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Dspdrew's Pheidole desertorum Journal [176] (Discontinued)

dspdrew journal pheidole desertorum

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#1 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 19 2014 - 8:52 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

8-19-2014
 
I found this Pheidole desertorum queen 8-3-2014, near Joshua Tree National Park in the Mojave Desert of California. I found it wandering around at about 11:00 pm after a storm came through earlier in the day.

 

Right away it started laying tons of eggs, and has continued laying more and more eggs every day it seems. At this point it has at least 12 larvae already.

 

 

 



#2 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 19 2014 - 2:45 PM

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Lucky. You got your Pheidole.



#3 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 19 2014 - 3:38 PM

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Well P. vistana is what I really want pretty bad, but P. desertorum is very much like it.



#4 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 19 2014 - 3:50 PM

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I'd be happy with any of them. 



#5 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted August 19 2014 - 3:56 PM

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I would love P. diversus



#6 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 19 2014 - 5:38 PM

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Pheidole seem to be pretty popular.



#7 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 19 2014 - 6:51 PM

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P. diversus

You mean Pheidologeton diversus?



#8 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted August 20 2014 - 2:21 PM

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You mean Pheidologeton diversus?

Yep!



#9 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 20 2014 - 2:49 PM

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Everyone wants one of those.



#10 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted August 21 2014 - 12:40 PM

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Everyone wants one of those.

:)



#11 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 31 2014 - 6:58 PM

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Update 8-31-2014
 
I went to check on this queen a few days ago, and found she already had workers.  :o  This was about as fast as my P. californicus colonies got their first workers, in just over three weeks.

 

Since this is one of my favorite species, or at least very close in relation, I was pretty happy to see workers and right away started taking pictures. To my horror, I found a tiny little light red mite walking around in the tube. When I looked closer, I noticed one on the thorax of the queen and two of the workers. I quickly setup a shallow container lined with talcum powder, and dumped the whole colony, brood and all into this container. One by one I took out mite-free workers and clumps of eggs and put them into a fresh test tube. It wasn't too hard to smash the mite riding on the queen's thorax with a forceps, but the two little 2.5 mm nanitic workers were not as easy.

 

 

 

Eventually I got them off by pinning them up against the edge of the container and gently rubbing a 000 size specimen mounting pin on them until the mite was knocked loose. I then brushed it away from them and smashed it. I also found a mite on two of the pupae, and one mixed in with their eggs. Those were not as hard to remove, as I just speared them with the pin. All of this was done under my microscope, and would have been impossible without it. A little later I found another mite walking around in the test tube, and I got lucky and was able to smash it with a forceps first try.

 

Since I don't know what species these mites are, and have no idea how big their eggs might be, I'm checking the colony every day for new mites, and I plan to kill them before they mature and lay more eggs.

 

 

 

 

 



#12 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 31 2014 - 7:25 PM

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Not good, when my S.xyloni  had the mites the workers were able to keep them off, and those were turtle mites like these appear as well.



#13 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 31 2014 - 10:09 PM

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These were a little different. They were soft and I think they were parasitic.



#14 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 31 2014 - 10:34 PM

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You had them removed?



#15 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 31 2014 - 11:00 PM

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I removed them myself... it's all described in the update post. :thinking:



#16 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 31 2014 - 11:03 PM

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Missed that part...



#17 Offline Alza - Posted September 1 2014 - 4:57 PM

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dem legs tho!



#18 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted September 1 2014 - 5:14 PM

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Desert species usually have really long legs because they need to keep their bodies of the hot ground during the day.



#19 Offline Alza - Posted September 1 2014 - 5:30 PM

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i like that



#20 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted September 1 2014 - 5:32 PM

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Myrmecocystus mexicanus has legs like that.







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