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Aaron's Crematogaster minutissima Journal (Updated 6/29/20)

crematogaster missouriensis minutissima journal

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#1 Offline Aaron567 - Posted September 15 2019 - 5:23 PM

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Crematogaster minutissima

 

Crematogaster minutissima is a small, yellow species found in most southern US states and further south into Mexico. C. minutissima is highly polygynous and some antkeepers have observed the alates in their colonies having "nuptial flights" inside the outworld and mated females returning back to the nest as new egg-laying queens. They produce a caste of larger "intermediate" workers that lay trophic eggs which are fed to the larvae and queens.

 

On July 8, 2019, I received two of these queens from SuperFrank. They were in the same test tube and had a few eggs that had been scattered around. Their test tube had sand in it, so it was hard to see much. A few weeks went by and I could no longer see any eggs so I just assumed they failed at founding and were basically doomed.

 

After I stopped seeing their eggs and the queens buried themselves into the sand, I stopped checking on them because I did not expect anything to come from it. Today I decided to check and see if they were still alive, and I was surprised to see a single worker running around in there with them inside a chamber in the sand. I dumped the sand out of their tube and moved them into a new tube. Both queens are still alive, and they have just one worker and one pupa. I quickly gave them some sugar/syrup water because I haven't fed them in the 2.5 months that I've had them.

 

 

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Edited by Aaron567, June 29 2020 - 3:58 PM.

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#2 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 16 2019 - 4:38 PM

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Cool!

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


#3 Offline Antennal_Scrobe - Posted September 28 2019 - 6:51 AM

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Update?


Currently keeping:

 

Tetramorium immigrans, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis

Myrmica punctiventris, Camponotus nearcticus

Formica pallidefulva

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Lasius brevicornis

Crematogaster cerasi

Temnothorax ambiguus

Prenolepis imparis


#4 Offline FeedTheAnts - Posted September 28 2019 - 7:07 AM

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Awesome! Two years ago I had a wild collected colony of these. I lived on a large piece of land and located colonies of both the polygynous and non-polygynous species. It took a while but I was able to tell the two species apart by their very few physic differences. My colony had around 15 queens and 250 workers, all collected from about 7 separate wild colonies. And yes, when I tried to introduce C. missouriensis ​queens to the setup then they were always killed.

Although they are typically seen foraging right at sunset and into the night, my colony was entirely diurnal. By far the most fascinating thing about these ants is how synchronized their movements are. They look like water when they walk together in large groups. You'll see what I mean once your colony gets larger.


Edited by FeedTheAnts, September 28 2019 - 7:08 AM.

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Colonies:                                                                      Founding queens:

Crematogaster ashmeadi -- 2500 workers             Colobopsis sp -- 3 queens  

Camponotus chromaiodes -- 100 workers             Solenopsis (not "fire ant") sp --4 queens

Formica pallidefulva -- 60 workers                     Pheidole sp -- 2 queens

                                                                                    Tetramorium sp -- 1 queen


#5 Offline Aaron567 - Posted September 28 2019 - 10:48 AM

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Update?

 

The second worker has eclosed and there is a nice batch of eggs now.


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#6 Offline Aaron567 - Posted October 12 2019 - 4:54 PM

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October 12, 2019

 

Some eggs are starting to hatch. One thing rather remarkable about this species is the size of the eggs relative to the ants themselves. For how tiny these ants are, their eggs are huge. Yet, they still manage to pump out a decent amount.

 

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#7 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted October 12 2019 - 7:30 PM

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Looks like you can see the eggs inside the queens!

#8 Offline Aaron567 - Posted October 12 2019 - 7:40 PM

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Looks like you can see the eggs inside the queens!

 

I don't think they're eggs, as the workers have those little white spots too. Not sure what they are though.


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#9 Offline Antennal_Scrobe - Posted October 13 2019 - 4:12 AM

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I think those are just markings. You can see them on every ant in every picture. Cool.


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Currently keeping:

 

Tetramorium immigrans, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis

Myrmica punctiventris, Camponotus nearcticus

Formica pallidefulva

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Lasius brevicornis

Crematogaster cerasi

Temnothorax ambiguus

Prenolepis imparis


#10 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted November 8 2019 - 5:06 AM

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Any updates?

#11 Offline Ant_Dude2908 - Posted March 22 2020 - 9:10 PM

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Update?

#12 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted March 23 2020 - 9:35 AM

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By the way, these are C. minutissima. For one, missouriensis is not known to be polygynous, being strictly monogynous. In addition to that, missouriensis has a distinctly granulate mesosoma.


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Spoiler

#13 Offline Aaron567 - Posted June 1 2020 - 11:38 AM

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June 1, 2020

 

In the early morning of May 28, a few days ago, I found several Crematogaster minutissima queens on my own for the first time. Of the 8 queens I found that morning, 3 of them were noticeably smaller than the other 5. I wondered if I could have both minutissima and missouriensis, but I think a true missouriensis queen would be larger and look more distinct, so I am considering it to be size variation within minutissima.

 

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Here is the progress of the 6-queen group (I added another queen that I found yesterday while in the woods). The 3-queen group, not pictured, does not have any eggs yet but two of the queens have shed their wings.

Look at those giant eggs!

 

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#14 Offline ponerinecat - Posted June 1 2020 - 12:12 PM

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Lovely pictures as always.


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#15 Offline Canadant - Posted June 2 2020 - 12:22 PM

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Those are gorgeous ants! Great pics and appreciate the journal. Thanks.
"You don't get what you want. You get what you deserve".

#16 Offline Aaron567 - Posted June 14 2020 - 3:59 PM

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June 14, 2020

 

I've been catching more Crematogaster minutissima queens, but for this journal I will only be closely following the progress of two groups, each with 6 queens. One group, the group with the larger queens, which were pictured in the last update, and another group of smaller queens which had only 3 queens in the last update but now has 6 as I have caught more. 

 

Here is the first group from the last update. Only 1 out of the 6 queens are dealated, and their first larvae have begun to hatch. I am still not certain that these larger queens are actually minutissima, because they are clearly larger than the queens in the other group and even appear to have larger eggs than them.

 

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Here is the second group of queens, all 6 of which are wingless now. They have a sizable batch of eggs. 

 

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#17 Offline Aaron567 - Posted June 23 2020 - 5:39 PM

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June 23, 2020

 

The first queen group has a few pupae now.

 

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The group of smaller queens only has eggs still. :( I don't know why it's taking so long.

 

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#18 Offline AntsDakota - Posted June 23 2020 - 7:10 PM

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They have the beauty of orange/yellow Lasius, and the cuteness of Crematogaster.
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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 versionCurrently Keeping: Aphaenogaster picea, Aphaenogaster rudis, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, Formica subsericea, Lasius americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Myrmica sp., Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, Ponera pennsylvanica ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________My Journal__________________________________________________________________________________________<p>Attention South Dakotans! Join us on The SoDAK (Society of Dakotan Ant Keepers)

#19 Offline Aaron567 - Posted June 29 2020 - 4:01 PM

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June 29, 2020

 

First workers for the group of large queens.

 

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The group of small queens still only has eggs. I'm getting worried there's something wrong with them.

 

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