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AntsBC's Springtail (Collembola) Culture (Updated: June 30, 2019)

antsbc springtail culture colony farm

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#1 Offline AntsBC - Posted October 21 2018 - 11:34 AM

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Hey there everyone,

 

I've decided to create a journal on a new Springtail culture I created yesterday. For a long time lots of people have been telling me I should create a culture for both ant food and a clean up crew for some of my messy colonies, and I've finally bought into that idea. First I'll tell you guys the steps I took to create this culture.

 

 

Step 1, Collect the Springtails.

 

I looked under rocks/pieces of wood until I managed to collect around 20 Springtails of various species. I tried to ID them, and all I can say is that didn't go over well. It's going to take a little while before I get used to Springtail ID keys.

 

Step 2, Make the Habitat.

 

I looked online and tried to figure what the best setup to culture these guys in would be, and I decided a natural dirt setup would work pretty good and be the easiest to make. To make this I first grabbed a container, made a rocky bottom for water filtration, put a substrate divider on top, added some dirt, and finally put some leaves, rocks, bark chunks, etc, to make it more homey for the Springtails. 

 

Step 3, Add the Springtails and Collect More.

 

Once I added the Springtails into the setup I realized it might be a good idea to get even more of them to raise their production rate. I collected about 25 more so I would say there's about 45 of them in the setup now.

 

 

Now all I have to do is wait for them to reproduce and voila, just like that I'll have a easy food source for my ants. I'll be updating this journal on their progress. 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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The setup

 

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Rice, the main food source I'm going to be giving them.


Edited by AntsBC, June 30 2019 - 2:34 PM.

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Formica pacifica

Formica planipilis (Parasitic sp.)

 

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#2 Offline Rstheant - Posted December 18 2018 - 5:11 PM

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Nice, might want to try this...
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#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 6 2019 - 5:43 PM

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Any updates on this? I’m interested in getting springtails going in some natural set ups I’m working on.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#4 Offline Acutus - Posted May 6 2019 - 8:02 PM

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Any updates on this? I’m interested in getting springtails going in some natural set ups I’m working on.

 

Me too!


Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Formica subsericea


#5 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 28 2019 - 10:17 AM

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I set up a really simple but seemingly effective set up for this using one of those plastic salad greens containers. I've used these for years to keep seeds moist of spring ephemeral wildflowers like spring beauty and Virginia bluebells because they need a damp summer and damp winter period before germinating. I just fill it up with potting soil and poke holes in the bottom then plant the seeds. Once I water it, the plastic lid keeps it perpetually damp until the wildflowers germinate the next spring.

I was cleaning up some cut plants stems the other day and found the rotting parts teeming with springtails. I scooped some of these up and dumped them with some of the plant matter in the seed container. I've sprinkled some nutritional yeast flakes on it for a food source. I'm keeping this container outside under a shaded shelf. The springtails are going nuts in it. I'm also trying to propagate some moss in the tropical dampness.

 


Edited by ANTdrew, June 28 2019 - 10:18 AM.

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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#6 Offline AntsBC - Posted June 30 2019 - 2:30 PM

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Update, June 30, 2019:

 

My culture survived their first winter. For a long time, they seemingly weren't growing at all. In the past few months though, they have grown dramatically. The majority of the population is still very young, but once they grow to adulthood I'll be introducing some to multiple of my colonies, to act as cleaning agents. If the ants kill them for food, I guess that works too. 

 

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This photo shows all the young, tiny springtails next to a few rice pieces.


Edited by AntsBC, June 30 2019 - 2:32 PM.

My Active Journals:

 

Formica pacifica

Formica planipilis (Parasitic sp.)

 

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