Hey guys. I've been messing around with termites for the past couple of months trying to start a colony from a pre-existing wild colony.
Species name: Reticulitermes flavipes (This is the species i believe they are. I will be getting some macro shots of all castes tonight.)
Common name: Eastern Subterranean Termite
Size: 1-5mm depending on age of workers.
Nesting area: Within dead/rotting logs
Some species of termites are able to produce new queens from a pre-existing worker or nymph. With this particular species, (Reticulitermes flavipes) i should be able to produce a new queen and king called "neotenic reproductives" within months from now, if not sooner. Nymphs have the ability to turn into different castes, including a mature king and queen. I am hoping that by taking pulls, i will be able to produce my own reproducing colony of termites.
Here's a little bit of insight on my Termite venture. Hopefully anyone else who's wanting to give this a try will learn something from it.
June 10th i found a small colony while out anting and pulled about 30 workers and placed them in a test tube. They're still all alive and well in the tube. So far they've been doing really well, and have actually been pretty fun to watch.
Here's a small journey they went on. Baffled the shoot out of me.
The next morning, i found one worker floating around in the water. He was alive, and just barely able to keep his head above water. I watched in horror as i couldn't help the poor termite out.
I tried getting a photo but my phone was dead =(
Well, her buddies saved her.....
Now they travel back and forth between the two sides.
Yesterday (7/30/17) i found a few new colonies and decided to do a couple new pulls.
I was told that Termites are like ants and don't play well together. I was also told that even if they're within proximity of each other, they're prolly not in the same colony.
So with that in mind, i kept each group of termites i found in their own container.
Some other Termite keepers havent tried rearing termites in test tubes before, so this part is a little new as i didn't know what else to do at the time. The previous colony i had pulled survived pretty well in their test tube so i figured i would keep it going.
I kept the amount of water minimal compared to the amount of substrate within the tube. I wanted to make sure that if they did tunnel into the water cavity again, the substrate on the dry side would absorb all of the liquid instead of flooding them out.
With the substrate, i added wood and dirt particles from around the nesting site to the tube. This seemed to really help with the last pull i did so i continued the method.
Here are the 3 pulls i took. The Largest is going to be split into two colonies to free up a little space. I may pull a small group out to either make a 4th pull, or feed to some of my bugs.
Now these 3 pulls will go into a special were they won't see light or movement for the next couple months.
Hopefully i'll see some changes when i check them again.
As i check on these guys, i will be posting updates.
I'll also continue to take pulls from other wild colonies as i find them and update this thread as we go.
Thank you for viewing.
Edited by Loops117, July 31 2017 - 2:08 PM.