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Phasor's Lasius Journal (First Time Antkeeping!)


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#1 Offline PhasorShift - Posted September 20 2020 - 3:39 PM

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Hello!

I am brand new to antkeeping and have captured two queens. I believe they are Lasius Neoniger and Lasius Brevicornis. I caught them last week at a park, where I saw several nests in the middle of their nuptial flights, with aletes absolutely swarming around the entrances and plant life. Obviously any of these queens would not be mated, so I waited a while and then searched again, over the next couple days. I only found the two, though both still have their wings. I know that's not really an indicator of whether or not they're fertile, but until I see eggs and larvae I will be rather doubtful.

Here they are anyway:Attached File  IMG_20200914_192742.jpg   165.89KB   1 downloads

Attached File  IMG_20200915_175056.jpg   161.64KB   0 downloads

I have them both in test tubes, in a box, on my shelf. Not entirely sure what to do now, as I know they'll need to go into diapause in a month or so, and probably won't even lay eggs (if they're fertile) until next summer. I'm trying not to disturb them as much as possible, but so far all that's been is assuming they're dead until I open the box on Saturday and see them moving and alive, but otherwise no change. I guess that's antkeeping. Maybe I'll try offering them some sugar water in a bit.

I'm kind of upset that I became interested in the hobby so late in the year, as I'm going to have to wait *months* before I'm really able to do anything with it. If anyone has any advice on how to keep interested over the winter, I'd be happy to hear it.

Anyway, I just wanted to get a journal started for these two queens, and there may not be many updates at all until next year, but here's a record of when it all began.

See ya!
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#2 Online KitsAntVa - Posted September 21 2020 - 4:13 AM

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Honestly don't be upset you came late because you caught two queens people in virginia including me would try our to get and when we do gets ones its just lasius neoniger.


I indeed have a novo journal now but ill let you find it! Have fun!


#3 Offline PhasorShift - Posted September 23 2020 - 4:56 PM

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Update 9/23/2020

So I went back to that park today on a whim, after a bit of shopping. Wasn't expecting much luck, since I haven't had much so far. Grabbed a small handful of vials, got out of the car, and immediately found a queen.

That should have been my warning, to grab more vials.

I ended up collecting 15 queens in total, most Neoniger but with two Crematogaster. I actually had to shuffle the queens around, put a few of them in the same vial together to keep collecting. I even passed up a couple other queens I saw, because I couldn't carry them all. (I should have dumped a neoniger to get the other crematogasters I saw though.)

Here they are, in their collection vials, and then in their new glass test tube set ups.

Attached File  IMG_20200923_190608.jpg   206.92KB   0 downloads

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The two on the furthest right (in plastic test tubes) are the ones I caught last week. Brevicornis furthest right, then the neoniger. The next two in from those are the crematogaster. The rest are neoniger.
As an experiment, the two tubes furthest left have multiple queens, three and then two.

If the crematogaster do well, I'll start a new journal for them.

I also got a mini-fridge yesterday, for diapause. I should set my workbench back up in the basement, so I have a place to work and put everything....

I'm starting to feel like a real ant keeper now!
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#4 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted September 24 2020 - 5:13 AM

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Update 9/23/2020

So I went back to that park today on a whim, after a bit of shopping. Wasn't expecting much luck, since I haven't had much so far. Grabbed a small handful of vials, got out of the car, and immediately found a queen.

That should have been my warning, to grab more vials.

I ended up collecting 15 queens in total, most Neoniger but with two Crematogaster. I actually had to shuffle the queens around, put a few of them in the same vial together to keep collecting. I even passed up a couple other queens I saw, because I couldn't carry them all. (I should have dumped a neoniger to get the other crematogasters I saw though.)

Here they are, in their collection vials, and then in their new glass test tube set ups.

attachicon.gifIMG_20200923_190608.jpg

attachicon.gifIMG_20200923_202020.jpg

The two on the furthest right (in plastic test tubes) are the ones I caught last week. Brevicornis furthest right, then the neoniger. The next two in from those are the crematogaster. The rest are neoniger.
As an experiment, the two tubes furthest left have multiple queens, three and then two.

If the crematogaster do well, I'll start a new journal for them.

I also got a mini-fridge yesterday, for diapause. I should set my workbench back up in the basement, so I have a place to work and put everything....

I'm starting to feel like a real ant keeper now!

usually we catch that many lasius up here too, but this year has been the strangest year of all. formica had no huge swarm, tetramorium swarmed over a month's period, and lasius and solenopsis molesta have not even swarmed yet...


Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

My Journal Here

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#5 Offline PhasorShift - Posted September 24 2020 - 10:31 AM

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Question is, do I go out again today and catch even more...🤔

#6 Offline PhasorShift - Posted September 24 2020 - 2:53 PM

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Found a neo queen as I walked out the door at work. Decided to go back to the park.
Almost stepped on another as I walked out my front door. Lol.
At the park, found a whole bunch of what I'm told was Lasius aphidicola, but decided not to keep them because they're parasitic, and I'm not quite ready for that yet.

Still, managed to find an additional two neo and one crematogaster at the park. Not nearly as good as yesterday, but I'm running out of test tubes lol.

Brings my total to 18 neoniger, 3 crematogaster, and 1 brevicornis. I'm sure at least some of them will survive the winter now.
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#7 Online ANTdrew - Posted September 24 2020 - 4:48 PM

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Good luck. Set up a GAN account to sell the extra next year.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Spoiler alert! There is no Deep State.


#8 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted September 25 2020 - 6:54 AM

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ALWAYS have extra test tubes. i didn't have enough and have to live with camponotus modoc flying past my face. most irritating.


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Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

My Journal Here

My Shop Here

Attention Ant-Keepers in South Dakota! Join the SoDak(Society Of Dakotan Ant Keepers)

Learn about our website AntsDakota, and help us develop and publish it

Join our Discord, where you can discuss your anting ideas in peace, and learn more about AntsDakota.com


#9 Offline PhasorShift - Posted September 25 2020 - 7:15 AM

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ALWAYS have extra test tubes. i didn't have enough and have to live with camponotus modoc flying past my face. most irritating.


Lol, I had extra, I just didn't have ENOUGH extra. I could have gone back to my car to grab more, but it would be the same thing of stepping over ants I didn't have tubes for. Then the next day I bring a dozen extra tubes, and only find three ants.

I do carry two tubes with me at all times, in case I randomly find one like I did yesterday.
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#10 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted September 25 2020 - 7:19 AM

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ALWAYS have extra test tubes. i didn't have enough and have to live with camponotus modoc flying past my face. most irritating.


Lol, I had extra, I just didn't have ENOUGH extra. I could have gone back to my car to grab more, but it would be the same thing of stepping over ants I didn't have tubes for. Then the next day I bring a dozen extra tubes, and only find three ants.

I do carry two tubes with me at all times, in case I randomly find one like I did yesterday.

 

i need to get into a habit of doing that.


Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

My Journal Here

My Shop Here

Attention Ant-Keepers in South Dakota! Join the SoDak(Society Of Dakotan Ant Keepers)

Learn about our website AntsDakota, and help us develop and publish it

Join our Discord, where you can discuss your anting ideas in peace, and learn more about AntsDakota.com


#11 Online Devi - Posted September 25 2020 - 9:34 AM

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ALWAYS have extra test tubes. i didn't have enough and have to live with camponotus modoc flying past my face. most irritating.


Lol, I had extra, I just didn't have ENOUGH extra. I could have gone back to my car to grab more, but it would be the same thing of stepping over ants I didn't have tubes for. Then the next day I bring a dozen extra tubes, and only find three ants.

I do carry two tubes with me at all times, in case I randomly find one like I did yesterday.

 

i need to get into a habit of doing that.

 

Same.  I luckily have been able to make something work, like a random container I had on me.


Edited by Devi, September 25 2020 - 9:34 AM.

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#12 Offline PhasorShift - Posted September 26 2020 - 10:03 AM

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Update 9/26/2020

I'm trying to keep my checking of the queens to Saturdays only, except if I've caught more and need to add to the box. Might still be too often, but oh well.

Also fed them all some sugar water on a Q-tip. I know I don't really need to feed them yet, but I don't think it will hurt, and they seem to appreciate it. This will be the last (and only, for most of them) time that I feed them before diapause.

Attached File  PXL_20200926_175752244.jpg   175.96KB   0 downloads

There is some sad news though. Even in the few days since I captured them, I have had my first queen death... It's possible I accidentally injured her while collecting, but with 22 queens total, some are bound not to make it. The rest of us, continue on.

Attached File  PXL_20200926_155544668.jpg   234.98KB   0 downloads

As I said, I'm probably disturbing them too much, but I don't plan on hunting for any more queens this year, so I shouldn't need to bother them more than necessary. I'm a couple weeks, I'll start moving them into a chilled spot so they can rest for the winter. Probably won't update much until then.

See ya!
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#13 Online ANTdrew - Posted September 27 2020 - 3:05 AM

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Disturbance won’t really matter until they lay eggs after hibernation. There won’t be anything to observe now, though.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Spoiler alert! There is no Deep State.


#14 Offline PhasorShift - Posted September 28 2020 - 5:04 PM

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I've observed that that first queen I caught, and was concerned she still has wings, has since removed the wings (actually the one eating from the Q-tip in the picture in the previous post, you can see the wings in the tube). So that was exciting to discover lol. But I'm still new so everything is something I want to observe. A kid with a new toy, or like a guy who bought a new boat in December. Can't do anything yet, but he still wants to go look at it every 20 minutes.

I've heard many times that ant keeping is a lesson in patience.

Edited by PhasorShift, September 28 2020 - 5:05 PM.

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#15 Offline PhasorShift - Posted October 4 2020 - 9:23 AM

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Update 10/03/2020

It's Saturday, time for the weekly check in of my ants. (Pure coincidence that it's the day AntsCanada uploads. I only picked this day out of convenience I swear)

Most of the queens seem to be doing fine, although four more have died. I don't know if they were just bad ants, or if I'm doing something wrong here. I'm mildly concerned, but going to try to not worry too much.

The queens I put together to share a tube seem to be getting along for now. At least they haven't started killing each other yet.

Attached File  PXL_20201003_175457237.jpg   142.09KB   0 downloads

In other news, I ordered a bunch of supplies for potential diy projects, which I haven't started on yet but may soon. I also got a macro lens for my phone! A little annoying to use and the pictures are alright... Not sure it's all that much better than just the regular phone camera. But some turned out nicely.

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The one queen that removed her wings last week had them neatly tucked by the exit, ready for clean garbage removal. I pulled them out today.
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Here are the four lost queens. I'm really concerned they aren't getting enough water, that I didn't push the cotton in far enough, or I used too much and packed it too tightly. It's very difficult to find the right size cotton ball, and I can't tell exactly how wet it is or should be. The discord is telling me all different things, and I'm honestly just guessing here.
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I'm sure I'll figure out the best way to do it in time, but how many queens will die before I do? Will I have any left come spring? The worries of a beginner ant keeper with anxiety...

I guess we'll see how they are next week, and then I'll start cooling them down for the winter.

We've had a lot of rain this week, so if there's a warm day with sun, I'll go out and look again. Doubt I'll find anything this late, but maybe. It was a dry summer.
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#16 Online ANTdrew - Posted October 4 2020 - 4:29 PM

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Pack about 45% of a standard cotton ball torn in half for the water part.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Spoiler alert! There is no Deep State.


#17 Offline AntsDakota - Posted October 5 2020 - 5:46 AM

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As long as you can feel the cotton is damp (even just slightly), they will be fine. 


"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

 

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#18 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted October 5 2020 - 6:01 AM

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the queens together will not kill each other until they have workers. that would be when one would be killed.


Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

My Journal Here

My Shop Here

Attention Ant-Keepers in South Dakota! Join the SoDak(Society Of Dakotan Ant Keepers)

Learn about our website AntsDakota, and help us develop and publish it

Join our Discord, where you can discuss your anting ideas in peace, and learn more about AntsDakota.com


#19 Offline AntsDakota - Posted October 5 2020 - 6:27 AM

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the queens together will not kill each other until they have workers. that would be when one would be killed.

This is mostly the case for Lasius, yet there are many instances of pleometrophic queens killing each other before workers.


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"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

 

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#20 Offline PhasorShift - Posted October 6 2020 - 9:58 AM

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As long as you can feel the cotton is damp (even just slightly), they will be fine.


I can't fit my finger into the test tube to feel if it's damp or not. 😐




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