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Aaron's Odontomachus haematodus Journal (Updated 6/11/19)


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#21 Offline Leo - Posted August 30 2017 - 1:54 AM

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this is the 7th time I read this journal because:

 

1. this is honestly a good journal :)

2. I love this genus

3. I have a new Odontomachus queen



#22 Offline Samuelp.1 - Posted September 5 2017 - 6:17 PM

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photos :D

Edited by Samuelp.1, September 10 2017 - 8:52 AM.

Species i'm Keeping:

Camponotus Floridanus, Camponotus Tortuganus, Brachymyrmex Obscurior, Unidentified species, Tetramorium Bicarinatum, Cyphomyrmex Rimosus,

Dorymyrmex Bureni, Hypoponera Sp, Pheidole navigans, Pheidole megacephala, Solenopsis Invicta, Cardiocondyla Venustula, Cardiocondyla Sp,

Cardiocondyla minutior.

Unidentified species of Termites.


#23 Offline Aaron567 - Posted October 16 2017 - 6:59 PM

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October 16, 2017

 

The colonies in this journal kept dying. One died for an unknown reason, and another one died from mites.

 

For a while now, I have had a 1-worker colony that I have been making sure I feed well. This one has done the best so far, out of the other two colonies that just ended up dying after a couple weeks. The queen still has her wings. She only got one nanitic but she will get her second worker in the next week or so, when her current single pupa hatches.

 

Today I just got my Atom C formicarium and I successfully moved the colony into it. I watched as the queen picked up the worker and carried it into the nest, followed by all the brood. The queen seems to act more like a worker than the actual worker, because she forages and moves brood around a lot. The worker just sits next to the brood and does mostly nothing. They have 3 larvae, 1 pupa, and 5-7 eggs. I should start seeing more eggs soon as I have been keeping these ants fed with lots of protein lately. I am so excited to see this colony progress!

 

Here is when they were still in the test tube before I moved them into their formicarium.

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And here they are now :)

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I will post another update once the colony reaches at least 5 workers.


Edited by Aaron567, July 3 2018 - 10:28 AM.

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#24 Offline Aaron567 - Posted July 3 2018 - 10:46 AM

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An update, 8 months later

 

My Odontomachus last year never kicked off.. I had more than 10 queens and for most of them it was a never-ending cycle of them eating their larvae before they could pupate. I learned that play sand is not a good substrate for their larvae to pupate in, and only rarely are they ever successful with it. Larvae that are unable to pupate or fail to pupate are always eaten. I am also sure I wasn't feeding them as much as they should eat. The larvae are extremely food-demanding. 

 

This time I will be using Eco Earth which SHOULD work fine. A few weeks ago, Odontomachus haematodus flights took place, so I collected a few queens. I feed them a piece of cricket only about once a week when they have eggs, and several times a week when they have larvae. It is cool to watch the larvae eat the food themselves when the queen brings it to them.

 

This is one of them when she had some eggs. It is a bit difficult to see the eggs due to the exposure of the photo. 

 

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Last week her larvae started hatching. I will put some Eco Earth in the test tube before the larvae get to pupating size.

 

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More recently, another flight happened and I collected an additional two queens. I decided to put these queens in the same snap cap vial when I captured them, and to my surprise they didn't try to murder each other. Now I am housing these two queens together and they have a nice pile of eggs. 

 

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#25 Offline Ants_Texas - Posted July 3 2018 - 4:47 PM

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Good luck this time, Aaron! Mine didn't go so well..  :whistle:

 

Perhaps you should try a natural nest?


My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK90shiLguOZBECXtwr1M7A

 

Colonies:

 

Camponotus festinatus, Camponotus fragilis, Camponotus sansabeanus, Crematogaster minutissima, Pheidole moerens, and Solenopsis invicta.

 

Queens: 

 

Aphaenogaster sp., Brachymyrmex patagonicus, Colobopsis impressa, Crematogaster laeviuscula, Forelius mccooki, Solenopsis molesta, and Solenopsis sp.


#26 Offline Aaron567 - Posted July 27 2018 - 2:49 PM

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July 27, 2018

 

My single queen just got her first worker and will have the second one pretty soon. This is definitely the smallest Odontomachus worker I've ever seen, at about 6 millimeters. Just half the length of the queen. 

 

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I have two pairs of queens and one trio now. I haven't been feeding them as much as I should, so they have not progressed much. Single queens are already very food-demanding and having multiple queens together makes it even harder to keep them satisfied. 


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#27 Offline Aaron567 - Posted January 30 2019 - 4:06 PM

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January 30, 2019

 

The last queens failed. Again.

 

On October 3, 2018, I received an Odontomachus haematodus brunneus colony from @SuperFrank  who is also in northern Florida. When I got the colony they had around 6-7 workers with a few larvae and pupae. After a couple weeks, the larvae and pupae had become adults and the colony was up to around 10 workers. Sometime in November, the queen completely stopped laying eggs and the colony had no brood for a few weeks despite eating a lot of food. I think this might've either been their attempt at a winter dormancy or just a coincidence.

 

On December 31 I checked on them to see that the queen had finally resumed laying eggs. Fast forward to today, January 30, they have about 8 larvae with several eggs. The colony lost a single worker a couple weeks ago possibly due to old age, so now there are a total of 9.

 

Sorry for the quality of these pictures, their test tube is filthy. And it seems like it'll be a while before I move them out because their test tube's water reservoir somehow seems to be infinite.

 

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This worker found a way to completely snap off one of her mandibles. She is still able to do everything normally except help carry food to the nest. Sometimes I see her trying to use her single mandible as a hook to drag a piece of food, but she's pretty unsuccessful at it for the most part.

 

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Some older pictures from October when I got them. I temporarily put the workers in a cup to get pictures of them.

 

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Edited by Aaron567, June 11 2019 - 4:17 PM.

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#28 Offline Rstheant - Posted January 30 2019 - 6:47 PM

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Don’t get bitten by these. They just stay clamped onto your flesh. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt :lol:

#29 Offline Ants4fun - Posted January 31 2019 - 8:57 AM

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Nice pictures!

#30 Offline Aaron567 - Posted March 19 2019 - 5:38 PM

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March 19, 2019

 

I just moved these girls into a plaster formicarium today. In the past couple of weeks the larvae have been having trouble spinning their cocoons, so they get eaten. Test tubes are just not great for Odontomachus at all. 

 

They have 8 workers, a few larvae, and a fair stack of eggs right now. I've been feeding them pieces of crickets, but I will get a D. melanogaster fruit fly culture pretty soon so I can give them those daily. When feeding Odontomachus, you're basically feeding the larvae, so the larvae need to eat something pretty much every day or else they may die and get eaten by the other larvae. I really hope they settle into this nest well and that the larvae start to spin their cocoons properly. In the past few months I think the colony has only gained one adult worker.

 

The dark substrate is Eco Earth that I crumbled into smaller pieces; it works very well as a cocoon-spinning medium for the larvae.

 

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#31 Offline MegaMyrmex - Posted March 24 2019 - 7:45 AM

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I have heard that these are polygynous and that there is usually a dominant queen that rules above the others, so I wouldnMt be surprised if there were multiple queens.
Spoiler

#32 Offline Aaron567 - Posted March 24 2019 - 8:25 AM

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I have heard that these are polygynous and that there is usually a dominant queen that rules above the others, so I wouldnMt be surprised if there were multiple queens.

 

Just one queen in this colony. The person that was keeping them before just caught the queen and brood boosted her with a few workers.



#33 Offline MegaMyrmex - Posted March 24 2019 - 1:11 PM

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I have heard that these are polygynous and that there is usually a dominant queen that rules above the others, so I wouldnMt be surprised if there were multiple queens.


Just one queen in this colony. The person that was keeping them before just caught the queen and brood boosted her with a few workers.
I know, I was refering to the two queens that were put together and laid eggs.
Spoiler

#34 Offline Aaron567 - Posted April 2 2019 - 5:52 PM

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April 2, 2019

 

Glad to report that moving them into the plaster nest with eco-earth was the right choice. It looks like not one larva has failed to spin its cocoon since moving them in, but a couple pupae have gotten eaten after going two days without feeding. There are 5 pupae currently, but larvae are pupating almost every day now because of how alarmingly fast the larvae grow. The time it takes for a newly hatched larva to become a pupa must be 5 or 6 days. It's pretty crazy considering the eggs can take nearly a month to hatch.

 

Every time I check on them they immediately begin to move all the brood into the vinyl tubing that connects to their outworld, so at this time it is difficult to get a picture with all the larvae and eggs in it. The queen is consistently laying eggs though.

 

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#35 Offline Aaron567 - Posted April 25 2019 - 6:16 PM

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April 25, 2019

 

I got some fruit flies for them. Several new workers have begun to hatch and this colony is doing very well. It looks like they're up to 13 workers now, compared to the 8 they had at the beginning of this month.

 

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Edited by Aaron567, April 25 2019 - 6:17 PM.

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#36 Offline ponerinecat - Posted April 25 2019 - 7:53 PM

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Nice colony :)



#37 Offline Aaron567 - Posted May 8 2019 - 3:32 PM

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May 8, 2019

 

I recently found out that this colony that I currently have is the native species O. brunneus rather than haematodus. I'll still keep posting the colony on this journal because they're doing so well. I had to look through the microscope at their underside to see if they had a pair of tiny teeth located in a very hidden area near their hind coxae (first segment of the leg). The workers in this colony don't have them, meaning they're brunneus. Also, the person I received them from lives way farther east than the known exotic distribution of haematodus, which includes eastern Louisiana, southern Mississippi, southern Alabama, and the extreme westernmost area of the Florida panandle where I am. Apparently brunneus is quite rare here.

 

A microscope picture I was able to get of the pair of teeth present on the underside of an O. haematodus worker that I got from my backyard.

 

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Last night I caught an actual haematodus queen. I'll probably make a little plaster nest for her and she should do very well.

 

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The brunneus colony is looking great. About 20 workers now and nearly 20 pupae. I got a fruit fly culture for them, so they've been having big fruit fly dinners and it's cool to watch them hunt.

 

A few weeks ago I introduced a 2 or 3 little gray springtails to help control the mold and those have been breeding. Tons of baby springtails in there now.

 

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Edited by Aaron567, May 8 2019 - 6:13 PM.

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#38 Offline B_rad0806 - Posted May 8 2019 - 4:46 PM

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I wish Odontomachus was in CA. They look so interesting.


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#39 Offline ponerinecat - Posted May 9 2019 - 4:44 PM

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I wish Odontomachus was in CA. They look so interesting.

We have strumigenys. They more interesting (in my opinion) but are reaaaaaaaally small and hard to raise.



#40 Offline Aaron567 - Posted June 11 2019 - 4:39 PM

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June 11, 2019

 

The brunneus colony has about 30 workers and will have more than 60 workers once their current batch of pupae hatches in the next few weeks. More recently I've been feeding them entire crickets rather than the usual fruit flies because crickets are no longer too large for them.

 

These pictures are of bad quality because the workers have stuck eco earth all around the sides of the container and would now be able to climb out if I took the lid off. So, I can only get these pictures of them through the lid for now. The next update on this colony will probably be when they're moved into their next formicarium, because the one they're in now will probably be too small for them in a month or two.

 

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I've found three O. haematodus queens this year so far, and two of them shed their wings and laid eggs. The other one was infertile and died. I made a plaster nest similar to what the brunneus are in but with only one chamber so it is just big enough to raise her first few workers. I chose the queen with the most eggs to be moved into the nest, and I will probably throw in some eco earth once there are small or medium-sized larvae.

 

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