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Formcoidea's Myrmecia journal!

alexaplzplaydespaceto interesting? australian aus ants

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#1 Offline Formicoidea - Posted September 16 2019 - 5:15 AM

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Sooo...
on the 31st March, 2019, by sheer luck I found a Myrmecia queen!
I quickly set her up in a tubs and tubes set up, and within a few weeks, she laid eggs!
 
The waiting game started. I made sure to keep her fed with honey and insects, even though her carnivorous larvae had not yet hatched.
eventually it paid off, and all the eggs developed into larvae. 
The awesome thing was the sheer numbers. From what I have seen of other's colonies most queens lay 2-3 eggs in the initial stage... Nope... This queen of mine had managed to raise 7 larvae all at once!
 
Once again I waited, making sure that there was always some protein in the set-up.
As winter set in it became a little bit more difficult to collect insects from around the house, as such I went to the local pet store and bought some crickets.
Unfortunately, this is where I ran into some trouble.
 
I noticed one day, that the queen hadn't accepted the crickety gift from above, instead she had dragged the entire thing to her waste corner. What's more, lying besides it was a little larvae. 
The most concerning thing wasn't the dead larvae, it was the fact that it was purple!!
 
Over the next couple of week I notice that another larvae has been abandoned, this one not purple.
And then another one, that was still alive! But moved out of the nest and into the trash pile.
 
I went away for a few days (I had someone caring for them while this was happening), and when I came back I saw 2 dead larvae!
until this point I had tried to boil the crickets longer before feeding them, and tied to keep the enclosure clean, but these new deaths really spurred me into action.
 
I had/have a few ideas about what might be killing of the larvae.
Firstly, I thought is could be a parasite from the crickets... but I had been careful.
I then thought it might be not enough substrate to cover the larvae (if they fail to spin a cocoon they are killed.)
 
I revamped their setup.
 
I added a huge amount more sand (substrate) and I added a constant source of sugar water, which I didn't have before.
watching how greedily the queen drank the sugar water, I suddenly had the thought that the larval slaughter might be due to dehydration, I don't know if that is even possible...
regardless, that's my third guess.
 
Anyway, I will have too see how it all shapes up, I will keep you all posted. 
 
In the meantime, look at these purple larvae.
JfdaNwI.jpg
yes, i also think that the larger one is turning purple...
 
Also the Queen  :D
lOUMSdb.jpg
M8KFqjN.jpg
and yes. She does have mandibles... She just forgot to smile for the camera...

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Current Queens/Colonies:

- Iridomyrmex Bicknelli                          - Iridomyrmex Sp. (x2)

- Camponotus Consobrinus                - Camponotus Sp.

- Myrmecia Sp.                                        - Rhytidoponera Metallica

- Rhytidoponera victoriae                       - Notoncus Sp. (x2)

- Anonychomyrma Cf. Froggatti (x6)


#2 Offline AntsDakota - Posted September 16 2019 - 12:17 PM

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Perhaps she abandoned them because she couldn't handle seven larvae at once. Although most queens just eat them....


"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


#3 Offline Formicoidea - Posted September 17 2019 - 5:40 PM

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Perhaps she abandoned them because she couldn't handle seven larvae at once. Although most queens just eat them....

 

Definitely a possibility, and most of the larvae would be too big to be consumed (solely by the queen).

I only wonder why the queen would lay more eggs then she was capable of caring for, and the only real caring she has to do is cleaning them and putting food in front of them (they eat it by themselves, which is really cool to see).


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Current Queens/Colonies:

- Iridomyrmex Bicknelli                          - Iridomyrmex Sp. (x2)

- Camponotus Consobrinus                - Camponotus Sp.

- Myrmecia Sp.                                        - Rhytidoponera Metallica

- Rhytidoponera victoriae                       - Notoncus Sp. (x2)

- Anonychomyrma Cf. Froggatti (x6)


#4 Offline Formicoidea - Posted September 29 2019 - 2:48 AM

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29/09/2019:

 

Before I get into the events of the interlude, here's a nice picture of the queen. 

AdYgKHB.jpg

 

so...

In between these posts??

Two more larvae have died, leaving a grand total of one.

The deaths of those two larvae have left me in even more confusion as to the cause. 

The first of the two did not have any marks on it, signifying that it very well could have been disease. 

The second was chewed, it had been bitten all over and its head was crushed. 

 

Thankfully, one is still alive.

On the other hand, the queen has not been accepting any of the food i provide.  

i think all i can do now i keep providing food and hope for the best.


Current Queens/Colonies:

- Iridomyrmex Bicknelli                          - Iridomyrmex Sp. (x2)

- Camponotus Consobrinus                - Camponotus Sp.

- Myrmecia Sp.                                        - Rhytidoponera Metallica

- Rhytidoponera victoriae                       - Notoncus Sp. (x2)

- Anonychomyrma Cf. Froggatti (x6)


#5 Offline Formicoidea - Posted October 21 2019 - 1:56 PM

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22/10/2019:

 

It's been almost a month since i posted an update to this journal. So it's kinda overdue.

 

Firstly, the last larvae died. Pretty annoying. I've still got no idea why she 'disposed' of it, i am considering them failing to spin a cocoon, but they seemed a bit small for that.

 

It was very interesting watching how her behavior changed after she lost her last brood. She became very active, out of her nest most times i went to check on her and she started climbing onto the top of the test-tube, something i had never seen her do before.

 

I noticed she has been less active recently. As such i decided to check on her. 

Hey! Eggs!

There's about 5 (i didn't want to disturb her for long, so i didn't count).

Hopefully she can raise at least one worker from that.


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Current Queens/Colonies:

- Iridomyrmex Bicknelli                          - Iridomyrmex Sp. (x2)

- Camponotus Consobrinus                - Camponotus Sp.

- Myrmecia Sp.                                        - Rhytidoponera Metallica

- Rhytidoponera victoriae                       - Notoncus Sp. (x2)

- Anonychomyrma Cf. Froggatti (x6)


#6 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted October 21 2019 - 2:10 PM

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22/10/2019:

 

It's been almost a month since i posted an update to this journal. So it's kinda overdue.

 

Firstly, the last larvae died. Pretty annoying. I've still got no idea why she 'disposed' of it, i am considering them failing to spin a cocoon, but they seemed a bit small for that.

 

It was very interesting watching how her behavior changed after she lost her last brood. She became very active, out of her nest most times i went to check on her and she started climbing onto the top of the test-tube, something i had never seen her do before.

 

I noticed she has been less active recently. As such i decided to check on her. 

Hey! Eggs!

There's about 5 (i didn't want to disturb her for long, so i didn't count).

Hopefully she can raise at least one worker from that.

one could only hope...


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


#7 Offline Formicoidea - Posted October 22 2019 - 2:52 PM

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22/10/2019:

 

It's been almost a month since i posted an update to this journal. So it's kinda overdue.

 

Firstly, the last larvae died. Pretty annoying. I've still got no idea why she 'disposed' of it, i am considering them failing to spin a cocoon, but they seemed a bit small for that.

 

It was very interesting watching how her behavior changed after she lost her last brood. She became very active, out of her nest most times i went to check on her and she started climbing onto the top of the test-tube, something i had never seen her do before.

 

I noticed she has been less active recently. As such i decided to check on her. 

Hey! Eggs!

There's about 5 (i didn't want to disturb her for long, so i didn't count).

Hopefully she can raise at least one worker from that.

one could only hope...

 

Yep...


Current Queens/Colonies:

- Iridomyrmex Bicknelli                          - Iridomyrmex Sp. (x2)

- Camponotus Consobrinus                - Camponotus Sp.

- Myrmecia Sp.                                        - Rhytidoponera Metallica

- Rhytidoponera victoriae                       - Notoncus Sp. (x2)

- Anonychomyrma Cf. Froggatti (x6)


#8 Offline Formicoidea - Posted October 27 2019 - 11:16 PM

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So!

 

I checked up just recently, with the intent to count her eggs.

 

I opened it up and I instantly noticed there were more eggs.

 

13! In total!

 

This is really great. I am not sure if she will be able to care of all of them, lets see how it plays out...


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Current Queens/Colonies:

- Iridomyrmex Bicknelli                          - Iridomyrmex Sp. (x2)

- Camponotus Consobrinus                - Camponotus Sp.

- Myrmecia Sp.                                        - Rhytidoponera Metallica

- Rhytidoponera victoriae                       - Notoncus Sp. (x2)

- Anonychomyrma Cf. Froggatti (x6)


#9 Offline Formicoidea - Posted November 19 2019 - 4:05 AM

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Hmmmm.
It's been a while...

So, as i posted on my Rhytidoponera journal I fed my ants flies today.
Unfortunalty these flies were infested with maggots.
While I was completely aware of the maggots for some reason I didn't think to look at the Myrmecia's setup and check what was happening with the maggots there.

My my. It was like looking into a post apocalyptic ant test tube. Somehow (I suspect fly juice), at somepoint between the last time i checked (a couple of days ago) and now, the sand in the test tube had become contaminated with dirty liquid.

What was worse was the fly. The maggots had, instead of being squished out, realised their host/mother was dead and buried into her flesh, creating a soppy black mess within a couple of hours.

Ewwwwwwww.

I removed the fly and most of the maggots.
But.
I'm not sure if the maggots that remain will cause problems for the eggs. I know the queen can't effectively deal with them, I watched her spot them and lash out, not being able to effectively do damage due to the shape of her jaws.
It's worrisome. Should I be worried though?

Current Queens/Colonies:

- Iridomyrmex Bicknelli                          - Iridomyrmex Sp. (x2)

- Camponotus Consobrinus                - Camponotus Sp.

- Myrmecia Sp.                                        - Rhytidoponera Metallica

- Rhytidoponera victoriae                       - Notoncus Sp. (x2)

- Anonychomyrma Cf. Froggatti (x6)


#10 Offline ANTdrew - Posted November 19 2019 - 10:11 AM

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That sounds really nasty and unpleasant. I hope they don't cause any harm to the brood. In the future, definitely freeze all insects before feeding them to your ants.


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

#11 Offline Kalidas - Posted November 19 2019 - 5:57 PM

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Maybe you should see if she will change test tubes? Like get her a new fresh test tube make it dark and add light to the old one and hope she moves along with the eggs? I'm worried those maggots will try and eat the eggs. Plus maybe there was something wrong in that test tube that could have lead to the brood deaths?

#12 Offline Formicoidea - Posted November 19 2019 - 7:43 PM

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Maybe you should see if she will change test tubes? Like get her a new fresh test tube make it dark and add light to the old one and hope she moves along with the eggs? I'm worried those maggots will try and eat the eggs. Plus maybe there was something wrong in that test tube that could have lead to the brood deaths?

 

Not sure about the brood deaths, but i really like the idea. I think i will do that later today.


Current Queens/Colonies:

- Iridomyrmex Bicknelli                          - Iridomyrmex Sp. (x2)

- Camponotus Consobrinus                - Camponotus Sp.

- Myrmecia Sp.                                        - Rhytidoponera Metallica

- Rhytidoponera victoriae                       - Notoncus Sp. (x2)

- Anonychomyrma Cf. Froggatti (x6)


#13 Offline Formicoidea - Posted November 19 2019 - 11:15 PM

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So i have done as Kalidas suggested.

Also.

It seems my worry was not needed, as when i checked on the queen there were no maggots crawling around and she had a carcass of one speared on her jaws.

I'm just hoping the sudden change of her environment's appearance (Myrmecia navigate using sight) doesn't cause her to panic and eat her brood. Doubt it though.


Current Queens/Colonies:

- Iridomyrmex Bicknelli                          - Iridomyrmex Sp. (x2)

- Camponotus Consobrinus                - Camponotus Sp.

- Myrmecia Sp.                                        - Rhytidoponera Metallica

- Rhytidoponera victoriae                       - Notoncus Sp. (x2)

- Anonychomyrma Cf. Froggatti (x6)


#14 Offline Formicoidea - Posted November 25 2019 - 11:41 PM

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good and bad news.

good news?

Lots of the eggs have hatched into larvae.

bad news?

We are now down to 9 eggs/larvae.

 

I really have no idea why many have died. I am going to put it down to the maggots, which hopefully means no more should die.

 

My main goal now is to make sure the larvae are being fed and growing as fast as possible.

(which is going to be soo easy now that i am going away on a trip for 2 weeks...)


Edited by Formicoidea, November 25 2019 - 11:44 PM.

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Current Queens/Colonies:

- Iridomyrmex Bicknelli                          - Iridomyrmex Sp. (x2)

- Camponotus Consobrinus                - Camponotus Sp.

- Myrmecia Sp.                                        - Rhytidoponera Metallica

- Rhytidoponera victoriae                       - Notoncus Sp. (x2)

- Anonychomyrma Cf. Froggatti (x6)


#15 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted November 26 2019 - 6:10 AM

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Most of the eggs laid by a founding queen are un-fertilized trophic eggs, whose sole purpose is to feed the developing larvae once they arrive. If one of those trophic eggs makes it to larvae, it will be killed and fed to the queen and/or larvae. That's why there's more eggs when she lays them, then there's only like 5 larvae out of the 10 original eggs. It's completely normal, and no need to worry.

#16 Offline AntsDakota - Posted November 27 2019 - 10:09 AM

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Most of the eggs laid by a founding queen are un-fertilized trophic eggs, whose sole purpose is to feed the developing larvae once they arrive. If one of those trophic eggs makes it to larvae, it will be killed and fed to the queen and/or larvae. That's why there's more eggs when she lays them, then there's only like 5 larvae out of the 10 original eggs. It's completely normal, and no need to worry.

What is the point of this? Does the queen use less energy this way than directly feeding them, or do the larvae somehow benefit from it?


"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


#17 Offline Formicoidea - Posted December 9 2019 - 3:33 PM

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I'm back!

and that means its update time for all my colonies!

 

so.

Not the best news on the Myrmecia front.

We are down to 4 larvae, they are definitely growing though. they look pretty healthy, two are a little bit purple on the inside (which is strange) but they are alive and still wriggling.

here are some nicer photos of the lass.

 

iz7sMpX.jpg

 

YxMFX3D.jpg


Current Queens/Colonies:

- Iridomyrmex Bicknelli                          - Iridomyrmex Sp. (x2)

- Camponotus Consobrinus                - Camponotus Sp.

- Myrmecia Sp.                                        - Rhytidoponera Metallica

- Rhytidoponera victoriae                       - Notoncus Sp. (x2)

- Anonychomyrma Cf. Froggatti (x6)


#18 Offline Formicoidea - Posted December 9 2019 - 3:34 PM

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Most of the eggs laid by a founding queen are un-fertilized trophic eggs, whose sole purpose is to feed the developing larvae once they arrive. If one of those trophic eggs makes it to larvae, it will be killed and fed to the queen and/or larvae. That's why there's more eggs when she lays them, then there's only like 5 larvae out of the 10 original eggs. It's completely normal, and no need to worry.

What is the point of this? Does the queen use less energy this way than directly feeding them, or do the larvae somehow benefit from it?

 

 

these larvae are carnivorous and actually eat by themselves rather than be directly fed, so it might make it easier to feed them with trophy eggs. 


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Current Queens/Colonies:

- Iridomyrmex Bicknelli                          - Iridomyrmex Sp. (x2)

- Camponotus Consobrinus                - Camponotus Sp.

- Myrmecia Sp.                                        - Rhytidoponera Metallica

- Rhytidoponera victoriae                       - Notoncus Sp. (x2)

- Anonychomyrma Cf. Froggatti (x6)


#19 Offline Antennal_Scrobe - Posted December 10 2019 - 1:17 PM

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I'm back!

and that means its update time for all my colonies!

 

so.

Not the best news on the Myrmecia front.

We are down to 4 larvae, they are definitely growing though. they look pretty healthy, two are a little bit purple on the inside (which is strange) but they are alive and still wriggling.

here are some nicer photos of the lass.

 

iz7sMpX.jpg

 

YxMFX3D.jpg

That's still 4 more Myrmecia larvae than I have! The purple color inside the bodies of the larvae is the food that they ate, which will stay there until they pupate.


Currently keeping:

 

Tetramorium immigrans, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis

Myrmica punctiventris, Formica subsericea

Formica pallidefulva, Aphaeogaster cf. rudis

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus nearcticus

Crematogaster cerasi

Temnothorax ambiguus

Prenolepis imparis


#20 Offline Formicoidea - Posted January 13 2020 - 2:05 AM

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i am back from my holiday!

 

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Of course, i am posting an update on my Myrmecia Queen.

 

While i was away i left my queens in the care of my brother's friend's brother... yeesh. (shows how much passion my personal friends have for ants).

He did a great job, considering that it was his first time looking after ants (and he's pretty young).

 

However, that does not mean its all hunky-Dorymyrmex.

The Queen survived but her larvae did not. TBH i did expect that they would not pull through, she has become extremely food-fussy recently and without pretty dedicated care she won't accept anything.

It also didn't help that they had to evacuate due to the bushfires...

 

I re-sanded her enclosure as there were loads of carcasses and the sugar water had spilt into the sand. While i was doing this she was camping out in the new test-tube, seems like she has moved in. Some good came from it.


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Current Queens/Colonies:

- Iridomyrmex Bicknelli                          - Iridomyrmex Sp. (x2)

- Camponotus Consobrinus                - Camponotus Sp.

- Myrmecia Sp.                                        - Rhytidoponera Metallica

- Rhytidoponera victoriae                       - Notoncus Sp. (x2)

- Anonychomyrma Cf. Froggatti (x6)






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