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Dspdrew's Dampwood Termites Journal (Discontinued)


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35 replies to this topic

#1 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 18 2014 - 11:30 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

5-19-2014

 

Last week while up in the San Bernardino Mountains, Zootermopsis (Dampwood Termites) had their nuptial flight. I collected probably about 60 dealates that were swarming all around some cracks in a log. I'm hoping I can start a colony of these to use as feeders.

 

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I've done a bit of research on keeping them, and found that all they really need is tons of moisture, and cardboard.

 

I divided mine up into six groups and put them in jars.

 

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Two jars have about four dealates (hopefully at least one female and one male in the bunch), and the other four have about 15 each. Two of the jars have no substrate, and the other four have about 3/4 of an inch of soil in the bottom. I placed strips of soaked cardboard in the jars, and even a few egg create pieces in some of them.

 

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If anyone has any information on keeping these, please share it. It's very difficult to find anything online about termites other than pest control company websites.



#2 Offline dermy - Posted May 29 2014 - 2:40 PM

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Good luck and keep us updated!



#3 Offline Michaelofvancouver - Posted May 29 2014 - 2:45 PM

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Are the jars plastic or glass?


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

 

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#4 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 29 2014 - 3:06 PM

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Plastic.



#5 Offline specimen24-6 - Posted May 29 2014 - 9:18 PM

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You lucky dog :) I want some! I've read that they like wood that has been inoculated with fungi. Also they live in there food so subterate shouldn't be very deep. Please make lots of updates. Good luck.

Edited by specimen24-6, May 29 2014 - 9:22 PM.


#6 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 30 2014 - 11:15 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 5-30-2014

 

I think most, or a good portion of these have died, allowing lots of mold to start growing in their containers. Unlike ants, they don't seem to pick a spot and keep it clean, Instead they just sit there next to all these rotting termites. I cleaned four of the jars out, and left the two without mold. The two I left alone were two of those without substrate in them. In most all of the jars I could see random eggs dropped here and there. One of the two mold-free jars I left alone has a nice cluster of eggs in it, with a cluster of the dealates huddled a little ways away.

 

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I took the termites from those four jars I cleaned out, and divided them into two groups.

 

One group I put back into a jar with nothing more than a single piece of wet cardboard with the corrugated portion still intact since I noticed they like to crawl inside those tiny tunnels.

 

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The other group, I put back into a jar with two pieces of wet rotted wood.

 

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Hopefully there won't be as much of a mold problem from now on. I don't know if they will continue dying, or if those that died were just a portion of them that would have ultimately died no matter what. We shall see.



#7 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 5 2014 - 3:45 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 6-5-2014

 

Since the ones in with the rotted wood seem to be eating the most, I decided to put all the dealates into a single container along with the rotted wood and a larger waterlogged piece of a branch I found in the creek yesterday. Unfortunately, I couldn't find that little cluster of eggs they had in one of the jars.

 

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#8 Offline dermy - Posted June 22 2014 - 1:00 PM

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How are they doing?



#9 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 11 2014 - 2:26 PM

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Do the males and females look the same/ are the same size during a nuptial flight before the female starts to grow?



#10 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 11 2014 - 3:49 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Oh yeah. These all died. :( All I'm doing now is growing Springtales in there.



#11 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 11 2014 - 3:58 PM

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Springtails are cool... But that sucks. How sad, damp wood termites look cool, and excellent food for ants...  :(

Will you catch more?


Edited by Gregory2455, August 11 2014 - 3:59 PM.


#12 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 11 2014 - 4:04 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

I don't know, maybe next year?



#13 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 18 2014 - 7:49 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 12-18-2014

 

ArtimusClyde gave me another pair of these, so I'm continuing this journal again.

 

I built a little enclosure for them with a little hydration system even. I guess this would be called a termitarium. :D

 

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I filled it with ground up rotted wood.

 

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Instead of waiting for the water to soak into all the saw dust, I just manually wet it all down. I put the termites in it last night, and as of this morning they were still sitting on the top.



#14 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 22 2014 - 11:35 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 12-22-2014

 

Unfortunately these already croaked. Better luck next time?



#15 Offline dermy - Posted December 23 2014 - 11:31 AM

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Wow, remind me not to keep Termites, they have a sad Success rate.



#16 Offline kellakk - Posted December 23 2014 - 12:21 PM

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That's too bad, I'm hoping when I try this that I have a better success rate.


Current Species:
Novomessor cockerelli (2), Brachymyrmex patagonicus (1)Veromessor pergandei (1?), Dorymyrmex bureni (1)


#17 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 4 2015 - 5:59 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 6-4-2015

 

I found a few more of these the last time I was in Mt. Baldy, CA. i just had them in a plastic container with a wet cotton ball for about a week before moving them into a test tube with rotted wood sawdust. There were four of them left alive, and they had about six or seven eggs.

 

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I don't know how well this setup will work for these, but I guess I'll find out.


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#18 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 18 2015 - 4:04 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 6-18-2015

 

Well these are dead now.



#19 Offline dermy - Posted June 18 2015 - 6:29 PM

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Termites suck! I mean has anyone ever gotten a colony to live long in captivity?



#20 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted June 18 2015 - 6:56 PM

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Termites suck! I mean has anyone ever gotten a colony to live long in captivity?

 

I know that many researchers have kept individual colonies successfully for decades.  However, I think that most termite species are just not conducive to observation; continual exposure to light seems to stress them to death, in many cases.

 

Oddly enough, Zootermopsis spp. are supposed to be easier to keep than others.  My Z. angusticollis colony died out very quickly as well though.


Edited by Myrmicinae, June 18 2015 - 6:57 PM.

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