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Mettcollsuss's Aphaenogaster rudis Journal

journal aphaenogaster aphaenogaster rudis aphaenogaster cf. rudis ant keeping

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#41 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted April 28 2018 - 2:29 PM

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Just caught a colony of ~200 workers and tons of brood, was wondering what they readily eat.

They are almost completely insectivorous. Workers will occasionally sip at some honey or sugar water, but they lack a social stomach so they can't bring it back to the nest. Due to this, the colony runs almost entirely, if not entirely on insects (even workers' main dietary staple is insects).

 

My 40 worker colony runs on a medium mealworm every three to four days and in between mealworm feedings, I occasionally sprinkle in 6-12 fruit flies (live or pre-killed). I mostly judge what I feed them based on how many larvae I see and then add a little extra for the workers and queen. I'd also leave a sugar-water feeder or small dish of honey in the outworld just in case the workers want an extra nibble.

 

I find the feeding habits of Aphaenogaster interesting to watch. They drag the prey item into the nest and place the larvae on top of it and allow them to eat it themselves. The larvae are also are capable of eating the solids, like the exoskeleton, so very little goes to waste. The larvae also sometimes take the solid food and semi-digest it into a mush then feed it to the workers and queen.


Edited by Mettcollsuss, April 28 2018 - 2:44 PM.


#42 Online VoidElecent - Posted April 28 2018 - 3:02 PM

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I'd love to see some pictures of these gals in their Mini Hearth!


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#43 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted April 28 2018 - 3:03 PM

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Photos will be coming soon.



#44 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted April 29 2018 - 5:06 AM

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PHOTO TIME!

 

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#45 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted May 13 2018 - 8:22 AM

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5-13-18

They're at about 40-50 workers. The queen laid a batch of 20ish eggs a week or two ago, and some of them are hatching into first instar larvae. There's also 10ish pupae, all in different stages of maturity, as well as about 15 last instar larvae.


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#46 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted May 17 2018 - 10:27 AM

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5-17-18

Two new piles of eggs, each with about 50.  :)

The previous egg batch is now all pupae and large larvae.



#47 Offline noebl1 - Posted May 17 2018 - 10:46 AM

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I feel like my Aphaenogaster are like famine/feast...  My A. picea went into hibernation with her first nanitic, and then starting in April, about one a week eclosed (so only a few weeks ago.)  I looked last night with a flash light, and there's like 16+ of them and a huge pile of brood; they are multiplying faster than I expected.  My A. rudis finally got her first worker eclose last week, and yesterday she ventured out of their test tube for the first time and took protein in.  Noticed a new pile of eggs in there now too.  My office has been in the low to mid 80s for temps since I haven't turned the AC on yet, so guessing that's part of the jump in growth.


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#48 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted June 13 2018 - 5:12 PM

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Continuing to grow slowly and steadily. We're at around 60-70 workers, I'd say.



#49 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted July 6 2018 - 5:20 PM

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They now fill just about half the Mini Hearth. I'm about to leave on a trip for most of the summer, so I'm gonna throw them in reverse hibernation, along with most my other colonies.



#50 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted July 29 2018 - 4:26 PM

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I have a colony of an unidentified Apheanogaster sp. and their brood is now all larvae after maybe a week after the queen laid the eggs! Their development is crazy fast.

#51 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted August 28 2018 - 12:30 PM

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Not much new to report on. Just took them out of reverse hibernation. They are up to around 150 workers and plenty of eggs and larvae. Their Mini Hearth is getting dirty and the outworld is starting to come a little loose, so I may have to get them a new formicarium soon.



#52 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted October 24 2018 - 3:01 PM

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Update? I am going to hunt for these next year for sure.They had never appealed to me but now they do.



#53 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted December 3 2018 - 6:31 AM

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Okay, an update for this is long due. I recently moved them to an AA Ytong nest, but something kept killing them off, so I moved them back to a test tube. They have maybe 20 workers left plus some brood. But they're recovering nicely and the queen just laid a huge batch of like 50 eggs. I'm keeping the tube on a heating cable and feeding them every other day.



#54 Offline noebl1 - Posted December 3 2018 - 6:41 AM

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I have both A. picea and A. fulva; they both grew incredibly fast this season.  I added a nest, and they hated it, guessing too dry.  They would come up, drop off their dead, and move on.   They seemed pretty happy cramming themselves into test tubes; guess for the humidity?

 

One of the guys on the ant keeping discord was saying that his Aphaenogaster are growing like crazy, and showing no signs of hibernation at all.  He just keeps stacking test tubes into their setup for them to nest in.  I put mine into hibernation on 11/1, but at 46F they are still active, though less so.  Apparently from what I have read, they are one of the first ants, besides P. imparis, to forage in in the Spring in the 40s temperature wise.


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#55 Offline Rstheant - Posted December 3 2018 - 3:39 PM

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I cuaght about 7 aphaenogaster queens with YsTheAnt, 3 of which I kept, and I put all my queens in a test tube. Now, they have +12 workers and TONS of pupae and eggs.
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#56 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted December 20 2018 - 3:33 AM

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They're recovering well. The queen has laid a new batch of eggs, and they're eating.



#57 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted December 31 2018 - 8:30 AM

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I moved them to a spare AntKit acrylic nest I had because their tube was getting too dirty. It makes observation a lot easier. I was able to count their numbers. They're at 30 workers with eggs & larvae.

 

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And here's a small colony I have in a THA Genesis test tube insert. I'm going to be trading them soon.

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#58 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 7 2019 - 6:03 PM

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Their eggs that you can see in the photos from the last update have hatched, and are now mid-size larvae. The colony is eating a lot. They took two small crickets in the same day and completely finished both of them. There's also a new batch of 20-30 eggs.



#59 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 20 2019 - 12:22 PM

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Doing well. Fed them a waxworm moth. They have a lot of larvae.



#60 Offline noebl1 - Posted January 20 2019 - 12:24 PM

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We were talking about this on Discord the other day, and apparently many Aphaenogaster are reluctant to take sugar water and honey.  However some will readily take crystallized sugars (regular granulated white or brown sugar.)  They will take it back to their nest, and liquefy it within the nest for feeding.


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