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Daves' Ant Journal - Australian Ants

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#1 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 18 2018 - 2:24 AM

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I'm starting this journal on 18/07/2018 with a view to edit this post to include previous events.

25/05/2018

On the 25th of May 2018 I was sitting at a bench in a city garden and I saw a large ant crossing the path in front of me. I had recently done the tiniest bit of research on ants, my interest was piqued by the member of another forum showing pictures of his ants, and by the fact that queen ants were advertised at prices up to $180 on Gumtree! I wasn't thinking of getting into ant keeping at the time, I just like to know things about nature.
In any case I looked at the ant closely and decided that because of the large thorax combined with a large gaster it could be a Queen so I caught it in the empty cardboard coffee cup I was holding. After that I could then see wing scars so I folded the top and took it home.

I had been sitting on the same bench a few times a week for the previous month, there had been no signs of a nuptial flight, or of the area being cleaned (same cigarette buts,rubbish etc) but here was a Queen Ant pretty much the day after reading about how to identify a Queen!
It had been very rainy the previous week or so and I think the garden bed it was in flooded so it had to move. There was a lot of ant activity in the more open garden beds, large black ants, but no ants visible in the courtyard I was sitting in except this lone Queen on the path.

I had thought maybe the guy on the other forum might like it, I know with other inverts that even though species might be listed as being in a state people like to collect the forms from other states, given the lapses in species being described or revised they might even be a different species.

Since reading this forum I understand the aversion to keeping inverts from a different state than they were collected in, but in Australia interstate species are very much sought after by collectors where it is legal to do so. In fact in South Australia keeping species from Queensland or The Northern Territory is preferred because the chances of escapees surviving our winters to become pests is very low, they just couldn't survive the winters here in the densely populated areas as the climate is vastly different from the tropical climates they have evolved in. If they could I'd be up to my ankles in the tropical crickets and roaches we use as feeders! Keeping species from Melbourne or Sydney might be a different story but then scorpions and centipedes are very saleable so it would be unusual for someone to deliberately release them imo, I acknowledge the risk though.

That said, I will be looking to buy Strobe Ants, Opisthopsis spp. and Green Weaver Ants Oecophylla spp. purely because they do come from Queensland so I will never find a Queen in my travels. The fact that they can't survive unassisted in my area is a bonus I think. I realise that it means I have to keep the colony for it's lifespan or sell them on but I have no shortage of large aquariums, I could easily set up 300 litre plus Formicariums if needed.

Anyway, I took the Queen home and put it into a "blank" enclosure I had, just compressed substrate mix and a straw to deliver water to the bottom of the substrate. I took a few pics and posted them which led to a tentative I.D. of Iridomyrmex sp.. I posted an I.D. thread here, http://www.formicult...outh-australia/ .
The guy from the other forum didn't want it as it is a common genus and he had no room for another colony, after a few hours the Queen dug a founding chamber and the next time I looked it had eggs so I thought I might as well keep it myself. In my research threads from this forum had often come up so I then decided to become a member. I must say reading the threads here was a real eye-opener, I became hooked!

Because I had put this ant into a vented enclosure where workers might escape from I started to experiment with making my own formicariums. http://www.formicult...rium-diy-try-1/

I fed the Queen after about a month because I thought if she was flooded out of her original founding chamber she might have already used up some of her resources laying eggs or feeding larvae.
I cut a cotton tip down so that it fit into the tube meant to add water, the end of the tube opened into her founding chamber so I could add it without disturbing her too much I thought. I was wrong, she totally freaked out!
She had moved her brood 'bunch' to a spot on the wall of her chamber about halfway between the floor and ceiling and after her freaking out I couldn't spot it, I just put the tape back over her chamber and haven't looked since so I can't tell if she ate the food or even her brood, I don't want to disturb her.
I had mixed raw sugar and water, dipped the cotton tip in that and then into some beef blood for protein then put it into the tube so she could access it from her chamber, I guess I will remove it soon and check on her.
This will be her home once I can move her, minus substrate at this point. I'm still debating whether to spoon her and her brood out of the enclosure she's in or wait until she has some nanitics.
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And here's pictures of the Queen Iridomyrmex sp. from the day I found her and a week or so later with eggs.
They are repeats of the pictures I posted in the I.D. thread.

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A5

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15th July 2018

Having only one Queen that I don't see was a bit frustrating so when I had sold some scorpions and tarantulas and been paid via PayPal (meaning the PayPal money is best spent online rather than 'cashing out') I ordered some Banded Sugar Ants, Camponotus consobrinus, a Queen and 4 to 6 workers.
Some distribution maps have them occurring in my area but some more detailed maps only show sightings in a very few areas in South Australia, none near where I live at all.

I had planned to wait and find my own Queen Camponotus consobrinus but after studying more distribution maps, and seeing that flights could not be expected for about 6 months even if they do occur in my area, I thought a nice little starter colony would be a good buy. I liked everything about the species and decided they would be a good colony to start me off, also they were offered at a little over half the normal price so I struck while the iron was hot so to speak.

I ordered them on Sunday the 15th July and they came today, Wednesday the 18th of july.


18/07/2018

The package arrived! My first order of ants through the mail.
package


I chose banded sugar ants , Camponotus consobrinus because after some research I decided they would be a good choice for a first ant colony. I chose a package, Queen and 4 to 6 workers, I haven't actually counted but there seems more than 6, I don't know yet. There was also a good amount of brood. A perfect little colony to start me off in my opinion, I'm very happy with them.

I was a bit worried on opening the package as there seemed quite a large pool of water on the "ant end" and none on the water end. The Queen did not move for quite a while, for the first hour I'd think I saw her antennae move but wasn't sure, I was very worried that she had indeed drowned in transit. Shining the torch on her got no response from her, just the workers. Eventually I finally witnessed some definite movement and could breathe a sigh of relief!

004


I chose this formicarium for them just for the extra height, I would have liked a more jungle look but I only had a shorter one with that decor. I could have easily finished another tall one off with the jungle type theme but I didn't want to have freshly cured grout, the others have been curing in stages over the last few weeks.
The thread about building the formicariums is here ; http://www.formicult...rium-diy-try-1/

037 (2)


It was a bit hard getting the substrate in as I had the fit too tight, this was really going to be a reject in my DIY Formicarium trials but it worked out alright I think. I tried topping it with the substrate mix but I liked the sand better, it gives me the framed effect I was after and I think it will be easier to keep clean.

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I have a lid planned, these are 2cm diameter round stainless steel mesh pieces made to fit into pipes or hookahs according to the ad. The are not as fine as 100 mesh, but still very fine, I think only the tiniest of tiny ants would get through it. I haven't drilled or melted holes yet so instead of rushing I used a 10cm x 10cm stainless steel mesh piece I had. It's only just fine enough to stop these ants (I hope!) but because the substrate is still too wet from being sprayed to firm it I want the extra ventilation initially anyway. In summer it would have dried but 2 days was just not enough in winter.

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I placed the tube in the enclosure, the wrong way around I guess but I'm sure it'll be ok. :)

I dripped some sugar water into the indentation in the "log", I made this removable so I can use it as a dish and wash it. I might add another at the back for water if it looks okay. I used raw sugar and water as a sugar mix because we don't have any honey left. After taping the lid on I realised I should have added a piece of mealworm or some other protein source in case there are larvae. There seemed like two separate piles of brood, so perhaps one is eggs and one pile larvae.

Straight away all of the workers seemed to be out and about exploring then went back to the tube.
Later it seemed like it was left to the largest worker to explore/keep guard.
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I had started a burrow at the front where I had left a gap for it between the grout and the wall.
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I put tape over this part and faced it toward the heater. My Dermestid beetles and larvae swarm the end of their enclosure so I guess the ants can feel the warmth too although I hardly can.
In any case although I thought I had been watching them when I turned the container 3 or 4 workers popped out from between the forks in the "log" where the hole was started. I'm pretty sure they are going to keep burrowing there, I'll take more pics before bed. For now I'll try to avoid disturbing them.
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Edited by DaveJay, October 27 2018 - 1:50 AM.

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#2 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 18 2018 - 2:50 AM

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You have some "clean crew" for the formicarium? Spring tails, iso pods, wood lice etc


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Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....
Polyrhachis rufifemur, Rhytidoponera aspera gamergate colony
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

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


#3 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 18 2018 - 3:06 AM

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You have some "clean crew" for the formicarium? Spring tails, iso pods, wood lice etc

I haven't as yet, I never seem to spot springtails in my garden, plenty of isopods though. I've lived in the same place for over 20 years without using chemicals so I feel pretty safe catching some.



#4 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 18 2018 - 3:09 AM

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You have some "clean crew" for the formicarium? Spring tails, iso pods, wood lice etc

I haven't as yet, I never seem to spot springtails in my garden, plenty of isopods though. I've lived in the same place for over 20 years without using chemicals so I feel pretty safe catching some.

 

 

Guy on Gumtree sells springtails and wood lice cultures. Ready to go, just add uncooked rice to keep them going, for the springtails


Edited by CoolColJ, July 18 2018 - 3:10 AM.

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Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....
Polyrhachis rufifemur, Rhytidoponera aspera gamergate colony
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

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


#5 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 18 2018 - 3:25 AM

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Yeah, I've seen his ads, it might be a possibility if after a really good look I can't find any. I experimented with slaters in with scorpions and having one large slater is all a tank like this needs to have no fungus or mould. I've seen where springtails are well tolerated by ants, it may be worth my while to try hard to find some, or buy some.


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#6 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 18 2018 - 3:41 AM

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I you find some, be prepared for a 6 month wait till the culture becomes large enough to split :)


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Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....
Polyrhachis rufifemur, Rhytidoponera aspera gamergate colony
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

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


#7 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 18 2018 - 5:24 AM

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So despite them supposedly being nocturnal, they all stopped exploring and digging and went to 'bed' at dark, they have all been in the test tube since the sun went down and we dimmed the lights.

There's no water in the tube, just wet cotton so as that dries they should be thinking about moving. I've deliberately not covered the tube but have covered the bit of wall where I started the hole. Hopefully they don't take too long to move in.

 

I you find some, be prepared for a 6 month wait till the culture becomes large enough to split :)

If I get some spring tails I'll put some into the formicarium and the majority into my 4' frog tank, no doubt I'd have enough in no time if they like frog poo! I've put loads of Rough Slaters,  Porcellio scaber in there over the years, and Australian Wood Roaches, Nauphotea Cinera but I never see them, there must be some in the substrate and wood piles though, even in the Water Dragon tank they are in the logs even though there is only artificial grass as a substrate.

To be honest I don't think much of a clean up crew will be needed, there's really only a few tablespoons of substrate in the formicarium, only the front and left side have substrate the rest is grout with just a thin covering of sand. At the back and right side there are small gaps but the substrate can't get to the gaps to fill them and neither can the ants unless they chew through the grout.


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#8 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 23 2018 - 8:25 AM

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Thursday 19/07/18

 

Not much happening, they covered the sugar water with sand and peat and did a little digging.

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We went away for the weekend but not much changed, more pics to come.

 

Edit- Actually I tell a lie, I removed the tape and found that they have done quite a bit of digging, what they've dug out is about equal to the space inside the test tube, maybe they are looking at moving out soon!

 

I washed the log and added a couple more drops of sugar water and I put a little bit of frozen bloodworms in a small bottle cap for protein.


Edited by DaveJay, July 23 2018 - 9:09 AM.

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#9 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 25 2018 - 9:27 AM

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25th July 2018

A few notes, although I've been unable to upload pictures since the weekend due to computer problems that hopefully have been solved tonight.
I have a few to upload, not only updates on the ants I have but I went to the Riverland for the weekend and sighted a few interesting ants, one species with a vivid shiny gold or orange gaster, two individuals varying greatly in size but obviously the same species, both totally panicked at flash photography and running for their lives! I really didn't capture their beauty. I can't find an ant matching that description listed as occurring in the area either. When I went back at night I saw a nice big Banded Sugar Ant worker. The other ants I saw were just big black, or small black ants, unfortunately I don't know enough about ants to have found them very interesting at this stage.

So tonight I checked on the I. (I'll fill this when I can check spelling, and add other latin names I've missed) queen.
She had her brood, which I think is still just an egg bundle, stuck on the wall of her chamber again way above her head. I was actually ready with the camera, finger on the button as I removed the tape covering her chamber but she still grabbed the bundle quicker than I could press the button, the camera focused on the outside of the enclosure anyway, but she really does panic a split second after being uncovered so I'll just leave her be for another week or so.

Componotus consobrinus -
The blood worms were a big hit, for two days there was a worker or two in the dish every time I looked, day or night. I added a couple of drops of water to what was left a few hours ago as it was drying out and now there is hardly any left at all.
They've covered the sugar water with sand and peat again, they did almost straight away, tonight I added a piece of apple for sugar. It got some reaction but not too much.
Tonight I saw the Queen come out of the test tube and walk to the side of the enclosure then go back in again. Thinking she may be looking for water I sprayed the wall and let it run down into the substrate, I sprayed the wall next to where I have the straw to add water to the bottom of the substrate as this is where the 'wet' end of the moisture gradient starts.
Most of the workers seem to spend a lot of time in the chamber they dug, I think they may have moved eggs there but I can definitely see larvae still in the tube with the Queen, I'm thinking it can't be very long until the Queen moves though.
Something I've observed is that the reason I hadn't realised how much they'd dug out was that they scatter the substrate evenly across the available ground rather than make any sign of a pile. This explains why you hear and see that in nature they and some other Camponotus species often have very inconspicuous entrances, they remove all evidence of digging! After watching a couple of videos tonight I now know where the entrances of the wild Camponotus species I saw were, I looked at them but because there was no loose soil I dismissed them. I see now they looked just like the ones on the video and like my ants have been digging.

#10 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 25 2018 - 9:51 AM

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Just after the last post I looked and the workers were carrying the larvae out of the tube, the Queen followed but I don't think the gaps were big enough for her to follow so she headed back to the tube. I thought I'd just turn the tube around so the opening was next to the entrance to the chamber the workers dug but it just wouldn't sit right and they were all getting agitated (me too) so in the end I took the tube out completely. The workers have put the larvae in the corner next to the entrance but haven't taken them in. The Queen wandered back to where the tube opening was and is just sitting there. It's 3.20 and I have to get up in about 2 hrs but I can't stop watching the ants!

#11 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 25 2018 - 2:20 PM

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So in the last few hours it looks like the workers have been busy digging, maybe they weren't quite ready for the Queen and larvae. The Queen is in the corner practically sitting on the larvae like a mother hen. I'll see if there's any change when I get home

#12 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 28 2018 - 7:07 AM

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Saturday 28th July.

I took the apple out, untouched as far as I can tell.
I cut a mealworm pupae in half and put that in there.
The Queen was still out in the open, as far as I know she hadn't gone into the new chamber at all.
This morning the Queen was still in the back corner with the larvae but tonight the larvae had finally been taken into the nest. The Queen was still out but I took the formicarium to the lounge room to change the food etc and she eventually went into the new chamber her workers had dug (I had moved them to the bedroom as the temperature is more even). I removed the tape and saw it for the first time, it's very simple, a tunnel straight down for about an inch leading to a small horizontal chamber. I made a little flip door from black card to cover it.

Yesterday some ant feeders I bought from eBay arrived, ironically as I was reading crystals thread on making liquid feeders. The designs are very much the same. Yesterday I tested one each of the 3 types I bought just using water. Tonight I mixed up some sugar water with a drop of food colouring added for better visibility and put one of the feeders into the formicarium. The workers are out exploring but somehow mealworm bits and sugar water aren't getting their attention as yet. I guess they'll work the feeder out sooner or later.

Edit - one of the workers came out of the nest carrying a larvae, it took it over to the corner the Queen had been sitting in but is now just wandering around with it in her mouth, the Queen is finally in the nest so I hope the worker decides to put the larvae back.

Edited by DaveJay, July 28 2018 - 7:18 AM.

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#13 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 28 2018 - 9:47 AM

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2 hours later and it seems that a few workers are placing the larvae back into the rear corner again!
In both the bedroom and the loungeroom that corner is furthest from the heat but it is where I add water so it is the wettest spot in the enclosure. Following advice I have been keeping the majority of the surface and substrate fairly dry with a definite moisture gradient. The substrate where the nest is located is at the dry end of the gradient, the corner they are moving the larvae to is the wet end, atm the surface substrate they are placing the larvae on is wet, not just moist because I have just added water. I may need to up the moisture levels altogether and see if that is the problem. They moved the eggs to their new chamber before I removed the test tube and seem to be happy with them in there, I don't know what the problem is regarding the larvae. As I recorded, they had moved the eggs and were carrying larvae with the Queen following when I removed the test tube, but instead of taking the larvae into the nest they piled them in the front corner near the nest entrance then later moved them to the rear corner. Now that the Queen is finally in the new nest I didn't expect them to move the larvae back out again, I guess the next thing will be the Queen moving out again!
I have had a slight problem with adding water to the bottom of the substrate which I will explain better with pictures when I can, but when I've compacted and rammed the substrate to make it as firm as possible I've moved the bottom of the straw I added so that while some water gets to the substrate in the bottom rear left corner the majority ends up in the empty gaps at the back and right rear corner. It's quickly absorbed by the substrate in both rear corners but for a while there is a centimetre or so of water behind the centre chamber. That is OK, especially if the grout is absorbing it too but it's not really allowing me to soak the substrate on the left side and have the right side completely dry. This means that the front where the nest is located contains the driest substrate whereas I wanted that to be the middle of the gradient. It won't be hard to fix, I just wanted them to be more settled before I mess around too much.

#14 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 28 2018 - 10:21 AM

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Yep, and now the Queen's out and the workers look to be aimlessly wandering around with larvae in their mouths! Grrr!

On another note, there are 7 workers which is more than was advertised and I only noticed tonight that one has a banded/striped/ringed gaster while the others all have straight black.

I've been debating whether to order another colony of these, there are another species of Camponotus advertised that I like the look of so I should make the most of the postage cost. The seller is basically getting rid of last years stock ready for spring I assume so the prices for a queen and workers have been reduced to that of a lone queen so I really need to get in while I can, I like the idea of starting out with workers rather than waiting for a queen to produce enough to be able to be put in a more permanent formicarium, the test tube stage doesn't really appeal to me at all, I'd rather a small colony in a natural style formicarium. My wife's a bit snakey about it though!

#15 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 28 2018 - 3:06 PM

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The bands on the black part of gaster indicate food storage state of both worker and queen


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Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....
Polyrhachis rufifemur, Rhytidoponera aspera gamergate colony
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

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


#16 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 30 2018 - 3:48 AM

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The bands on the black part of gaster indicate food storage state of both worker and queen

Ta, I knew that bands got wider as the gaster swells but the others don't seem to show any at all, I think 6 are nanitics and one is from a later egg, it's noticeably larger.
If they get stuck into the sugar water feeder and the other foods maybe I'll see banding on all.

30th July 2018

I'm guessing that the substrate being too dry was the problem, I gave the left wall and the front wall a good spray last night and today the Queen and larvae have stayed in the nest.
I'm not sure if they've been taking the sugar water or not, I may have the opening a bit too small perhaps. The mealworm pupae bits are still in the same spot.
Later tonight I'll give them frozen bloodworms again, they ate heaps of that last time.

I'll update on these later when I go to bed as I'm keeping them in the bedroom where it's a pretty constant 19c. The loungeroom may be warmer on occasion but it fluctuates quite a bit.

I ordered another Campontonus consobrinus colony last night, same specs, Queen and 4 to 6 workers (although I got 7 ) and brood. I like the species and thought I'd get another colony. It will also allow me to narrow down their preferences better by trying different things.

I also ordered another Campontonus species, C. ? "Gold Bum". A Queen and 1 to 4 workers plus brood.
I'm pretty sure that both these species were what I saw on holiday in Blanchetown on the Murray River last weekend. If so the "Gold Bum" get pretty big too, I spotted two distinct sizes by the river, I'm guessing, but the larger was a good 15mm, bigger than the consobrinus I saw, which was in turn much bigger than the ones I have.

Edited by DaveJay, July 30 2018 - 3:51 AM.

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#17 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 30 2018 - 8:19 PM

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31st July 2018

Last night I saw something weird and disturbing.

Over a couple of hours there seemed to be a lot of interest in the front corner where the larvae had been put on a few occasions. I could see a few different workers climbing a centimetre or so up the corner. They looked like they were putting acid down, I had seen them putting down a barrier of acid when the larvae were there but the larvae have stayed in the nest for the last day or two.
It seemed to be different workers in the corner, but about 3 at a time.
After a couple of hours I saw one of the smallest workers in the corner a centimetre or slightly more off the ground with 3 workers on the ground below it. While watching I distinctly saw a worker bite the gaster of the one on the wall, then it and others grab the little one by the legs and try to drag it down. This was repeated for a couple of minutes until I got the spray bottle and sprayed the corner through the mesh lid. This broke up the action, the little one went down into the nest. I then sprayed more water so that it ran down the walls in the corner hopefully washing off whatever acid or pheromones had been left there. This was about 3am and I went to sleep, when I woke up there's no sign of a dead ant, but it could easily be hidden in the pile of substrate in the far corner. I'll have to do a head count tonight.

What struck me as weird was that they were gathered in that corner for hours, coming and going but about 3 there most times long before they were attacking the little one.

#18 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 30 2018 - 8:52 PM

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Ants use their mandibles as hands, so it's not always an attack when they grab a colony member by their jaws.
They could be just dragging her back home
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Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....
Polyrhachis rufifemur, Rhytidoponera aspera gamergate colony
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

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


#19 Offline DaveJay - Posted July 30 2018 - 9:18 PM

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Ants use their mandibles as hands, so it's not always an attack when they grab a colony member by their jaws.
They could be just dragging her back home

I hope so, but it looked a lot like an attack because one in particular was reaching up and biting the gaster rather than trying to get a hold to drag her.
It seemed weird that they were paying a lot of attention to an empty corner long before that. Perhaps she had strayed into the corner where they were up to something and they didn't want her there. I hope that's the case.
Two theories that crossed my mind was that maybe she'd become tainted with a warning chemical they'd put down and didn't smell right so was being treated as an intruder.
Or as she's obviously smaller and one of the first nanitics her time was up, she didn't look like she'd been eating recently, her gaster was far smaller than the others. I thought maybe like other animals they attack and kill or drive off any weak or dying individuals.

#20 Offline CoolColJ - Posted July 31 2018 - 3:27 AM

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Well in my experience, when a nanitic is about to die from age, she will know, and separate herself from the colony by going outside a few days before it happens


  • DaveJay likes this

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....
Polyrhachis rufifemur, Rhytidoponera aspera gamergate colony
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

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





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