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Do I have enough of the right type to start a termite feeder colony?


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 4 2018 - 9:14 PM

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While I was flipping rocks this afternoon, this large slab revealed a complete termite nest. There were shallow dirt chambers underneath, fairly dry ones, and it was covered in termites.

So did I grab enough of the right types to start a colony of them?
I think these are a drywood type as the soil underneath was not that damp nor was their nest in damp wood etc


click to enlarge





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Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
9mm queen red head Phediole sp, 7mm queen all black Phediole, 2x Phediole sp. red head/black body 8mm queens
Polyrhachis rufifemur and femorata, Camponotus suffusus and humilior
Journal = http://www.formicult...sp-furnace-ant/

Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal = http://www.formicult...ournal/?p=96808


#2 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 4 2018 - 9:36 PM

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So far I have them in a petri dish with some substrate from their original nest and shredded cardboard.
Might add a damp cotton to it.
I should go back tomorrow and grab more of the substrate their nest was made of. Hopefully the A.longiceps haven't wiped them out :)

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
9mm queen red head Phediole sp, 7mm queen all black Phediole, 2x Phediole sp. red head/black body 8mm queens
Polyrhachis rufifemur and femorata, Camponotus suffusus and humilior
Journal = http://www.formicult...sp-furnace-ant/

Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal = http://www.formicult...ournal/?p=96808


#3 Offline LC3 - Posted July 4 2018 - 9:53 PM

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These are termites in the subfamily Nasutitermitinae, (family Termitidae). Given your location I think they might be Nasutitermes walkeri or related.

 

I think the higher termites (Termitidae) tend to grow slower per individual compared to the lower termites, but I'm mostly ignorant on the specifics. 


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Colonies

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#4 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 4 2018 - 9:59 PM

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A large number of them have gathered on the small damp cotton wool placed on top of the shredded cardboard.
I see some do a violent head butt shake on the cotton wool :)

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
9mm queen red head Phediole sp, 7mm queen all black Phediole, 2x Phediole sp. red head/black body 8mm queens
Polyrhachis rufifemur and femorata, Camponotus suffusus and humilior
Journal = http://www.formicult...sp-furnace-ant/

Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal = http://www.formicult...ournal/?p=96808


#5 Offline LC3 - Posted July 4 2018 - 10:05 PM

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That head butt movement would be an alarm signal. It seems like N. walkeri is an arboreal species that launches foraging forays to ground level where it feeds on damp wood.


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Colonies

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#6 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 4 2018 - 10:29 PM

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Video - after this I wet the other cardboard and they dispersed since they can now access damp cardboard without being exposed to light I guess :)


Edited by CoolColJ, July 5 2018 - 12:04 AM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
9mm queen red head Phediole sp, 7mm queen all black Phediole, 2x Phediole sp. red head/black body 8mm queens
Polyrhachis rufifemur and femorata, Camponotus suffusus and humilior
Journal = http://www.formicult...sp-furnace-ant/

Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal = http://www.formicult...ournal/?p=96808


#7 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 4 2018 - 11:38 PM

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Also does red cellophane block light to termites like it does with regular ants?

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
9mm queen red head Phediole sp, 7mm queen all black Phediole, 2x Phediole sp. red head/black body 8mm queens
Polyrhachis rufifemur and femorata, Camponotus suffusus and humilior
Journal = http://www.formicult...sp-furnace-ant/

Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal = http://www.formicult...ournal/?p=96808


#8 Offline Serafine - Posted July 4 2018 - 11:43 PM

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Many termites are blind. They probably have SOME kind of organ (or extremely rudimentary eyes) to detect light but nothing they're able to actually see with.

Most ants on the other hand can see red light perfectly fine (except under low-light conditions) there's even studies about that.


Edited by Serafine, July 4 2018 - 11:45 PM.

We should respect all forms of consciousness. The body is just a vessel, a mere hull.

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#9 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 4 2018 - 11:51 PM

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thanks

Someone on Facebook suggested Nasutitermes fumigatus or N. dixoni
 

 

My guess is Nasutitermes fumigatus or N. dixoni. Which geographic location did you find them? As Cameron said, the soldiers shoot a sticky substance from their head which stick all over an ant. The worker termites are good food for ants. You need a king and queen to start a colony. You have some immature alates there, so they could become new kings or queens.


Edited by CoolColJ, July 5 2018 - 12:05 AM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
9mm queen red head Phediole sp, 7mm queen all black Phediole, 2x Phediole sp. red head/black body 8mm queens
Polyrhachis rufifemur and femorata, Camponotus suffusus and humilior
Journal = http://www.formicult...sp-furnace-ant/

Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal = http://www.formicult...ournal/?p=96808


#10 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 5 2018 - 3:19 PM

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counted 15 soldiers, 5 reproductives or alates, 37 worker for the termites

I think I will cull most of the soliders and feed them to my ants, as they serve no major purpose in a feeder colony and still required to be fed by the workers

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
9mm queen red head Phediole sp, 7mm queen all black Phediole, 2x Phediole sp. red head/black body 8mm queens
Polyrhachis rufifemur and femorata, Camponotus suffusus and humilior
Journal = http://www.formicult...sp-furnace-ant/

Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal = http://www.formicult...ournal/?p=96808


#11 Offline LC3 - Posted July 5 2018 - 3:59 PM

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Nasutitermitidae maintain really high levels of soldiers compared to workers, sometimes more than 20% compared to the 2-10% of other termites. Also they are normally much smaller compared to the termites of other species and are often filled with their chemical substance, so the biomass may not differ all that much in comparison to mechanical species.

 

I'm not sure about Nasutitermes but in some termites like Reticulitermes, workers won't forage unless soldiers are present. They might serve an equally important purpose in Nasutitermids considering that they still maintain such high numbers of soldiers even if their defensive mechanisms are superior.


Edited by LC3, July 5 2018 - 4:00 PM.

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Colonies

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#12 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 5 2018 - 4:36 PM

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Ok these larger white ones are definitely alate nymphs - pic of more developed ones with larger wings


Edited by CoolColJ, July 5 2018 - 4:44 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
9mm queen red head Phediole sp, 7mm queen all black Phediole, 2x Phediole sp. red head/black body 8mm queens
Polyrhachis rufifemur and femorata, Camponotus suffusus and humilior
Journal = http://www.formicult...sp-furnace-ant/

Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal = http://www.formicult...ournal/?p=96808


#13 Offline LC3 - Posted July 5 2018 - 5:56 PM

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Regardless those nymphs will still be able to become some sort of reproductive, I'm pretty sure Nasutitermes is able to produce neotenics and their imagoes can assume the role of a reproductive if need be. Workers won't differentiate though (although they can become soldiers in some species).


Edited by LC3, July 5 2018 - 5:56 PM.

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Colonies

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#14 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 5 2018 - 8:23 PM

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Red film does seem to have an effect on these termites, when I have the film over the petri dish they gather near the cotton, take it off, and they disperse under the cardboard


I went back to get more substrate and a few more workers, and it seems there is an is an Aphaenogaster longiceps nest right under that rock as well, or they just moved in after the raid,last time.
There is also a black Rhytidoponera close by and they both started to raid when I turned the rock over. Also some of these A.longcieps are much larger than any of the usual ones I see
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Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
9mm queen red head Phediole sp, 7mm queen all black Phediole, 2x Phediole sp. red head/black body 8mm queens
Polyrhachis rufifemur and femorata, Camponotus suffusus and humilior
Journal = http://www.formicult...sp-furnace-ant/

Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal = http://www.formicult...ournal/?p=96808





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