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Greg's Solenopsis invicta Journal (Discontinued)

fire ant rifa solenopsis solenopsis invicta journal

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49 replies to this topic

#21 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted December 12 2014 - 8:52 PM

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I fear that light will really bother them, and some of my other colonies.



#22 Offline Crystals - Posted December 12 2014 - 8:56 PM

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You could lay a light cloth over it to block the light, but keep most of the heat.  Just keep an eye on the temperature.

 

I like to use 5-15 watt heat cables or heat mats.  You can find some pretty cheap online.


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#23 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted December 12 2014 - 9:14 PM

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I think heat mats would help me the most, but people do not suggest it... :|



#24 Offline Chromerust - Posted December 12 2014 - 9:43 PM

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I use purple party light bulbs (fake black lights). You can barely see the light.

#25 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted December 12 2014 - 11:14 PM

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Doesn't mean the ants can't see it. ;)



#26 Offline benjiwuf - Posted December 12 2014 - 11:46 PM

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You could always use the red heat lights that reptiles use.

#27 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted December 13 2014 - 12:16 AM

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I think red lights are the best, as ants cannot see red. They can obviously see the black lights Chromerust was talking about, otherwise how would black light traps work? I know what he was talking about were not true black lights, but they are close on the spectrum.



#28 Offline Chromerust - Posted December 13 2014 - 1:38 AM

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Whatever, that's why my colony is over 2000 strong already because I'm doing it wrong

#29 Offline DesertAntz - Posted December 13 2014 - 10:25 AM

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DesertAntz. They have a heat deficiency. They are in about 75 F all the time. That is a lot colder than their comfortable 85-90 F.

 

Ultimately it's your decision but if you've pinpointed this as the source of your colony's slow growth I would get some heat for them. 


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#30 Offline Crystals - Posted December 13 2014 - 10:54 AM

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I think heat mats would help me the most, but people do not suggest it... :|

Who didn't suggest it?

If used carefully it works well for test tubes.  You colony is close to needing a foraging container, put them in a container 2x as long as the test tube and put the mat under 1/4 of the container - on the far side from the test tube.  It will act like a green house, heating the colony without risk of cooking them.

 

Most of my colonies don't care about light if it is warm.  You could put 2 test tubes in a container and shine a lamp over one side (and on just one test tube).  You can see if they move to the lighter and warmer one.  Or just leave the lid on and let the container act like a greenhouse and trap some heat.

 

Just be careful to monitor the temperatures closely for the first few days.  Perhaps even try it on the container before you put the ants in it.


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#31 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted December 13 2014 - 11:12 PM

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Whatever, that's why my colony is over 2000 strong already because one doing it wrong

Sorry if I sounded like I disregarded or disagreed with your advice. :( There are just, a lot of sources with conflicting information...


Edited by Gregory2455, December 13 2014 - 11:12 PM.


#32 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 14 2014 - 7:27 AM

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I honestly don't think it will make much difference if your queen is one that just isn't going to produce much. Try adding heat and find out.



#33 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted December 14 2014 - 1:09 PM

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She does lay a lot of eggs. Just most of them die, probably from the cold.

Edited by Gregory2455, December 14 2014 - 1:09 PM.


#34 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted December 14 2014 - 3:20 PM

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I decided I will not bother with heat any further than getting a heat mat. I figure because summer is here soon, the room they are in will be 90 F for a good five months anyway, so let them grow slow for now, because I am not really in the mood to deal with a colony of 1000 ants of this species yet. :)



#35 Offline Vendayn - Posted December 17 2014 - 5:33 PM

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I had a colony (Solenopsis invicta of course) grow to 100,000 ants in only 6 months. :P Only started with 1 queen and 200 workers.


Edited by Vendayn, December 17 2014 - 5:34 PM.


#36 Online drtrmiller - Posted December 17 2014 - 5:41 PM

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I had a colony (Solenopsis invicta of course) grow to 100,000 ants in only 6 months. :P Only started with 1 queen and 200 workers.

 

I had a similar experience—not quite a hundred thousand strong, but still way too many.  I'm experimenting with getting my current colony going again, and attempting to feed a diet consisting almost entirely of synthetic foods to do so—these ants are far too messy to feed insects.

 

There is a kind of snowball effect, wherein more eggs are laid when more larvae are present, which results in more and more eggs being laid as each successive batch of eggs matures into larvae.  The cycle repeats as long as food is available in endless supply, and you end up with massive colonies like the one you describe.



#37 Offline Vendayn - Posted December 17 2014 - 6:25 PM

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I had a similar experience—not quite a hundred thousand strong, but still way too many.  I'm experimenting with getting my current colony going again, and attempting to feed a diet consisting almost entirely of synthetic foods to do so—these ants are far too messy to feed insects.

 

There is a kind of snowball effect, wherein more eggs are laid when more larvae are present, which results in more and more eggs being laid as each successive batch of eggs matures into larvae.  The cycle repeats as long as food is available in endless supply, and you end up with massive colonies like the one you describe.

Yeah, it was crazy. It was actually my first successful ant colony, as before I'd only kept rather boring (to me) and hard to keep Argentine ants. I didn't have any choice of species except Argentine ants, till my family moved. I was definitely not prepared at all for such a huge colony when I didn't have that much experience (at the time) of keeping ants.

 

The garage they were in was 80+ degrees all the time (summer, winter...didn't matter), so that definitely probably helped.

 

(edit: Also, I was such a novice back then...I used sticks to connect the ant farms up.

 

So...imagine many thousands of ants going back and forth.

 

On sticks.

 

In mass quantities.

 

Falling off of them. :P )


Edited by Vendayn, December 17 2014 - 6:35 PM.


#38 Offline ToeNhi - Posted December 17 2014 - 11:25 PM

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I had a colony (Solenopsis invicta of course) grow to 100,000 ants in only 6 months. :P Only started with 1 queen and 200 workers.


I'm not trying to hijack this thread, but I see a lot of people throwing out huge numbers when it comes to colony size and was wondering if there is a way of counting colony size without actually counting each ant? I'm not attacking you Vendayn, but how can you tell the difference between 50,000 and 100,000 ants. Solenopsis invicta are very active ants, I can't imagine trying to count 100 of them.

How do scientist estimate colony size in the wild? I watched a documentary on YouTube about drive ants, and they said the colony can reach 20 million sisters. How would you even start to count something like that?

Sorry, I have S. invicta envy.

-ToeNhi


#39 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted December 17 2014 - 11:45 PM

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I estimate all my populations from an image.

#40 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 18 2014 - 8:21 AM

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Yeah, images do make it easier to count them.







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