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Nasutitermes fumigatus/dixoni subterranean pet/feeder termite colony journal

nasutitermes fumigatus dixoni termite journal subterranean

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#41 Offline CoolColJ - Posted August 21 2018 - 2:21 AM

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The test tube was dry, but for some reason, once I added these new termites into it, it started to get condensation.



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Edited by CoolColJ, August 21 2018 - 2:25 AM.

  • dermy, LC3, rdurham02 and 1 other like this
Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Camponotus nigriceps, Myrmecia fulvipes, Colobopsis macrocephala
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

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

#42 Offline Nare - Posted August 21 2018 - 4:34 AM

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I ended up putting them all into the current test tube with the small colony

I turned the test tube upside down and angled up, so that the termite crawling from the petri dish cotton would fall down to the bottom.
Then used a featherweight forceps to move the stragglers across.

I flipped the test back up the right side, so now the newcomers are ontop of the carboard.
While the old small colony is at the bottom

Do termites fight?

As far as I know, yes, but you caught them in the same area, so I assume they'll recognize eachother.


I keep termites - check them out! I've also made a guide...


#43 Offline CoolColJ - Posted August 22 2018 - 4:49 AM

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I don't know if they fought or not, but I took a quick look at them just then, and the newcomers have moved into the chamber that the original termites was using.

A few of the alate nymphs remained at the top.
Some also moved into the next layer down.
While the majority were right at the bottom, standing on the glass against the wet cotton.

They also dumped a dead soldier body against the cotton blocking the test tube entrance

So far so good
They haven't tunneled into the wet cotton


Edited by CoolColJ, August 22 2018 - 2:28 PM.

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

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

#44 Offline CoolColJ - Posted August 23 2018 - 7:16 PM

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Winter 24th August 2018

 

took another look -

 

Most of the termites are at the bottom, standing on the glass against the wet cotton.

The rest are in the next level in the small carboard cavity

 

I see a few dead termites right at the entrance cotton, which also has brown stains both inside and outside the test tube. pretty sure these were not there before...

 

On the glass at the bottom, I also see a few more dead termites.

I think it's still too wet here.

 

This does not appear to be working well :(

 

I think I will pull them out and start with just around 50-60% humidity and go from there.

The 99% RH in these enclosed setups does not work.

I know their actual nest is pretty dry


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

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

#45 Offline CoolColJ - Posted August 23 2018 - 8:18 PM

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Temporarily moved them back into a petri dish with 2 squeezed out damp cotton and some dry tissue paper laid over this

 

One alate nyphm has died and a few soldiers and workers, but there are a lot more workers than I thought

 

83% RH with lid partly on

75% RH with no lid

 

46% room RH


Edited by CoolColJ, August 23 2018 - 8:58 PM.

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

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

#46 Offline sirjordanncurtis - Posted August 23 2018 - 9:19 PM

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Why don't you try a wood setup? Or a setup with actually like a Petri dish with bark layers. Make the bottom moist, and then add a piece of cardboard/newspaper on top of the bark. This way, they can choose to select where they want to nest, and at what humidity.



#47 Offline CoolColJ - Posted August 24 2018 - 12:38 AM

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Why don't you try a wood setup? Or a setup with actually like a Petri dish with bark layers. Make the bottom moist, and then add a piece of cardboard/newspaper on top of the bark. This way, they can choose to select where they want to nest, and at what humidity.

 

 

soil with wood sitting on top would be ideal, seeing as I found them under a rock.

I can get some wood bits from the area they were nesting I suppose


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

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

#48 Offline CoolColJ - Posted August 24 2018 - 2:49 PM

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So at work this morning I just realized that next door is a wood fire pizza place.... :facepalm:

 

And they store all their wood out the back adjacent to our carpark.

So there are lots of big slices of trees, and plenty of small strips and splinters to be had.

I took a few small bits of wood that look to be inner areas of the tree and some closer to the bark area.

These are pretty hard so I don't know if termites will go for it.

 

I'll just soak these in hot water for a minute and a cold water rise, and hopefully that will make it safe.

 

Thinking I will start with shallow layer of dirt in a petri dish, with a small strip of wood ontop.

Sprinkle water on soil to start to firm it up.

Then a damp cotton wool on one side touching wood and soil

 

If the termite dig, then the tunnels should show up on the petri dish bottom

If I keep the lid on, will definitely have to drill some holes.

 

Right now, they are all under the 2 bits of cotton in the petri dish


Edited by CoolColJ, August 24 2018 - 2:52 PM.

  • LC3 and Nare like this
Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Camponotus nigriceps, Myrmecia fulvipes, Colobopsis macrocephala
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

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

#49 Offline Nare - Posted August 24 2018 - 4:34 PM

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I'm sorry the test tube setup didn't work out. Termites are very sensitive, and evidently what works for one species won't work for another on the other side of the world. Maybe this new setup will work better.


I keep termites - check them out! I've also made a guide...


#50 Offline CoolColJ - Posted August 25 2018 - 9:52 PM

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Winter 26th August 2018

 

Put them into setup no.3 last night.

They seem to be liking it so far ... I think :)

 

5mm layer of damp red dirt, small 5mm strip of wood that fits snugly against the petri dish walls.

And flattened wet cotton on the side for hydration maintenace

 

So far they seem to be hanging out in that top left hand sector.

Some have tunneled under the wood there as well as another section on the bottom right.

A few under the cotton as well.

 

I can see a small clearing on the petri dish bottom

I put red film onto the dish lid which is partly ajar, and the termite wander around pretty casually

 

 

There was one dead worker which you can see in the video, but it may have been on the death course before entering this nest setup.

 

 


Edited by CoolColJ, August 25 2018 - 11:05 PM.

  • dermy, LC3, rdurham02 and 2 others like this
Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Camponotus nigriceps, Myrmecia fulvipes, Colobopsis macrocephala
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

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

#51 Offline CoolColJ - Posted August 26 2018 - 5:42 AM

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Interesting -

In the last few hours, tt appears they are starting to build a surface tunnel structure in that corner of the dish where they are seen crowding around.
From the dirt and other stuff, like chewed up wood I think.

Ummm... also some structure going up the side of the petri dish walls, they could escape...

Or it could be just dirt piling up from their digging...

Going to have to order some larger petri dishes, this 55mm one is a tad small
Will have to put the dish inside another container to be safe

Edited by CoolColJ, August 26 2018 - 7:22 AM.

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

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

#52 Offline Nare - Posted August 26 2018 - 9:12 AM

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Interesting -

In the last few hours, tt appears they are starting to build a surface tunnel structure in that corner of the dish where they are seen crowding around.
From the dirt and other stuff, like chewed up wood I think.

Ummm... also some structure going up the side of the petri dish walls, they could escape...

Or it could be just dirt piling up from their digging...

Going to have to order some larger petri dishes, this 55mm one is a tad small
Will have to put the dish inside another container to be safe

The one tunnel is likely to regulate humidity. If there's one thing that termites are really good at, it's controlling their local environment. Would fluon or some such substance deter them from building on the side of the dish?


I keep termites - check them out! I've also made a guide...


#53 Offline CoolColJ - Posted August 26 2018 - 6:35 PM

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Interesting -

In the last few hours, tt appears they are starting to build a surface tunnel structure in that corner of the dish where they are seen crowding around.
From the dirt and other stuff, like chewed up wood I think.

Ummm... also some structure going up the side of the petri dish walls, they could escape...

Or it could be just dirt piling up from their digging...

Going to have to order some larger petri dishes, this 55mm one is a tad small
Will have to put the dish inside another container to be safe

The one tunnel is likely to regulate humidity. If there's one thing that termites are really good at, it's controlling their local environment. Would fluon or some such substance deter them from building on the side of the dish?

 

 

 

probably not as they would just pile dirt on top of it like a ladder :)

 

Solution is just a bigger petri dish, and have the wood in the centre.

 

Right now I ahve put the petri dish inside a larger lid from a pill/tablet container.

Which does help cut down the light entering the dish as well

 

Putting the whole lot inside a 90mm glass petri dish might be the go

Or a lab crystallizing dish, which has higher walls than a petri dish


Edited by CoolColJ, August 26 2018 - 6:41 PM.

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

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

#54 Offline CoolColJ - Posted August 26 2018 - 11:42 PM

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Ok I found a termite outside of the petri dish today... lucky I put it inside of a larger plastic lid

Off course once it climbed out, it couldn't get back in :)

 

Will have to seal the dish for now.. but that will change humidity levels

Will just turn the lid upside down and leave a gap on the side where they don't have any structures


Edited by CoolColJ, August 26 2018 - 11:44 PM.

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

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

#55 Offline Nare - Posted August 27 2018 - 7:59 AM

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Ok I found a termite outside of the petri dish today... lucky I put it inside of a larger plastic lid

Off course once it climbed out, it couldn't get back in :)

 

Will have to seal the dish for now.. but that will change humidity levels

Will just turn the lid upside down and leave a gap on the side where they don't have any structures

You can't drill some holes in the lid and shove cotton in them, can you? Even just leaving them open may be okay, I know most termites are bad at climbing, so they should be unable to climb upside down.


I keep termites - check them out! I've also made a guide...


#56 Offline CoolColJ - Posted August 27 2018 - 2:26 PM

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Ok I found a termite outside of the petri dish today... lucky I put it inside of a larger plastic lid

Off course once it climbed out, it couldn't get back in :)

 

Will have to seal the dish for now.. but that will change humidity levels

Will just turn the lid upside down and leave a gap on the side where they don't have any structures

You can't drill some holes in the lid and shove cotton in them, can you? Even just leaving them open may be okay, I know most termites are bad at climbing, so they should be unable to climb upside down.

 

 

I could, but the last time i tried to drill a hole in a petri dish lid it cracked and broke :)

I think if I stick gaff tape on either side of the lid it should stop that happening

 

---

 

The termites have dug a tunnel on the the front part side of the wood, against the petri dish side that follows the side wall all the way to the right and back to the back part of the wood

I see workers constantly going into it... but since they are blind they don't know any better and think they are travelling somewhere else :D

 

The light exposure of the tunnel being on the side of the dish doesn't seem to bother them...

I think this would be like a foraging tunnel in the wild

 

Right now most of the termites are now underground, but a few remain outside at the back top left sector of the wood

Where another tunnel complex has been created.

I can see a chamber there against the bottom of the petri dish.

 

I feel this dish is too small for them.

Will move them into a 90mm glass dish when it arrives.

Also have some plastic ones coming, which I will use the lid from one on this glass dish, so I can drill holes etc


Edited by CoolColJ, August 27 2018 - 3:18 PM.

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

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

#57 Offline Nare - Posted August 27 2018 - 3:14 PM

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Ok I found a termite outside of the petri dish today... lucky I put it inside of a larger plastic lid

Off course once it climbed out, it couldn't get back in :)

 

Will have to seal the dish for now.. but that will change humidity levels

Will just turn the lid upside down and leave a gap on the side where they don't have any structures

You can't drill some holes in the lid and shove cotton in them, can you? Even just leaving them open may be okay, I know most termites are bad at climbing, so they should be unable to climb upside down.

 

 

I could, but the last time i tried to drill a hole in a petri dish lid it cracked and broke :)

I think if I stick gaff tape on either side of the lid it should stop that happening

 

---

 

The termites have dug a tunnel on the the front part side of the wood, against the petri dish side that follows the side wall all the way to the right and back to the back part of the wood

I see workers constantly going into it... but since they are blind they don't know any better and think they are travelling somewhere else :D

 

The light exposure of the tunnel being on the side of the glass doesn't seem to bother them...

I think this would be like a foraging tunnel in the wild

 

Right now most of the termites are now underground, but a few remain outside at the back top left sector of the wood

Where another tunnel complex has been created.

I can see a chamber there against the bottom of the petri dish.

 

I feel this dish is too small for them.

Will move thme into a 90mm glass dish when it arrives.

Also have some plastic ones coming, which I will use the lid from one on this glass dish, so I can drill holes etc

 

Sounds interesting, but I can't really visualize it. Pictures?


I keep termites - check them out! I've also made a guide...


#58 Offline CoolColJ - Posted August 27 2018 - 6:09 PM

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I'll get some photos once I feel less tired :)


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

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

#59 Offline CoolColJ - Posted August 28 2018 - 1:30 AM

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Winter 28th August 2018

 

Pics of their current situation - refer to the pics above for the general layout of the petri dish

Soil looks a little too wet, maybe

 

Their main area - you can see two dead workers, which I have since removed and fed to my ants :)

I think these may have died from cuts to the body

 

click to enlarge

 

This is to the right of above, they have tunneled up to the side

 

 

This is the start and end of the tunnel on the other side of the wood, it runs against the side wall

 

 

 

Leads to another tunnel entrance further in

 

 

There is another tunnel under the cotton

 

 

and the bottom of the petri dish

 


Edited by CoolColJ, August 28 2018 - 1:37 AM.

  • LC3 and rdurham02 like this
Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Pheidole antipodum colonies...  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Camponotus nigriceps, Myrmecia fulvipes, Colobopsis macrocephala
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

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

#60 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 1 2018 - 2:58 PM

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I found more of these pulling up random rocks on the side of the bush trail about 100m away from where I found the above.

 

One rock revealed a colony, then I pulled the next rock next to it, which revealed more termites, but also a small black ant colony, that had no idea they were nesting next to a termite colony.

needless to say fights ensured :D

 

There were a lot of alate nymphs so it's probably a large nest that goes further than the two rocks

 

So this would be a good spot to bury a rolled up bundle of corrugated cardboard next to the rock to get some feeder termites


Edited by CoolColJ, September 1 2018 - 2:59 PM.

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

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





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