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Rbarreto's Ant Journal

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26 replies to this topic

#1 Offline rbarreto - Posted May 24 2018 - 3:29 PM

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Making this thread so that I can post about my ants without having to spam other threads and to create an archive of my ant keeping experiences. 

 

Lasius umbratus.

Currently have two of these. One that I found a few weeks ago which has been introduced, just waiting to see if she lays. The other one I found today and I plan on introducing her to two more L. umbratus queens.

 

ar7lwRKl.jpg

 

 

 

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Aphaenogaster picea

Found both these queens this spring. They managed to lay eggs almost immediately but I just checked up on them today and the eggs have still not developed (its been 2 and a half weeks) for either queen.

 

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Lasius claviger

The sole survivor of a three queen group I found (first queen also). I gave her some L. flavus/nearcticus brood then waited a night and gave her roughly twenty workers. They got along fantastically and now she has a large pile of eggs.

 

 

Fx0TupTl.jpg

 

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Lasius cf. speculiventris

I have not been able to properly ID this queen but I believe she is L. speculiventris due to her bi-coloration and shiny gaster. Having trouble with this one. She managed to kill off all her host workers (flavus/nearcticus who's original nest I can't find) but kept caring for one larvae. I then decided to try to introduce her to some new workers. These are large and bright orange.  They weren't attacking her but they weren't caring for her either so we will see how this goes.

 

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Lasius sp.

This queen has a huge amount of eggs and one or two larvae. She is quite large measuring in at 11-12 mm and has a huge gaster. I will get better pictures next time I check up on her.

 

oJqaB7Ol.jpg

 

Prenolepis imparis

I got two of these from a trade with Canadian anter when I went down to Toronto. They both have small piles of eggs. Sorry about the blurry pictures, both queens are housed in plastic tubes and I'm too scared to move them. These queens are very beautiful in my opinion.

 

52CKjqSl.jpg

 

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Hopefully I can keep this thread going for a while. I will be checking up on them in about a week's time.


Edited by rbarreto, May 28 2018 - 12:19 PM.

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My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#2 Offline rbarreto - Posted May 25 2018 - 3:16 PM

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Well I wasn't going to update this journal until next week but there was a Camponotus pennsylvanicus flight yesterday. I managed to capture three alates and two dealates. I only plan on keeping one of these queens so if they all somehow manage to get to the worker stage then I will be releasing the extras. I'm personally against releasing captive colonies but I feel if I have not fed them yet then it should be fine (do not start a discussion about it in this thread please).

 

This is my first time seeing these queens and can I just say WOW they are massive! They can barely turn around in their tubes but I hope they can still lay because I do not have anything larger. The largest one measured about 2 cm but she was the one most aggressively pulling the cotton.

 

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My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#3 Offline rbarreto - Posted May 28 2018 - 5:37 PM

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This new apartment and the surrounding area seem to be teeming with ant life. Lots of cute little Crematogaster and a few large Tetramorium nests with tons of larvae that are three times the size of the workers.

 

I found a Camponotus novaeboracensis queen while out for a run. I love her colors! Still working on my photography skills so bare with me. I'm having trouble with proper lighting, avoiding the test tube glare and focusing properly. I also forgot to take her measurements so that will have to wait a while.

 

1BjjTsyl.jpg

 

fgohp0hl.jpg

 

Pl2aW9Tl.jpg


Edited by rbarreto, May 28 2018 - 7:08 PM.

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My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#4 Offline rbarreto - Posted May 30 2018 - 3:29 PM

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For this update I will not be focusing on the recently caught Camponotus queens as I would like to give them more time to adjust to the test tube lifestyle. I'll leave these for the next update in a weeks time.

 

Lasius umbratus

Well the queens that I tried to put together tore each other to pieces. I thought I had done it for a minute because the day before I had introduced them to brood from the same colony. This seemed to confuse them for a bit as they were carefully inspecting each other. Suddenly one starts biting the other one and next thing I know she decapitates her. 

The other that had been accepted by workers died for some reason  :(. I have killed off her remaining host workers (freezer), and am planning on replacing her with another L. umbratus as they are everywhere at my work.

 

Aphaenogaster picea

Both are still fine but I don't think their eggs are developing, its been almost a month. I do not know how long it takes for this species eggs to make it to the larval stage so I still have hope. And who knows? Maybe they are developing but I'm too inexperienced to spot it.

 

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Lasius claviger

My favorite queen and her naive slaves are doing just fine, gave them a small cricket in case they get hungry, it also seems that the larvae I had given them was alate larvae because it is developing into a huge ant.

 

FmzAZlsl.jpg

 

Lasius cf. speculiventris

This queen has unfortunately died. She doesn't look like she was killed by her workers so I'm thinking she was just a dud. Maybe next time when I have more experience and find another one just like her I will be able to better care for her.

 

Lasius sp.

Holy brood! I didn't know a queen could lay so many eggs or her first batch. Her gaster almost seems to be bigger than before. I hope this means she drank some of the honey I left her and not that she has one of those parasites that everyone keeps posting about.

 

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Prenolepis imparis

Both queens have a few eggs, looking good!

 

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Edited by rbarreto, May 30 2018 - 3:31 PM.

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My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#5 Offline rbarreto - Posted June 4 2018 - 6:55 PM

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I come posting good news and bad news.

 

The good news is that all three the Camponotus pennsylvanicus queens that still had wings have shed them and laid eggs. One of the dealates has laid and my one and only Camponotus novaeboracensis has also laid a bunch of eggs. 

 

The bad news is one of the C. pennsylvanicus queens has passed away :(. She was one of the dealates and I found her basically right beside the other that has laid which I find weird. 

 

Anyways since the queens where acting so skittish I was too scared to take pictures. But I don't want to post without pictures so here is one of the dead queen.

 

i6aEDepl.jpg


My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#6 Offline rbarreto - Posted June 5 2018 - 3:26 PM

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Lasius umbratus

 

I have one of these left and she has been accepted by a large number of what looks like a smaller version of L. flavus. I also have a bunch of dirt in their set up which I now realize is just gonna get moldy very quickly.

 

Aphaenogaster picea

 

I see larvae! Thank god because I was getting worried.

 

OLT5HlUl.jpg

 

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Lasius claviger

 

I can't seem to find the group of eggs she had last week. I really hope they are in there somewhere. They have really terraformed the cotton and created a few tunnels into some moister areas.

 

Lasius sp.

 

I think she laid even more eggs haha. Also If anyone knows her ID just let me know. I have an ID thread here. I believe Lasius alienus is off the board because this queen is 12 mm long.

 

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Prenolepis imparis

 

Both these queens have larvae and a nice pile of eggs. I'm really exited for these two.

 

tFFCdNzl.jpg


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My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#7 Offline rbarreto - Posted June 11 2018 - 7:27 PM

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Made some new set ups for the test tubes. They are basically just hollowed out styrofoam with a lid. I cut holes in the side of the styrofoam and just slid the test tubes into them.

 

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Lasius umbratus

The queen is still alive and is getting along with the workers. I can’t see any eggs yet but they may have hidden some in the substrate.

 

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Aphaenogaster picea

Those are some thicc larvae :D. I think these might win the race and get their workers first.

 

sfjhWoZl.jpg

 

Lasius claviger

Grrrrrrrrr can’t find eggs. I really hope this queen lays again.

 

Lasius sp.

I think all of the queen’s eggs turned into larvae. This queen is probably my healthiest.

 

2gVJPcMl.jpg

 

Prenolepis imparis

So queen 1 has less brood but larger larvae. Queen 2 has way more brood but only one or two larvae and they are quite small.

 

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Camponotus pennsylvanicus

They all still have eggs which is good. I also brought the queen count back up to five. I have been ignoring these for a while now but I found a very tiny one (she is only 14cm) caught in a spider web and I just had to save her. She laid 2 eggs immediately, literally one night after I put her in her tube.

 

E5cJLjMl.jpg

 

Camponotus novaeboracensis

Not much has changed since last update.

 

iokUSral.jpg


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My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#8 Offline rbarreto - Posted June 20 2018 - 2:51 PM

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Lots of good things have happened since the last update. Things are looking good!

 

Lasius umbratus

Finally see some eggs. I have high hopes for this queen. I may have put too many workers in with this queen because they are becoming hard to contain in a test tube.

 

zKkIZ9Gl.jpg

 

Aphaenogaster picea

Both of these queens have pupae. They look so cool during this stage.

 

YTGEzSCl.jpg

 

Lasius claviger

YEEEESS!!! She laid again!!!!

 

ED1IqeDl.jpg

 

Lasius sp.

I think this queen is going get like 12 workers at once. She is quickly becoming one of my favorite queens.

 

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Prenolepis imparis

Queen 1 has two or three pupae. Queen 2 now has a bunch of brood but they are all still in the larval stage.

 

CJWQVNZl.jpg


Edited by rbarreto, June 20 2018 - 2:52 PM.

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My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#9 Offline Karma - Posted June 20 2018 - 10:20 PM

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Hmm your Aphaenogaster picea look very close to what I thought was my myrmica incompleta but now having doubts because they look super similar. Is there anything that really distinguishes them?



#10 Offline rbarreto - Posted June 21 2018 - 4:09 AM

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Hmm your Aphaenogaster picea look very close to what I thought was my myrmica incompleta but now having doubts because they look super similar. Is there anything that really distinguishes them?

Here are some good posts explaining the difference:

http://www.formicult...er-and-myrmica/

http://www.formicult...gaster-myrmica/

 

You can further ID this queen as Aphaenogaster picea by the dark coloration, size, and location. The lighter colored tips of the antennae help distinguish it from Aphaenogaster rudis.


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My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#11 Offline Karma - Posted June 21 2018 - 10:37 AM

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Wow thanks so much! They have a lot more differences than I expected, with a few close up photos of my queen I should definitely be able to tell. And I learned to not go off location a long time ago especially in the west where I have found many ants that are said not to be here, I'd expect it to be from the vast wilderness allowing species to travel and spread far easily especially over time. But thank you for this!


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#12 Offline rbarreto - Posted June 21 2018 - 11:03 AM

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I disagree. I believe websites such as ant maps are generally good enough to help you to narrow down your search. Obviously since these creatures are not bound by cages they can freely move from province to province, but they are generally restricted to whatever ecological niche they fit in. For example, you're not going to find the desert dwelling species of the Mojave desert up here in the cold, forest covered lands of Ontario Canada.


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My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#13 Offline Karma - Posted June 21 2018 - 10:06 PM

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I do agree that it is still a decent source to narrow down a search, and I agree that species won't be successful in areas that are vastly different from their original climate. However the thing is the climate of the majority if Alberta, British Columbia and the south areas of the territories are definitely similar enough that species generally move freely between these four provinces, especially Alberta and BC, even the mountains and surrounding forests are connected from province to province. This is the only reason I say it isn't as applicable to me as I use antmaps often and there are several species that exist in once province and don't exist in the other even though they practically have (majority) the same climate. 

 

I have personally identified several ants that are (at least not to widespread knowledge) said to be in BC and Northwest T. but for some reason are said not to be in Alberta. This is especially an issue in the temnothorax and leptothorax species, I guess due to lack of actually research maybe? As it really isn't that important as most of them are similar but this is just my personal opinion that really only applies to a small amount of people around where I live and only based off my experiences.


Edited by Karma, June 21 2018 - 10:13 PM.

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#14 Offline rbarreto - Posted June 22 2018 - 5:25 AM

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I'm not saying ant maps is perfect, I mean how could they be? I meant its more useful as a general guide for some of the more common species. Also I wasn't talking about the variation in species from province to province. In fact, I think there may be more cross-over than we think. I was more so referring to the ecosystem a specific ant species has adapted to (i.e. desert vs. forest, deciduous vs.coniferous forest). Some species like Tetramorium immigrans are found almost exclusively in urban areas, hence the name Pavement ant.


Edited by rbarreto, June 22 2018 - 5:27 AM.

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My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#15 Offline rbarreto - Posted June 23 2018 - 11:00 AM

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Camponotus pennsylvanicus

I thought these queens would take a lot longer to get larvae but some of them have some of them are decently sized.

The tiny 14 cm queen is the only one with just eggs left. I gotta not check on them for a while because some of them freak right out.

 

OYUvSgtl.jpg

 

0RScICsl.jpg

 

Camponotus novaeboracensis

Small larvae, things are looking good.

 

iiGIS6ml.jpg


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My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#16 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted June 23 2018 - 3:38 PM

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I love your Lasius umbratus, I really wish more people were keeping them. I want to start a colony of parasitic Lasius once they start flying. Your Winter ant queen has a super cool color, it's abdomen is so dark.


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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 

 

       1 Myrmecina americana queen

 

       Still looking to collect a Stigmatomma pallipes colony

 


#17 Offline rbarreto - Posted June 23 2018 - 8:10 PM

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There's something extra exciting about keeping a parasitic species I don't know why. Hopefully one of these work out. What I really want is a colony of Lasius minutus. Apparently they are rare and I know where I can find TONS of the huge mounds they build. The thing I don't know is when they fly.

The Prenolepis imparis are fascinating. Its interesting to see the morphological differences between members of this species. I can't wait to feed them different colored foods.


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My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#18 Offline rbarreto - Posted June 26 2018 - 2:46 PM

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Aphaenogaster picea

Oh so close......

 

f5VDPgNl.jpg


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My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#19 Offline rbarreto - Posted June 29 2018 - 4:33 AM

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Going to be very busy the next two weeks so this will be my last update for a while. I apologize for not having any pictures, I will try to avoid posting without them in the future. Also, I took the time to give every single queen some honey and almost every single one started drinking immediately.

 

Lasius umbratus

No real change from last week.

 

Aphaenogaster picea

The worker from the last update is officially my first nanitic! It looks like another one is ready to get up and about as well :yahoo:. These queens hate liquid food to I dipped some q-tips in honey and placed them in the tube.

 

Lasius claviger

The eggs keep disappearing and I can't figure out why. My only theory is that the test tube is way to moldy. I will try to move them to a new one at some point this weekend.

 

Lasius sp.

The pupae are about ready to eclose. There's going to be a lot of them haha.

 

Prenolepis imparis

I made sure to give these queens a lot of honey, I know how much their gasters can expand.

 

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Gave all five of these queens some honey and at first they were really aggressive but the moment they realized what I had given them they immediately began drinking. The four originals all have pupae and and the newer addition only has larvae. It is very interesting to see the size difference between these queens when placed side by side, the smallest one is 14 cm while the largest is a whopping 2-2.1 cm.

 

Camponotus novaeboracensis

Still gets very agitated when I check on her, she did like the honey though. Still only has larvae.


My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#20 Offline rbarreto - Posted July 9 2018 - 5:33 PM

rbarreto

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Huuuuuge update. Lots of new workers, new queens, and my first successful protein feeding.

 

 

Lasius umbratus

Tons of tiny larvae, gave them some chicken I think they like it.

 

dUhu1zil.jpg

 

Aphaenogaster picea

So after weeks of not moving, I drop some chicken in there they go mad! Even the queens came all the way out to bring the chicken closer to the brood.

 

gLYxdGcl.jpg

 

kO1fxG4l.jpg

 

Lasius claviger

Trying to give them some chicken. Hopefully they eat it and the queen lays a new batch of eggs.

 

 

Lasius sp. (Black workers)

So this queen has really confused me. She is very large at 11mm, the consensus was that she couldn’t be L. alienus because she was too large. But now the workers come out and they are almost black! I think this is either L. alienus or maybe even L. niger.

 

nzUrWxGl.jpg

 

I3juyBnl.jpg

 

Lasius sp. (Yellow/orange workers)

Nothing new, still a huge brood pile. I have a tiny little outworld set up for them which I think I may give to the rest of my colonies. Ill post about it in a future update.

 

 

Prenolepis imparis

God, I love these workers. I can’t wait to give them some colourful food for them to feed to a replete.

 

r66DTv5l.jpg

 

Tetramorium immigrans

New queens here, I have three total. Two of them where placed together and they are getting along just Fine. They have nice amount of eggs too. The third I placed by herself (she is more of a backup in case the other two kill each other when workers arrive).

 

sddwlFtl.jpg

 

Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

This queen was literally walking on my monitor at work. She is tiny, measuring about 4mm. AntsAreUs pointed out that she may be Temnothorax curvispinosus so that’s what I’m going with. She hasn't laid yet but is currently in the process of cutting her wings off.

 

INBV21Dl.jpg

 

ZuuQz2Ul.jpg

 

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Nothing new, all still doing well.

 

 

Camponotus novaeboracensis

Got a second one of these! Found her in the middle of the day which I thought was a bit odd but she laid eggs immediately.

 

heYDFDjl.jpg


Edited by rbarreto, July 9 2018 - 5:38 PM.

  • Karma likes this

My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

1 Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

1 Lasius sp. (black workers)

1 Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

1 Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

2 Prenolepis imparis

5 Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

1 Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

3 Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 






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