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Trachymyrmex septentrionalis Journal


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34 replies to this topic

#21 Offline DDD101DDD - Posted June 24 2020 - 4:30 PM

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How big are the workers of this species?


He travels, he seeks the p a r m e s a n.


#22 Offline Mdrogun - Posted June 24 2020 - 5:08 PM

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How big are the workers of this species?

The workers are probably ~5mm. I'd have to measure them to be certain. They're not big, but they're definitely not small either. Quite a nice size for something that is the Northernmost higher Attine.


  • TennesseeAnts likes this

Currently Keeping:
Trachymyrmex septentrionalis

Pheidole pilifera

Forelius sp. (Monogynous, bicolored) "Midwestern Forelius"
Crematogaster cerasi

Pheidole bicarinata

Aphaenogaster rudis

Camponotus chromaiodes

Formica sp. (microgena species)

Nylanderia cf. arenivega


#23 Offline DDD101DDD - Posted June 24 2020 - 6:36 PM

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How big are the workers of this species?

The workers are probably ~5mm. I'd have to measure them to be certain. They're not big, but they're definitely not small either. Quite a nice size for something that is the Northernmost higher Attine.

 

Oh really, for some reason I thought these were like Camponotus sized.
 


He travels, he seeks the p a r m e s a n.


#24 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 25 2020 - 4:44 AM

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I can’t say I’ve ever seen one. I need to keep my eyes peeled now.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#25 Offline Antkid12 - Posted June 25 2020 - 4:49 AM

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I can’t say I’ve ever seen one. I need to keep my eyes peeled now.

I've seen a lot in Virginia beach.


Ants I have: Tapinoma sessile(2 queen colony). RED MORPH Camponotus neacticus(now has pupae!), Tetramorium immigrans (x3), Aphaenogaster sp, Temnothorax sp, Brachymyrmex sp.   possibly infertile   :(,  Ponera pennsylvanica, and Pheidole morrisi!  :yahoo: 

 

Other insects: Polistes sp. Queen

                    

Ants I need: Pheidole sp., Trachymyrmex sp., Crematogaster cerasi , Dorymyrmex sp. Most wanted: Pheidole morrisii

 

                    

                   

 

 


#26 Offline Mdrogun - Posted June 25 2020 - 9:56 AM

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I can’t say I’ve ever seen one. I need to keep my eyes peeled now.

They seem to require the presence of soil with a high sand content, preferably pure sand. Virginia is far South enough, they should have no problem surviving there, it's probably just an issue of soil composition where you live. When we were hunting for them we noticed their presence first because the ground-level plants had holes in them. They have a very specific pattern that is different from insect damage or something like that. They will often times cut from the center of the leaf, leaving the edge in-tact. So, if you're in a sandy area, and notice that the leaves have holes in them that are probably 2-6mm in diameter, it's most likely the result of Trachymyrmex septentrionalisIf you're looking to dig up a colony you'll have to wait until next season. Right after they come out of hibernation, they'll be active on the surface, but they haven't dug deep into the ground yet. This is when you can scoop colonies up. Dig like ~12 inches down and grab every worker you can see, making sure to grab the miniscule amount of fungus they have. The queen is quite similar in size to the workers, so in the scurry of things it's easy to miss her. It's best to just collect the entire colony. After a period of probably 1-2 weeks, they will then dig down to the center of the Earth and stay there until presumably hibernation  :lol:

 

One other thing I'd like to add if you're planning on keeping them: Of the colonies we found, this colony I collected was the largest by far. We dug up a total of 6 colonies. 1 for each of us that went with, and then we also wanted to have a "backup colony" that would be given to antkeepers we know back home if both colonies survived, since we had driven ~3 hrs to get to Central IL where the colonies were collected. None of the colonies came close to this colony in size. My "backup colony" has two queens and is maybe 1/5 the size at best. I'm not sure why this colony was so enormous compared to their neighbors, but just know that if you do end up collecting a colony from the wild they won't be taking up nearly as much space as this colony does. In my opinion, it's better to have too little area, and provide more vertical space for the ants since it encourages them to build the fungus up vertically and create an actual "garden" rather than just keeping it all spread out on the ground.

 

The other option is collecting dealate queens but this has quite a low success rate unless you have fungus waiting around to give them. The queens have to forage during founding, so it's wayyyyyyy more likely that you'll find a queen that has already dropped her fungal pellet and is foraging than it is you'll find a queen who has just flown and is ready to start a colony. In my opinion, the smartest move is probably collecting a single colony in the early Spring. Getting a fungus garden going. Then, when the wild colonies are flying later on, you can catch dealate queens and boost them with fungus if you desire more colonies. This also ensures a minimal impact on wild populations.

 

Best of luck.  ;)


Edited by Mdrogun, June 25 2020 - 10:13 AM.

  • TennesseeAnts, CheetoLord02, ANTdrew and 3 others like this

Currently Keeping:
Trachymyrmex septentrionalis

Pheidole pilifera

Forelius sp. (Monogynous, bicolored) "Midwestern Forelius"
Crematogaster cerasi

Pheidole bicarinata

Aphaenogaster rudis

Camponotus chromaiodes

Formica sp. (microgena species)

Nylanderia cf. arenivega


#27 Offline Mdrogun - Posted July 2 2020 - 10:13 AM

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The colony is continuing to grow. They have pupae, larvae, and eggs. I realized recently that I was not feeding them nearly as much food as they can process. Typically, I would make sure that they always have a rose petal that they would actively be cutting up and then I would occasionally crumble up rose petals for them when I wanted to see them bring in vast amounts of food. However, I realized recently that if I always crumble their food for them, they actually collect way more of it than if I don't. Thus, by just giving them whole leaves, I was restricting the potential growth of the colony. I'm going to be crumbling their leaves from now on, to help ensure they get the most food possible. We'll see how this effects colony development  :rolleyes:

 

Here's the most recent Time-lapse of them from 2 days ago:


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Currently Keeping:
Trachymyrmex septentrionalis

Pheidole pilifera

Forelius sp. (Monogynous, bicolored) "Midwestern Forelius"
Crematogaster cerasi

Pheidole bicarinata

Aphaenogaster rudis

Camponotus chromaiodes

Formica sp. (microgena species)

Nylanderia cf. arenivega


#28 Offline TechAnt - Posted July 2 2020 - 10:18 AM

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Awesome!


My Ants:
(x1) Campontous semitstaceus ~20 workers, 1 Queen
(x1) Camponotus vicinus ~10 workers, 1 Queen (all black variety)
(x1) Tetramorium immigrans ~100 workers, 1 Queen
(x1) Myrmercocystus mexicanus -1 Queen
(x2) Mymercocystus mimcus -1 Queen
(x1) Mymercocystus testaceus ~45 workers, 1 Queen

#29 Offline Antkid12 - Posted July 2 2020 - 10:33 AM

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Nice! fungus growers are so cool! The video makes me want them even more!


Edited by Antkid12, July 2 2020 - 11:35 AM.

Ants I have: Tapinoma sessile(2 queen colony). RED MORPH Camponotus neacticus(now has pupae!), Tetramorium immigrans (x3), Aphaenogaster sp, Temnothorax sp, Brachymyrmex sp.   possibly infertile   :(,  Ponera pennsylvanica, and Pheidole morrisi!  :yahoo: 

 

Other insects: Polistes sp. Queen

                    

Ants I need: Pheidole sp., Trachymyrmex sp., Crematogaster cerasi , Dorymyrmex sp. Most wanted: Pheidole morrisii

 

                    

                   

 

 


#30 Offline TechAnt - Posted September 25 2020 - 3:03 PM

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Update?
My Ants:
(x1) Campontous semitstaceus ~20 workers, 1 Queen
(x1) Camponotus vicinus ~10 workers, 1 Queen (all black variety)
(x1) Tetramorium immigrans ~100 workers, 1 Queen
(x1) Myrmercocystus mexicanus -1 Queen
(x2) Mymercocystus mimcus -1 Queen
(x1) Mymercocystus testaceus ~45 workers, 1 Queen

#31 Offline TheAntGuy - Posted September 25 2020 - 3:06 PM

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I second this! These look so cool they gotta be huge by now!
Check out my journals, instagram, and youtube channel.

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Youtube: The Ant Guy

#32 Offline mmcguffi - Posted November 19 2020 - 6:33 PM

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How is your colony doing? Did you hibernate it?



#33 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted November 20 2020 - 7:09 AM

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How is your colony doing? Did you hibernate it?

Most leaf cutter journals end up never being updated. Cheeto's and ZTYguy's journals are exceptions so far.



#34 Offline mmcguffi - Posted November 20 2020 - 12:15 PM

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Most leaf cutter journals end up never being updated. Cheeto's and ZTYguy's journals are exceptions so far.

 

I did find this, so maybe this explains it haha



#35 Offline Mdrogun - Posted September 10 2021 - 1:04 AM

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Update?

Like mmcguffi pointed out, I ended up selling this colony off. Funnily enough, the colony in the video he posted is not this exact colony, but a different one I had collected. There's a spot in Illinois where these colonies are incredibly abundant and easy to collect ;)

 

 

I second this! These look so cool they gotta be huge by now!

 

 

The colony I showed in the video is probably pretty close to full-size. At least I think so. It's possible that if I had kept them long enough the fungus would of gotten significantly larger as they progressed through the warm season. it's also possible they could balloon much larger in captivity as opposed to wild colonies but I'm unsure. These queens are not very large and cannot sustain colonies anywhere near the size of what is seen in some of the other Attine genera.

 

 

How is your colony doing? Did you hibernate it?

I never kept these long enough to have to go through hibernation, but some of my friends that went with me on our initial collection trip had colonies that did end up hibernating. In regards to hibernation, it does appear that in captivity hibernation is required and runs on some kind of biological clock. That being said, you are able to get away with a much shorter hibernation than would be seen from colonies in the wild. Cheeto was one of the friends that kept his colony until hibernation so you'll have to ask him, but if I remember correctly they hibernated for about 2 months. This population particularly is probably one of the longest-hibernating populations as they are very close to the northernmost record for the species (only beat out by some populations on the East coast which get to cheat because the ocean makes the climate more mild  :whistle: ). Wild colonies would wake up in roughly Early May, and I am not sure of this bc I have not observed it directly, but I would guess they re-enter hibernation sometime around Late September/Early October. Some populations in their southernmost range in Florida reportedly do not hibernate at all, but I have not ever observed anybody in captivity with a colony that was able to confirm this.


Let me know if there's anything else you guys want to know! Sorry I let you down by discontinuing the journal. I now live in Florida, as opposed to Illinois, and this species is incredibly abundant here. The only down side being they nest so far down due to the heat it seems to be the case that they cannot be dugout, like the colonies in this journal were. I still will probably end up with another colony at one point or another, hoping I can manage to dig up a colony in the "winter" here ;)


  • TennesseeAnts and CheetoLord02 like this

Currently Keeping:
Trachymyrmex septentrionalis

Pheidole pilifera

Forelius sp. (Monogynous, bicolored) "Midwestern Forelius"
Crematogaster cerasi

Pheidole bicarinata

Aphaenogaster rudis

Camponotus chromaiodes

Formica sp. (microgena species)

Nylanderia cf. arenivega





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