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Cheeto's Parasitic Formica sp. Journal (Updated 2/24)


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16 replies to this topic

#1 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted July 22 2020 - 10:55 PM

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This is a first! Until just two days ago, I had never even seen a parasitic Formica queen, let alone had one for myself. However, as I was walking into a Culver's to eat lunch with AnthonyP163, he noticed a Formica queen out of the corner of his eye. Realizing she was a parasitic queen, we knew that we absolutely had to catch her. Catching her was quite the fiasco, as she was dipping in and out of a drainage grate and dodging us. However, we eventually got her into a test tube. He generously let me have her, as he has 3 queens of his own.

 

IMG 20200720 162118515
IMG 20200720 162132732

 

After lunch, we went and took a scoop out of a Formica subsericea mound to get some pupae. I was informed that there was a chance she would not care for pupae, and if that was the case I would have to introduce her to host workers rather than just pupae. However, to my delight, she almost immediately started carrying and organizing the pupae. She also drank from a small drop of honey that I offered to her.

 

 

IMG 20200721 000444329
IMG 20200721 000513134

 

Within around a day of her having the pupae, her first host worker eclosed. A few pupae seem to have died (most likely damaged during collection), which is a bit unfortunate, but she still has well over 2 dozen pupae left, so I'm positive she'll have enough hosts once they all eclose. I've heard people found queens with less than 10 hosts, so I'm confident I'll have at least some degree of success here, assuming that nothing goes wrong.

 

 

IMG 20200723 011444133

 

I'm really excited to get another parasite success under my belt. I've already successfully founded Aphaenogaster tennesseensis and my Lasius aphidicola colony is going to get their first biological worker within a few days, so I think Formica is the next logical step in the parasite world. I'm really excited to get her going, as parasitic Formica spp. are some of my favorite temperate ants. I have a hunch that this queen is F. aserva, or at least I hope so as they are one of my favorite species of parasitic Formica. Either way, no matter what species she is, I'm super stoked to have her.

 


Edited by CheetoLord02, February 24 2021 - 7:15 PM.

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#2 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted July 23 2020 - 6:48 AM

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Don’t you two live in two different states? (Him in Wisconsin and you in Illinois) At least according to your posts in the market place.

#3 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted July 23 2020 - 7:36 AM

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Very pretty queen!



#4 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted July 23 2020 - 7:46 AM

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Any ideas as to what species it is?

Edit: Oh wait you said it might be F. aserva.

Edited by Kaelwizard, July 23 2020 - 7:47 AM.


#5 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted July 23 2020 - 10:05 AM

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Don’t you two live in two different states? (Him in Wisconsin and you in Illinois) At least according to your posts in the market place.

Yeah, we do, although we regularly go anting with each other in each other's states. I am mentioned several times in his "Anting in Wisconsin" thread. Whenever we are anting out of our state, we just give any catches to the person who lives in that state.


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#6 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted July 23 2020 - 10:59 AM

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Don’t you two live in two different states? (Him in Wisconsin and you in Illinois) At least according to your posts in the market place.

Yeah, we do, although we regularly go anting with each other in each other's states. I am mentioned several times in his "Anting in Wisconsin" thread. Whenever we are anting out of our state, we just give any catches to the person who lives in that state.
Oh ok.

#7 Offline NickAnter - Posted July 23 2020 - 3:40 PM

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It doesnt look much like aserva to me.  But rather a similar slave raiding sp.


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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). 


#8 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted September 30 2020 - 12:42 AM

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This colony is still around and kicking, but they had a rough first season. The queen laid a bunch of eggs at first, but they kept getting eaten, despite my minimal disturbances of them. Eventually the queen gave up on laying and I threw them into hibernation. See you here once they wake up in the spring!



#9 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 30 2020 - 2:30 AM

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Sounds like typical Formica behavior.
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#10 Offline KitsAntVa - Posted September 30 2020 - 4:22 AM

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Nice i'll be following this and apparently someone in Woodbridge Virginia giving away a formica rufa colony that has 100 workers *-*


We don’t talk about that

#11 Offline AntsDakota - Posted September 30 2020 - 7:00 AM

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This colony is still around and kicking, but they had a rough first season. The queen laid a bunch of eggs at first, but they kept getting eaten, despite my minimal disturbances of them. Eventually the queen gave up on laying and I threw them into hibernation. See you here once they wake up in the spring!

Pretty smooth for Formica.......


"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


#12 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted January 3 2021 - 11:41 AM

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Today I took this queen out of hibernation. Only 7 hosts remain, and seeing how I'm in the middle of the desert, getting new host pupae will be a challenge. I'm hoping that these 7 workers will be enough to raise some parasitic workers, or else this queen might be in trouble.
 

IMG 20210103 122044240

 

 

Still, they went through hibernation smoothly. No workers seem to have had any issues and the queen is already being pretty active. I gave them a liquid feeder with sunburst for when they decide to start foraging.

Here's a decent shot of the queen. Hard to see her true coloration in the mini hearth, but you get the idea.

 

IMG 20210103 122051109

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#13 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted January 28 2021 - 2:47 PM

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Update 1/28

We have eggs! It took quite a while, but over the last few days the queen has laid just a few eggs, looks like 5 or 6 to me. Hopefully this time around they actually develop and don't get eaten like what happened last year.
 

IMG 20210128 154122848

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#14 Offline benxixi - Posted January 28 2021 - 3:19 PM

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so cool :o


Ants ,formicary, and ants supply product for selling .

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Pogonomyrmex californicus  1

 

 


#15 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted February 24 2021 - 7:21 PM

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Update 2/24

Excuse the crappy photo, but we have pupae! For whatever reason it took around 3 weeks for the eggs to hatch, which is about 3x as long as I should have expected. Then the larvae stage blitzed by in only ~5 days, and now we have our first pupa! I think there'll be 4 biological workers in this first generation, but the queen does continue to lay quite well, so it won't stop there.
 

IMG 20210224 200319380

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#16 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted February 25 2021 - 4:17 AM

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I'm excited to see the bio workers.


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#17 Offline Canadant - Posted February 25 2021 - 8:11 PM

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Congrats!
"You don't get what you want. You get what you deserve".




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