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Theantguy's All-Inclusive Ant Journal (Discontinued)

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#1 Offline TheAntGuy - Posted February 15 2020 - 9:05 PM

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15/2/2020

"The beginning"

-I've been meaning to make one of these for absolutely ages, so I am finally getting around to it. With the start of the new year I am embracing my resolutions, one of which is to focus on my ants more, as I have been somewhat neglecting them recently. None have died as a result of the neglect, but I definetely want them to be healthier. Anyway, I will be updating this journal whenever something important happens with my ants.

 

Updates:

 

All ants doing good for now. Feeding all today.


Edited by TheAntGuy, February 6 2021 - 5:29 PM.

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#2 Offline MsTesaAnt - Posted February 16 2020 - 8:13 AM

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Glad to hear they are all still alive.  I'm looking forward to hearing more about them.



#3 Offline AntsDakota - Posted February 16 2020 - 2:58 PM

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15/2/2020

"The beginning"

-I've been meaning to make one of these for absolutely ages, so I am finally getting around to it. With the start of the new year I am embracing my resolutions, one of which is to focus on my ants more, as I have been somewhat neglecting them recently. None have died as a result of the neglect, but I definetely want them to be healthier. Anyway, I will be updating this journal whenever something important happens with my ants.

 

Updates:

 

All ants doing good for now. Feeding all today.

What species will be included in this journal? I assume Myrmecocystus sp. (which is cool) since it's one of the tags, but anything else?


"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


#4 Offline TheAntGuy - Posted February 18 2020 - 8:54 PM

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15/2/2020

"The beginning"

-I've been meaning to make one of these for absolutely ages, so I am finally getting around to it. With the start of the new year I am embracing my resolutions, one of which is to focus on my ants more, as I have been somewhat neglecting them recently. None have died as a result of the neglect, but I definetely want them to be healthier. Anyway, I will be updating this journal whenever something important happens with my ants.

 

Updates:

 

All ants doing good for now. Feeding all today.

What species will be included in this journal? I assume Myrmecocystus sp. (which is cool) since it's one of the tags, but anything else?

 

 

At the moment I have as follows (obviously if I get more or lose some this will change):

 

Camponotus Fragilis

Camponotus Modoc

Camponotus US-CA-02

Myrmecocystus Mimicus

Myrmecocystus Navajo

Myrmecocystus Tenuinodus

Dorymyrmex Insanus

Crematogaster sp.

Pheidole sp.

 

-will have another update here likely next week as I will be moving most of my ants into new setups I purchased from a friend, who I will be shouting out when they arrive. I will also be uploading pictures of all of the above colonies in that same update, so look out for those.


Edited by Theantguy14, February 18 2020 - 8:59 PM.

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#5 Offline TheAntGuy - Posted March 6 2020 - 6:56 PM

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6/3/2020
"New Queens/ Media Dump"
-It's been longer than I'd have liked since I have done an update, since I have been so busy lately. The wait is finally over!

Current Species:
Myrmecocystus navajo - Queen and around 5 workers
Myrmecocystus mimicus - Queen and 1 worker
Myrmecocystus tenuinodus - Queen and around 5 workers
Myrmecocystus wheeleri - Founding queen
Myrmecocystus testaceous - Founding queen
Camponotus us-ca02 - Queen and 6 workers
Camponotus modoc - Queen and 1 worker
Camponotus clarithorax - Queen and 3 workers, selling it off soon
Camponotus fragilis - Queen and around a dozen workers
Camponotus cf. hyatti - Founding queen
Crematogaster sp. - Queen and around 30 workers
Pheidole sp. - Queen and around 6 workers
Veromessor pergandei - 30-40 founding queens
Dorymyrmex insanus - Queen and about 8 workers

Updates:

Recent anting trips:
- My great-aunt texted me on 28/2/2020, she had caught what she believed to be a queen ant.
She sent a picture, and although it was low quality, I was able to determine it was indeed a queen,
likely myrmecocystus sp. based on the shape of the thorax. I drove over to her house and lo and behold,
She had somehow stumbled upon a Myrmecocystus Wheeleri queen. I thanked her profusely, and headed
off to go check locally to see if there were more. Unfortunately, I did not find more, however I did find a
trail that seemed to be worth checking in the future.
- I went to a trail near my house on 29/2/2020 and caught a fair amount of Veromessor Pergandei.
I sold off around 20 which left me with somewhere between 30 or 40 queens left. I happened to find 2
queens digging the same claustral chamber so I tubed them up together, all of those queens are currently
in a cupboard awaiting workers.
- I went to the wheeleri area trail yesterday, 5/3/2020, to see if I couldn't find some queens there.
I was hoping for more Myrmecocystus Wheeleri queens, or maybe some Camponotus US-CA02, as I had
seen colonies in the area. After about an hour of looking, I stumbled across a Camponotus cf. Hyatti queen
clinging to a fairly large boulder. Just a little ways up the trail, I found a claustral chamber still being dug out
by a Myrmecocystus Testaceous queen, which I promptly caught. I continued for a little ways, but after seeing
nothing else, I decided to head back. On the way back, I found 2 additional claustral chambers, already closed
up. Me being ill-prepared like usual, forgot my shovel. I decided to try and dig with a pocket knife I carry, with
no luck. I plan to go back to this trail next heatwave, in hopes of catching more queens.

Myrmecocystus mimicus:
-This colony is not doing well, they are situated in a mini hearth, and had a die off which left them with 1 worker.
I do not plan to give up on them, and am feeding them regularly. The queen has not laid any new brood that I
can tell, but I will keep this updated with their condition.

Camponotus mragilis:
-This colony is my oldest, however they had a huge die off over the course of the winter. I am not worried though,

as they have several brood and the workers consist of majors and minors. They are receptive to food and are situated

in a tubs and tubes setup with paper covering the tube.

 

Dorymyrmex insanus:
-This colony has a low worker count but has nearly 30 larvae waiting to pupate, so I expect a population boom soon.
They are situated in a custom starter nest built by a friend from the ant keeping discord (Xanuri). I expect this nest
to last them until they have 100+ workers.

Crematogaster:
-This colony is also nested in another of the starter nests by Xanuri. They have almost 30 workers and the same if not
more in larvae. I expect them to outgrow this nest this year.

Myrmecocystus tenuinodus and navajo:
-Both of these colonies are in mini hearths and have brood, they seem to be doing okay.

Camponotus ca02:
-This colony had a die off (used to have 14 workers), but I expect them to recover. They have a cocoon and several larvae
of all sizes.

Camponotus modoc:
-This colony has one worker and is in Xanuri's starter nest, mainly so I can monitor and feed them easier. They have brood
and if they make it, I will need to transfer them to a bigger nest very soon.

Pheidole:
-This colony is very small, with 6 workers, in a tubs and tubes setup, I don't know if they will do okay or not, but I am feeding
them regularly and they seem receptive.

Founding queens:
- All the founding queens are doing okay as of 5/3/2020

Media:
Imgur album
In order:
C. hyatti
M. testaceous
M. wheeleri
M. tenuinodus
M. mimicus
M. navajo
C. ca02
C. modoc
C. fragilis
Crematogaster
Dorymyrmex
M. tenuinodus
M. navajo


Edited by Theantguy14, May 5 2020 - 5:33 PM.

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#6 Offline TheAntGuy - Posted March 8 2020 - 9:30 AM

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I fed all my ants today, except the founding queens, they all got refills on ant nectar and nurbs' bloodworm soup ©2020. Lots of brood all around, except the mimicus which I still don't know why they are doing so poorly. I think they at least ate some bloodworm juice so I guess we will see what happens. Anyway this was sort of a mini update, so not going to format it. Might do more of these on feeding days when there isn't anything else important to mention.
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#7 Offline TheAntGuy - Posted March 17 2020 - 12:08 AM

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17/3/2020

"Feeding/ Wellness Check"

-Been a bit longer than a week, they were due for a feeding, also news on some colonies.

 

Current Species:
Myrmecocystus navajo - Queen and around 5 workers
Myrmecocystus mimicus - Queen and 1 worker
Myrmecocystus tenuinodus - Queen and 2 workers
Myrmecocystus wheeleri - Founding queen
Myrmecocystus testaceous - Founding queen
Camponotus us-ca02 - Queen and 6 workers
Camponotus modoc - Queen and 1 worker
Camponotus fragilis - Queen and around 10 workers
Camponotus cf. hyatti - Founding queen
Crematogaster sp. - Queen and around 30 workers
Pheidole sp. - Queen and around 6 workers
Veromessor pergandei - 30-40 founding queens
Dorymyrmex insanus - Queen and about 8 workers

 

Updates:

 

All Colonies:

-I am feeding all of my colonies green-dyed ByFormica sunburst, in hopes that I can better see when they are actually drinking it.

-I fed all of my colonies a piece of a mealworm today.

 

Myrmecocystus mimicus:

-There has been no change since last update, although I still fed them

 

Camponotus fragilis:

-They lost two more workers, but they have lots of larvae still, so I am not worried.

 

Dorymyrmex insanus:

-This colony keeps producing more brood, lots of larvae and possibly some pupae now.

 

Crematogaster:

-They are still producing lots of brood, some has changed to pupae. Still refuse to  actually move into the nest portion despite my

repeatedly watering it. I placed a feeder inside with water just in case they need it.

 

Myrmecocystus tenuinodus:

-This colony has me a bit worried, they lost a couple workers and are now down to either 2 or 3, they still have some larvae,

but it is all small. I hope they will recover.

 

Myrmecocystus navajo:

-By far this colony is doing the best out of the 3 Myrmecocystus sp. colonies I have. They have nearly 10 cocoons and are very

active. I expect them to do well in the coming months.

 

Myrmecocystus testaceous queen:

-I happened to glance at my founding queens while putting some new ones away in the cupboard, this queen has not laid,

but has shaped her quartz sand to her liking in the tube.

 

Myrmecocystus wheeleri queen:

-This queen has laid a sizeable batch of eggs, about 20 or so.

 

Camponotus cf. hyatti queen:

-This queen has laid 2 eggs, both of which are colored slightly yellowish orange, which I have observed multiple

Camponotus sp. queens lay. I find it interesting that egg color varies by species, I always wondered why this was, if

anyone has information on this I'd appreciate if you shared, thanks.

 

Veromessor pergandei queens:

-Nearly all of these queens have lots of eggs, like usual. One died, but I think it was already injured when I caught it.

 

Camponotus modoc:

I am very excited to report that this colony has a growing collection of brood. The single worker is really active all the 

time and is currently feasting on the mealworm piece. They have a cocoon and several larvae and eggs.

 

Camponotus us-ca02:

-This colony is doing just as well as the C. Modoc. The queen has been working hard and laying eggs. The workers

are foraging all the time, and there are now 2 cocoons, and 2 more on the way. They also have several small larvae

and eggs. 

 

Pheidole cf. californica:

-A couple people seem to think this is Pheidole Californica, but I haven't gotten a definite answer, so I am still not sure.

Regardless, this colony has some brood, staying strong and eating nicely. I may move them into one of Xanuri's nests

when they get more workers.

 

Media:

-No pics or videos this time around, but next update I should have some more pics and definitely some videos, so stay tuned!


Edited by Theantguy14, May 5 2020 - 5:37 PM.

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#8 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted March 17 2020 - 4:27 AM

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Interesting! I love the depth and description of this journal!


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


#9 Offline Guest_StrickyAnts_* - Posted March 17 2020 - 8:16 AM

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#10 Offline TheAntGuy - Posted March 21 2020 - 10:13 PM

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21/3/2020

"Feeding/ Wellness Check (continued)"

 

Current Species:
Myrmecocystus navajo - Queen and around 5 workers
Myrmecocystus mimicus - Queen and 1 worker
Myrmecocystus tenuinodus - Queen and 2 workers
Myrmecocystus wheeleri - Founding queen
Myrmecocystus testaceous - Founding queen
Camponotus us-ca02 - Queen and 6 workers
Camponotus modoc - Queen and 1 worker
Camponotus fragilis - Queen and 6 workers
Camponotus cf. hyatti - Founding queen
Crematogaster sp. - Queen and around 30 workers
Pheidole sp. - Queen and around 6 workers
Veromessor pergandei - 30-40 founding queens
Dorymyrmex insanus - Queen and about 8 workers

 

Updates:

 

All Colonies:

-Just as I had suspected. I had recently switched from feeding standard ByFormica Sunburst to ByFormica Sunburst Summer Honeysuckle. I was thinking that my ants did not take to it, which is why I had dyed it green just a few days ago. Over the last few days, I have observed absolutely no ants drinking it, nor any green colored gasters (in the honeypots and fragilis). Today I decided I would try switching to red dyed hummingbird nectar, as this is essentially just red dyed sugar water. I hope that if they do indeed take to it, I should see more recovery from the colonies that aren't doing too well.

 

Myrmecocystus mimicus:

-There has been no change since last update, although I still fed them

 

Camponotus fragilis:

-They lost another 2 workers, but they have lots of larvae still, and hopefully the new liquid should help them recover. I think that the lack of them drinking sugary liquid may have been what was killing the workers. I will keep a close eye on their behavior over the coming days. They have been fed a small dubia roach today.

 

Dorymyrmex insanus:

-This colony keeps producing more brood, they really don't stop. Tons of small larvae, medium larvae, and some may be pupating.

 

Crematogaster:

-Unfortunately they still won't move. Even more pupae, I expect the population to double within 3 weeks.

 

Myrmecocystus tenuinodus:

-This colony still has me a bit worried, however I may have observed a cocoon, I am not certain. Their larvae is still small, but nonetheless there. Down to between 1 and 3 workers, not sure.

 

Myrmecocystus navajo:

-Another larva pupated bringing them up to 10 cocoons even. Some should hatch any day now especially since ambient temps are rising now that the unusually long period of cold rainy weather is stopping. Workers have settled in and are acting normal.

 

Camponotus modoc:

-The queen is laying lots and lots of eggs, and they are up to 2 cocoons and a third on the way. 

 

Camponotus us-ca02:

-No change since last update. Received a small dubia.

 

Pheidole cf. californica:

-No change since last update.

 

Media:

-None as I did not expect to make this update today, I will likely make another update when I feed all the colonies in a couple days, expect some then.


Edited by Theantguy14, May 5 2020 - 5:42 PM.

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#11 Offline TheAntGuy - Posted March 25 2020 - 4:50 PM

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25/3/2020

"Feeding/ Wellness Check #2"

 

Current Species:
Myrmecocystus navajo - Queen and around 5 workers (Nearly a dozen cocoons)
Myrmecocystus mimicus - Queen and 1 worker (No Brood)
Myrmecocystus tenuinodus - Queen and 1 workers (Small larvae)
Myrmecocystus wheeleri - Founding queen (Has eggs)
Myrmecocystus testaceous - Founding queen (Has eggs)
Camponotus us-ca02 - Queen and 6 workers (Several cocoons)
Camponotus modoc - Queen and 1 worker (Several cocoons)
Camponotus fragilis - Queen and 7 workers (Small Larvae)
Camponotus cf. hyatti - Founding queen (Has eggs)
Crematogaster sp. - Queen and around 30 workers (Pupae and lots of larvae)
Pheidole sp. - Queen and around 6 workers (Larvae)
Veromessor pergandei - 30-40 founding queens (Most have eggs or larvae)
Dorymyrmex insanus - Queen and about 8 workers (Larvae)

 

Updates:

 

All Colonies:

-I fed all the ants either fruit flies or baby dubia roaches today. They were pre-crushed prior to feeding.

 

Myrmecocystus mimicus:

-There has been no change since last update, although I still fed them fruit flies.

 

Camponotus fragilis:

-I actually miscounted their numbers last update, they have 7 workers. Brood is still developing and no new deaths luckily. I noticed some workers have definitely drank some of the liquid as their gasters are slightly red. They received several pre-crushed fruit flies.

 

Dorymyrmex insanus:

-Not much has changed since last update, still loads of brood and very active workers. They received about 4 or 5 fruit flies, pre-crushed)

 

Crematogaster:

-Still don't want to move into the nest despite my repeatedly watering it. More pupae, should eclose next week or so, maybe a little later. They received a pre-crushed dubia.

 

Myrmecocystus tenuinodus:

-I have a renewed hope for these, they are down to 1 worker, although they do have several larvae that seems to be developing. The "cocoon" from last week was just some clumped sand I think, although it still could be a cocoon, I don't see it anymore.

 

Myrmecocystus navajo:

-One of the cocoons either hatched, or they hid it, because I only saw nine. I didn't want to bother them so I didn't have time to count the workers.

 

Camponotus modoc:

-They are doing super well. Lots of new eggs and larvae, up to 3 cocoons now. The lone worker is super ferocious. I fed them a pre-crushed dubia, and within minutes the worker was going after the roach. It has already dragged it back into the nest and I imagine the larvae are excitedly chomping away.

 

Camponotus us-ca02:

-They have several cocoons and are progressing nicely. I am excited for when all of the brood hatches, they have several cocoons and lots of larvae and eggs. They got fruit flies.

 

Pheidole cf. californica:

-They are still doing fine, brood is developing and they got some fruit flies.

 

Media:

-It is what I am sure you've all been waiting for. I did not disappoint.

fragilis Video:

Click here

 

C. ca02 Video:

Click here

 

 

M. navajo Pics:

 

 

gVQx3ht.jpg

 

 

kXoSsIY.jpg

 

fragilis pics:

 

 

TVlCvF4.jpg

 

 

24zMlOQ.jpg

 

Crematogaster pic:

 

 

AvCXnTa.jpg

 

C. modoc pic:

 

 

mLuQE4H.jpg

 

Dorymyrmex pic:

 

 

hzhVgXX.jpg

 

M. tenuinodus brood and worker:

 

 

3HzDHeB.jpg

 

M. mimicus queen and lack of brood:

 

 

l98FBME.jpg

 

C. ca02 pics:

 

 

epdugeU.jpg

 

 

rN6tjtU.jpg

 

Pheidole cf. californica pic:

 

 

SQerMVJ.jpg


Edited by Theantguy14, May 5 2020 - 6:37 PM.

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#12 Offline TheAntGuy - Posted April 1 2020 - 8:33 PM

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1/4/2020

"Feeding/ New Ants"

 

Current Species:
Myrmecocystus navajo - Queen and around 5 workers (Nearly a dozen cocoons)
Myrmecocystus mimicus - Queen and 1 worker (No Brood)
Myrmecocystus tenuinodus - Queen and 1 workers (Small larvae)
Myrmecocystus wheeleri - Founding queen (Has eggs)
Myrmecocystus testaceous - 2 founding queens (1 has eggs)
Camponotus us-ca02 - Queen and 6 workers (Several cocoons)
Camponotus modoc - Queen and 1 worker (Several cocoons)
Camponotus fragilis - Queen and 7 workers (Small Larvae)
Camponotus cf. hyatti - Founding queen (Has eggs)
Crematogaster sp. - Queen and around 30 workers (Pupae and lots of larvae)
Pheidole sp. - Queen and around 6 workers (Larvae)
Veromessor pergandei - 30-40 founding queens (Most have eggs or larvae)
Dorymyrmex insanus - Queen and about 8 workers (Larvae)

Camponotus cf. anthrax30-40 founding queens (will likely sell some, trade some)

 

Updates:

 

Recent anting trips:

-Yesterday at about 6pm, I left my house (yeah I know probably shouldn't have) to go up to San Juan Loop trail in/near Cleveland national forest. Within minutes of arriving, I started seeing lots of ant activity. I hiked down the trail for about an hour, collecting quite a few of what I believe to be C. anthrax, although they may actually be ca01, or a mixture of both. On the way back, my friend BADANT who also was anting there, found and gave me a M. Testaceous. I should actually add that I am not sure that these are indeed Testaceous, but that is my best guess, when they get workers I will get them identified for sure. I headed back home, and counted the haul, I had originally caught 40 anthrax exactly, but 1 had died on the trip home, and a couple didn't look too great. Also about 10 or so still had their wings so I don't know how many will actually make it to workers. I also put 3 of the queens into my remaining 3 starter nests I got from Xanuri, just to see if they do any better than the ones in test tubes.

 

All colonies:

-They were all fed a piece of a mealworm today.

 

 

Myrmecocystus mimicus:

-There has been no change since last update, although I did feed them. I have mostly lost hope for this colony, as the queen has not laid at all since winter ended. I will still feed them, but if they still don't have brood by the time I inevitably need the mini hearth for my other honeypots (mainly the wheeleri), I think I will just put them in a test tube. 

 

Camponotus fragilis:

-They are still at 7 workers, with some eggs and larvae. The workers seem to hide in the tube most of the time, but I think some still forage at night.

 

 

Dorymyrmex insanus:

-They are still doing fine,  I think some of the larvae finally pupated, so they should get more workers in a week or two. 

 

Crematogaster sp.:

-They have been moving the brood around to wherever is warmest in the moment, so I tried to give them heat, and they moved into the nest, but there was too much condensation so I took them off. About an hour after I did. they had moved all the brood back into the corner. 

 

Myrmecocystus tenuinodus:

-Their brood has grown since last time, I counted just under 10 medium sized larvae. I definitely have my fingers crossed for these gals. 

 

Myrmecocystus navajo:

-I think they were hiding the pupae that went missing from last week, I see 10 again. They are all getting very dark so they should hatch soon, I am excited! They have a new batch of eggs and larvae too, growing nicely. I am hoping that I can get them to have repletes by the end of the year. 

 

Camponotus modoc:

-Just like the last few updates they just keep looking better and better. The egg/larvae pile has grown to over 20 now, maybe even 30. Two of the cocoons are very dark and will probably hatch before the next update. The other one is fairly new and light, might hatch in 2-3 weeks. 

 

Camponotus us-ca02:

-Not much has changed since the last update, still doing well. 

 

Pheidole cf. californica:

-They are still fine, not much has changed.

 

Media:

M. tenuinodus brood and queen:

 

k7TSiwb.jpg

 

C. cf. anthrax in starter nests:

 

jqTI8Cl.jpg

 

fVHhLVp.jpg

 

Anting trip tubing process before and after:

 

Before:

ujKyvay.jpg

 

After:

bKM68wh.jpg


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#13 Offline NickAnter - Posted April 4 2020 - 7:03 AM

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I can't believe they flew. I thought it would at least have had to get to 80 degrees. Good job on going there!

Hi there! I went on a 6 month or so hiatus, in part due, and in part cause of the death of my colonies. 

However, I went back to the Sierras, and restarted my collection, which is now as follows:

Aphaenogaster uinta, Camponotus vicinus, Camponotus modoc, Formica cf. aserva, Formica cf. micropthalma, Formica cf. manni, Formica subpolita, Formica cf. subaenescens, Lasius americanus, Manica invidia, Pogonomyrmex salinus, Pogonomyrmex sp. 1, Solenopsis validiuscula, & Solenopsis sp. 3 (new Sierra variant). 


#14 Offline TheAntGuy - Posted April 21 2020 - 9:44 PM

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Yeah I wasn't even trying to find those, I went back because I thought I would be able to find more Myrmecocystus Testaceous and Wheeleri. The Camponotus Anthrax were just everywhere, I could have gotten much more than I did.


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#15 Offline TheAntGuy - Posted April 21 2020 - 10:18 PM

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21/4/2020
"Big update/ New ants"

Current Species:
Myrmecocystus navajo - Queen and around 5 workers (Cocoons)
Myrmecocystus wheeleri - Founding queen (Larvae)
Camponotus us-ca02 - Queen and 4 workers (Cocoons)
Camponotus modoc - Queen and 3 workers (Cocoons/Larvae)
Camponotus fragilis - Queen and 6 workers (Larvae)
Camponotus cf. hyatti - Founding queen (Larvae)
Crematogaster sp. - Queen and around 30 workers (Pupae/Larvae)
Pheidole sp. - Queen and around 6 workers (Larvae)
Veromessor pergandei - way too many founding queens (Eggs/Larvae)
Dorymyrmex insanus - Queen and about 8 workers (Pupae/Larvae)
Camponotus cf. anthrax - ~20 queens (Eggs)
Formica cf. moki - Queen and 2 workers (Pupa/Larvae)

Updates:

Recent anting trips:
-Friday 17/4/2020, I went to a spot in the desert, where others had found polygynous V. Pergandei earlier in the day. It was late but I made it out and found quite a few decent sized groups of queens. The most queens I found in one claustral chamber was 8.
 

All colonies:
-They were all fed a piece of a mealworm today.
-Last week they were fed a Dubia roach (baby).
-All ByFormica feeders were cleaned and refilled.
-Xanuri's nests were watered as were the mini hearths.

Myrmecocystus mimicus:
-They haven't laid since last update. The worker is still alive but I don't think they will make it under my care. I am giving them to a friend with more time and less ants to care for. He may make a journal on them, but honestly I think they are a lost cause at this point. Hopefully he can prove me wrong and they do recover. Also I am taking them out of the mini hearth to give them to him in a test tube.

Myrmecocystus tenuinodus:
-The queen ate some of the brood I think, and the last worker died. I am also giving this queen with whatever brood I can find to the same friend. I am also taking her out of the mini hearth and giving it to him in a test tube.

Myrmecocystus navajo:
-The queen keeps pumping out eggs, the cocoons have not hatched and I think they lost one worker but once the cocoons hatch they should be on the track to success.

Myrmecocystus testaceous:
-I traded one of these partly for my new Formica moki colony, and then shortly after the other queen I had died, so I no longer have this species unfortunately.

Myrmecocystus wheeleri:
-The queen was fed a dubia and some hummingbird nectar because I received a tip from Pogoqueen that they have a higher success rate if they are fed. I may need to transfer her to a new tube soon because her old tube had been wicking water through the cotton and sand, leaving the reservoir almost completely depleted. I currently have her in a tubs and tube setup with a ByFormica feeder filled with water so that she doesn't die of dehydration.

Camponotus ca02:
-They lost 2 workers, but then a cocoon hatched and now they have 4 workers. I think once the rest of the brood hatches they should be on track to recovering.

Camponotus fragilis:
-They lost at least 1 worker since last update, and their brood hasn't really developed. I am a little nervous that they may not make it through this. It is not a big deal, since I will be getting more this year anyway, but it would be a shame to lose my oldest colony.

Camponotus modoc:
-They had some cocoons hatch, bringing their total to 3 workers now. They have 4 cocoons too, and still lots of larvae and eggs. It surprised me how dark the cocoons got before the workers/queen decided to open them. It is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a callow and a regular worker.

Crematogaster sp.:
-Some of their pupae has hatched and their brood pile doesn't seem to shrink. I think they are nearing 40 workers.

Dorymyrmex insanus:
-Some of the larvae finally pupated, but has not hatched yet. The ambient temps have been consistently warmer in my room so I think the brood should start developing faster.

Formica cf. moki:
-I traded some C. anthrax and the aforementioned M. testaceous for this colony. I have always wanted these since I learned about them. They are so jumpy and run around at the slightest movement. They are also very fast. When I got them, they had a larvae which has since pupated. They had eggs also which have hatched into small larvae and a fresh batch of eggs has been laid.

Pheidole cf. californica:
-Honestly nothing much has changed with these, the larvae got bigger but other than that they are the same.

Veromessor Pergandei:
-I transferred all of these queens, including the new Polygynous ones, into a separate drawer with a low power heat pad underneath. I am hoping that the polygynous groups mature quickly.

Media:
-Sorry, between distance learning from school, and chores around the house, I haven't found free time to get any decent pictures. I post pictures to my Instagram account (found in my signature), so if I take some between updates, they will appear there first.


Edited by Theantguy14, April 28 2020 - 9:56 PM.

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#16 Offline TheAntGuy - Posted April 28 2020 - 11:00 PM

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28/4/2020

"New ants, bye to old ants"

 

Current Species:
Myrmecocystus navajo - Queen and around 5 workers
Myrmecocystus testaceousSeveral founding queens

Myrmecocystus tenuinodusSeveral founding queens

Myrmecocystus sp. cf. mendax2 founding queens

Myrmecocystus sp. - 2 founding queens
Camponotus us-ca02 - Queen and 5 workers
Camponotus modoc - Queen and 3 (2?) workers
Camponotus fragilis - Queen and 4 workers
Camponotus cf. hyatti - Founding queen
Crematogaster sp. - Queen and around 25 workers
Camponotus sansabeanus9 founding queens

Camponotus cf. laevigatus3 founding queens
Veromessor pergandei - 100+ queens
Dorymyrmex insanus - Queen and about 8 workers
Camponotus cf. anthrax - ~20 queens
Formica cf. moki - Queen and 2 workers

Pogonomyrmex cf. californicusQueen and 8 workers

Brachymyrmex patagonicus6 founding queens

Dorymyrmex bicolor1 founding queen

 

Updates:

 

All colonies:

-They were fed fruit flies

-They will also be fed bloodworm soup tomorrow

-I have switched back to Summer Honeysuckle ByFormica sunburst

 

Recent anting trips:

-There have been a few anting trips between the last update and now, several of which turned out nothing or close to nothing. I did, however, acquire 42 new queens and 1 colony that I dug up accidentally from 2 trips. I got 39 Myrmecocystus spp. queens from the desert, 6 Brachymyrmex queens from near my house, and 1 Dorymyrmex queen from near my house as well. I also traded a few of the M. tenuinodus for C. laevigatus.

 

Myrmecocystus wheeleri:

-This queen I discovered covered in mold just today, I was quite sad because I really wanted her to do well.

 

Myrmecocystus navajo:

-This colony went down to 2 workers and then had a cocoon hatch, I have since started to cover the glass of the mini hearth with paper in hopes of reducing stress. I may also move them to my queen keeping area to reduce vibrations and stress.

 

Myrmecocystus spp.:

-The queens I caught in the desert consist of at least 4 different species, possibly even 5. One of them is M. Tenuinodus, I got the most of these. Myrmecocystus testaceous was second in number. The final 2 or 3 are of undetermined species, although I strongly suspect that 2 of the queens may be M. mendax. From the session on the A&AK discord server where I attempted to get her identified, it was inconclusive but it may also be of the mexicanus subgenera, ruling out mendax. It was hard to get clear microscope pictures and in hopes that I did not stress the queen too much, I put her away. I intend to get workers of the colonies if they do make it, and identify those, hopefully it will be obvious by then. The other 2 possible species are completely inconclusive, and I will be getting workers from them should they make it as well. They are certainly interesting, and I am excited to get them to workers.

 

Camponotus fragilis:

-I really do want this colony to make a recovery, so I am trying three things. I noticed the workers that had been dying, acted sort of strange, so I suspect their may have been some contamination. I followed advice and took them out of their tubs and tubes, closed off the tube, and soaked the "tub" portion (grout layer and plastic container) in DI (De-Ionized) water for 2 days. I then let them dry for about 40 hours before letting the ants back in. Tomorrow I am going to tap them gently out of their tube and replace it with a fresh tube, also freshly scrubbed and sterilized. Finally, as per the A&AK discord server, some of you may know that there is research being done as to whether Camponotus spp. ants need urea or some part of urine/urea in order to make it past their third or so year. The theory is that they require some amino acid or some similar compound (not exactly sure what it is tbh) in order to properly lay eggs? I think it is something along those lines. Either way, I am taking the plunge and trying it out. I am going to rehydrate either some bird or lizard poop (the white part is urea), and leave it for them. Apparently I should notice an increase in brood very quickly. I figure at this point there is nothing left to lose, with only 4 workers left. If those last 4 workers die, it's game over. I have never had a queen make it to workers, lose them, and then recover. I really hope one of these 3 things works, or a combo of all of them. I was debating trying each one individually, but I don't think I have the time to waste. It isn't a science project, I just want my ants to survive.

 

Camponotus modoc:

-They still have loads of brood, if the fragilis urea thing works, I plan to also give them some. I looked at them today quickly and could only spot 2 workers, its possible the other worker is hiding somewhere, but it could also have died and been torn up. There is some weird trash stuff in the gaps of the nest. It may be ant body parts, I am not sure. The two workers seem fine though, so I will assume the other one is hiding somewhere and check back next week.

 

Camponotus ca02:

-I also noticed the same weird death behavior with these, the same one as the fragilis. So, I also soaked their tub, and I plan to change their tube too. Other than that, they are back up to 5 workers, one just hatched less than 2 hours ago.

 

Crematogaster:

-I may stop updating these as often. Not much is changing so I may just omit them the same way I do my founding queens. They are expanding nicely and their brood pile never shrinks.

 

Pheidole:

-I actually sold these girls, I became disinterested with such small ants quite quickly. May revisit in the future.

 

Dorymyrmex insanus:

-Same as Crematogaster

 

Formica moki:

-Not much has changed, still will continue to update due to them being new and all.

 

Pogonomyrmex californicus:

-I am super excited for these. I never planned to get them, I was in the desert and for some reason a lot of people had been mistaking their nests for founding chambers, including me. I accidentally dug them up, and saw the queen. I knew they wouldn't make it now that I had exposed their nest, so I collected as many as I could, which I think was actually all of them. I originally got the queen and 9 workers, but 1 died on the way home. They are currently in a tubs and tubes setup with some seeds while I wait for an AMAC box from Xanuri. I have plenty of high clay content soil, which I collected from another desert trip. I will bake this soil, toss in a couple decorative pebbles and fill the AMAC box with it when it arrives, it will then be free real estate for these awesome ants. I have plenty of seed for them and a wide variety too. I cannot wait until I get to see them dig their chambers. For those who are wondering, the AMAC box is the 4"x4"x5 1/8" one. It should last them at least a few months, I am also getting a heating cable soon, so they will be getting plenty of heat. I may actually use the cable for my Veromessor temporarily, but once those do well I will put it back on my colonies.

 

Formatting:

-I have noticed a lot of small things that have bugged me about my initial formatting of this journal, which you may have noticed me fixing at each update, but I think once I have time I will go back and edit all of them and change it to this current formatting. I doubt most of you even care, but it bugs the heck out of me and I can't stand it. Plus I think this format is more appealing to the eye and it reads easier too. It looks best on PC imo, but it isn't too bad for mobile. I am tailoring it to PC though, so if you use this primarily on mobile, I apologize.

 

Media:

-I swear I will have some next time okay? I know people really like pics but sometimes it is hard to find time.


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#17 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 29 2020 - 4:27 AM

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Most people treat their Crematogaster like a forgetable sideshow to their main ants. Why is that?
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#18 Offline TheAntGuy - Posted April 29 2020 - 8:21 PM

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I think probably because they seem to be just too easy to keep, plus there isn't anything super special to them. I still enjoy them, but they are a little boring at times.
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#19 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 30 2020 - 4:58 AM

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To each his own, I guess.
"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 AntsDakota - Posted April 30 2020 - 5:02 AM

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I would like to see some Crematogaster around here, as they’re pretty rare, and interesting to me.

"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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