Update #0: C.
turkestanus fedtschenkoi introduction
turkestanus (this species turns out to be C. fedtschenkoi instead) is a beautiful black-and-yellow coloured ant species from Central-Asia. It is native to the desert-steppes of countries like Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan etc. Interesting about this species is that its workers (and especially the queens!) can vary highly in coloration.
I purchased this colony a year ago. The queen arrived on July 6, 2019. The colony has had its ups and downs, but they are doing well currently.
Unlike my Lasius niger journal on this forum, I won't be posting a years worth of old updates. I'll give a short timeline of the colony and then start posting updates here regularly!
(Image by Mierwinkel)
[July 6 2019] The colony arrived on July 6, 2019. The queen had 4 workers, 3 pupae and some eggs. I'll be keeping them at a temperature between 23-29°C.
[August 2019] One or two workers may have escaped. I discovered a
turkestanus fedtschenkoi worker walking over my desk one day! Apparently the talcum barrier was too thick and they could just walk over it. I don't know how many disappeared because of this.
[September 2019] They're doing good and growing steadily. I only check up on them every 3 weeks, I don't want to disturb the queen
[October 2019] In two months they've grown from 4 to 16 workers! But now terror struck... They had a large die-off when I gave the colony a heat mat. There probably was a fatal overheating, or maybe the temperature change was too sudden. A lot of dead workers in the outworld. They dropped from 16 workers down to 8...
[November 2019 - March 2020]
By november the colony had had gained two workers, at 10 workers now. Hibernation started. From november 2019 to march 2020 I kept them in my basement (14 - 15°C). During hibernation two nanitics succumbed, so they were back to 8.
April was slow, but now they're starting to accept food again.
One worker died by getting her body stuck in sugarwater. Fortunately the colony is accepting a lot of food
I decided to check up on them again. They have 18 workers now, back at their former glory! Some of the new workers are big. Finally some media workers have eclosed, they have beautiful pale-yellow bodies and darker heads.
Sadly they lost another three nanitics over the course of this month...
I made a small Ytong nest for my
turkestanus fedtschenkoi colony. In hindsight the nest is still too large for their colony size. Fortunately they do not seem to litter inside the nest (yet).
Some pictures. Sorry for the low quality. The first few pictures are going to be grainy.
Sixteen workers, shortly before the great die-off:
The Ytong nest I made for them:
Inside the new nest:
Edited by Wegmier, April 29 2021 - 2:38 AM.