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Dspdrew's Pheidole hyatti Journal [205] (Discontinued)

pheidole hyatti dspdrew journal harvester ants big-headed ants

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#1 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 14 2015 - 4:36 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

2-14-2015
 
February 1st I traded some ant colonies with kellakk for a mature colony of Pheidole hyatti with five queens. He found this colony living under a rock. The same day, we found another colony with three queens that I also kept.

 

The colony we found that day was pretty easy to move into a test tube. I poured all the ants and dirt out of the jar I had them in, and into a bin coated with fluon. I kept a hot light and a small fan on it at all time, until everything dried out completely. There was also a test tube setup laying in there in which they all predictably moved into. I discovered some mites living with this colony, but they don't appear to be parasitic, so I'm not too worried.

 

Both of these colonies' queens produce eggs like crazy.

 

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#2 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted February 14 2015 - 5:00 PM

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That brood pile is crazy! :o


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#3 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 14 2015 - 5:35 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Yeah, you should see the colony with five queens.



#4 Offline kellakk - Posted February 14 2015 - 6:06 PM

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Nice! My colonies have much the same sized brood piles but with only one queen each. It's crazy!


Current Species:
Novomessor cockerelli (2), Brachymyrmex patagonicus (1)Veromessor pergandei (1?), Dorymyrmex bureni (1)


#5 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 14 2015 - 8:19 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Yeah I often wonder how many of those queens are actually laying eggs.



#6 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted February 14 2015 - 8:52 PM

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Man... I want one! :/ :P Maybe I will go next week!



#7 Offline Vendayn - Posted February 14 2015 - 11:05 PM

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I have a theory that might explain this species.

 

In the wild, their colonies tend to be pretty small. I think its only 1,000 ants at most on average...very small colonies. Maybe 10,000 or something.

 

However, in captivity they lay SO many eggs. I had one colony with around 5 queens, in a mere 2-3 months the colony had thousands of brood. Yet, in nature...they never do that.

 

I have a suspicion that, when brought to an "artificial" habitat they become invasive in a way. Take Tapinoma sessile, a perfect example of this. In their native non-urban habitat...very very small colonies. In an urban area, they grow up to 10 million ants in a huge supercolony.

 

Which, goes back to Pheidole hyatti. In nature, very small colonies (I've never once seen a big one, even if there is a lot of queens). As soon as they enter an ant formicarium...population explosion of mass egg laying.

 

I have a suspicion Pheidole hyatti can become invasive if they were ever imported to a non-native habitat. Because, I've seen many colonies of them, and they never reach that much brood or amount of ants in that short of a time period. In fact, they tend to have only a small amount of brood until put in an ant formicarium.

 

I do know however, my particular colony of 5 queens...grew way faster than me 3-4 queened Solenopsis invicta colony I had. Granted, there were 1-2 extra queens...still...it was insane. Usually Solenopsis are the ones that breed fast, but my particular colony was growing way faster.


Edited by Vendayn, February 14 2015 - 11:12 PM.

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#8 Offline William. T - Posted February 15 2015 - 11:36 AM

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The apocalypse all started... in someone's ant farm.


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Species I keep:

 

1 Lasius cf. Neoniger 30 workers

1 Camponotus sp. 15 workers

20 Tetramorium SpE 30 workers

1 T. Sessile 200 workers

 


#9 Offline Foogoo - Posted February 23 2015 - 8:27 AM

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The colony we found that day was pretty easy to move into a test tube. I poured all the ants and dirt out of the jar I had them in, and into a bin coated with fluon. I kept a hot light and a small fan on it at all time, until everything dried out completely.

 

Boy that's smart... so you put the test tube in the bin? I dumped them all into a fluon coated shoebox and spent 3 hours sorting ant/brood from dirt. 


Camponotus vicinus, Crematogaster 1, Crematogaster 2, Formica francoeuri, *, *, Myrmecocystus testaceus, Novomessor cockerelli, Pheidole hyatti, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, Solenopsis invicta


#10 Offline dspdrew - Posted February 23 2015 - 10:27 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

 

The colony we found that day was pretty easy to move into a test tube. I poured all the ants and dirt out of the jar I had them in, and into a bin coated with fluon. I kept a hot light and a small fan on it at all time, until everything dried out completely.

 

Boy that's smart... so you put the test tube in the bin? I dumped them all into a fluon coated shoebox and spent 3 hours sorting ant/brood from dirt. 

 

 

rofl They don't call them workers for nothing.

 

Yes. Just put the test tube in the bin, and once everything dries up, most ants will move in. They'll take all their brood in there too.



#11 Offline dspdrew - Posted April 7 2015 - 3:54 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 4-7-2015
 
Both of these colonies are doing well and are continuing to grow.

 

Two days ago I moved the biggest colony into one of my latest prototype formicariums. It's really designed for bigger ants, but it shouldn't be a problem. The main reason is just to make better use of the space.

 

I put their test tube in the out world, and four hours later they were all moved in. They seem to really like it, as there were no more than three workers in the out world when I checked on them.

 

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#12 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 9 2015 - 10:04 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 4-7-2015
 
Both colonies have grown quite a bit. One of them has produced a few males too, so this species' mating flight date is probably coming up soon.

 

These guys have been some of the most entertaining ants I have had. The colony in the formicarium has grown the most over the last couple months.

 

I've been feeding them a lot. I'm constantly dropping random insects in there. It's so entertaining to watch them come streaming out to swarm all over the insect and drag it down into the nest. I even gave them a dead lizard I had kept in my freezer for just this purpose. They've eaten a lot of the flesh off of it, and completely hollowed out the stomach. It was funny watching them try to pull it down into their nest when it was clearly not going to fit.

 

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They have kept everything very clean. They love taking their food down into the nest, but always take the trash out to the trash pile when they're finished.

 

There is about five times as much brood in there as there was when I first put them in. They love sticking the larvae on the back wall, keeping them all spaced out just right as you can see in the video below. Maybe it's easier to take care of them that way, I don't know. I've been seeing quite a few large larvae that I think might be alates, because they look like they might be too large to be majors.

 

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#13 Offline dermy - Posted May 9 2015 - 10:10 AM

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That is pretty insane, do you plan to do more experiments with the colony with dead things? I bet if you prepared them properly you could do some crazy stuff with the colony!



#14 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 9 2015 - 10:12 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Haha no. I just keep any thing that dies (with the exception of humans) to feed to my ants.



#15 Offline dean_k - Posted May 9 2015 - 10:23 AM

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How many fridges or freezers do you have?


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#16 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 9 2015 - 9:04 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

One fridge and one freezer.



#17 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 24 2015 - 3:52 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 5-24-2015
 
The colony in the formicarium continues to grow bigger every day. I've been feeding them a lot. I just found out today that they really like crushed up sunflower seeds.

 

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The other colony has been sold to Wamdar.


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#18 Offline Tpro4 - Posted May 24 2015 - 9:20 PM

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Wish I had a multiple queen colony
Remember Dragon Warrior, anything is possible when you have inner peace. - Master Shifu

Current Queens:
1 Unknown Pogomyemex
1 Solenopsis Xyloni

#19 Offline Foogoo - Posted June 1 2015 - 7:02 PM

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Update 5-24-2015
 
The colony in the formicarium continues to grow bigger every day. I've been feeding them a lot. I just found out today that they really like crushed up sunflower seeds.

 

You are right, mine is currently going nuts for sunflower seeds. Never would've thought...


Camponotus vicinus, Crematogaster 1, Crematogaster 2, Formica francoeuri, *, *, Myrmecocystus testaceus, Novomessor cockerelli, Pheidole hyatti, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, Solenopsis invicta


#20 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 1 2015 - 8:58 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Well they are harvester ants, but I was still a little surprised.







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