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ANTdrew's Formica argentea Journal -Yrse


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#1 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 2 2020 - 11:11 AM

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Beginning 3-2-2020

 

At the end of last anting season, I found myself with a surplus of Crematogaster cerasi queens. I also found a fellow member of this forum (and long-time ant-keeper), rowerbutt, who was selling some Formica argentea queens. I proposed to trade him two Crematogaster queens for one of his Formica queens. After agreeing to the deal, he brought the queen to me in early October in a glass test tube with a bit of sand in it for substrate. According to him, the two queens were found in Long Branch Nature Center, which is a heavily wooded park that runs along a stream bank in Arlington County, VA.

 

The queen had already laid a few eggs, but she ate them before she was delivered to me. As a result, I chose to hibernate her and hope for the best come spring. She was in a mini-fridge in the mid 40s until about three weeks ago, and is now being heated in a plastic shoe box along with several other new queens. Her egg pile is growing, which is why I'm optimistic enough to start up this journal. That said, she is far jumpier than any other queen I've founded, so I'm keeping disturbances to an absolute minimum.

 

I'll be naming her Yrse, after one of the few female characters in Beowulf. Prayers ascend for her success!

PHOTO 2019 09 29 12 52 34 (2)
 
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Edited by ANTdrew, May 1 2020 - 10:27 AM.

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


#2 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 2 2020 - 2:27 PM

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Good luck with them! Formica are such fascinating and beautiful ants (not to mention jumpy :lol:  :facepalm: ).


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"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV versionCurrently Keeping: Aphaenogaster picea, Aphaenogaster rudis, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, Formica subsericea, Lasius americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Myrmica sp., Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, Ponera pennsylvanica ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________My Journal__________________________________________________________________________________________<p>Attention South Dakotans! Join us on The SoDAK (Society of Dakotan Ant Keepers)

#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 2 2020 - 2:36 PM

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Thank you! I’ll keep you all posted on Yrse’s progress.

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


#4 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 2 2020 - 2:38 PM

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Her eggs will grow right along side my subsericea's second generation.  :D  The queen had laid one egg last time I checked.


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"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV versionCurrently Keeping: Aphaenogaster picea, Aphaenogaster rudis, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, Formica subsericea, Lasius americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Myrmica sp., Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, Ponera pennsylvanica ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________My Journal__________________________________________________________________________________________<p>Attention South Dakotans! Join us on The SoDAK (Society of Dakotan Ant Keepers)

#5 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 10 2020 - 4:12 AM

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Update 3-10-2020

 

Good news to report: I checked on my founding queens last night, and things are progressing nicely for Yrse. Her brood pile is growing, and she has several large larvae now. This shows me that she thankfully has not been eating her brood after my brief check ins. Given her jumpy, light-phobic nature, I think one of Dspdrew's dirt shacks would be ideal for the colony if and when it really gets going.


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


#6 Online Ants_Dakota - Posted March 10 2020 - 4:20 AM

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that's cool. I was so excited when my formica queen had her first workers. I may have argentea queen(although formica up here is so hard to identify). For now, I just have a formica queen with 7 workers.


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Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

My Journal: https://www.formicul...every-thursday/

If you live in South Dakota, click here to connect with other South Dakotens: https://www.formicul...hread/?hl=sodak

And, if you want to learn about our website: https://www.formicul...-antsdakotacom/


#7 Offline Thunder_Birds - Posted March 10 2020 - 5:42 AM

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Awesome! Great news! It's always great when your ants are doing well, and growing.


#Ants4Life


#8 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 10 2020 - 12:30 PM

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Update 3-10-2020
 
Good news to report: I checked on my founding queens last night, and things are progressing nicely for Yrse. Her brood pile is growing, and she has several large larvae now. This shows me that she thankfully has not been eating her brood after my brief check ins. Given her jumpy, light-phobic nature, I think one of Dspdrew's dirt shacks would be ideal for the colony if and when it really gets going.

Formica tend to dig larger tunnel-chambers in my experience.
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"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV versionCurrently Keeping: Aphaenogaster picea, Aphaenogaster rudis, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, Formica subsericea, Lasius americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Myrmica sp., Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, Ponera pennsylvanica ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________My Journal__________________________________________________________________________________________<p>Attention South Dakotans! Join us on The SoDAK (Society of Dakotan Ant Keepers)

#9 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 15 2020 - 2:26 AM

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Update 3-15-2020

I think I have a star Formica queen here. I briefly peaked in on her yesterday and counted four cocoons/ pupae along with a bunch of larvae. This queen is almost keeping pace with my Cremas! These are the fast-casuals of the ant world, fancy yet fast!
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#10 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted March 15 2020 - 4:06 AM

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Wow, congrats on getting yourself an all-star queen! Now if only Selen would lay... :mad:


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


#11 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 25 2020 - 6:56 AM

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:drinks: Update 3-25-2020

 

Big update! I checked on Yrse this morning and found her first two nanitics bustling about. They are super small and adorable. I injected a few drops of nectar on her paper towel square and shot a hasty photo. I'd say this took 7-8 weeks from when I pulled her out of diapause to first workers. She still has four more cocoons and a pile of eggs and larvae, so she is doing great. I have a used Dspdrew dirt shack ready to go for her to move into once she gets a few more workers.

 

IMG 6769
 
Hardly anyone seems to keep this species for whatever reason, so I'm excited to chronicle her progress in this journal. More to come! Cheers!

Edited by ANTdrew, March 25 2020 - 9:56 AM.

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


#12 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted March 25 2020 - 9:02 AM

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Nice! I had to change Selene's setup a bit and she had no eggs, but I'll check in two weeks to see if she has larvae!


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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


#13 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 28 2020 - 10:57 AM

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Update 3-28-2020

 

Yrse continues to do well in her test tube. Pretty much ever time I've checked on her the past few days I find a newly eclosed worker. Last night she was up to five with one cocoon left to open. I bet the sixth worker has eclosed as I type.

6338a71c d96a 4fcb bc94 f0eef453b648

 

Feeding them in the tube was very difficult because of how much they would freak out, so I decided to attach their tube to a used Dspdrew dirt box that I bought last week from fellow forum member Kevin. I love the design of the thing, but it is very tiny. I filled it up with some sandy clay from a stream bank similar to the park where the queen was initially found. I also wrapped a double layer of black felt around the soil filled part for extra darkness. I'm going to be super careful to give this queen lots of darkness and privacy.

 

IMG 6793
 
So far I haven't seen any nanitics venture out of the tube, but they did pile up some soil to partially block the entrance of the their tube.

 


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


#14 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted March 28 2020 - 12:52 PM

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Nice...I still have yet to check on Selene, but hopefully she'll be as productive as Yrse!


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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


#15 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 28 2020 - 2:00 PM

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They may be some of the most challenging of the common Formicinaes, but they're truly one of the most rewarding.  :)


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"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV versionCurrently Keeping: Aphaenogaster picea, Aphaenogaster rudis, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, Formica subsericea, Lasius americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Myrmica sp., Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, Ponera pennsylvanica ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________My Journal__________________________________________________________________________________________<p>Attention South Dakotans! Join us on The SoDAK (Society of Dakotan Ant Keepers)

#16 Online Ant_Dude2908 - Posted March 28 2020 - 5:06 PM

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They may be some of the most challenging of the common Formicinaes, but they're truly one of the most rewarding.  :)


They really aren't that challenging...

#17 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted March 28 2020 - 5:14 PM

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they just need patience 


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


#18 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 29 2020 - 6:46 AM

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They may be some of the most challenging of the common Formicinaes, but they're truly one of the most rewarding.  :)


They really aren't that challenging...
True, I meant slightly more than Lasius and such.
"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV versionCurrently Keeping: Aphaenogaster picea, Aphaenogaster rudis, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, Formica subsericea, Lasius americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Myrmica sp., Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, Ponera pennsylvanica ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________My Journal__________________________________________________________________________________________<p>Attention South Dakotans! Join us on The SoDAK (Society of Dakotan Ant Keepers)

#19 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 2 2020 - 3:35 AM

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Update 4-2-2020

 

This colony has been really boring, not going to lie. I haven't been looking at them because they freak out so much at the slightest vibration. Their tube is still wrapped in thick felt and stuck to the dirt box with mounting putty. I've seen a lone worker outside of the tube twice, and they have totally plugged up their tube with an impressive amount of clay. One cricket leg I gave them disappeared, but everything else has been ignored.

I like small, fast growing ants that actually do stuff, so I may be selling this colony if the boringness continues, especially considering that other members' colonies on here that are twice as old have only 5-6 workers.


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


#20 Offline AntsDakota - Posted April 2 2020 - 5:27 AM

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Yeah, colonies in general do grow pretty slow at first.
"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV versionCurrently Keeping: Aphaenogaster picea, Aphaenogaster rudis, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, Formica subsericea, Lasius americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Myrmica sp., Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, Ponera pennsylvanica ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________My Journal__________________________________________________________________________________________<p>Attention South Dakotans! Join us on The SoDAK (Society of Dakotan Ant Keepers)




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