Needless to say... I haven't updated this journal for a reason.
Pretty shortly after the last update this colony started to do absolutely terribly for some reason. They just stopped foraging and never seemed to eat, living off their repletes until those died... then had a massive worker die-off. I was forced to move the queen and whatever workers they had left back into a test tube to see if they could recover.
Well, to my surprise, they can? A few months later the colony is about to get their first new pupa and have a small batch of larvae and eggs as well. Down to 4 workers, but not done yet. I think this colony will almost certainly recover.
Another cool thing is that I've caught a bunch of other, bigger, better Myrmecocystus queens this year, and decided I wanted to try to DIY some nests specifically for them, since my Formisquarium nests (available on arthropodantics.com) are specifically not suitable for them. After a bit of tinkering I managed to make something that looked good, and decided to move the mimicus colony in.
It's now been a week or two since I moved them and they've started to do even better than they were in the test tube, and overall the nest seems to be a hit! I think all I need is a bit more testing and a few more revisions (maybe some rocks embedded in the back wall for the repletes to hang from?) before I start producing more of these nests and putting them up for sale on my website! I may even start experimenting with a larger size once a colony of mine needs a space upgrade, whether it be these mimicus or one of my new queens.