: 

gallery_2_154_1461.jpg

*Picture by dspdrew

Nothing but lots of eggs, do you think she is infertile?


Edited by Gregory2455, September 22 2014 - 4:15 PM.


#13 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 22 2014 - 4:42 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

It's hard to say. If they eat their brood it will look that way too.



#14 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted September 22 2014 - 5:05 PM

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Well, the eggs always seem to look different, and not as if they died and are losing color, just, weirdly different.  :thinking:



#15 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 29 2014 - 11:42 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 9-30-2014

 

There's 14 new queens left, three of which have workers. One colony had several workers, and a large amount of brood, but their queen died, so I took a queen that didn't have a whole lot of brood and put it and its brood in with the colony that lost it's queen. At first they fought a bit, but after about one day, they were all getting along, and it seems the colony has adopted their new queen.



#16 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 24 2014 - 7:32 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 11-24-2014

 

At this point I have about half the amount of colonies I originally had, with two of them being the two colonies I dug up. I only have two new colonies with a few workers, the largest having six, and a decent amount of larvae and pupae. The two colonies I dug up still don't have a whole lot of workers left, and one of them doesn't seem to be producing anything anymore. I moved the better one into a foraging container with sand last night, so hopefully that will help a bit. I'll post pictures of the largest new colony later.



#17 Offline Chromerust - Posted November 24 2014 - 12:46 PM

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Bad news for me. My queen with one worker was found dead. I gave the nanitic to another queen along with five or six pupae. Don't know if she will except it but there's nothing to lose really



#18 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted November 24 2014 - 1:10 PM

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I think Myrmecocystus would be more comfortable in a dirt setup such as what you did with your Pogonomyrmex.

#19 Offline Mathiacus - Posted November 24 2014 - 1:23 PM

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That is a good looking ant drew. How large are they?

#20 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 24 2014 - 1:34 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

They're pretty small. You'd probably want to squish them. :lol: Actually the queen's a decent size, about 11mm or so.


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