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Melophorus sp queens… I think!


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#1 Offline justanotheramy - Posted January 23 2020 - 9:43 PM

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Back at the end of October, my daughter and I captured 6 little queens from the many dashing about trying to find a good spot to burrow in the sand between the bricks on our driveway.

5 survived the experience; kiddo is only 7 and a bit… pinchy…
Pictured is one of the casualties + one who revived.

I have 4 of them in test tubes in the red perspex test tube holder (from Ants Everything), and for one of those I'm trying the Tar Heel Ants test tube insert (via Ant Keeping Depot). Number 5 is in the little AntKit AntHome founding formicarium (also from AKD).

 

It was suggested to me that based on my terrible photo they were probably some sort of Melophorus sp.
Having googled better photos for comparison with our captive girls and with ants that are common in our yard this seems likely.

I'm pretty happy with the red test tube holder! For only $15 my ants are comfy and I can watch them, and it seem pretty sturdy so it should get a decent amount of use.

The queen in the founding formicarium hasn't laid :( — I didn't plug up the entrance to her tube until recently, so it's possible her chamber just didn't build up enough humidity for her liking? I feel like I've let her down.

The queen with the tube insert is one of the 2 most productive — her competition is a queen with a few pinches of sand in her tube. Both have about 8 or 9 brood of various sizes.

Runner up has about 5, and then there's one who still seems to just have a small pile of eggs.

My question is… once their brood… ants… how quickly do I need to get them into an outworld? What do they need from me? Protein? Sugar? Water?

These are the first queens we've captured, so it's all new!

Attached Files


Edited by justanotheramy, January 23 2020 - 9:44 PM.

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#2 Offline ponerinecat - Posted January 23 2020 - 9:56 PM

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Yep, Melophorous.


You should put the formicarium queen into a tube, a full blown nest may be too large for her liking. Especially with such a small species.


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#3 Offline justanotheramy - Posted January 23 2020 - 10:21 PM

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The formicarium queen is in a tube — it's just attached to an outworld.
https://www.antkeepi...ntkit-anthome-2

It's probably too late for her, after 3 months?



#4 Offline Manitobant - Posted January 24 2020 - 11:24 AM

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The formicarium queen is in a tube — it's just attached to an outworld.
https://www.antkeepi...ntkit-anthome-2
It's probably too late for her, after 3 months?

melophorus grow extremely slowly so maybe not.

#5 Offline justanotheramy - Posted January 24 2020 - 8:55 PM

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Okay, I've moved her to a new tube, same setup as the others, but with her sand from the old tube.
Gave her a few snacks (a drop of ant nectar and a small slice of mealworm) that I'll remove in a few hours.

Wondering if doing a brood raid on a wild nest for her would give her a little boost to make up for lost time?



#6 Offline ponerinecat - Posted January 24 2020 - 8:59 PM

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Okay, I've moved her to a new tube, same setup as the others, but with her sand from the old tube.
Gave her a few snacks (a drop of ant nectar and a small slice of mealworm) that I'll remove in a few hours.

Wondering if doing a brood raid on a wild nest for her would give her a little boost to make up for lost time?

You could do that, but melo queens develop really slowly in the first place, and you can't help with low fertility or low productivity or even just  bad instincts. I doubt she would have done much even if in a tube to begin with.



#7 Offline justanotheramy - Posted January 24 2020 - 9:11 PM

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But what if she would have, and I just messed her up with bad conditions?
I feel responsible.



#8 Offline justanotheramy - Posted February 12 2020 - 2:17 AM

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Two of the queens have three workers each!!!!

Umm… what do I do now?


Edited by justanotheramy, February 12 2020 - 3:56 AM.

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#9 Offline justanotheramy - Posted February 12 2020 - 4:06 AM

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Okay, I have one of the AntKit AntHomes, and one of the queens has some algae in her cotton, so I'm going to try to move her.

I have the new tube taped to the old tube, new tube covered, old tube exposed, and…

…let's see how attached she is to her little nest.

I hope I'm not stressing her out too much.

Ant and workers:

Attached File  IMG_5620.jpg   298.97KB   3 downloads

Attached File  IMG_5618.jpg   325.78KB   2 downloads

Trying to move them in to one of these:

Attached File  Screen Shot 2020-02-12 at 10.30.33 PM.png   49.94KB   2 downloads


Edited by justanotheramy, February 12 2020 - 4:11 AM.

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#10 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted February 12 2020 - 7:14 AM

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Wow! Nice job with them! Have you fed them yet?

#11 Offline justanotheramy - Posted February 12 2020 - 7:37 AM

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No, not sure what to give them?



#12 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted February 12 2020 - 7:38 AM

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A small drop of honey (no bigger than the workers) and a small insect piece.

#13 Offline justanotheramy - Posted February 12 2020 - 7:50 AM

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I tried a tiny drop of ant nectar and some pumpkin seed crumbs — a worker ran straight for the seed and has stayed put, so I think they're voting protein.



#14 Offline justanotheramy - Posted February 12 2020 - 8:28 AM

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Decided to feed the other queen with workers — got her tube out of the red test tube holder and she has 5 workers!
She's the only one on a Tar Heel Ants test tube insert.



#15 Offline justanotheramy - Posted February 13 2020 - 1:09 AM

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Feeding them again today, as yesterday's food is gone.

3Queen's worker liked the pumpkin seed, and I gave 5Queen pumpkin seed and a tiny bit of prawn.

On today's menu we have peanut butter — 5Queen approves and is eating it, 3Queen and her workers haven't found it yet.


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#16 Offline justanotheramy - Posted February 13 2020 - 7:58 PM

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Oh, good. More ants that bury things.



#17 Offline justanotheramy - Posted February 16 2020 - 8:06 PM

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Day 5.

Ants still not moving.



#18 Offline justanotheramy - Posted February 18 2020 - 7:50 PM

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Tragedy!

When I was taking old food out of 5Q's tube the tube insert slid and… 2 workers were crushed :(

So 3Q and 5Q are even now.

Does anyone use the Tar Heel Ants tube inserts and feeders? 
Any tips on keeping them in place in the tube?
My tube feeders have also just arrived, and I'm having trouble getting the cotton in without tipping up the dish end — figure there's a knack, want to know what it is!



#19 Offline justanotheramy - Posted February 22 2020 - 4:08 PM

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12 days, and 3Q is still… "children, we live in the light now."
 



#20 Offline AntsDakota - Posted February 22 2020 - 4:16 PM

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They’re probably getting used to the light by now. They may eventually become fully accustomed to the light, therefore forcing you to dump them into their new home.

"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





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