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Tetramorium Caespitium - Colorado - Discontinued 9/25/2018

pavement colorado sgheaton tetramorium

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#1 Offline sgheaton - Posted June 22 2016 - 6:57 AM

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6-22-2016

 

1. Location of collection:   Backyard, Firestone, Colorado
2. Date of collection: 6-20-2016
3. Habitat of collection:  Under a rock/grass/dirt/yard.

 

I was able to find 4 of these buggers by a bit of luck actually. Not much of a story when, "I walked out on my back porch and there they were." Whether or not if they are fertile..... http://i.imgur.com/vSbbbPS

 

I had two die on me so I knew I needed to get them into a different set up. I used a tool organizer bin box thingy. Moved one of the queens into this two cell section. Put a soaked cotton ball for water/moisture, a lil tin foil plate of catfood + a q-tip of honey+water. http://i.imgur.com/Nh4bosw

 

Did the same thing for the other queen though I didn't put dirt on her "food side". I don't remember which one but one of these two began to dig about in the dirt while the other went for some of the moisture. Pretty sure they are/were malnourished. Both still had their wings. I put their boxes in a dark closet to rest. 

It's been raining and hot as sin out so for [censored]'n'giggles, I went to my front yard and flipped a stone. Holy colony, Batman. There were two (w/ wings) on top and being rather surprised at my (again lucky) discovery, I quickly got one in a tube. The other was able to sneak away. I should mention that I have a zero landscape section in my yard where it's essentially rocks and sand/dirt. It's very hard to shovel and dig in the area as there are stones all over. I then tried to gather as many workers for the queen. I probably got....10 out of the 50 that were there. They have a "super box" with more chambers though I tried a water reservoir. I put this box ontop of the others in the closet with a slight tilt to prevent too much water from coming out.  http://i.imgur.com/rjEKuHc ---   http://imgur.com/X7AageU  ...can't get that one to work..

 

Just the waiting game now I suppose. Hopefully something manifests. 


Edited by sgheaton, September 25 2018 - 12:31 PM.

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#2 Offline TheAnswerIsTheLogic - Posted June 22 2016 - 11:12 PM

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Isn't that species tetramorium caspium?



#3 Offline sgheaton - Posted June 23 2016 - 4:58 AM

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I am not entirely sure to be perfectly honest. Tetramorium something.. Not even sure how that works. First name last name? ...And while I was wanting to check on them this morning, I completely forgot to. The extra day of 'rest' might do some good. 


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#4 Offline Batspiderfish - Posted June 23 2016 - 5:09 AM

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The Tetramorium caespitum of Europe and Asia is visually identical to the Tetramorium sp. E of North America, but the two are actually different species. Even though Tetramorium sp. E is very common, it has not received a more conventional name. Some people call North American Tetramorium "Tetramorium cf. caespitum", which is not terribly problematic.


Edited by Batspiderfish, June 23 2016 - 5:10 AM.

If you've enjoyed using my expertise and identifications, please do not create undue ecological risk by releasing your ants. The environment which we keep our pet insects is alien and oftentimes unsanitary, so ensure that wild populations stay safe by giving your ants the best care you can manage for the rest of their lives, as we must do with any other pet.

 

Exotic ants are for those who think that vibrant diversity is something you need to pay money to see. It is illegal to transport live ants across state lines.

 

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#5 Offline spytim - Posted June 23 2016 - 7:03 AM

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Good luck with these queens! ^_^

#6 Offline TheAnswerIsTheLogic - Posted June 23 2016 - 7:38 AM

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The Tetramorium caespitum of Europe and Asia is visually identical to the Tetramorium sp. E of North America, but the two are actually different species. Even though Tetramorium sp. E is very common, it has not received a more conventional name. Some people call North American Tetramorium "Tetramorium cf. caespitum", which is not terribly problematic.

Probably, but i said that because I got exactly same queen last week.



#7 Offline sgheaton - Posted June 23 2016 - 7:55 AM

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I found them in my Colorado neighborhood. Some on the back porch, one underneath a rock in the front yard. I think the...or a...colony of them was in the front yard. Haven't located them in the back yard yet. The one queen of this type/kind that I found at my work has died. She's in a jar and was going to be used for more detailed pictures....except I couldn't figure out how to zoom in on my phones camera...... 


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#8 Offline sgheaton - Posted June 24 2016 - 5:15 AM

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UPDATE: 6/24/2016

 

So first off I don't know how to put the update date on the title. Either way...2/4

 

Quickly checked in on everything this morning. The test tube queen has died (was pretty sure this was gonna happen). I couldn't locate the queen in the "super box" though there was quite a bit of flood/wetness action going on. Half was wet, the other side was dry. Saw two of the workers at least. I'll give a more thorough inspection later though she might have been washed in the flood.

 

The two in the 2-chamber cell boxes are doing great! One removed both wings and quickly scurried to her ..hah..she tried to burrow in the half of centimeter dirt she could. I'm taking this as a good sign though. I quickly put her box back as to not wanting to disturb her. The other cell box queen had her wings and I thought she was dead..though a little bit of breathing on her produced quick movements around. She was alive and fine. One wing was in the process of being removed because it was in ....upside down position. I'll check back on her later to see if both came off but I put her back as well. Didn't take any pictures as you all have seen wingless queens before. 

 

So......things are actually moving forward. Maybe. If they were slutbuckets and are fertile. Can only hope! But I have a question now...

I've realized I may have put them into something too soon. I didn't trust my cotton ball wall for a water barrier in the test tubes so I made the crude 2-cell chambers. With the one trying to burrow, maybe they need to be in something else. I am wanting/going/planning on designing the chambers for them. I don't think I'll go all "dirt window pane style" like I was wanting to with some Pogonomyrmex. If I were to make the new house (that will end up being the final(ish)) formicarium, can I move the queen into that as her founding chamber? I am planning/wanting to construct something like this:

 

I guess my question really is why do I have to go test tube first and then move her in? Is that simply to see if she lays eggs?


Edited by sgheaton, June 24 2016 - 5:16 AM.

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#9 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 24 2016 - 1:02 PM

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So first off I don't know how to put the update date on the title. Either way...2/4

 

You can change thread title by clicking "More Reply Options" when posting.

 

 

I guess my question really is why do I have to go test tube first and then move her in? Is that simply to see if she lays eggs?

 

It's usually to avoid having your ants dump trash in nest chambers instead of the out world where it should be dumped. In nest chambers it could start growing mold. In the out world, assuming it's properly ventilated, it shouldn't grow mold.


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#10 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted June 25 2016 - 6:31 PM

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Tetramorium caespitium is now referred to as Tetramorium sp.E because it is actually a complex consisting of many closely related European Tetramorium species.



#11 Offline sgheaton - Posted June 27 2016 - 5:37 AM

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Yay learning things everyday! I default to all of you guys' knowledge by calling them Tetra sp.E (Caespitium). No idea how to pronounce that... and tried doing "More Reply Options" and that wasn't allowing for me to change the title. Need to start labeling/naming them. That will come later.

 

Weekend of 6/27/2016

4 living Tetamorium Caespitium

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(6/25) I need to mention that I have an inside/outside cat. He was out'n'about for long enough and I felt him ready to come back in. I went to go retrieve him from his usual backyard dirt pile of rest...When I looked down and saw a wingless queen scurrying about the wooden mulch. Needless to say I dropped my cat and begin trying to scoop up the queen. Got her and put her in a box but trying to learn from my mistake last time. http://imgur.com/utP0vZ4(V)

 

One in the 2 cell box has made a nickle sized chamber (Z). I thought it was a chunk of the plastic. Maybe its a group of eggs. Either way she is moving around with something white in her mandibles in this chamber, and that's the only way I know she is doin'' alright still. A bit hard to see as she's blocked up the hole(?)/wasn't coming out. I'm having to put the box above my head (using two hands) so I don't have a free one for light. I realize the test tubes allows for more visibility though I think with my skill/ability..the survive-ability from the box has been increased. 

 

One in the other box still has her wings (A).....which constantly are getting stuck to the wet cottonball. The ...oh 5 workers that I robbed from the front yard colony aren't doing anything. I take a toothpick and break her free though otherwise she's/they are just kinda hanging out.

 

While robbing the front yard colony I saw another winged queen (E) and grabbed her for the tube of fun! Along with a few more workers.

 

(6/26)

Looking in on (V), I lost her. gently racking the ground with a toothpick....nothing. I took the flashlight from my phone and began to scan from underneath. She SHOT from somewhere and began to scurry all over her boxes. Guess she didn't like that... But being as I found her in the wild, already wingless, I'm thinking she's one of my best bets. Gotta leave her alone. 

 

(Z) has a nickle-sized chamber and some yet to be identified white thing in protection.

 

(A) and (E) haven't done a single thing yet. The one gets stuck to the cotton ball and the other just..is hanging out. The workers are moving around...doing...worker things. A few tugging at the cotton to get out of the tube...just..walking. Both of these queens were grabbed from a colony so most likely aren't ready for brood making.


Edited by sgheaton, June 27 2016 - 5:39 AM.

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#12 Offline Roachant - Posted June 27 2016 - 5:59 AM

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I find these ants to be one of the easiest species to keep as well as being one of the most active in terms of foraging and other activity. And they start small in size but some of my workers are nearly the size of the Queen now.
Oh, they love their protein! Feed them as much of it as you can, they never seem to get enough!

#13 Offline sgheaton - Posted June 27 2016 - 6:50 AM

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Haha..The front yard colony...I should say has their colony located fairly close to a sprinkler head. Almost like they figured out their water source..... They had...HAD a dead bird... It's been picked clean and it just wings and a foot now otherwise I wouldn't have known what it was. All over their food as well. While moving some rocks....they have highways built underneath the zero landscaping. They are going to be the constant reminder of what my colony can become...if they prove fertile. 


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#14 Offline sgheaton - Posted June 28 2016 - 9:23 AM

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Update 6/28/16

-----------------------

Four living Tetamorium Caespitium - Two producing eggs

 

Quickly looked in on everything this morning. (A) and (E) haven't done anything. Let alone move much. I don't expect anything from these.

 

Specimen (V) is doing well. Had mold on my catfood piece so I gently swept the surface dirt clean and replaced it with a honey+water q-tip on a piece of foil. She has two chambers started though I believe lives only in the one. http://imgur.com/STEbBQ5 I can see her moving around because of the white grouping she has in her mandibles. Have yet to identify what it is but she seems well. There is moisture in her container - some food- though she doesn't seem to care. Looks like she has plugged up the entrance even. http://imgur.com/08fBi3Y

 

Specimen (Z) is also doing well. Also had mold on cat food so did the q-tip honey trick in an attempt to feed her. She hasn't sealed her chamber but resides only in the nickel sized room. Has an unidentified white mass in her mandibles as well though there appears to be a few white specks of something in the center of her chamber. I'm assuming these are eggs. Strange note that she build this chamber in what I'd call wet dirt. It isn't dry, that's for sure, but she seems content and fine. http://imgur.com/YVPcvBY

 

What should I be feeding my queens right now? They don't seem to be concerned about anything except dancing circles in their tiny chambers. As long as there is water, they are dry, things are moist, and there is a place to dig...they seem happy in their boxes in my upstairs closet. 


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#15 Offline XZero38 - Posted June 28 2016 - 9:44 AM

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The best thing about this species of ant is they are fully-claustral so there isn't really a need to feed them. The queens can live off their own food stores and wing muscles till her first generation of workers are born. Those little white specks are eggs, if she is carrying them around she is trying to keep them thermoregulated which shows she is caring for them.



#16 Offline sgheaton - Posted June 29 2016 - 5:24 AM

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Heck yeah I didn't know they were fully-claustral. No wonder they haven't been wanting anything with the food. 

 

Looked in on them this morning 6/29/16(V) and (Z) now have a pile of white specks. I'm going to agree in saying that these are eggs. Both have them together enough that its a noticeable grouping (nothing scattered). Going to think that these are well underway now meaning I need to get my gear all together soon. Actually need to get in bought and put together first. Designs...to come later today hopefully.

(A) and (E) ... One stuck to the cotton ball, the other tugging away at it. Both still winged. I'm probably just going to dump these back into the yard when I get home.  


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#17 Offline sgheaton - Posted July 2 2016 - 5:43 AM

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Didn't take pictures but holy flight batman..... Probably close to 50 in my front yard. I began the day with finding 4 in the back yard (in tubes now) and then....I mean...you just could look at my driveway and see dozens at a time. Winged, not winged, workers swarming a queen (got a picture of this because I found it interesting) but otherwise...wow. Have probably close to 30 tetramorium queens in my position now. 10 are contained individually, the other 20 are in a jar of dirt. Ran out of containers....wow.


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#18 Offline sgheaton - Posted July 5 2016 - 5:42 AM

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UPDATE 7/5/16 - 2 laying eggs + many captured

 

Holy crap. When you all have talked about not having enough containers to capture and contain queens.....Damn...All came down to a matter of timing. And I suppose not spraying my yard with chemicals this year...BUT...wow....

 

On Saturday morning I went downstairs and saw a queen trapped in the outside water dish I leave for the cat. Quickly scooped her up in her own container. I then continued to look around and find...another handful of queens. I forget the number but a few in the backyard. #1

I put three in two bigger "dirt containers"  #4 they were everywhere and I didn't know what to do.

 

I went into the frontyard to check out the driveway and ....wow...just...so many. It was kinda funny because a few (five or so) were bein' ganged up on by workers #2 their wings, you could see the wings (winglets?) the removed wing pieces....they were everywhere. II seriously didn't know what to do. I just started getting them and putting them in a container. #3

By now I used all the test tubes, my individual containers filled, I figured....why not super pot them. So....There are probably 20 queens in this jar o'dirt #5. ....Though I didn't clean it out...I seriously wasn't ready for all of these queens. I had an old jar that contained marijuana (colorado) that WAS GOING TO BE USED TO MAKE SUN TEA ... .well...lil' bit of dirt and some THC...meh. We'll see. I put a few in individual vases trying to keep them in their own cultures...but really..I just had to stop. As it is,  (Z) and (V) seem to be doing quite well with their egg piles so the last thing I need is 30 fertile queens all over the place....

 

because....

 

YESTERDAY MORNING...RIGHT before I get into my shower, what do I see when I look down? #6  Not cool! Are they all in my house now? Crap...... All my containers are sealed. Checked up on everything and they are all in there, alive. I'm going to have a damn ant colony underneath my carpet if I'm not careful. True...they are in different areas of the house (kitchen, bedroom, underneath the sink). I should probably contain all of them in the same area/room/box/enclosure zone....

 

Edit: ....and after four edits I think I finally have all the damn links working correctly....maybe.....things were giving me the business today...


Edited by sgheaton, July 7 2016 - 5:59 AM.

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#19 Offline sgheaton - Posted July 7 2016 - 5:58 AM

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DUN JUDGE ME ZERO!

-------------------------------

UPDATE 7/7/2016 - 9 Laying eggs 

 

I have some in the kitchen cupboard and I opened it to get some medicine out that I quickly looked at them.....and then everyone else. I did not take pictures though. The three that are in their tinier containers (picture #1 from before) have small egg cluster piles. Yay. The two dirt container ones have alive queens in them but I didn't find their chamber. I will probably be releasing these along with the mega jar. Gonna end up with too many.... As it was I released the two solo queens that were in the bigger jars of dirt. Good luck to 'em. 

The ones in the test tubes have egg piles as well. Piles maybe isn't the best word but they each have a small individual pile of eggs. The cotton balls seem to have completely absorbed the water that I am no longer concerned for the hydration as its wet and no longer dry. A reservoir of water is behind it. (Z) is crushing it. Her pile has grown that I'm sure I could identify larva though I didn't want to disturb her. Wasn't even suppose to look in on them today... (V) has a pile though she is very hidden. I can't ever locate her and don't want to introduce light. 

 

Can I wait still Saturday to check up on them again? Doubtful...I'll try my best not to tomorrow (and won't) though I'll probably do so on Saturday anyways. I'm not adding anything to them (food or water) so what they have is what they'll get. That's how claustral ants are, yeah?

 

Edit --

I'll be making different set ups for these....Not sure what my final plan is for all. Probably going to have four different set ups..I dunno. I figure now that I have so many (potentially good looking) options that I went ahead and placed an order for one of the AntCanada tetra-formicariums for one of the colonies. At least ONE of them will have a luxury pad :P.


Edited by sgheaton, July 7 2016 - 6:10 AM.

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#20 Offline XZero38 - Posted July 7 2016 - 6:34 AM

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Judging!

Nah I'm just kidding. Its good to hear that you have so many queens that are laying eggs!







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