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OhNoNotAgain's Veromessor pergandei, andrei, and Novomessor cockerelli

veromessor pergandei veromessor pergandei harvester ant harvester ants beginner novomessor cockerelli

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#1 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted January 15 2020 - 2:33 PM

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Veromessors and Novomessors, oh my. (This opening entry updated several times, most recently October 2020.)

 

October 2020: Added Novomessor cockerelli on page 5

May 2020: Added Veromessor andrei on page 3

 

I became interested in Veromessor pergandei because I had been looking for ants that could be kept safely in a classroom:

  • relatively large and easy to see and not escape-prone,
  • easy to care for,
  • not totally carnivorous and able to eat something other than freshly killed bugs (in this case they are harvester ants and collect seeds),
  • active diurnally so it's not boring during the day,
  • doesn't require hibernation/diapause/brumination (since school years go right through the middle of winter), and
  • without nasty stinging or acid spraying.
  • Oh, and majors.

V. pergandei fits the bill pretty well. I wound up changing my mind about letting the school keep ant colonies with queens (after an incident with a house plant that let's just say didn't come out well), but I'm still intending to take in colonies to show to kids... just not having anyone but me take care of an actual queen.

 

And why Novomessor cockerelli?

A while ago I decided I didn't want Novomessors because they aren't as granivorous as Veromessors. But I had forgotten about this article:

https://pubmed.ncbi....h.gov/28311843/

  • "Early in the morning, before P. barbatus' activity period, N. cockerelli fills the nest entrances of P. barbatus with sand. ... Nest-plugging shifts the typical daily sequence of P. barbatus activities, including the onset of foraging, forward towards midday, when high temperatures force the colony back inside the nest"

How cool is that?

 

 

 

UPDATES

 

So I'm fond of Veromessor pergandei; they are easy to care for because

 

  • You can just feed them seeds and don't even HAVE TO provide sugar water (though they do like it).
  • They don't seem very photophobic. At least once a queen has workers, constant exposure to light doesn't seem to bother the colony. They have done well in test tubes in an outworld with no cover; they have done well in a Fallen Fortress with no red filter or opaque covering.
  • They do like heat but don't seem to NEED it badly (they did not go on spree of eating brood, unlike my fraggles)
  • They can move fast but not as blazingly fast as medium/large Camponotus
  • Possible minus: They grow explosively fast in the 2nd year. Oh. my. gosh. I learned that at max size in nature, they get 650 new workers EVERY DAY, and now I see this is the direction we are heading.

 

FOOD - based on my first Veromessor pergandei colony. Not including Derpymessor (VP2) because they had real issues

 

  • All the Veros I've had seem to appreciate freshly collected dandelion seed. The fluff can confuse them though.
  • Fresh organic poppy seeds from the spice aisle of the supermarket
  • Organic quinoa seeds
  • Organic amaranth seeds
  • Hemp hearts seem to be of some interest
  • Ground up flax seed seems to be of interest
  • Everyone else raves about untreated Kentucky blue grass seed so get some
  • Fruit flies
  • Cut up mealworms
  • Cut up flies
  • Cooked lamb, cooked shrimp
  • Gerber chicken baby food

--------

 

I believe both (VP1, VP2) queens were caught in southern California sometime in 2019, but in different locations.

 

2019.9.9 received Veromessor pergandei colony 1 (VP1). Queen and between 7-9 nanitics in a test tube. Sorry, I did not go and catch the queen myself.

 

2019.9.10 Test tube in a plastic box outworld. Did a little experiment. Gave all my colonies tiny mealworms. While it was healthy and kicking, the nanitics in the tube ignored the mealworm. There was just one gal attacking the mealworm in the outworld, with occasional help from a second ant who was more interested in finding a way out of the outworld. Finally super nanitic got it partially dead and dragged it back, and suddenly the other ants got interested after all her hard work. I later read that harvester ants don't lay down a trail for others to follow, as their food is unlikely to be in a clump that requires a lot of cooperation. Could explain the solo nature of the takedown.

 

I had ordered a heating cable but it hadn't arrived yet.

 

2019.9.13 Discovered they are better at climbing plastic than I thought. Lost 1-2 of the more exploratory nanitics. I used Vaseline to create a barrier in the outworld.

 

2019.9.26 One nanitic hauling in dandelion seeds to the test tube while another was pushing dandelion seeds out of the test tube as trash. The fluff is treated as trash while the seed was treated as food, so they were confused. Eventually they started cutting the fluff off, but even the stem on the seed was enough to cause some confusion. Also funny incident with an ant hauling seed into the tube: a bit of fluff blocked her from backing in correctly and she kept missing the entrance. She would think she was going into the tube and realize she wasn't, back up, try again, get bumped off-trajectory by the fluff, fail to go into the tube, back up, try again, repeat. I finally picked up the fluff.


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, October 14 2020 - 10:08 AM.

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Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#2 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted January 15 2020 - 2:39 PM

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2019.9.28ish I put Velcro on the test tube and in the outworld so the tube would stop rolling around.

 

2019.10.20ish I finally got a seedling heating mat with a thermostat and started warming the colonies. Broods across the board in almost all colonies start growing with more piles of eggs and larvae. Up til then there had been very slow growth, if any. Setting is about 90 degrees F or roughly 32.2 C, but because of the placement of the probe the mat may be getting a bit warmer - and likewise, because the colonies have some insulation against the heat due to their formicaria etc, they won't be getting the full effect.

 

NOTE: I did finally also get the heating cable, very delayed. I found it awkward and frustrating. Since it can't come within a couple inches of itself and the Amazon reviews are full of warnings about spontaneous combustion, plus it would be harder to hold a thermostat to it, I decided the seedling heating mat was indeed a better option for my situation where I have limited real estate. The heating mat plus thermostat combo works pretty well in my opinion.

 

I also later on started more regularly feeding cut up mealworms as the colonies grew. I tried frozen cricket but no one liked that. I also tried fruit flies but that was huge mess and many ants didn't even eat the fruit flies. Chicken wasn't very popular early on, either.

 

I did not try to bruminate/hibernate Veromessor as everyone tells me they don't need it.


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, January 15 2020 - 8:45 PM.

Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#3 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted January 15 2020 - 2:55 PM

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2020.1.3 V. pergandei (VP1) definitely getting less picky about food. They started collecting more seeds, especially amaranth and quinoa and a few that look like grass seeds.

 

2020.1.6 VP1. About 20 workers total. Their foragers (about 4-5 of them) have gone after both cooked shrimp and lamb, not just mealworm pieces. They also have shown interest in apple but completely ignored pear. I think they may even have picked up a few bits of fish flake.

I also downsized their outworld to a small 20cm long x 7cm wide x 8 cm tall plastic box with a Fluon barrier, to make room on the heating pad for new arrivals. Still plenty of room for seeds, mealworm bits, and an Ant Nectar feeder, and their trash pile. Their trash pile is confusing as it has whole usable seeds in it.

Their brood pile is decent given how small it used to be pre-heating-pad. It still doesn't compare with C. fragilis or Tetramorium, though.

Interestingly I am noticing the collected seeds do seem sorted ... amaranth are deeper in the test tube and quinoa are a bit further out.

 

2020.1.10 Second colony of V. pergandei (VP2) arrive in a brand new test tube, collected from different location. Queen is a bit larger and hairier, but workers are about the same size and same number (about 20). I set them up pretty much exactly the same as the other V. pergandei, right next to them on the same heat pad, but with olive oil barrier (in fact I lose a worker to the olive oil, oops). I don't see any brood but I think there are a couple larvae in retrospect. I THINK they weren't on heat previously since start of winter? That could explain the difference in brood size between VP1 and VP2.

 

Two Veromessor pergandei colonies

 

2020.1.12 VP2: I think I see 3 small larvae or eggs. But the workers are busy pulling cotton like mad. They aren't collecting food. They seem kind of disinterested in food.

 

2020.1.13 VP2: There's something in the cotton and I dig it up a bit, and find some seeds stuck in it. But the workers are still digging cotton. Still seeing just 3 very small larvae or eggs.

 

2020.1.15 VP2: I think I see 2 larger larvae that might've been hidden before, plus a cluster of about 6-8 small larvae or eggs. Everyone is still pulling cotton. They are going at it all the time. I'm getting a bit worried and try to forcibly move them to a new test tube. They are recalcitrant. The queen is clinging to the cotton and I can't whack her out. Eggs are scattered around. I've left them with the tubes taped together, vertically, with the light on the old tube. I don't know how else to move them. The workers keep hauling larvae back up from the new tube to the old tube, then falling down. The eggs or very young larvae are mostly ignored. EDIT: Got worried about the cotton plug falling out so I lay it horizontally, with red film over the new tube, and with LED plant lights shining on them to encourage them to move. Unfortunately they are used to light.

 

VP1: The ant nectar feeder apparently burped out a big blorple of sugar water, and I found a worker stuck in some. I somehow managed to free her with drops of water, a Q-tip, and tweezers, but she's a very sorry looking mess, missing parts of legs and I possibly injured her, too. Interestingly, when I put her at the tube entrance she was ignored by the foragers. Once I pushed her in range of the nursemaid workers, though, two immediately started to clean her. One then dragged her further into the test tube by one leg (she almost looked more dead than alive being dragged like that), and then three nursemaid workers started on her. I was concerned she might be dead but she seems to be still somewhat alive. We'll see what happens. I assume if she dies the corpse will wind up in the trash heap in the outworld (there's another worker corpse in there so there's precedent).


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, January 16 2020 - 11:36 AM.

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Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#4 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted January 16 2020 - 9:12 AM

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2020.1.16 VP2: The queen moved to the new tube and the brood is there, too, so I got them all into the new test tube and put them back into their plastic outworld. Howeverrrrr it appears I lost one or two more workers to that dratted olive oil. I have learned my lesson with olive oil: less is better. And I didn't even think I'd put much on, but over days gravity just drags it down and down until it's a hazard to foragers.

As for the cotton pulling - they're not pulling cotton in the new tube. I suspect the previous tube had two issues: (1) the seeds buried in it and (2) it wasn't wicking water very well, so the surface was relatively dry. (The seller had transferred them shortly before shipping.) The new tube they are in now is one of my plastic tubes, and I'm not fond of plastic overall, so at some point I might try moving them back to their old glass tube (with new cotton). But the cotton is very wet in this set up and they seem less frantic about the cotton. In fact not pulling it at all.

 

VP1: When I checked late yesterday there was no new ant corpse and I THINK I saw the injured worker hanging out in the test tube. I doubt she'll be able to forage again with her leg problems, but we'll see.

 

2020.1.17 VP2: A few of them cotton pulling AGAIN. Whyyyyyyy. The surface is a bit dry? Is that why???

(I did find one of my colonies was suffering badly from dehydration though. Poor little Tetramorium   :(  )

Gave VP2 and VP1 some chicken. VP2 sucked it dry then abandoned it, but then they still don't have much brood.


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, January 17 2020 - 9:12 PM.

Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#5 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted January 23 2020 - 2:10 PM

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2020.1.23 VP2: Oh man, poor guys. There were days of cotton pulling and I had to fix their cotton some more, but doing so half drowned some of the ants (I think they might have recovered by me doing an emergency paper towel move).

And their foragers keep meeting sticky ends. I found one in trouble today and picked her up and tossed her deep into the test tube (since it seems the nanny ants might be better at medical care), plugged the tube with cotton, then washed the whole outworld and redid the barrier in Fluon instead of olive oil. I also fed the colonies some defrosted shrimp. VP2 seems to have real problems bringing food back - I just do not understand why. If I forcibly stick food at the far end of the tube the queen and the nanny ants are interested in the food. But their foragers won't bring it to them on their own. So I put some shrimp in the depths of the tube and yup, the ants not responsible for foraging were interested. The ants responsible for foraging, not so much.

 

VP1: The foragers seem properly appreciative of shrimp. Their test tube is filling up with quinoa and amaranth seeds. They don't pull cotton (but it's so dirty and gross...). For being the same species they are sure behaving differently. Is it because VP1 has so much more brood than VP2? Or just genetics?


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, January 23 2020 - 2:24 PM.

Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#6 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted January 28 2020 - 9:10 PM

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2020.1.28 VP2: Today was their second and last excursion to school for some presentations to grades 1-3. Although they don't have a nice pile of brood unlike VP1, and they haven't collected seeds unlike VP1, their lack of stuff in their tube also meant they would survive a car trip better. Since they are in a nice new test tube, they were really easy for the kids to see. The kids got to see all the different ants, their different sizes, and the small black ant queen makes a good contrast with the humungous C. sansabeanus queen ("the Mean Queen").

 

I brought them home, gave them back their ant nectar, and gave them a bit of thawed frozen cricket that they (and all the other colonies) totally ignored. No one seems like frozen cricket....

 

In fact V1 took one whiff of cricket and hauled it to the trash pile.  :facepalm:


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, January 31 2020 - 7:58 PM.

Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#7 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted January 31 2020 - 7:55 PM

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2020.1.31

Nurbs lectured me on feeding Veromessor pergandei ONLY seeds, not bugs, not shrimp, not lamb. Also advised me to leave the heat off to simulate a cooler winter.

So in the spirit of trying that, I have left the heat off and today I picked a very fresh dandelion seed head out of the front lawn.

And AMAZINGLY V2 did their FIRST EVER seed harvesting of the dandelion seeds. I mentioned before how I had to shove protein deep into the tube for the queen and nursemaids to get any food (she liked it, even if the foragers never bothered to bring any in). Well this is the first time I've seen actual seeds IN the tube beyond like maybe one stray seed or something. I gave them dandelion seeds before but these were super fresh and I took off much of the fluff first (remembering how much trouble V1 had with fluff last year).

 

Comparison shot of V1's tube with the quinoa and amaranth collection (apparently sorted nicely).

 

V2 finally collects seeds
V1's sorted seed pile

Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#8 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted February 4 2020 - 1:31 PM

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2020.2.2 or 3

I took the byFormica ant nectar feeder out of V2's outworld after one more worker got stuck in it.

If I look at V1's ant nectar feeder, it's got seeds stuck in it, precipitating nectar leaks. V2 has fewer but that's still probably why.

Nurbs tells me that harvester ants don't need nectar and V2 is losing too many workers in various accidents.

I put in a feeder in containing just water. byFormica informs me on discord that adding a drop of ant nectar to the water helps ants find the water. Also they recommend the mega size feeder for water.

 

So about the worker that got stuck: I rescued her and dropped her into the tube. However, later in the day I see what looks like a corpse. I'm not sure it's the one that was stuck in the nectar or not, but it seems likely. One or two workers become obsessed with removing the dead ant, but for some reason it's tangled in the cotton (remember, V2 was cotton pulling like crazy, so there are strands sticking out). I think they finally were able to cut up the body into parts and take it out by February 4th - took them a full day or more.

 

However, there is YET ANOTHER dead V2 worker?! Just lying dead in the outworld, no obvious cause. Sheesh, V2. What is going on with you guys?

(And then I injure a worker trying to remove a corpse with tweezers ... I need a magnifying glass ... arghhhhhhh!)


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, February 4 2020 - 1:43 PM.

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Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#9 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted February 21 2020 - 5:41 PM

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2020.2.21 Just a few updates. 

I offered V2 a different test tube with moister cotton. These ants are typically still derpy and couldn't decide what to do. Sometimes a few workers moved to the new tube. Once in a while the queen went to the new tube, then went back. I got tired of them not deciding and finally a couple days ago dumped the workers out of the old tube in a time when the queen was in the new tube. I'm hoping they calm down and enjoy the moister cotton.

 

I still won't let V2 have sugar water. They will accidentally kill themselves in it.

 

V1 was hanging around their sugar water feeder a couple days ago. In fact one of them looked stuck in the sugar, but it turned out she was fine. V1 seems just generally more competent. They also have gathered up all the stray seeds and bits of trash outside their tube into one giant pile. A couple of them are busy trying to escape - I guess they are just getting old and getting Old Age Ant Wanderlust.

 

Today I got some organic shelled hemp seeds (the type designed for human consumption) and put some in both outworlds. Later I found a big pile in V1's tube and a few in V2's tube, which is pretty amazing for V2 because all they had in there is re-collected dandelion seeds that got dumped out in the tube move.

 

So Veros seem to be interested in shelled hemp seeds. (I figured as much as the article on harvester ants talks about how they have difficulty shelling seeds and prefer seeds sprouted.) Shelled hemp seeds are moist when sold in a sealed bag, and are supposed to be refrigerated after opening. We will see how the ants feel about dried shelled hemp seeds some other time, as I put aside some in an open jar.

 

EDIT: Later I discovered V2 (I'm thinking of calling them Derpymessor or Veromessor perganderp) lost ANOTHER worker for no apparent reason. Just lying there dead. Not even in a trash pile. Gah.


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, February 22 2020 - 1:15 PM.

Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#10 Offline JenC - Posted February 21 2020 - 5:42 PM

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You could try hemp hearts too. I've seen those around, but never felt like buying them.
Current Colonies:
1x Camponotus Vicinus (3 Workers)

Single Queens:
3x Camponotus Clarithorax
4x Camponotus Maritimus
5x Camponotus Ca02
7x Camponotus Sansabeanus
1x Myrmecocustus Testaceus
3x Prenolepis Imparis

#11 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted February 21 2020 - 5:53 PM

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You could try hemp hearts too. I've seen those around, but never felt like buying them.

Actually it's the same thing. Shelled hemp seeds = hemp hearts. (I just checked the bag to be sure that's what they are calling them.)

Good point on the terminology though.


Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#12 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted February 27 2020 - 9:16 PM

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2020.2.27 

 

1. Poppy seeds. WIN! People on Facebook were using poppy seeds for their harvester ants, so I found some organic poppy seeds (shopping note: in the spice aisle, not the bulk seeds aisle - that's why I couldn't find it before) and tried it. V1 picked some up pretty quickly. They now have a small pile between the quinoa and the amaranth in their test tube.

Even V2 (Derpymessor) picked up a few.

 

2. Fruit flies. Fail. I put a living fruit fly into V2's (Derpymessor) test tube. They eventually killed it and ... left it there, dead, in the test tube, like trash. Apparently they are slobs and can't even be bothered to take out the trash, either. (I haven't tried offering to V1.)


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Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#13 Online ANTdrew - Posted February 28 2020 - 3:24 AM

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My Tetras adore shelled hemp seeds, too. They also like sesame seeds I’ve chopped a bit to open up.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25   I <3 tiny ants


#14 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted February 28 2020 - 1:17 PM

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2020.2.28

I haven't tried sesame seeds yet (presumably non-roasted, ANTdrew?) but today I gave them some ground flax seed, and both colonies picked some up!


Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#15 Online ANTdrew - Posted February 28 2020 - 2:13 PM

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2020.2.28
I haven't tried sesame seeds yet (presumably non-roasted, ANTdrew?) but today I gave them some ground flax seed, and both colonies picked some up!

Yes, raw sesame seeds chopped up a bit.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25   I <3 tiny ants


#16 Offline AntsDakota - Posted February 28 2020 - 4:01 PM

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It seems many Myrmicinae are seed harvesters, no matter what percent of their diet they make up.

Edited by AntsDakota, February 28 2020 - 4:02 PM.

"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

 

Join our fledgling but growing AntsDakota Discord community! https://discord.gg/vkwjYzz

 

We're also excited about our new rising franchise: AntsDakota.com
 


#17 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted February 29 2020 - 10:33 PM

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2020.2.29

So today I was dishing out some fruit flies as my new inverts arrived in the mail. I did some of the work over the open outworld of Veromessor colony 1 (the large one), using the outworld like a bowl to catch falling fruit flies. Maybe half a dozen fruit flies fell into their outworld.

 

To my surprise, the workers figured out immediately what to do. The workers very quickly and efficiently killed the fruit flies and started EATING THEM IMMEDIATELY, then took them back to the test tube.

 

- fraggles chased around fruit flies, failed to kill most of them, and the foragers treat the dead ones like trash. (The nannies in the nest seem to eat them if I drop them in)

- Veromessor colony 2 killed and ignored the fruit fly, leaving it dead in the test tube

- C. sansabeanus go nuts and very inefficiently hunt fruit flies that wander into their nest, then leave them lying around

- only Tetramorium colony 1 seemed to kill them and take them home (I haven't seen it ... just noticed the flies are all gone after a while)

 

They might be a genius colony among my derpy colonies. (I'm kidding, but still, wow.)

Possible reason: Only Veromessor colony 1 and Tetramorium have large and growing broods.

But which is cause and which is effect?


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, February 29 2020 - 10:37 PM.

Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#18 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted March 2 2020 - 9:37 AM

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2020.3.2

So I had another fruit fly accident today. I was trying to feed my new inverts (spoods) and accidentally got wayyyy too many ff out of the bin.

Again, conveniently the two open outworlds of Veromessor are side by side so I did some work over their area and a bunch of flies fell in.

Vero1: FOOD! Search search attack attack grab grab kill kill drag drag.

Vero2: Oh look, some fruit flies are in our test tube. They are cute. Look at them hang out with us. Yawn. I'm going back to sleep now.

 

EDIT: I'm raising their heat mat to 75 F because Vero2 is ticking me off that much.

I'm trying to hold out until end of March before raising it further, since they went off heat late January.


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, March 2 2020 - 10:14 AM.

Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#19 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted March 7 2020 - 11:06 AM

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2020.3.7

 

V2 (Derpymessor): Another dead worker! Just lying dead in the outworld, no apparent cause. They are going to run out of workers.

I'm relocating them onto a high heat heating mat in an effort to save them. Last time they were on high heat the queen lay eggs and brood was developing, but that stopped when I turned off heat in January. Let's see if this works.

 

V1: Seems to be doing fine. Only thing is their test tube is running out of water. I'll have to make a decision on whether to just put in a new tube, or try moving them to a mini-hearth. They are doing so well in their setup I'm kind of loathe to move them.


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, March 7 2020 - 11:07 AM.

Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#20 Online OhNoNotAgain - Posted March 12 2020 - 8:16 PM

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2020.3.11

 

Finally tried the Gerber Chicken with Gravy baby food that I read about on this forum. Unlike other baby foods I've seen, the first ingredient is chicken (then water, then cornstarch). I tried giving it to all the colonies, but some colonies are more nocturnal. Veros are active during the day.

 

V1: Just like these guys figured out what to do with fruit flies, they actually figured out what to do with chicken baby food. I was amazed. I might call them "Smartymessor." Pic below. I was so excited because I've seen pics of other people's ants all gathered around a liquid, but my ants have never done it before. Yay, these Veros act like real actual ants.

 

V2 (Derpymessor): Just like these guys can't seem to get their act together (still no eggs despite being on heat... and pulling cotton again, never did figure out fruit flies were for eating ...) they sort of sniffed at it and didn't really do anything.

 

 

Attached Files


Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: veromessor pergandei, veromessor, pergandei, harvester ant, harvester ants, beginner, novomessor, cockerelli

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