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Termite Rearing Thread


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#1 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted June 20 2017 - 5:01 PM

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So lately I've been seeing the introduction of region-specific threads and thought "Hey, why not make one for those of us that keep termites?". The region specific threads have proven to be remarkably helpful by allowing those of us within a particular region to alert one another about local nuptial flights, by bringing colony journals that featured ants native to a specific region together in a single location and most importantly, by bringing those who work with the same assortments of native species and those that live in the same region together. This would allow people to discuss rearing termites and share information pertaining to termites in a much more efficient and effective manner. With that said, please use this thread to share colony journals, documentaries, report nuptial flights, help newcomers / give advice, share / provide tutorials and so on. Although I would prefer to keep the conversation geared towards rearing termites for the use of studying and observing their behavior, I don't see any harm in discussing the use of termites as "ant food" (For those that don't know, most ants will readily accept termites as food.). Hopefully, This thread will serve as a catalog containing most of the conversations pertaining to termites on this forum, allowing people to readily access them if need be (This might be a tad too ambitious, but I guess we will see what happens.). Although small communities (especially on Facebook) exist that are geared primarily towards the rearing of termites, the hobby is still very much in its infancy and techniques / equipment that aid in doing so are far and few between. Maybe the introduction of this thread will allow people to come up with and share inventive solutions to problems that one may encounter when keeping termites as pets (Proper termitariums aren't really a thing in the US, unless you consider "Termitat").


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#2 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted June 24 2017 - 4:03 AM

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I've raised termite reproductives and workers many times. The queen/kings actually are fun to watch in their claustral time (they groom each other and groom their little eggs and will eventually carry their baby nymphs like a cat carrying a kitten).


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#3 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted June 24 2017 - 10:03 AM

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I've raised termite reproductives and workers many times. The queen/kings actually are fun to watch in their claustral time (they groom each other and groom their little eggs and will eventually carry their baby nymphs like a cat carrying a kitten).

Yeah, their pretty fascinating to watch. I recently obtained four colonies of Reticulitermes flavipes (yellow footed termite / eastern subterranean termite) and they are absolutely amazing. From brood care to nest building to courtship behavior, they make for really interesting pets to watch early on. Still waiting on nymphs though.



#4 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted June 24 2017 - 10:18 AM

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For those that are curious, my termite colonies are kept in standard test tube setups with labeled covers (made of paper). Each tube has a single "tile" of cardboard (similar to the width of a piece of printer paper) within it, which supplies the colonies developing inside the test tubes with nourishment. The cardboard is kept 1-3 millimeters away from the water reservoir, in order to prevent a sort of "wicking affect" from occurring. I tend to water the cardboard with the use of a pipette each day or so with a droplet of water (I have not run into any mold problems as of yet). Once these colonies grow larger in size, they will be moved to acrylic petri dishes filled partially with a layer of dietary cellulose and a thin layer of grout. Their will be a small hole on the lid of the petri dish for adding distilled water to the dietary cellulose when dry. The hole would then be blocked by a rubber stopper when not in use. 



#5 Offline Derpy - Posted November 6 2017 - 11:57 AM

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Can subterranean termites eat sticks as their food source, or do you need bark, or other woods

#6 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted November 6 2017 - 1:31 PM

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They can eat any form of cellulose.


Hawaiiant (Ben)

Keeper of
Miniature Labradoodle
Baby Wolf Spider
Mud Dauber wasp larvae
Ochetellus Glaber
Solenopsis Geminata
Brachymyrmex Obscurior
Cardiocondyla Emeryi
Tetramorium Bicarinatum
Plagiolepis Alluaudi
Anoplolepis Gracilipes
Technomyrmex Difficilis
Pheidole Megacephala
Aholehole fish
Cowrie snail
Sea Fan Worm
100+ sea squirts
Tree seedlings
Ghost Crab
Day Gecko
Small Fat Centipede
Endemic Lacewing larva
Vernal Pool shrimps

#7 Offline Derpy - Posted November 6 2017 - 2:11 PM

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What are somethings that contain cellulose

#8 Offline Chicken_eater100 - Posted November 6 2017 - 2:12 PM

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Wood, paper, cardboard, etc.

#9 Offline Derpy - Posted November 6 2017 - 2:19 PM

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Ok, thanks, I have around 12 colonies of subterranean termites, thanks to YstheAnt.

#10 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted November 6 2017 - 2:40 PM

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Glad to see this is getting a bit of use! feel free to post photos and create journals on here.



#11 Online Serafine - Posted November 17 2017 - 12:48 AM

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I just realized that we now have a termite subforum...

 

 

This thing here might be useful for starting termite colonies, it is essentially a fancy test tube holder with a small outworld (and a tubing connector with a slide-lock so it can be connected to additional containers).

 

IMG_0204.jpg?v=1509824909

 

https://antkit.uk/pr.../antkit-anthome


Edited by Serafine, November 17 2017 - 12:58 AM.

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#12 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted November 17 2017 - 6:03 AM

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I'm going to try establishing an Eastern Subterranean Termite colony in a formicarium next year. Since the species builds a nest with no food within and forages for new sources of cellulose, it could be possible to keep a formicarium nest itself empty and humid, with the outworld filled with coconut fiber, wood shavings, or even soil and plain wood.


Hawaiiant (Ben)

Keeper of
Miniature Labradoodle
Baby Wolf Spider
Mud Dauber wasp larvae
Ochetellus Glaber
Solenopsis Geminata
Brachymyrmex Obscurior
Cardiocondyla Emeryi
Tetramorium Bicarinatum
Plagiolepis Alluaudi
Anoplolepis Gracilipes
Technomyrmex Difficilis
Pheidole Megacephala
Aholehole fish
Cowrie snail
Sea Fan Worm
100+ sea squirts
Tree seedlings
Ghost Crab
Day Gecko
Small Fat Centipede
Endemic Lacewing larva
Vernal Pool shrimps

#13 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted November 17 2017 - 4:40 PM

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I just realized that we now have a termite subforum...

 

 

This thing here might be useful for starting termite colonies, it is essentially a fancy test tube holder with a small outworld (and a tubing connector with a slide-lock so it can be connected to additional containers).

 

IMG_0204.jpg?v=1509824909

 

https://antkit.uk/pr.../antkit-anthome

 

Glad to see that people are starting to notice it! I've seen these before actually and they might make for a nice termite rearing setup.



#14 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted November 17 2017 - 4:43 PM

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I'm going to try establishing an Eastern Subterranean Termite colony in a formicarium next year. Since the species builds a nest with no food within and forages for new sources of cellulose, it could be possible to keep a formicarium nest itself empty and humid, with the outworld filled with coconut fiber, wood shavings, or even soil and plain wood.

 

Sounds like a great idea, but keep in mind that R. flavipes will coat flat surfaces with a carpet of wood pulp as a means of building structures, storing food and providing better traction for traveling workers and soldiers. The same thing goes for waste. As for your outworld situation, I would feed them within their tube until the reach a larger population size and I would introduce a culture of springtails to the outworld to keep mold in check (you can buy captive cultures with thousands of them online or through reptile shows here in New England.).



#15 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted November 17 2017 - 7:52 PM

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I'm going to try establishing an Eastern Subterranean Termite colony in a formicarium next year. Since the species builds a nest with no food within and forages for new sources of cellulose, it could be possible to keep a formicarium nest itself empty and humid, with the outworld filled with coconut fiber, wood shavings, or even soil and plain wood.

 

Sounds like a great idea, but keep in mind that R. flavipes will coat flat surfaces with a carpet of wood pulp as a means of building structures, storing food and providing better traction for traveling workers and soldiers. The same thing goes for waste. As for your outworld situation, I would feed them within their tube until the reach a larger population size and I would introduce a culture of springtails to the outworld to keep mold in check (you can buy captive cultures with thousands of them online or through reptile shows here in New England.).

 

Sounds good. By the way, I am aware of the wood pulp coatings (the wild termite satellite nests always have very thick layers of cardboardy pulp)


Hawaiiant (Ben)

Keeper of
Miniature Labradoodle
Baby Wolf Spider
Mud Dauber wasp larvae
Ochetellus Glaber
Solenopsis Geminata
Brachymyrmex Obscurior
Cardiocondyla Emeryi
Tetramorium Bicarinatum
Plagiolepis Alluaudi
Anoplolepis Gracilipes
Technomyrmex Difficilis
Pheidole Megacephala
Aholehole fish
Cowrie snail
Sea Fan Worm
100+ sea squirts
Tree seedlings
Ghost Crab
Day Gecko
Small Fat Centipede
Endemic Lacewing larva
Vernal Pool shrimps




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