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68 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 14 2018 - 7:31 AM

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   I caught this queen at a summer camp I go to each year. There happened to be a massive flight on Beach Day (the mother colony for this queen was at the beach) which was where I caught her.

   

    This is also what makes IDing this colony difficult. I'm 70% sure this is F. subsericea, but there's also a good chance that they could be F. argentea. The only visual difference between the two is that F. argentea is shinier than F. subsericea. The habitat doesn't help, either. Formica argentea's habitat is described as nesting in sandy soils to sand, while Formica subsericea is described as often nesting in "Open deciduous forests [...] and pine barrens".

 

   This queen's mother colony was living in the sand, but it was a VERY small beach ( about 10 meters long and 3 meters wide) and was surrounded by an oak/pine forest. So if anyone could help me with a 100% ID, that would be great.

 

    Anyways, I got the queen into a test tube setup with a small bit of sand. She laid eggs within a few days. The egg and larval stages went by fast, together lasting maybe one and a half weeks. However, when the larvae pupated, the pupal stage lasted about 2 months. The queen only laid one batch of eggs. As these grew, she didn't lay any more eggs. I assumed she was waiting until workers eclosed to take care of the next batch. After the workers eclosed, I counted, and there were five. But the queen didn't lay new eggs. Several months passed, and no new eggs. Then a couple weeks ago, I got a heating cable. Just a couple days ago, I looked into the test tube and noticed a large pile of 15-20 eggs. 

 

    Yesterday, I moved them into a small AntsAustralia Acrylic Nest with an AntsRussia outworld. The visibility is MUCH better, and they seem to love it. They REALLY love the heat, too.

 

Here are some photos of them in the new setup from yesterday.

med_gallery_1963_974_39563.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_127517.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_31640.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_39262.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_165794.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_86995.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_22127.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_76062.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_65507.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_171911.jpg


Edited by Mettcollsuss, May 17 2018 - 10:17 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 T.C. - Posted January 14 2018 - 10:25 AM

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Nice colony, I caught a few of this species and all failed to lay.
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#3 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted January 14 2018 - 11:43 AM

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Thank you for starting this journal. I love this species and will enjoy keeping up with your colony. It's interesting that your queen still has her wings.


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                                         Keeper Of
 
     1 Huge Formica pallidefulva Colony (The Abdo-Lemons)
 
       1 Crematogaster asmeadi Colony That's Full of Personality (The Valentines)
                                                              That likes to escape
       2 Carpenter Ant Colonies (chromaiodes and castaneus)
 
       1 Aphaenogaster lamellidens Colony (The Moss Monsters)

               

       1 Strumigenys colony 

 

       

Still looking to collect a Stigmatomma pallipes colony

 

       


#4 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 14 2018 - 2:13 PM

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Thank you for starting this journal. I love this species and will enjoy keeping up with your colony. It's interesting that your queen still has her wings.

I've noticed that the queens of this species tend to keep their wings. I caught four of these on the flight, two of whom were infertile. They are in hibernation now, but still have wings. The two that reared successful colonies still kept their wings. After about a month, the workers got tired of it and decided to take them off themselves. They were able to trim them (as seen in the photos), but couldn't get them off all the way. It's been another few months and the workers have given up trying to get them off, and the queen doesn't seem to be planning to drop them anytime soon.


Edited by Mettcollsuss, February 16 2018 - 5:11 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

#5 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 15 2018 - 8:05 AM

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1-15-18

   Now that they've settled in, I decided to feed them. In the outworld, I placed a Galileo Liquid Feeder with honey water and a cut-up mealworm pupae. They haven't discovered it yet.


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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 Mettcollsuss - Posted January 17 2018 - 4:51 AM

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1-17-18

 Since this formicarium has clear sides, the playing card placed on top wasn't doing much. I designed and 3-D printed a lid made to go over the whole nest. After only 12 hours, I lifted up the lid and found the queen laying an egg. Wasn't able to get a photo, sorry. 

 

They still haven't discovered the food in the outworld. I also placed a small bit of sand in the outworld for them to place around the larvae when they are ready to pupate.

 

A few of the eggs have hatched into small larvae.


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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

#7 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 22 2018 - 6:04 PM

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1-22-18

I thought that the colony wasn't eating, but they must be. The eggs have hatched and a few of the larvae are already halfway to the pupal stage, which means they were consuming some protein.


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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

#8 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 25 2018 - 5:41 AM

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1-25-18

A few days ago, I noticed that the queen was having a little trouble walking. Because she's so much heavier than the workers, she can't support herself on the smooth acrylic. I'm designing a 3-D printed nest for them to live in.

 

They now have about 6 larvae of assorted sizes and 2 eggs.


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

#9 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 28 2018 - 5:49 AM

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1-28-18

The queen has finally dropped one of the four wings. It's sitting in a corner of the nest, near what I assume is their bathroom site.

 

The brood is developing well. They have a decent pile of medium to large larvae, some of which are almost ready to pupate.

 

Total count:

  • Queens: 1
  • Workers: 5
  • Eggs: 1
  • Larvae: 12
  • Pupae: 0

Edited by Mettcollsuss, January 28 2018 - 7:55 AM.

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

#10 Offline Batspiderfish - Posted January 28 2018 - 5:54 AM

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With the length of the antennal scapes, you can be 100% sure these are F. subsericea.


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If you've enjoyed using my expertise and identifications, please do not create undue ecological risk by releasing your ants. The environment which we keep our pet insects is alien and oftentimes unsanitary, so ensure that wild populations stay safe by giving your ants the best care you can manage for the rest of their lives, as we must do with any other pet.

 

Exotic ants are for those who think that vibrant diversity is something you need to pay money to see. It is illegal to transport live ants across state lines.

 

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Black lives still matter.


#11 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 28 2018 - 5:59 AM

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With the length of the antennal scapes, you can be 100% sure these are F. subsericea.

Do you mean that these are definitely Formica subsericea, or that I should use the antennal scapes to find out?


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 Batspiderfish - Posted January 28 2018 - 3:02 PM

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With the length of the antennal scapes, you can be 100% sure these are F. subsericea.

Do you mean that these are definitely Formica subsericea, or that I should use the antennal scapes to find out?

 

Oh, I mean that I can see they are F. subsericea. This species has long antennal scapes.


Edited by Batspiderfish, January 28 2018 - 3:06 PM.

If you've enjoyed using my expertise and identifications, please do not create undue ecological risk by releasing your ants. The environment which we keep our pet insects is alien and oftentimes unsanitary, so ensure that wild populations stay safe by giving your ants the best care you can manage for the rest of their lives, as we must do with any other pet.

 

Exotic ants are for those who think that vibrant diversity is something you need to pay money to see. It is illegal to transport live ants across state lines.

 

----

Black lives still matter.


#13 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 28 2018 - 4:39 PM

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With the length of the antennal scapes, you can be 100% sure these are F. subsericea.

Do you mean that these are definitely Formica subsericea, or that I should use the antennal scapes to find out?

 

Oh, I mean that I can see they are F. subsericea. This species has long antennal scapes.

 

Oh. Thanks!


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 Hunter - Posted January 29 2018 - 4:43 AM

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does your queen not like superworms or is it just mine



#15 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 29 2018 - 6:35 AM

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does your queen not like superworms or is it just mine

I haven't tried feeding them superworms yet. They do love mealworms, however.


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 Hunter - Posted January 29 2018 - 6:40 AM

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hmmmmm interesting mine only seem to like soft things



#17 Offline Derpy - Posted January 29 2018 - 6:05 PM

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How long did your ants Australia nest take to deliver. I might buy one.
- 1 Camponotus Leavigatus Colony - 25 workers
- 3 Camponotus Clarithorax Colonies
- 1 Camponotus Quercicola Colony
- 8 Prenolepis Imparis Queens
- 4 Solenopsis Molesta Colonies
- 1 Limeotopum Occidentale Colony
- 1 Crematogaster Colonies
- 5 Tetramorium Immigrans Colonies

#18 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 30 2018 - 4:08 AM

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How long did your ants Australia nest take to deliver. I might buy one.

I'm not sure; my parents got it for me for Christmas.


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 Mettcollsuss - Posted January 31 2018 - 3:25 PM

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1-31-18

I now have proof that the colony is foraging. Looking into the nest, I saw that they had dragged in a couple day old mealworm (one that I was about to remove). Since this mealworm was dried up and the ants probably wouldn't be able to get much from it, I placed in a fresh one. I also replaced the sugar-water in the liquid feeder and dyed it red so I could tell if they drink it. A few minutes, one of the workers —the one that I have dubbed the "crazy" worker— found the mealworm. It is now in the nest along with the old one.

 

I call her the "crazy" worker because, well, she is. Whenever I take the cover off the nest, while the others protect brood and the queen, she always runs toward the threat. She starts smelling the plexiglass top and gets in attack/defense position. When I gave them the mealworm earlier today, she started wrestling and spraying the lifeless body.

 

No larvae have pupated yet. I expect they will soon though, now that they're eating well.

 

EDIT: This isn't the only F. subsericea to seem to have a "crazy" worker. I had a second colony of the same size that I sold, and they had one too. Has anyone else who keeps this species noticed this?


Edited by Mettcollsuss, January 31 2018 - 6:02 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

#20 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 31 2018 - 6:29 PM

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1-31-18

Okay I know I just updated this journal like an hour ago, but, PUPAE! Well, one anyways. And I have photos now.

 

This colony had cocoons in the past, but this time it's an exarate pupae. I actually like it better that way, because I can track the development.

 

med_gallery_1963_974_148729.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_54968.jpgmed_gallery_1963_974_70161.jpg


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





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: journal, formica, formica subsericea, ant keeping, colony, mettcollsuss, ants, fusca group, formica fusca group, formica (=fusca), formica (=fusca) group, serviformica, serviformica group, formica (=serviformica) group, formica (=serviformica), field ants, field ant, antkeeping

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