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Caught a Ponera queen... Now what?

ponera ponera pennsylvanica ponerinae nuptial flight semi-claustral

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#1 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted September 14 2017 - 2:43 PM

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So I managed to stumble across a Ponera pennsylvanica nuptial flight today. I only had one container, but I caught a queen. I'm a beginner at this hobby, so I'm not ready to keep them. I'm going to sell them, but in the meantime I'm going to have to care for them. I know nothing about this species except that the queens are semi-claustral, the colonies are small, and they are subterranean. How do I care for them? What do I feed the queen? how long does it take the workers to develop? How much would be a reasonable price to sell them at? PLEASE HELP!!



#2 Offline gcsnelling - Posted September 14 2017 - 3:39 PM

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Very difficult to keep, I would just release it.



#3 Offline Ameise - Posted September 15 2017 - 10:40 AM

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The longest I've kept a queen alive is about a week. That's my current record, and that's actually my current Ponera queen. I've had a number of them die before.

 

The tricks seem to be:

1. Darkness and seclusion. They are cryptic ants, and aren't adjusted to light.

2. High humidity and moisture.

3. Access to food (very small soft-bodied invertebrates).

 

I have mine in a very small acrylic tube that has hydrocal 'painted' on the sides, with a hydrocal plug in front of the water basin. I give her springtails as food, not sure if she's eating them.


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#4 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted September 16 2017 - 2:44 AM

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The longest I've kept a queen alive is about a week. That's my current record, and that's actually my current Ponera queen. I've had a number of them die before.

 

The tricks seem to be:

1. Darkness and seclusion. They are cryptic ants, and aren't adjusted to light.

2. High humidity and moisture.

3. Access to food (very small soft-bodied invertebrates).

 

I have mine in a very small acrylic tube that has hydrocal 'painted' on the sides, with a hydrocal plug in front of the water basin. I give her springtails as food, not sure if she's eating them.

 

Thanks!



#5 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted September 17 2017 - 2:13 AM

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I gave her some protein jelly and she seems to be eating it.


Edited by Mettcollsuss, September 17 2017 - 2:13 AM.


#6 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted September 17 2017 - 12:36 PM

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I'd go to an arts and crafts store (like Michael's) and buy a tiny favor vial. Dampen a tiny pieces of cotton and stuff it in the back of the vial. Then, fill the tube with dirt or coconut fiber. Use a toothpick to make a queen-sized hole into the substrate. Then introduce your queen. If the vial is small enough, the queen will not need the substrate to fill the entire tube.


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#7 Offline MegaMyrmex - Posted September 17 2017 - 2:58 PM

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Connectimyrmex couldn't have said it any better. Give her fruit flies, since that's the main food that all my colonies seem to like.
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#8 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted September 17 2017 - 3:59 PM

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Thank you Megamyrmex :)

The foods I would recommend include:
soft bodied ant males (prekilled)

springtails (prekilled)
termite hatchlings (alive)
fruit flies (alive)

Don't feed your ponera queen too many sugary substances, I know from experience they tend to dislike them.


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





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: ponera, ponera pennsylvanica, ponerinae, nuptial flight, semi-claustral

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