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OhNoNotAgain Termitat


30 replies to this topic

#1 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted March 3 2020 - 12:12 PM

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Yeah not as exciting as catching alates, but I at least with dampwoods I can plausibly argue they will be harmless so "Don't worry."

 

2020.3.3

 

Received in mail. Zootermopsis angusticollis, the Pacific Dampwood Termite (so says the literature).

All their literature also says there "may" be one soldier.

Apparently I got two! Let's see how long they last before they get eaten....

Now to figure out where to put these little guys.

Attached Files


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, March 3 2020 - 12:31 PM.

  • Serafine, Mettcollsuss, Ant_Dude2908 and 5 others like this

Veromessor: pergandei, andrei

Camponotus: fragilis (separate journal), sansabeanus, vicinus

Prenolepis: imparis

Pogonomyrmex: californicus; subnitidus

Tetramorium: sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis: angusticollis

(Each genus above has its own journal here on Formiculture)

 

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

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#2 Offline FSTP - Posted March 3 2020 - 1:44 PM

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oh cool! I still have mine  they're doing great after about 3 years. 


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#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 3 2020 - 1:45 PM

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Very cool. These things really intrigue me, but I get enough crap from my wife about ants as it is. I’ll live vicariously through your updates.

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


#4 Offline Nare - Posted March 3 2020 - 2:17 PM

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Interesting. That wood looks freshly cut. Reading the website, it says they enjoy non-resinous wood like douglas fir, but I was opperating under the assumption that they needed well-rotted wood. Will be following this closely to see how they do.


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#5 Offline FSTP - Posted March 3 2020 - 2:28 PM

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Interesting. That wood looks freshly cut. Reading the website, it says they enjoy non-resinous wood like douglas fir, but I was opperating under the assumption that they needed well-rotted wood. Will be following this closely to see how they do.

 

 

Yeah that's what I thought to when I received mine, it looked exactly like that. It just looked like kiln dried wood. But mine are still doing good without having to ever add any new termites and the wood is starting to look more aged. I add about 10mls of distilled water weekly. 


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#6 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted March 3 2020 - 5:56 PM

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I want to just sit and observe them for a while, but I have a busy day arghhhh. Also they are as nervous as ants.

But I've been keeping ants so long I find it weird to watch nymphs, which look sort of like ant larvae with legs, actually moving around. Okay they also remind me of bottle fly spikes. They. move. They. do. work. So. not. like. ant. larvae. LOL sorry just got so used to helpless little larvae.

 

oh cool! I still have mine  they're doing great after about 3 years. 

 

Did you grow new reproductives? I'm really hoping this happens for my little colony. I'm a bit worried having two soldiers is a drain but I guess they'll get eaten as needed :(

 

Also, do your nymphs go circumnavigating their world, too? Some of the smaller nymphs seem intent on going around and around the OUTSIDE of the slice of wood. They wind up at the bottom (see pic) and I get worried they can't get back up. But I'm guessing they actually can? I've laid the whole thing on its side to help them back up but then they freak when I right the set up again. I'm just gonna leave it standing upright and hope they're okay.

 

Also, they seem to want to dig INTO the wood. Like to hide from the light. That would suck but not sure what to do. They love hiding in the waterway....

Attached Files


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, March 3 2020 - 5:58 PM.

  • Mettcollsuss, Nare, Antennal_Scrobe and 1 other like this

Veromessor: pergandei, andrei

Camponotus: fragilis (separate journal), sansabeanus, vicinus

Prenolepis: imparis

Pogonomyrmex: californicus; subnitidus

Tetramorium: sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis: angusticollis

(Each genus above has its own journal here on Formiculture)

 

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

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#7 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted March 3 2020 - 6:02 PM

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looks beautiful, keep up the good work! 


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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


#8 Offline Nare - Posted March 3 2020 - 6:22 PM

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Zootermopsis spp. can actually develop reproductive soldiers (soldiers that mate and lay eggs) though this is a rather rare occurrence in nature. Though unlikely, it may happen in your case. As for the nymphs getting stuck, I wouldn't worry - they're decent climbers (of anything that isn't glass or plastic), and it looks like the nymph is already climbing the metal screw back up to the piece of wood, so I wouldn't worry. Nymphs are known to roam.


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#9 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted March 3 2020 - 8:07 PM

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Zootermopsis spp. can actually develop reproductive soldiers (soldiers that mate and lay eggs) though this is a rather rare occurrence in nature. Though unlikely, it may happen in your case. As for the nymphs getting stuck, I wouldn't worry - they're decent climbers (of anything that isn't glass or plastic), and it looks like the nymph is already climbing the metal screw back up to the piece of wood, so I wouldn't worry. Nymphs are known to roam.

 

Reproductive SOLDIERS sounds really amazing. But I'd be happy with just plain old reproductives!! I understand that, other than those, generally speaking there are only three "castes": reproductive, soldier, and nymph? Is that right?

Is there any way to tell whether something is male or female?

Only recently I was a total termite clueless noob and had no idea their workers were both genders. (Yeah I can actually thank AntsCanada for some education there.)


Veromessor: pergandei, andrei

Camponotus: fragilis (separate journal), sansabeanus, vicinus

Prenolepis: imparis

Pogonomyrmex: californicus; subnitidus

Tetramorium: sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis: angusticollis

(Each genus above has its own journal here on Formiculture)

 

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

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#10 Offline Nare - Posted March 4 2020 - 2:19 PM

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Zootermopsis spp. can actually develop reproductive soldiers (soldiers that mate and lay eggs) though this is a rather rare occurrence in nature. Though unlikely, it may happen in your case. As for the nymphs getting stuck, I wouldn't worry - they're decent climbers (of anything that isn't glass or plastic), and it looks like the nymph is already climbing the metal screw back up to the piece of wood, so I wouldn't worry. Nymphs are known to roam.

 

Reproductive SOLDIERS sounds really amazing. But I'd be happy with just plain old reproductives!! I understand that, other than those, generally speaking there are only three "castes": reproductive, soldier, and nymph? Is that right?

Is there any way to tell whether something is male or female?

Only recently I was a total termite clueless noob and had no idea their workers were both genders. (Yeah I can actually thank AntsCanada for some education there.)

 

Termites perform incomplete metamorphosis, meaning they molt to grow larger unlike ants that go from egg to larvae to pupae to adult. This means that technically any termite that does not have full wings and darker pigmentation, an imago, is a juvenile. In the case of Zootermopsis, there are a couple of castes - obviously adults / imagoes (sometimes also called swarmers or primary reproductive, you unfortunately don't have any here), then there are pseudergates, which are often called "workers" in the case of Zoots, but they have the ability to molt into adult reproductives and so aren't technically workers, then there are larvae (usually called nymphs) which are the little ones, there are ofc soldiers and presoldiers (which are the molt before the true soldier), and finally there are the true nymphs which do not perform work unlike the pseudergates. They can be identified by tiny little wing buds, and they can mate in the nest to become secondary / neotonic reproductives, which you will likely have. Pseudergates need to molt to become nymphs before they can become anything else.

 

So to sum it up:

1. Imagoes / adults / swarmers / primary reproductives

2. Neotonics / secondary reproductives

3. Nymphs

4. Pseudergates

5. Soldiers / presoldiers

6. Larvae

 

Hope that helps. I'd also point you towards this thread, as there are some diagrams and things that I've posted over there. They may be of some help in learning more about termites.


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#11 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted March 4 2020 - 2:48 PM

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wow, termites sound complicated...and incredibly intriguing 


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


#12 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 4 2020 - 3:09 PM

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Their mating rituals and caste systems are more complex. Although ants are much more diverse in every way.
"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)

#13 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted March 4 2020 - 3:14 PM

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so there's a balance some need to achieve...


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


#14 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 4 2020 - 3:22 PM

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I think Nare has accomplished this- he keeps both.
"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)

#15 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted March 4 2020 - 3:25 PM

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very true


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


#16 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 4 2020 - 3:31 PM

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I would also keep termites if I could.
"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)

#17 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted March 6 2020 - 5:05 PM

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Just wanted to update with a couple notes.

 

1. The syringe Termitat provides doesn't seem to do the trick very well. Last time (first time) I tried it the water dribbled all over on the inside. Yesterday I tried a syringe from Tar Heel Ants, the one with the blunt tip needle. That one gets the water into where it needs to go.

 

2. I might take the Termitat to a school and leave it there for a week, along with a quick termite write-up, for kids to observe (one teacher may want to use it in science class, too). I should probably do this soon, before the soldiers get eaten. I may need to look for darkening film to reduce the light that reaches it. Any suggestions/warnings?

The other reason is I need to make some corrections to my ant lecture lol


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, March 6 2020 - 5:07 PM.

Veromessor: pergandei, andrei

Camponotus: fragilis (separate journal), sansabeanus, vicinus

Prenolepis: imparis

Pogonomyrmex: californicus; subnitidus

Tetramorium: sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis: angusticollis

(Each genus above has its own journal here on Formiculture)

 

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

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#18 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 7 2020 - 11:58 AM

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I say just drape a thick towel over it and give the teacher clear instructions that only adults are to lift it while supervising.

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


#19 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted March 9 2020 - 8:44 AM

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I dropped it off at the (small, private) grade school today, along with an info sheet about termites and an "oops" list of three things I got wrong in my ant lectures.

I forgot to take a pic of it in its location (maybe later I will), but it's the same place I had left the Uncle Milton ants, so hopefully kids will notice it AND it'll be okay there (since the ants were okay there). It's also under the big Uncle Milton ant poster on the wall lol.

 

Also, I found a three panel three ring binder and I used it to shield the Termitat a bit - not that it's in a place that gets a ton of light - but the binder is about the perfect size to serve as a backdrop and sink spatter shield.

 

I'm told one or two of the science teachers may use the termites in their classes, so that would be awesome.

 

In a couple Asian languages "termite" is written/said as "white ant" so I'm really really hoping people key in that termites are not closely related to ants (I mentioned it in my write-up).

 

I'm planning to pick up the Termitat at the end of the week. In the current virus scare who knows when schools may be shut down or whatnot.


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, March 9 2020 - 8:46 AM.

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Veromessor: pergandei, andrei

Camponotus: fragilis (separate journal), sansabeanus, vicinus

Prenolepis: imparis

Pogonomyrmex: californicus; subnitidus

Tetramorium: sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis: angusticollis

(Each genus above has its own journal here on Formiculture)

 

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

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#20 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted March 9 2020 - 8:52 AM

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I spent a little time observing the termites yesterday, too, knowing I wouldn't have a chance for the rest of the week.

 

The two soldiers are still hanging out, not yet eaten.

I also watered the Termitat again - I think I overwatered it - but I just want to make sure it's okay for the week at school.

 

It's really cute how the termites tap their bodies against the wood in an alarm communication. It's kind of similar to how my C. fragilis gaster-tap when alarmed.

Termites keep tapping for a while, and it's just a couple of the nymphs. The soldiers, when alarmed, kind of bite at anything near them, which of course is only nymphs. I got a bit worried because one soldier pinched a nymph a bit hard - it was a bit like the video of worker ants biting a larva that gave off princess pheremones (see my post in the ant section). Hopefully the nymphs are okay.

 

I also found a very very tiny nymph. It almost looked like a big white springtail, it was so small. Very cute. It still amazes me how independent the nymphs are.

 

Oh, also I discovered the termites had begun blocking off the entrance/exit from the interior of the wood to the exterior (the bark layer) with white lumpy stuff. They did, however, leave two holes through which the nymphs can fit when they are alarmed and want to check things out. It's cute how the little kids go out and go circumnavigating the slice of wood to make sure things are okay despite sudden water influx or scary earthquakes (me moving their Termitat around).


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, March 9 2020 - 8:53 AM.

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Veromessor: pergandei, andrei

Camponotus: fragilis (separate journal), sansabeanus, vicinus

Prenolepis: imparis

Pogonomyrmex: californicus; subnitidus

Tetramorium: sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis: angusticollis

(Each genus above has its own journal here on Formiculture)

 

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

Spoods: Phidippus sp.





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