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#41 Offline Polyacanthus - Posted July 8 2020 - 7:13 PM

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Interesting! I hadn't learned about that yet, thanks.

So the Formica queen has her third nanitic today. At what point do I offer them an outworld? I realize they will want to stay in the tube but I feel bad offering them food that they might consider garbage. Stop dumping garbage in our home! I feel like with an outworld they can take whatever they want and leave the rest.

Here's my proposed setup. The outworld would have a lid. I figured I'd cover the end of the tube with sand so they can dig their way out. I'm afraid to mess with them since they're doing well but I'm afraid of giving them too much or to little food.

IMG_20200708_231529447~2_resize_21.jpg

Edited by Polyacanthus, July 8 2020 - 7:21 PM.


#42 Offline TechAnt - Posted July 8 2020 - 7:38 PM

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That looks like too long of tubing, they may stay in there and only venture into the tubing, starving themselves. Just a possibility if they are too scared.
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My Ants:
(x1) Campontous semitstaceus ~20 workers, 1 Queen
(x1) Camponotus vicinus ~10 workers, 1 Queen (all black variety)
(x1) Tetramorium immigrans ~100 workers, 1 Queen
(x1) Myrmercocystus mexicanus -1 Queen
(x2) Mymercocystus mimcus -1 Queen
(x1) Mymercocystus testaceus ~45 workers, 1 Queen

#43 Offline Polyacanthus - Posted July 12 2020 - 8:01 PM

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I have scrubbed the outworld idea for now. The pallidefulva queen has four nanitics, probably the fifth to eclose tomorrow. I fed them part of a boiled Japanese beetle which they seem to enjoy, dragged it off my little feeder sheet almost immediately 😆 She is up to about 8 eggs so good to see her restarting production.

Larger portion of the beetle went to the pennsylvanicus queen with three nanitics. They seemed to like it as well.

Over the past couple days I've caught more queens on the driveway (apparently a queen magnet). Four fusca group and another pallidefulva. I guess I didn't realize I had fusca around, I probably just assumed they were small pennsylvanicus workers when I've seen them! Haven't looked that closely I guess.

Also, I've been keeping my eye on a colony near the driveway where I saw some activity a few days ago with alates out at the entrance.

IMG_20200708_182854490_resize_56.jpg

I assumed these were pallidefulva getting ready to fly, though they did seem really red. Today I watched a slave raid being carried out from that colony! I guess they are a sanguinea group species colony and I only just only ever saw their pallidefulva workers.
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#44 Offline Polyacanthus - Posted July 17 2020 - 8:28 PM

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Everything is doing great. Anyone need queens? 😆

Here is the early pallidefulva queen with her 5 workers and new brood.

IMG_20200716_230536671~2_resize_99.jpg

The Tetramorium are well on their way, lots of larvae and a few pupae.

IMG_20200716_225219693~2_resize_83.jpg

I have ten C. pennsylvanicus with healthy broods, two have 8 workers already. Going to need to give some away or something.

IMG_20200716_230738110~2_resize_57.jpg

All the new fusca and pallidefulva queens have egg piles going.

IMG_20200716_230153853~2_resize_86.jpg

Working on some grout formicaria. Need to come up with some outworlds because they're already getting tough to feed in the tubes without some escaping.

The other day I saw a line eminating from that sanguinea colony pictured in the previous post. They were carrying out a slave raid on a nearby nest. The colony must be huge because they were carting home tons of brood. They wrapped up after dusk and picked back up the next morning. I've never seen that before, it was kind of sad to watch actually. Nature is brutal.

Edited by Polyacanthus, July 17 2020 - 8:30 PM.

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#45 Online ANTdrew - Posted July 18 2020 - 2:31 AM

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Look into signing up to be a GAN farmer. You’ll sell those extra queens in no time.
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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.

#46 Offline Polyacanthus - Posted July 18 2020 - 8:21 PM

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Picked up some superworms for the first time today. Most of them were dead. I cut up one still barely alive and fed about a section to each of my colonies with nanitics. They dug right in!

IMG_20200718_213943996~2_resize_8.jpg

The biggest colony is up to 10 workers now.

I caught another fusca queen on the driveway today. Couldn't help myself!
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#47 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted July 19 2020 - 5:20 AM

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When you say fusca queen, do you mean fusca group queen? There is no Formica fusca in the U.S. (In case you don’t know what I mean by fusca group, it is the group of all related species. Ex. Formica subsericea is in the fusca group)

Edited by Kaelwizard, July 19 2020 - 5:24 AM.


#48 Offline Polyacanthus - Posted July 19 2020 - 9:55 AM

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Yes I mean group. Same with pallidefulva.
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#49 Offline Polyacanthus - Posted July 20 2020 - 7:50 PM

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The other day I attached a section of tubing to the test tube of the largest C. pennsylvanicus colony. They all seem really anxious to get out so I need to get going on some formicariums and outworlds for them! This was a test to see how they took it and to make it easier to attach to an outworld soon. I put in some loose cotton they had pulled off the cotton ball and then closed the end with some tough aquarium filter material as a vent. I left the test tube under the blanket in the dark with the tubing sticking out and they were quickly exploring the tube and trying to dig out the filter.

IMG_20200717_234413109~2_resize_12.jpg

The next morning they had moved the cotton into the test tube. It was much easier to feed them a little sugar water and superworm in the end of this tube since the workers ran straight back to the nest when I started messing with it instead of trying to run out.

A day later they decided the vinyl tube was the place to be.

IMG_20200720_223345558~2_resize_72.jpg

After this I thought I'd see if the early pallidefulva colony might want to move into a nice little grout formicarium I made for them. I also fed them at the end of the far tube so they had to walk through to get it. A day later I added a little outworld and they were exploring it as soon as I went back to check on them.

IMG_20200720_201326407_BURST001~2_resize_28.jpg

Here their tube is in the towel on the right, leading to the formicarium, leading to their outworld tub with the cotton ball vent. The formicarium was cast in the same kind of portion tub. Four of the chambers have holes into a hydration chamber below, blocked by fine stainless mesh similar to a tar heel setup. We'll see if they dig it.

Here they are in their tube for now with some buns in the oven.

IMG_20200720_222444706~3_resize_81.jpg

Edited by Polyacanthus, July 20 2020 - 7:52 PM.

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#50 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted July 21 2020 - 6:45 AM

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That’s a very cool nest design.
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#51 Offline Polyacanthus - Posted July 21 2020 - 2:17 PM

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Thanks, I'll post a build thread when I get around to it.

#52 Offline Polyacanthus - Posted May 2 2021 - 7:04 PM

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Updates since last summer: I had some dieoffs. No more feeding insects from outdoors. I thought I had caught them far enough from anywhere with pesticides but apparently not.

Also my tetramorium tubes dried out much faster than I had anticipated and I lost some colonies. Some of the queens survived despite their nanitics dying off, we'll see if they can rebound this year.

In September I caught several Crematogaster queens.

I wasn't able to acquire a mini fridge for diapause but I put everything in the basement near the floor where it was about 55F for a few months. I got them back out in march, put them in a warmer part of the basement for a week before bringing them upstairs. I lost a few queens but not too much. Most of the pennsylvanicus queens had some small larvae, especially those with nanitics still.

On February 6 it got pretty warm out and the Prenolepis imparis were out. I was able to collect 5 wingless queens. After reading they did better in polygenous colonies I put two in one tube and three in the other.

At this point the Crematogaster queens I collected last fall and the P. imparis queens have piles of eggs going. Most of the Formica queens have new brood piles going.

Here are the P. imparis
IMG_20210421_203831975~2_resize_86.jpg

And the Crematogaster
IMG_20210421_203954616~2_resize_95.jpg

Here is one of the pallidefulva from last year with a fresh batch of eggs
IMG_20210421_205124665_resize_68.jpg

And one of the fusca from last year with fresh eggs
IMG_20210421_205218185~2_resize_33.jpg

Pics were all from April 21.

Edited by Polyacanthus, May 2 2021 - 7:39 PM.

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#53 Online ANTdrew - Posted May 3 2021 - 2:35 AM

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Woah! You’re back!
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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.

#54 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted May 3 2021 - 5:45 AM

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Welcome back!



#55 Offline Polyacanthus - Posted May 4 2021 - 6:32 PM

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Despite some loss over the summer, the strongest pennsylvanicus colony that came out of diapause had 13 workers. My grout formicaria weren't a huge hit last year so this spring I ordered a TarHeelAnts mini hearth to try out. I put this colony of pennsylvanicus in there. I hooked the tube up and they moved in within an hour. They appear to be loving it and I think the constant supply of water and sugar water are really helping. Plus it's sooo much easier to feed them without the workers escaping all over the place. Not to mention the great view of the ants. I like it so much I ordered a 5 pack for some of my other colonies.

Here is a good pic I got a few days ago. One larva has pupated since then. Seems to be a healthy pile of eggs going.
IMG_20210429_191722809~2_resize_69.jpg
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#56 Offline ANTS_KL - Posted May 6 2021 - 2:41 AM

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I just found this journal and I love it!
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Young ant keeper with a decent amount of knowledge on local ant species.

YouTube: https://m.youtube.co...uKsahGliSH7EqOQ (It's pretty dead. Might upload again soon, don't expect my voice to sound the same though.)

Currently kept ant species, favorites have a star in front of their names (in alphabetical order, also may be outdated sometimes): â˜… Anochetus sp., â˜… Camponotus irritans inferior, â˜… Colobopsis leonardi, â˜… Crematogaster cf. ferrarii, Odontomachus simillimus, â˜… Ooceraea biroi, Pheidole parva, Tapinoma sp. (formerly Zatapinoma), â˜… Trichomyrmex destructor.

 

Death count: Probably over a hundred individual queens and colonies by now. I cannot recall whatsoever. 


#57 Offline Polyacanthus - Posted May 8 2021 - 7:42 PM

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Thanks!

The pennsylvanicus appear to be doing very well in the mini hearth. They have a few pupae now and quite the pile of eggs.

IMG_20210508_223538097~2_resize_66.jpg

And several of the fusca sp and pallidefulva sp have pupae already. All have good size larvae at least.

IMG_20210508_223341517_HDR~2_resize_57.jpg

Edited by Polyacanthus, August 10 2021 - 6:12 PM.

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#58 Offline Polyacanthus - Posted May 15 2021 - 8:48 PM

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I received the new mini hearths the other day and tonight connected one of the fusca sp. colonies to one, we'll see if they move in. She has three workers, 6 cocoons, and a couple new eggs.

The P. imparis have a ton of eggs and it looks like some larvae.

IMG_20210515_235814554~2_resize_68.jpg

The three Crematogaster queens all have a bunch of eggs but don't appear to have any larvae yet.

IMG_20210516_000458177~2_resize_63.jpg
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#59 Offline Polyacanthus - Posted May 23 2021 - 5:33 PM

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I'm not sure what's up with my pennsylvanicus but they're not doing so well. Since moving into the mini hearth she's lost half her workers. I'm open to suggestions. They have a pretty moldy garbage pile going on top of the water tower. I put some sand in the outworld for them to use to cover it up if they want. They haven't even touched the last piece of superworm I put in there for them. They've had a steady supply of fresh water and sugar water.

IMG_20210523_202820844_resize_63.jpg

IMG_20210523_202830176_resize_97.jpg

The fusca moved into the mini hearth within a day or so, they appear to be doing fine, just waiting on the next batch of workers.

IMG_20210523_202807584~2_resize_30.jpg

#60 Offline Polyacanthus - Posted May 23 2021 - 5:54 PM

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Right now I have a pallidefulva colony from last year with 10 workers hooked up to a mini hearth. It's been a few days and they are staying with the tube but its water reservoir is just about dry.

IMG_20210523_202640533~2_resize_46.jpg

Both tubes of imparis have a ton of eggs and larvae.

IMG_20210523_195402061_resize_86.jpg

The three Crematogaster queens all have a ton of eggs and appear to have some larvae finally. I had given them each a little drop of honey water.

IMG_20210523_194246338~2_resize_3.jpg

This past week it got up into the 80s for the first time. I was out looking for camponotus and ended up finding a fusca queen and a nearcticus queen in the afternoon. I've never seen nearcticus before so that was a cool find. She had one egg when I checked on her today.

IMG_20210523_195554022_resize_65.jpg

One afternoon last week I was just out observing the ant activity at lunch time and found a parasitic lasius. First of those I've seen, also out very early for the season I think.

Then last night was camponotus night, found 7 pennsylvanicus around the house within an hour.
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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: tapinoma sessile, formica pallidefulva, camponotus pennsylvanicus, prenolepis imparis, camponotus nearcticus, lasius aphidicola, crematogaster, formica subsericea, temnothorax, tetramorium immigrans

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