Jump to content

  • Chat
  •  
  •  

Welcome to Formiculture.com!

This is a website for anyone interested in Myrmecology and all aspects of finding, keeping, and studying ants. The site and forum are free to use. Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation points to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!

Photo

Test's Novomessor cockerelli and Veromessor pergandei Journal (updated 12/12/2020, 2 month update)

veromessor pergandei novomessor cockerelli

  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#21 Offline TestSubjectOne - Posted December 13 2020 - 6:35 PM

TestSubjectOne

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 195 posts
  • LocationOrange County, California

Those Novomessor are being criminally underfed. They only went from 1 worker to 13 in 2 months. How much are you feeding them? With daily feeding my colony went from her first nanitic to ~200+ workers in that same time. Also they should have a less seed-heavy diet. They are called "harvester ants", but they are no more harvesters than any other desert myrmicinae. Seeds aren't bad, but they should not make up a significant part of their diet. They need more protein. My colony is sitting at nearly 400 workers in 3 months because of a protein-heavy diet and daily feeding. And heat. I don't want to sound like I'm dogging you, but you've gotta improve that colony's diet for sure.

Yeah, I definitely have been neglecting their feeding. They are kept at about 85 degrees heating, so unless that is too low I would blame their stunted growth on their feeding - another concern I have is that the only feeder insects I have for them are rice flour beetle larvae, so they have an extremely limited diet. I'll supplement them with wild crickets going forward. I don't have enough time to feed them daily, but I'll try to give them substantially larger meals when I do. I'm glad for the advice, in fact before I wrote this update I had read through your journal and was worried at my colonies' slow growth.


  • CheetoLord02 likes this

TestSubjectOne's Experiences in Antkeeping General Journal

 

Currently Keeping:

- Veromessor pergandei (1 queen, 600 workers)

- Novomessor cockerelli (1 queen, 200 workers)

- Myrmecocystus mexicanus (1 queen, 100 workers)

- Brachymyrmex patagonicus (3 queens?, 2,000 workers? & alates)

- Crematogaster sp. (1 queen, 600 workers)

- Liometopum occidentale (1 queen, 800 workers)

- Camponotus absqualator (1 queen, 130 workers)


#22 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted December 13 2020 - 6:36 PM

CheetoLord02

    Vendor

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 781 posts
  • LocationMesa, AZ

 

Those Novomessor are being criminally underfed. They only went from 1 worker to 13 in 2 months. How much are you feeding them? With daily feeding my colony went from her first nanitic to ~200+ workers in that same time. Also they should have a less seed-heavy diet. They are called "harvester ants", but they are no more harvesters than any other desert myrmicinae. Seeds aren't bad, but they should not make up a significant part of their diet. They need more protein. My colony is sitting at nearly 400 workers in 3 months because of a protein-heavy diet and daily feeding. And heat. I don't want to sound like I'm dogging you, but you've gotta improve that colony's diet for sure.

Yeah, I definitely have been neglecting their feeding. They are kept at about 85 degrees heating, so unless that is too low I would blame their stunted growth on their feeding - another concern I have is that the only feeder insects I have for them are rice flour beetle larvae, so they have an extremely limited diet. I'll supplement them with wild crickets going forward. I don't have enough time to feed them daily, but I'll try to give them substantially larger meals when I do. I'm glad for the advice, in fact before I wrote this update I had read through your journal and was worried at my colonies' slow growth.

 

If you struggle to get feeder insects then that is very understandable. At least the colony is growing at all. 85 is warm enough, too.


  • TestSubjectOne likes this

#23 Offline TestSubjectOne - Posted December 13 2020 - 7:07 PM

TestSubjectOne

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 195 posts
  • LocationOrange County, California

Thinking about it more, I have an unused container of dried bloodworms. If my ants like bloodworm soup, then that would give them another source of insect protein and make feeding easier.


TestSubjectOne's Experiences in Antkeeping General Journal

 

Currently Keeping:

- Veromessor pergandei (1 queen, 600 workers)

- Novomessor cockerelli (1 queen, 200 workers)

- Myrmecocystus mexicanus (1 queen, 100 workers)

- Brachymyrmex patagonicus (3 queens?, 2,000 workers? & alates)

- Crematogaster sp. (1 queen, 600 workers)

- Liometopum occidentale (1 queen, 800 workers)

- Camponotus absqualator (1 queen, 130 workers)


#24 Offline TestSubjectOne - Posted February 13 2021 - 8:19 PM

TestSubjectOne

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 195 posts
  • LocationOrange County, California

2/13/2021:

 

It's been two months since my last update, and a lot has happened with my Novomessors. I have been following Cheetolord's advice to feed my ants more. Though I don't have time for daily feedings, I buy a pack of large crickets from the store weekly and my Novomessors usually receive two of them. The colony of queen three has grown to a size of about 50 workers in their new mini hearth, and the new hatches are much larger than their previous nanitics. However, while this colony has flourished, Hippolyta's kingdom has seen a slow but fatal decline due to her lack of egg production. It is ironic that the first two queens which I had named and wrote about due to their initial success are now dead, while the unassuming colony of "queen three" is the only one left alive. I suppose that now that she is the only queen, I won't have any need to name her as I had been planning to. As long as I still have one colony of this species, I will be happy, though it worries me that if this final queen dies I'll be left without this wonderful species. I tried to feed Hippolyta's colony during their weeks of broodlessness, but they had virtually no appetite for protein or honey; when their queen finally died, it was a disappointment but no surprise. A week after the death of their queen, I attempted to merge the remaining seven workers into my main colony, hoping that the loss of their queen would make the workers open for adoption into a new colony. Unfortunately, the trash pile filled up with corpses and though some workers may have been adopted it seems clear that the majority of them were killed. A few days after the failed merge, I thought more on the similarity between the death of this queen and her sister and became worried that this abrupt cessation of laying was due to a pathogen which had spread between them. I regret my attempt at merging for that reason, but a new batch of eggs has shown that this affliction has not struck my remaining colony, at least so far.

IMG 20210213 134056
IMG 20210213 134117
These pictures, taken of the inside of my Novomessor's mini hearth show several of the colony's larvae feeding on cricket pieces. As I have seen in other journals of this species, they often have a worker on the ceiling carrying the small larvae in a bundle. In comparison with the feeding habits of my other colonies, my Novomessors prefer to use their strong jaws to "butcher" the crickets that I feed them into large chunks of meat, which they then drag into their nest and place their larvae onto to feed. It is a lot more satisfying for me to watch them feed than my other colonies because I can see the food getting carried into their nest and then slowly eaten by the hungry larvae. It is also a cleaner method than my other colonies', leaving little to no waste. One cause of this method of feeding is that the genus Novomessor, like their close relative Aphaenogaster, lacks a social stomach to transport food in a liquid form. Additionally, in nature they forage individually and in an arid environment with scarce food. Therefore, it would benefit them to be able to immediately capitalize on the food that they find before it is taken by another scavenger. These two forms of foraging behaviors remind me of this video that I watched a while ago. Of course, this is all speculation but one of my favorite parts of keeping ants is trying to figure out, evolutionary, why they are the way they are.
 
 
IMG 20210213 134514
My Veromessor pergandei colony, meanwhile, has not been quite as exciting. Their growth has only taken them to a size of about 30 workers despite consistently having a large brood. Mainly, that is my fault; they spent most of the last few months at room temperature because I didn't have enough room in my incubator. I moved them into a fallen fortress at about the same time as my other colonies, but they have not grown much since even though they are now heated to 86 degrees. They have refused any food or liquid besides seeds, but don't seem to be suffering any ill from it. They have a large stock of seeds in their nest so I have no worries about them running out, and constant heating has made them move 2-3 times faster than they do at room temperature so I believe it's what they need to take off in population. Their polymorphism is much more noticeable than my Crematogasters', and it seems like they finally have workers with large enough jaws to process seeds because I no longer see their queen on "nutcracker duty". They seem a lot more comfortable in their fallen fortress than they did in their test tube and thanks to the extra space they are able to lay their brood out evenly across the floor of their water tower, in their peculiar way. On a closing note, despite their overall signs of health, I did notice a thin shape among their brood that appears to be some kind of worm. Although it could just be a piece of seed, parasites would fit with the slowing of their growth. I'll keep an eye on their brood health for the time being.
 

 

 


Edited by TestSubjectOne, February 13 2021 - 8:23 PM.

  • CheetoLord02 likes this

TestSubjectOne's Experiences in Antkeeping General Journal

 

Currently Keeping:

- Veromessor pergandei (1 queen, 600 workers)

- Novomessor cockerelli (1 queen, 200 workers)

- Myrmecocystus mexicanus (1 queen, 100 workers)

- Brachymyrmex patagonicus (3 queens?, 2,000 workers? & alates)

- Crematogaster sp. (1 queen, 600 workers)

- Liometopum occidentale (1 queen, 800 workers)

- Camponotus absqualator (1 queen, 130 workers)


#25 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted February 14 2021 - 12:53 AM

CheetoLord02

    Vendor

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 781 posts
  • LocationMesa, AZ

Those Novomessor look soooooo much better than in your last update! Your speculations about their feeding habits are pretty accurate, and it's so good to hear that you're having fun with them! They're one of my favorite genera that I've ever kept so seeing other people succeed with them makes me so happy!  :D  :good2: And yeah, they're suuuuuper clean ants, so even as the colony gets bigger you'll have to worry a lot less about them than you would with other species.


  • AnthonyP163 and TestSubjectOne like this

#26 Offline Dumpling - Posted April 19 2022 - 8:03 PM

Dumpling

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 83 posts
  • LocationPasadena, California

When are you going to update? Please I'm dying to see how they're doing!  :D


My PFP is an ant. Yes. An Ant. I promise.

My all in one journal: https://www.formicul...-april-22-2022/

 


#27 Offline TestSubjectOne - Posted April 24 2022 - 9:01 PM

TestSubjectOne

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 195 posts
  • LocationOrange County, California

Man, I really need to update my journals. I haven't paid especial attention to my ants besides keeping them fed and watered every few weeks, but growth has still been quite fast paced, especially with some colonies. A lot has happened, so I don't even know where to begin. I'll write up a proper update in the next few days to a week.


Edited by TestSubjectOne, April 24 2022 - 9:20 PM.

TestSubjectOne's Experiences in Antkeeping General Journal

 

Currently Keeping:

- Veromessor pergandei (1 queen, 600 workers)

- Novomessor cockerelli (1 queen, 200 workers)

- Myrmecocystus mexicanus (1 queen, 100 workers)

- Brachymyrmex patagonicus (3 queens?, 2,000 workers? & alates)

- Crematogaster sp. (1 queen, 600 workers)

- Liometopum occidentale (1 queen, 800 workers)

- Camponotus absqualator (1 queen, 130 workers)


#28 Offline M_Ants - Posted April 24 2022 - 9:58 PM

M_Ants

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,391 posts
  • LocationSan Diego CA

Man, I really need to update my journals. I haven't paid especial attention to my ants besides keeping them fed and watered every few weeks, but growth has still been quite fast paced, especially with some colonies. A lot has happened, so I don't even know where to begin. I'll write up a proper update in the next few days to a week.


Please do an update with pics on your fraggles/squats. I'd really love to see how they're doing.

Veromessor pergandei

Veromessor andrei

Crematogaster sp. 

Pogonomyrmex cf cali and rugosus

Various Pheidole

C. yogi 

https://www.youtube....FG7utFVBA/about


#29 Offline TestSubjectOne - Posted April 25 2022 - 5:40 AM

TestSubjectOne

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 195 posts
  • LocationOrange County, California

Will do.


TestSubjectOne's Experiences in Antkeeping General Journal

 

Currently Keeping:

- Veromessor pergandei (1 queen, 600 workers)

- Novomessor cockerelli (1 queen, 200 workers)

- Myrmecocystus mexicanus (1 queen, 100 workers)

- Brachymyrmex patagonicus (3 queens?, 2,000 workers? & alates)

- Crematogaster sp. (1 queen, 600 workers)

- Liometopum occidentale (1 queen, 800 workers)

- Camponotus absqualator (1 queen, 130 workers)






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: veromessor pergandei, novomessor cockerelli

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users