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CCJ's ants - Opisthopsis (strobe ant), Melophorus, C.suffusus, Pheidole antipodum, Polyrhachis, Myrmecia

journal opisthopsis rufithorax strobe ant camponotus melophorus furnace ant pheidole iridomyrmex suffusus polyrhachis rufifemur meat ant antipodum rhytidoponera aphaenogaster nigrocincta aspera myrmecia bull ant fulvipes

1322 replies to this topic

#41 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 17 2018 - 7:25 PM

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Sold Camponotus Humilior to a fresh faced teen, and his dad in tow.

Looks like it's his first ant colony, gave him an extra free test tube, and linked him to some Ant Australia youtube videos on how to raise a colony.

 

Probably not the easiest ant to raise for a first timer, but it was cheaper than all the other listings on GumTree I guess.

 

----

No more nocturnal ants for me :warning:

 

So now I'm thinking of adding some Pheidole.

I hope to capture some queens from my many Pheidole colonies in my backyard, there are at least 5 colonies each of 2 species here.

Some of these nests are only 1-2 feet apart

And their nuptial season is around this month and the next so I've been keeping an eye on them

 

It rained a few days ago and it's been really hot the last few days, so a good time to fly as any.


Edited by CoolColJ, March 17 2018 - 8:26 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#42 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 17 2018 - 8:07 PM

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Melophorus sp.
 
The nanitics maybe small, and there are only 3 of them, plus one second generation worker, but they are bold enough to fully explore the attached outworld.

 

And the dead Pheidole larve that was untouched by the Humilior, I dropped into the Melophorus Sp. outworld, and one worker has already found and dragged it into the nest

They still haven't finished that small piece of almond I gave them though :)

 

dead Pheidole larve on the left - gives you an idea how small the nanitics are, although I think it might be a Pheidole major larvae as it's bigger than the Pheidole workers


Edited by CoolColJ, March 17 2018 - 8:15 PM.

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Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#43 Online anttics - Posted March 19 2018 - 8:03 AM

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The Queen was munching on the roach for a bit of the day and then dragged it out back to the nest entrance.
I thought that was it.

Then they dragged it back in and had more munching, and now some of the workers joined in.
They are still going at it, the next day, and will likely last them the whole week.

I noticed some roach legs on the cotton wool.
They also moved the larvae away from the cotton wool and put them straight on the test tube floor and are feeding them continuously.
I think there are 3 big larvae now and a bunch of eggs that must have been laid recently

---

Been thinking of getting some Melophorus ants, aka Furnace ants.
They look interesting, with majors as well - cute heads and eyes :)
Almost Pheidole type difference between minor and majors (10mm in the larger species)
They love heat and move really fast when it's hot


are these furnace ants. I thought they were some pheidole species. they look beautiful.

#44 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 19 2018 - 1:31 PM

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are these furnace ants. I thought they were some pheidole species. they look beautiful.


Yes, these are Melophorus Sp. ants. The larger big headed ones are the majors.
The majors also have larger gasters, so they can appear like queens, and in some species they act like honey pot ants
But they are not as massively headed as Pheidole majors, nor as slow and clumsy :)

Apparently there are like 300 species of Melophorus ants in Australia, and most have not been studied :o
Most are bimorphic, but some polymorphic to a pretty large degree with variations in size, shape and colour, like the different castes could be from different types of ants

same colony....click to enlarge





------

I ordered one of these to try out as a test tube replacement founding nest.
Pretty cheap, not as cheap as test tubes but still not bad at $13AUD ($10US) including 2 week EMS delivery to Australia, from Aliexpress.

https://www.aliexpre...2311.0.0.cDFk0N

Getting a white one. I thought this would be the most neutral colour to be able to see the ants as well as the brood, and photograph well


These have a 10mm tube exit.
Advantages over test tube - a sponge hydration system, with optional use of a refillable test tube and sponge to wick water onto it for long term hydration, which shouldn't have the same mold issues as a cotton dam in a test tube.
There is a sliding lid near the exit to use as a feeding port.
Flat surface for ants to walk on.
No refraction image issues, and less reflections on the coloured versions.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#45 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 19 2018 - 2:23 PM

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My Melophorus sp. family this morning - I noticed they brought in substrate from outworld into the test tube overnight.
Either for the brood or to make it less slippery, as they do seem to have problem running on glass - one reason why I am thinking of moving them into one of my AtomC nests.

Of the 4 workers, 3 are of different size, and the largest one has Camponotus style gaster stripes.

There is a Pheidole larvae on the very far left. Which I'm not sure if they are using as food or raising/feeding....

Plus 2 dead insects I raided from a Pheidole trail in my backyard :P

click to enlarge

Edited by CoolColJ, March 19 2018 - 2:24 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#46 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 21 2018 - 9:15 PM

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Hmm, if you compare the previous pics, to the one I took today, the Melophorus family is doing something to the large dead insect on the left.

I haven't seem them do it in person, but it looks like they are piling more substrate on the dead insect, and even cotton wool?

While the larvae feed on the smaller dead insect.

 

And the queen no longer hangs out, on or near the cotton wool

 

The weather has cooled quite a bit lately and they have slowed down a lot.

They still do not not touch any fruit, honey nor sugar water. Guess they are just not hungry

 

Maybe I should pull the insect out, but it's in a bad spot, if this was in the AtomC, it would be easy enough to pull the lid off and remove it

 

click to enlarge


Edited by CoolColJ, March 21 2018 - 9:43 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#47 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 22 2018 - 1:12 PM

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These Melophorus sp. ants seem to be active all around the clock.

This morning when I switched on the light at 4:30am I saw a worker in the outworld.

Although less active at dawn till mid morning.

I think she was sipping on the honey residue on the sand.

 

And yet they never go for the honey when it's in feeding dishes?!

I do see the workers not bothering to climb the feeding dish sides, the smaller workers do slip on them.

So I'll try my other milk container lids, they feel much less slick.

Even then when the honey was on a foil they didn't go for it either....

 

---

 

I haven't been keeping them covered except, when I go to bed, so as not to freak them out when I turn the lights on when I wake up for work.

It doesn't bother them being lit up most of the time.

Only vibration causes the workers to dash around a bit,  and to come to the nest entrance and have a look

 

I haven't seen the queen lay any new eggs so far. I hope she does soon, but I hear these Melophorus are really difficult to raise, so we shall see.

They have brought in substrate into the nest as well, and scattered them everywhere which makes it hard to see if any eggs have been layed etc

The current larvae are growing fast though.


Edited by CoolColJ, March 22 2018 - 1:26 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#48 Offline VoidElecent - Posted March 22 2018 - 2:53 PM

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Super cool! Looking forward to hearing more about these Melophorus!


Antsylvania Ant Adoption | My TED talk about ants | Ant Quizzes

 

And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I'll see you on the dark side of the moon


#49 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted March 22 2018 - 3:42 PM

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Keep them in the dark all day, or as much as possible, if they are hard to raise. Much better chances with that.

#50 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 22 2018 - 10:24 PM

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Keep them in the dark all day, or as much as possible, if they are hard to raise. Much better chances with that.

 

I'll see how they go for the next few weeks.

 

The queen was pretty frisky today, hauling up the dead insect (beetle/bug or some sort), first time I've seen her do that.

I think she was trying to store it on the cotton wool dam, but didn't succeed thankfully, for mold reasons :)

Maybe she will lay her eggs on it?

 

 

 

---

 

Have a Raynox macro attachment thing coming which I can use for all my fixed lens cameras, should greatly improve my close up focus and magnify a 3cm area to full 14mp size without cropping.

Right now I have to crop down to 1:1 pixel ratio


Edited by CoolColJ, March 23 2018 - 2:30 AM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#51 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 23 2018 - 4:59 PM

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So I was taking a quick look at a local bush track near my house this morning, and saw this rather large ant, 10-12mm I think, with a golden tail.

Mid torso has a faint gold sheen as well


Really pretty....

 

I need a queen now [ :D]

 

 


Edited by CoolColJ, March 23 2018 - 4:59 PM.

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Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#52 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 23 2018 - 5:21 PM

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Melophorus sp - 24th March 2018

 

While I was sleeping my Melophorus sp. did this - pile up some substrate in the middle of the test tube for the queen and larvae.

Queen hasn't been resting near or on the cotton wool dam since a few days ago.

Looks like they they like it dry, and they like having substrate in the nest.

Hope she lays eggs now.

 

click to enlarge

 

 

While i was at the bush track, in the previous post, I also caught a little small bug/millipede thing, that I crushed and gave to the Melophorus sp.

They freaked out a bit, even though it's dead so I left it in the outworld for now.

Got damn they run fast when they do so!

They almost do a Strobe ant impersonation B)

 

Also inspected all this chewed up damp wood near a fallen tree, and cleared it with a stick, and turns out it was a Witchetty grub nest.

There were two large ones, but a small one as well.

Which I grabbed and is currently in a container with a wet cotton ball.

Small, but still a lot of food for the ants, so I'll slice it up later and maybe freeze the rest


Edited by CoolColJ, March 23 2018 - 5:45 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#53 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 24 2018 - 2:51 PM

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Melophorus sp. - 25th March 2018

 

Damn my Melophorus sp. queen finally laid 2 new eggs last night, while I was asleep!

And one larvae turned into a cocoon.

So happy :yahoo:

 

Before I went to sleep, there was two workers furiously carting in substrate from the outworld, and one nibbling on a small piece of raw macadamia just outside of the nest entrance

It seems she always lays in batches of two or something.

One egg already looks larger and more developed

 

That also makes 2/3 on raw nuts, they loved the raw almond last week, ignored the pecan, and macadamia is good.

Dropped one piece of raw macadamia inside the nest yesterday, and a smaller one just otuside the nest entrance.

The one side they ignored and were kinda sacred of, they would detour around it.

I removed it, but later that night one worker was chewing on the other one outside.

 

Mine don't like raw honey, nor sugar water? I mean one worker fell into my sugar water feeding dish yesterday, when climbing the outworld wall yesterday, and just got out without even acknowledging it.
I see them walk around the top of the feeding dishes but never going to the bottom to feed on the raw honey/sugar water.

 

Froze a small Witchetty grub I found yesterday, will slice it up and try it on them later in the week

 

click to enlarge


Edited by CoolColJ, March 24 2018 - 3:37 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#54 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 24 2018 - 5:23 PM

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Opisthopsis rufithorax - 25th March 2018
 
Took a good look at the Strobe ant queen this morning, and yes, looks like my first nanitic is not far off :yes:
One cocoon.
6 total brood from original batch, well I lost one egg in the transfer to this nest, it sprung off my cotton bud and into the void :ugone2far:
Of this original batch - 1 cocoon, 2 pupae, 2 larger larvae and one smaller one (I think)
 
Looks like she laid 3 new eggs since last week, so 6 total in the month she has been in this nest.

So at the very least there should be 12 extra critters for the queen
 
click to enlarge


Edited by CoolColJ, March 24 2018 - 5:48 PM.

  • irvosanjose likes this

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#55 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 26 2018 - 5:26 PM

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I found a nest of what looks like Melophorus in my backyard, in the expansion joint of the concrete sidewalk - no surprise, they love heat.

They look like Melophorus, reddish upper body with a bulbous gaster, and zippy movements.

Lots of workers dropping dirt outside the nest.

I didn't see any majors though.

Probably not the same species as mine

 

So yeah I can't believe how many different types of ants are in my backyard!

 

Last week I found some Cremogaster here as well, heart shaped gaster, and they stick their gaster into the air

Two different Pheidole species - smaller red, and larger black/red ones.

A few Iridomyrmex species - from pavement ants to larger ones

Black Polyrachis type ant.

This morning, some tiny 1-2mm ants doing a tandem scout, near the above Melophorus nest

Tetramorium bicarinatum looking ant - I've seen these occupy Pheidole nests, that may have been abandoned. Kinda weird it's like the Pheidole keep swapping around the nest entrance locations and you will see these ants in the old location.

 

The larger Pheidole species nest with these medium large Iridomyrmex looking ants taking on a worm, kinda "meat ant" looking. I only noticed them yesterday

Just look at the size of that Pheidole major vs the workers

 

 

I have been seeing others in my state catching a lot of Phediole queens recently, it is their nuptial season right now.

One guy even had one test tube of 20 queens, and several test tubes of 5! :o

Still haven't seen the ones in my yard fly yet....

 

It's also bull ant season, and I thought I saw a winged queen in my side yard a week ago, but I only saw it on the ground for a few second before it scurried into a hole in the fence.

It was about an inch big, but it may have been a wasp.....


Edited by CoolColJ, March 26 2018 - 5:41 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#56 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 26 2018 - 7:02 PM

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Damn, I was out in my front yard, getting ready to go to check out the local bush track

Flipped some wood chips over under a small tree, and boom, I saw a ton of larvae and eggs.

And some small black ants scurring around.

 

Replaced the wood chips, and isolated the area around it, by clearing and digging the lose ground down a few inches.

And it appeared that was the whole nest, in the wood chips.

I put the wood chips into a small vial

 

And after an inspection later, I thought I saw a queen!

So I have a new colony?!

These ants are tiny, and the queen is around 5mm at a quick glance.

There are some really pale recently eclosed workers as well.

 

I put the vial, open, into container/outworld the recently sold Humilior were in.

The workers are also able to walk right over the fluon barrier....

 

More details later!


Edited by CoolColJ, March 26 2018 - 7:04 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#57 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 26 2018 - 8:53 PM

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Some quick rushed shots of the above ants - hard to photo due to small scurrying ants... might be able to get better ones later on, if they will move into test tube etc

About 5mm queen and 2-3 mm workers.

 

Quite the booty on the queen and some workers :)

 




Edited by CoolColJ, March 26 2018 - 8:54 PM.

  • irvosanjose likes this

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#58 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 26 2018 - 10:19 PM

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Well I got them to start moving into the test tube easy enough, they pretty much found it straight away.

Workers move fine on the reptile soil, but the queen sure struggles, no traction with her big gaster.

I think there might be 2 queens... I thought I saw another larger ant peeking out from the foil I used to cover the test tube in the outworld.

Will confirm after they have finished moving.


Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#59 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 27 2018 - 2:12 AM

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Here they are in the test tube

 

A lot of brood, and I see different castes? Looks like there are majors that store food?

A few workers sipped on the raw honey, but ignored the sugar water.

 

click for full size - large pic, a little overexposed


Edited by CoolColJ, March 27 2018 - 2:12 AM.

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Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#60 Online Canadian anter - Posted March 27 2018 - 5:05 AM

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Those are  not majors, just workers and those are very similar  to the Tapinoma  sessile we have here. Probably is Ochetellus glaber  or  perhaps a Technomyrmex.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: journal, opisthopsis rufithorax, strobe ant, camponotus, melophorus, furnace ant, pheidole, iridomyrmex, suffusus, polyrhachis, rufifemur, meat ant, antipodum, rhytidoponera, aphaenogaster, nigrocincta, aspera, myrmecia, bull ant, fulvipes

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