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Becky's Myrmica sp [discontinued]

myrmica journal

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#1 Offline Becky - Posted September 8 2019 - 2:47 AM

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Myrmica sp

 

 

Basic information

 

Origin: Myrmica species can be found all over northern America, Europe, Asia and some parts of northern Africa.
The ecologically most relevant species Myrmica rubra can be found all across Europe and northern/central Asia. They have also been introduced to Canada and northern US states where they are invasive and a serious threat to native species.

 

Habitat: Mymrica species generally like average to high humidity. Habitats include warm meadows, wood clearings and bushes in urban, agricultural and undisturbend areas.

They are only absent in hot and dry zones with few plants. Some Myrmica species also forage on sandy plains near creeks or lakes.

In high grass meadows Myrmica rubra can be extremely dominant to the point where it is the only ant species present.

 

Colony form: polygynous (secondary), very aggressive and dominant
Colony size: up to 20.000 workers
Colony age: queens live for 3-4 years, colonies are theoretically immortal as new queens can be adopted each year, alates mating in the nest have been observed by several antkeepers
Founding: semiclaustral
Workers: monomorphic
Nesting sites: soil nests under stones usually in shadowy places, can build notable hills in high grass meadows
Feeding: Trophobiosis, Zoophagy (liquid sugars, arthropods and all sorts of animal products like cat food and meat)
Hibernation: Usually hibernation from October - March in the wild. Individual colonies may diverge.
Reproduction: Main nuptial flights from mid August to mid September, during morning and afternoon hours. Stray queens can often be found during the night and the following day's dawn.

 

 
 

Appearance / Coloration

Queen: 7-8mm dark red, gaster is usually brighter and more vibrant in color than the rest of the body


 
 
Appearance / Coloration
 
Workers: 5-7 mm, crimson red to dark red, gaster is usually brighter and more vibrant in color than the rest of the body, brighter (sometimes yellowish) spot at each front sides of the gaster
 

 

 

 
Behavior
 
Myrmica are very curious ants that are both active during day and night.
 
They react to disturbance (like taking off the lid) by sending out a few workers - this makes feeding them very easy as they will find the new food very quickly.
Bright light and breathing, things that typically send other ants into panic mode don't seem to bother them much.
 
Myrmica species are extremely effective recruiters, they can lead large groups of workers to a food source within less than a minute.
 
Founding colonies can be a bit shy but once they reached a few dozen workers they become very bold.
Large colonies are incredibly aggressive and can hold their ground even against other very dominant species like Lasius niger.
 
They can climb well on glass but don't seem to like walking upside down.
While not being racing ants like Lasius niger or Formica fusca they aren't slow at all and can be much faster than you'd expect.


Diet & Nutrition

Sugars
Any sugary liquids will do as long as they aren't too viscous.
My colony loves diluted maple syrup.

Protein
Myrmica in general aren't very picky and will eat pretty much anything of nutritious value, including shrimps, fish, cat food and other protein-rich stuff.
As Myrmica are tiny ants soft-bodied insects and squishy food is preferred.
 
Smaller colonies tend to be more choosy and only focus on the best items available.
My colony loves raw shrimps and fruit flies (except the 2-3 that always get rejected) more than anything else.


Development time

At around 24°C
Workers: 40 days
Egg - Larva: ~10 days
Larva - Pupa: ~15 days
Pupa - Worker: ~15 days
 

Antkeeping information

 

Recommended for beginners: Yes, but remember that the queen needs to be fed during founding and that the workers can sting (feels like nettles).
Temperature: Outworld: 18 - 30°C, Nesting area: 24-26°C.
Humidity: Outworld: Room humidity is fine, Mymrica do well in both dry and very moist outworlds.
Nest types: Sand-clay farm, gypsum, Ytong, acrylics and 3D-printed nests work well. The nest should have a decent humidity although contrary to popular claim Myrmica are actually fairly dry-restistent.
Formicarium size: Should fit the current colony size.
Formicaruim accessories: -
Substrate type: This species can walk well on most surfaces. Glass, vinyl tubing, acrylics, sand, clay and grout pose no issues. They can also climb vertical glass walls but don't really like do walk upside down for whatever reason.

 

Taxonomy

 

-Familia: Formicidae
--Subfamilia: Myrmicinae
---Tribus: Myrmicini
----Genus: Myrmica (Latreille, 1804)
-----Subgenus: -
------Species: ?


Event Index

First eggs

 

First larvae

 

First pupae

 

First worker

 

First move to a new tube

 

New outworld

 

New ant farm nest


Edited by Becky, June 29 2022 - 4:31 AM.

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#2 Offline Becky - Posted September 8 2019 - 2:53 AM

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August 20th

 
Hi!
 
Today I found this beautiful queen ant in my bathroom and spontaniously decided to become an antkeeper. My boyfriend has tried to get me excited about ants for 3 years now - and finally did it! :D
 
For now she is living in a test tube but in a few days she will get an acrylics box.
The tiny sweet tooth has already guzzled up a big drop of sugar water as you can see in my pictures.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is the future home for my ants. It still must dry before they can move in.

The design can still be improved but success comes with practice. :yes:

 

 


Edited by Becky, January 6 2020 - 9:51 AM.

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#3 Offline Becky - Posted September 8 2019 - 3:02 AM

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August 21st

 

The first home for my ants is completed. The port has been improved and fitted with a new tubing. Looks much nicer now.

 

 

 

 

 

As soon as the nest entrance was placed the queen quickly explored the new environment.

 

 

She seemed to feel a bit uneasy about it and quickly moved back into the tube.

 


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#4 Offline Becky - Posted September 8 2019 - 3:06 AM

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September 2nd

 

After two weeks she laid her first eggs! :)

 

 

The eggs are in the red circle.

 

 

Here she probably holds the eggs between her mandibles.

 

 


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#5 Offline Becky - Posted September 8 2019 - 3:10 AM

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September 8th

 

The family is growing! :)

 

 

 

The queen did feast on the fruit flies - she didn't leave much left (except some legs and a few undefineable shreds).


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#6 Offline Roy3 - Posted September 8 2019 - 3:31 AM

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Awesome. Good job. Thanks for sharing! :)

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
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#7 Offline FSTP - Posted September 8 2019 - 4:10 AM

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This is great, congratulations  on becoming an ant keeper! I'm sure you'll find it as interesting and rewarding as everyone here on the forum does.


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#8 Offline Vee - Posted September 8 2019 - 8:39 PM

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Is hapen to you like it hapen to Me now I have the Bug and so do You!

Good Luck and have so relaxing Fun


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#9 Offline Becky - Posted September 13 2019 - 4:24 AM

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She keeps eating fruit flies and laid more eggs :)

She is very relaxed and didn't mind when I took pictures.

One of the eggs near the cotton might even be a small larva but it's really hard to tell.

 


Edited by Becky, September 13 2019 - 4:36 AM.

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#10 Offline Becky - Posted September 15 2019 - 12:39 AM

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Yesterday after the light was turned off she came out of her tube to drink some sugar water.

I hope this means that she has her first lavae but I didn't want to look into the tube and disturb her. (y)

 

Be excited for more news soon! :D

 

 


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#11 Offline AntsDakota - Posted September 15 2019 - 10:34 AM

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You gotta love Myrmica:D


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"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#12 Offline Becky - Posted September 18 2019 - 9:41 AM

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That was fast - she has her first larvae! :o

 

They are pretty big, too. No wonder she has eaten more fruit flies recently. :yes:


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#13 Offline Becky - Posted September 21 2019 - 8:34 AM

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After she had taken five fruit flies into her tube yesterday evening I couldn't contain my curiosity and quickly looked into the tube.

To my surprise the larvae had grown a lot over the last three days. :blink:

 

 

Now I will leave them alone until the weekend - this time for real! :rolleyes:


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#14 Offline Becky - Posted September 27 2019 - 4:36 AM

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The larvae are growing and some of them are looking as they are about to pupate. :)

 

 


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#15 Offline Becky - Posted October 2 2019 - 12:41 PM

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She has her first pupae! (y)




She got eight fruit flies and she carried them into the tube within a few minutes. :o


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#16 Offline Becky - Posted October 8 2019 - 12:28 PM

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The pupae are developing, they almost look like ants now. <3

 

 

 

I expect 5-7 workers to be born within the next 2 weeks. Some pupae already have eyes. :)

 


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#17 Offline Becky - Posted October 11 2019 - 1:54 AM

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Three of my pupae have a golden colour now and should become ants soon.

Two or three more are still white but they are developing fast. :)

 

 

I offered her shreds of mealworm(s) but she didn't eat them.

Now she got red mosquito larvae and some wet cat food. I'm excited whether she likes it or not. :D

Fruit flies will be back on the table next week.


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#18 Offline Becky - Posted October 13 2019 - 4:56 AM

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As you can see the tube got very dirty and there's not much water left either. :ehh: :bad:

So they will have to move into a new tube soon.

 

 

 

 

I couldn't resist my curiosity and looked into the tube again - AAAAAND... tadaa, we got our FIRST WORKER! :yahoo: :shout: :party:

She still seems to be a bit wonky on her feet and very pale in color, she's likely just a few hours old.

There will be 2-3 more workers joining within the 2-3 days as their pupae are already very vibrant in color.

 

 

 


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#19 Online ANTdrew - Posted October 13 2019 - 9:04 AM

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Awesome, congrats!
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#20 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted October 13 2019 - 10:11 AM

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Awesome, congrats!


Yeah, how big are the ants/ queen?

There is a important time for everything, important place for everyone, an important person for everybody, and an important ant for each and every ant keeper and myrmecologist alike






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