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83 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted September 10 2017 - 3:14 PM

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I caught this queen on the Fourth of July. I found her under a slab of stone, sharing a claustral chamber with a second Tetramorium immigrans dealate. One escaped into the leaf litter, but I caught the second. 

 

A few weeks later her brood pile consisted of mostly larvae and a few eggs. At this point, I left for vacation. Five weeks later, when I got back, she had a decent brood pile and three callow workers.

 

The next few weeks, nothing big happened. Then a few days ago while looking under stones for dealates, I found a Tetramorium brood room. I decided to collect some to brood boost my colony, which was now at about 8 workers. They were quick at carting away the brood, but I managed to get a dozen or so pupae and a few larvae. My colony accepted them instantly without a second thought. I think the addition of larger, healthier workers to the colony (as nanitics are generally smaller and weaker than standard workers) will help the colony greatly.

 

Now that brings us to today. I decided to give them an outworld since placing food directly into the test tube causes unnecessary stress to the queen. I took an AC outworld that came with my Tetramorium Hybrid Nest (which is what I'm planning on moving them into once they reach an ample size) and poured a thin layer of sand on the bottom. I sprinkled a few small pumice stones here and there. I then placed an old condiment container lid in the sand to serve as a flat surface to place food on. On it, I placed a small byFormica Galileo Liquid Feeder filled with sugar water, a crushed cricket, and a crumbled up fish flake. I then removed the cotton from the entrance of their test tube and placed it in the sand with the entrance facing the food. I then placed the whole setup in a cabinet. I will check on them in a couple of days.


Edited by Mettcollsuss, June 14 2018 - 5:23 PM.


#2 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted September 11 2017 - 5:06 AM

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Just checked on them. They haven't eaten any of the food and haven't explored outside of the test tube. Is this a problem?



#3 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted September 13 2017 - 3:55 PM

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Still no sign of them eating or exploring.



#4 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted September 15 2017 - 3:40 AM

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Old test tube is getting moldy. Trying to move them into a new one by taping the two test tubes together and gently tilting the tubes, since ants will generally move to the lowest spot in the formicarium.



#5 Offline Chicken_eater100 - Posted September 27 2017 - 6:36 PM

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I say your doing fine. Not sure why your tetramorium isn't exploring the outworld. It's been more then ten days, so how is it
Going?

#6 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted October 9 2017 - 5:20 PM

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Sorry I haven't updated in a while. The colony is now at about 20 workers, half from the adopted pupae. They have started exploring and eating. They have accepted sesame seeds, cricket (legs and body), sugar water (in byFormica Galileo Liquid feeder). They haven't accepted protein jelly, poppy seeds, or chia seeds. They are looking healthy and have a large brood pile. They usually explore at night, dusk, or dawn. 


Edited by Mettcollsuss, October 15 2017 - 2:07 PM.


#7 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted October 12 2017 - 4:11 AM

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10/11/17:

Saw three workers drinking from the byFormica Galileo Liquid Feeder and one feeding from the pre-crushed cricket. The brood pile is mostly pupae and a few larvae. Also a couple eggs being moved around to different places on the cotton by workers. The queen has slowed down her egg laying for the year, as many of my queens are (I'm assuming that this is a standard pre-hibernation thing).



#8 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted October 12 2017 - 4:28 AM

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10/11/17:

Saw three workers drinking from the byFormica Galileo Liquid Feeder and one feeding from the pre-crushed cricket. The brood pile is mostly pupae and a few larvae. Also a couple eggs being moved around to different places on the cotton by workers. The queen has slowed down her egg laying for the year, as many of my queens are (I'm assuming that this is a standard pre-hibernation thing).

Good to see that they are eating. As for egg laying, Tetramorium sp.e queens will frequently lay small batches of eggs, but will take breaks in between. Sometimes days or even a week will pass before she lays again. It seems as though eggs are laid in larger numbers and more frequently once the colony matures.


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#9 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted October 15 2017 - 4:54 PM

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10/15/17

The brood pile is mostly larvae, with a few eggs and pupae. All the larvae have a yellow tint to them, which shows that the larvae have been feeding off the dyed food.



#10 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted October 15 2017 - 4:58 PM

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10/15/17

There are currently 4 workers exploring and/or feeding. A new record!


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#11 Offline MegaMyrmex - Posted October 16 2017 - 5:48 PM

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Don't worry about them not moving, I find that they are very stubborn ants
Spoiler

#12 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted October 17 2017 - 3:22 AM

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I'd say that there's 50+ small-medium larvae, so in a couple weeks there should be a huge population boost. The queen is almost always hiding. There's actually a queen-sized dent in the cotton where she likes to hide. Once she's there, she pulls the brood pile over to her and hides behind it. I've been giving them a steady diet of sugar water and pre-crushed crickets, as they're the only feeder insect I have at the moment. They seem content with the sugar water but seem to be getting bored of the crickets. Are there any good non-insect proteins that they will accept?



#13 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted October 17 2017 - 2:28 PM

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10/17/17

Discovery: Tetramorium love peanut butter. Once a worker found it, it took two minutes for her to recruit 4 or 5 of her sisters.


Edited by Mettcollsuss, November 3 2017 - 2:17 PM.


#14 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted October 18 2017 - 3:13 AM

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10/18/17

First death. A single body in the farthest corner of the outworld. Still loving the peanut butter. In unrelated news, my birthday's tomorrow!   :D


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#15 Offline ctantkeeper - Posted October 18 2017 - 3:53 AM

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10/18/17

First death. A single body in the farthest corner of the outworld. Still loving the peanut butter. In unrelated news, my birthday's tomorrow!   :D

Happy Birthday!!!


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#16 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted October 18 2017 - 4:01 AM

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I got the idea to give them peanut butter from observing a wild Prenolepis imparis colony. We left a chunk of peanut butter out for the squirrels, as we usually do (what, you don't feed the squirrels that live in your yard?). A couple hours later, I came back to resupply the peanut butter, and found Prenolepis workers eating it. They still kept eating it even while a squirrel was eating it.


Edited by Mettcollsuss, December 3 2017 - 4:54 AM.


#17 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted November 3 2017 - 2:16 PM

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11/3/17

Not much has changed. Colony is at about 35-40 workers. Getting ready to put them in hibernation soon.


Edited by Mettcollsuss, December 3 2017 - 4:54 AM.


#18 Offline Chicken_eater100 - Posted November 3 2017 - 2:21 PM

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I got the idea to give them peanut butter from observing a wild Prenolepis imparis colony. We left a chunk of peanut butter out for the squirrels, as we usually do (What, you don't feed the squirrels that live in your yard?). A couple hours later, I came back to resupply the peanut butter, and found Prenolepis workers eating it. They still kept eating it even while a squirrel was eating it.


I shoot squirrels, I'm so normal. (obvious sarcasm)

#19 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted November 3 2017 - 5:08 PM

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I got the idea to give them peanut butter from observing a wild Prenolepis imparis colony. We left a chunk of peanut butter out for the squirrels, as we usually do (What, you don't feed the squirrels that live in your yard?). A couple hours later, I came back to resupply the peanut butter, and found Prenolepis workers eating it. They still kept eating it even while a squirrel was eating it.


I shoot squirrels, I'm so normal. (obvious sarcasm)

 

Wait. Do you actually shoot squirrels? They're so cute!



#20 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted November 29 2017 - 6:14 PM

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11/29/17

 

So, I kind of forgot about this journal for a bit, but not much has happened. The colony grew a bit, but that's about it. I put them into hibernation a few weeks ago. Don't expect many more updates until spring. Also, I'm probably going to sell this colony. In the spring when they fly, I'm going to catch multiple and try a pleometrosis experiment, like this one: http://www.formicult...nal-experiment/

Unless something goes horribly wrong and the experimental colony dies, I'm going to keep experimental ones instead.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: tetramorium, journal, tetramorium immigrans, pavement ant, mettcollsuss, ants, ant keeping, ant-keeping, tetramorium spp., tetramorium caespitum group, tetramorium caespitum complex, caespitum group, caespitum complex, caespitum/impurum complex, caespitum/impurum group, anting, pleometrosis, pleometroic founding, founding, queens

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