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Mettcollsuss's Aphaenogaster rudis Journal

journal aphaenogaster aphaenogaster rudis aphaenogaster cf. rudis ant keeping

54 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 2 2018 - 11:05 AM

Mettcollsuss

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    I found this queen around mid-July. She was a very early flier, as Aphaenogaster spp. normally flies in September. I found her on a gravel driveway in an oak/pine forest. For a while, I wasn't sure if she was Aphaenogaster rudis or Aphaenogaster fulva. Once she got workers, I looked at them under my microscope. I am now 90-95% sure that they are Aphaenogaster rudis. Not much interesting has happened so far. They had an exceptionally ordinary founding period, however, I will give the queen credit. She was super devoted to raising her young. She was one of the two queens that I've had so far to completely refuse all food (I normally give queens a small dot of honey before I put them away for a few weeks during the founding stage).

 

   They are now at 9 workers. Just yesterday, I moved them into a new test tube, as the old one was quite moldy. They have assorted brood of all stages. The queen just laid a large batch of about 20 eggs a few days ago.

 

    Because of their lack of a social stomach, they have some interesting feeding habits. All food, weather honey, insect, fruit, or seed is received the same way. First, a scout senses food. She slowly stalks toward it, her antennae stretched out. As soon as the antennae make contact with the food, the ant jumps back, the stalks toward it again. This time, she doesn't jump back. She then smells it for a few seconds to identify what sort of food it is. If it's something such as honey, they will gather it in their jaws and carry a sphere back to the nest. I'll try to document this later in the journal. If it's something other than liquid, they will immediately rush back to the nest to recruit fellow workers. 5-6 of them then carry the food back to the nest.

 

Here are some photos:

 

med_gallery_1963_974_179305.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_47034.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_84756.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_59124.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_51984.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_73761.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_73106.jpg


Edited by Mettcollsuss, January 22 2018 - 5:52 AM.

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Current Colonies:

  • Aphaenogaster rudis x4 — Journal
  • Camponotus caryae — Journal
  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus — Journal
  • Formica pallidefulva — Journal
  • Formica subsericea x3 — Journal
  • Lasius cf. americanus
  • Lasius cf. neoniger — Journal
  • Prenolepis imparis — Journal
  • Tetramorium immigrans — Journal

Queens:

  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
  • Crematogaster cf. lineolata Journal
  • Lasius sp. x2
  • Myrmica sp.

Other Animals:

  • Felis catus x5
  • Phodopus roborovskii
  • Various Fish
  • Younger Brothers x2

#2 Offline noebl1 - Posted January 2 2018 - 11:33 AM

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Nice!  I caught two of these queens in September; one laid before hibernation, other one still has wings and was pretty aggressive at pulling at the cotton, so unsure if she's fertile.  I'm hoping the potentially fertile one makes it as really excited about these.

 

Are you not hibernating them this season?  


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#3 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 2 2018 - 12:05 PM

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Nice!  I caught two of these queens in September; one laid before hibernation, other one still has wings and was pretty aggressive at pulling at the cotton, so unsure if she's fertile.  I'm hoping the potentially fertile one makes it as really excited about these.

 

Are you not hibernating them this season?  

No. I tried, but they remained active while in the cold temperatures (or at least as active as ants can be in cold weather, seeing as they're cold blooded). The queen also keeps pumping out new eggs. They seem to be doing everything they can to protest hibernation.


Current Colonies:

  • Aphaenogaster rudis x4 — Journal
  • Camponotus caryae — Journal
  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus — Journal
  • Formica pallidefulva — Journal
  • Formica subsericea x3 — Journal
  • Lasius cf. americanus
  • Lasius cf. neoniger — Journal
  • Prenolepis imparis — Journal
  • Tetramorium immigrans — Journal

Queens:

  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
  • Crematogaster cf. lineolata Journal
  • Lasius sp. x2
  • Myrmica sp.

Other Animals:

  • Felis catus x5
  • Phodopus roborovskii
  • Various Fish
  • Younger Brothers x2

#4 Offline noebl1 - Posted January 2 2018 - 12:09 PM

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Gotcha, was just curious.  Mine obviously was just the queen, and she wasn't doing much, so made it easy :)  I stumbled across this paper about them, but haven't had a chance to fully digest it yet - https://www.hindawi....he/2012/752815/


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#5 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 2 2018 - 12:16 PM

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So far, this has been one of the easiest species I've kept.


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Current Colonies:

  • Aphaenogaster rudis x4 — Journal
  • Camponotus caryae — Journal
  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus — Journal
  • Formica pallidefulva — Journal
  • Formica subsericea x3 — Journal
  • Lasius cf. americanus
  • Lasius cf. neoniger — Journal
  • Prenolepis imparis — Journal
  • Tetramorium immigrans — Journal

Queens:

  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
  • Crematogaster cf. lineolata Journal
  • Lasius sp. x2
  • Myrmica sp.

Other Animals:

  • Felis catus x5
  • Phodopus roborovskii
  • Various Fish
  • Younger Brothers x2

#6 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted January 3 2018 - 6:02 AM

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I have an A. rudis colony as well, and she has three workers. I agree with you about them being the easiest to keep. Surprisingly, my colony's test tube keeps getting myrmecophile springtails in it (even though I don't introduce them to my sensitive/favorite colonies).


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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 noebl1 - Posted January 3 2018 - 7:27 AM

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Do you guys heat yours or do "room temperature"?  


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#8 Offline Hunter - Posted January 3 2018 - 7:30 AM

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i room temp


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#9 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted January 3 2018 - 7:53 AM

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I keep mine in room temperature. I found that heating often leads to mold, mites, and unexpected invasions of myrmecophile springtails xD

I think that I have a small feral colony of springtails in my room, because whenever I leave my formicarium outworld lid open I find a few in the nest a few days later.


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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

#10 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 3 2018 - 5:06 PM

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Yeah I do heat. 


Current Colonies:

  • Aphaenogaster rudis x4 — Journal
  • Camponotus caryae — Journal
  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus — Journal
  • Formica pallidefulva — Journal
  • Formica subsericea x3 — Journal
  • Lasius cf. americanus
  • Lasius cf. neoniger — Journal
  • Prenolepis imparis — Journal
  • Tetramorium immigrans — Journal

Queens:

  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
  • Crematogaster cf. lineolata Journal
  • Lasius sp. x2
  • Myrmica sp.

Other Animals:

  • Felis catus x5
  • Phodopus roborovskii
  • Various Fish
  • Younger Brothers x2

#11 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 3 2018 - 5:47 PM

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January 1, 2018

 

Not much is new. The colony has settled into their new tube.


Current Colonies:

  • Aphaenogaster rudis x4 — Journal
  • Camponotus caryae — Journal
  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus — Journal
  • Formica pallidefulva — Journal
  • Formica subsericea x3 — Journal
  • Lasius cf. americanus
  • Lasius cf. neoniger — Journal
  • Prenolepis imparis — Journal
  • Tetramorium immigrans — Journal

Queens:

  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
  • Crematogaster cf. lineolata Journal
  • Lasius sp. x2
  • Myrmica sp.

Other Animals:

  • Felis catus x5
  • Phodopus roborovskii
  • Various Fish
  • Younger Brothers x2

#12 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 14 2018 - 2:47 PM

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A few days ago I placed their tube in an Omni Nest Vertical outworld. It's been about a week, and they still won't move. I'm getting a little annoyed.


Current Colonies:

  • Aphaenogaster rudis x4 — Journal
  • Camponotus caryae — Journal
  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus — Journal
  • Formica pallidefulva — Journal
  • Formica subsericea x3 — Journal
  • Lasius cf. americanus
  • Lasius cf. neoniger — Journal
  • Prenolepis imparis — Journal
  • Tetramorium immigrans — Journal

Queens:

  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
  • Crematogaster cf. lineolata Journal
  • Lasius sp. x2
  • Myrmica sp.

Other Animals:

  • Felis catus x5
  • Phodopus roborovskii
  • Various Fish
  • Younger Brothers x2

#13 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 17 2018 - 4:56 AM

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1-17-18

As of yesterday, the worker count is now up to eleven. They are still refusing to move.

 

They will instantly devour any insects I give them but haven't touched any honey I give them in over two weeks. They still seem to be doing fine, despite not eating any sugars.


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Current Colonies:

  • Aphaenogaster rudis x4 — Journal
  • Camponotus caryae — Journal
  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus — Journal
  • Formica pallidefulva — Journal
  • Formica subsericea x3 — Journal
  • Lasius cf. americanus
  • Lasius cf. neoniger — Journal
  • Prenolepis imparis — Journal
  • Tetramorium immigrans — Journal

Queens:

  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
  • Crematogaster cf. lineolata Journal
  • Lasius sp. x2
  • Myrmica sp.

Other Animals:

  • Felis catus x5
  • Phodopus roborovskii
  • Various Fish
  • Younger Brothers x2

#14 Offline noebl1 - Posted January 17 2018 - 5:06 AM

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Every time I read your journal, makes me badly want to take mine out of hibernation :D


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#15 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 19 2018 - 6:20 AM

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1-19-18

The worker count is up to twelve. They have just as many pupae, a few larvae, and about 15ish eggs.

 

As I'm typing this, the colony is FINALLY moving. They are carting some of the brood and attempting to convince the queen to move (she's really stubborn). They'll probably be moved in fully by the end of the day.

 

While they were moving, I was able to get some decent photos.

 

med_gallery_1963_974_79853.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_77727.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_52501.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_46912.jpg


Edited by Mettcollsuss, February 16 2018 - 3:19 PM.

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Current Colonies:

  • Aphaenogaster rudis x4 — Journal
  • Camponotus caryae — Journal
  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus — Journal
  • Formica pallidefulva — Journal
  • Formica subsericea x3 — Journal
  • Lasius cf. americanus
  • Lasius cf. neoniger — Journal
  • Prenolepis imparis — Journal
  • Tetramorium immigrans — Journal

Queens:

  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
  • Crematogaster cf. lineolata Journal
  • Lasius sp. x2
  • Myrmica sp.

Other Animals:

  • Felis catus x5
  • Phodopus roborovskii
  • Various Fish
  • Younger Brothers x2

#16 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted January 19 2018 - 8:02 AM

Connectimyrmex

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Wow, your A. rudis colony is growing fast! Mine is really slowing down (a worker died, there now is only two workers, a larva, the queen, and an egg or two)


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

#17 Offline noebl1 - Posted January 19 2018 - 8:12 AM

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You guys are killing me :D  I just checked last night, and mine and her larvae are still alive during hibernation (well at least she is, larvae too small to tell).  I'm trying to wait until the end of Feb, but getting harder every time you post.


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#18 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 19 2018 - 11:21 AM

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 I'm trying to wait until the end of Feb, but getting harder every time you post.

Sorry  :D


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Current Colonies:

  • Aphaenogaster rudis x4 — Journal
  • Camponotus caryae — Journal
  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus — Journal
  • Formica pallidefulva — Journal
  • Formica subsericea x3 — Journal
  • Lasius cf. americanus
  • Lasius cf. neoniger — Journal
  • Prenolepis imparis — Journal
  • Tetramorium immigrans — Journal

Queens:

  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
  • Crematogaster cf. lineolata Journal
  • Lasius sp. x2
  • Myrmica sp.

Other Animals:

  • Felis catus x5
  • Phodopus roborovskii
  • Various Fish
  • Younger Brothers x2

#19 Offline noebl1 - Posted January 19 2018 - 11:31 AM

noebl1

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It's ok, living vicariously through you guys hehe

 

Hibernation is a tough time of year. End up hitting F5 on this site over and over and over in hopes of seeing something (like this journal).  Very often it's the Australians now, while interesting, I can't raise those ants here so it's like a tease.


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#20 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 22 2018 - 5:50 AM

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1-22-18

Okay, so after this disaster, I managed to find the escaped workers hiding in a small corner of the formicarium yesterday. I now have the colony living in a test tube setup and using an AC test tube portal as an outworld.

 

Today, I found a single dead worker in the outworld. I placed it on a microscope slide and studied it. The short propodeal spines confirmed the ID. This colony is, without a doubt, Aphaenogaster rudis.


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Current Colonies:

  • Aphaenogaster rudis x4 — Journal
  • Camponotus caryae — Journal
  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus — Journal
  • Formica pallidefulva — Journal
  • Formica subsericea x3 — Journal
  • Lasius cf. americanus
  • Lasius cf. neoniger — Journal
  • Prenolepis imparis — Journal
  • Tetramorium immigrans — Journal

Queens:

  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
  • Crematogaster cf. lineolata Journal
  • Lasius sp. x2
  • Myrmica sp.

Other Animals:

  • Felis catus x5
  • Phodopus roborovskii
  • Various Fish
  • Younger Brothers x2





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