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
* * * * - 4 votes

UA's Ant Keeping Journal

aphaenogaster camponotus crematogaster formica lasius tapinoma temnothorax tetramorium utah formicariums foranto journal pogonomyrmex pheidole

60 replies to this topic

#21 Offline UtahAnts - Posted April 19 2021 - 4:58 PM

UtahAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 329 posts
  • LocationUtah County

I agree, Monomorium don't really attack other ants directly, it's more of them taking resources from other ants. I have seen colonies that can devour large amounts of food faster than almost any other species. Monomorium and especially Tetramorium are by far the most common species in my area, with extremely large nuptial flights, and I feel that limiting colonies close to me will allow other colonies to gain a small but steady supply of resources. For instance, I used to live in a suburban area, with Tetramorium and Monomorium dominiating. I found 2 other active colonies on the property in the time that I searched while I lived there, a Brachymyrmex and a Formica rufa colony. Every time a new food supply was found, the tetras would pull it into their mounds if the monomorium did nor get to it first, the larger formica workers never had a chance to even get reinforcements. When I first moved to the plot I mentioned earlier, there was no yard, only wild weeds and native flowers, and to my awe, multiple pogonomyrmex colonies. Since then, sod has been placed and 5 years later, no Pogonomyrmex, no camponotus, just two types of ants, very well adapted to urban areas. The most obvious solution would be to plant native plants and try to reintroduce the native ant species, but for the time being, removing some of the ants is the easiest approach in my opinion.

 

EDIT: The Fomica species mentioned above is not Formica rufa, but a simmilar type.


Edited by AntsUtah, April 20 2021 - 12:20 PM.

  • mantisgal likes this

Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 


#22 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 19 2021 - 5:05 PM

ANTdrew

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,706 posts
  • LocationAlexandria, VA
It’s pretty clear reading your description that Monomorium is not the problem. It’s destruction of habitat. A better use of your time would be spent creating and preserving robust native plant habitats.
  • TennesseeAnts likes this
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#23 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted April 19 2021 - 7:44 PM

TennesseeAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,875 posts
  • LocationNashville, Tennessee
While I agree with ANTdrew, I wanted to point out that the ants you're describing aren't Formica rufa. F. rufa is a rare European species found nowhere in the U.S. Though, we have dozens of similar species in what we call the F. rufa-group.
  • Antkeeper01 and UtahAnts like this

#24 Offline NPLT - Posted April 20 2021 - 12:22 AM

NPLT

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 325 posts
  • LocationPiaseczno, Poland

While I agree with ANTdrew, I wanted to point out that the ants you're describing aren't Formica rufa. F. rufa is a rare European species found nowhere in the U.S. Though, we have dozens of similar species in what we call the F. rufa-group.

They're not rare at all, one of the more common forest ants.


  • Antkeeper01 likes this

Um, uh, Ants!

 

link to journal: https://www.formicul...lt-ant-journal/


#25 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted April 20 2021 - 3:17 AM

Kaelwizard

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,852 posts
  • LocationPoway, California

 

While I agree with ANTdrew, I wanted to point out that the ants you're describing aren't Formica rufa. F. rufa is a rare European species found nowhere in the U.S. Though, we have dozens of similar species in what we call the F. rufa-group.

They're not rare at all, one of the more common forest ants.

 

It was my understanding that they are now under protection in much of Europe due to their status as near-threatened (though some other websites said they were threatened).


  • Antkeeper01 likes this

#26 Offline NPLT - Posted April 20 2021 - 5:15 AM

NPLT

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 325 posts
  • LocationPiaseczno, Poland

 

 

While I agree with ANTdrew, I wanted to point out that the ants you're describing aren't Formica rufa. F. rufa is a rare European species found nowhere in the U.S. Though, we have dozens of similar species in what we call the F. rufa-group.

They're not rare at all, one of the more common forest ants.

 

It was my understanding that they are now under protection in much of Europe due to their status as near-threatened (though some other websites said they were threatened).

 

That might be the case with other ants of this group such as Formica aquilonia, Formica lugubris, Formica pratensis, and Formica truncorum, however, ants from the species Formica rufa and Formica polyctena are protected because they are vital to forest habitats and thus removing their nests would damage said habitats. However F. rufa and F. polyctena, because they are so common are under partial protection which allows for some reduction in population numbers and keeping for scientific reasons, while all other mentioned Formica are under full protection.


Edited by NPLT, April 20 2021 - 5:22 AM.

  • TennesseeAnts and Antkeeper01 like this

Um, uh, Ants!

 

link to journal: https://www.formicul...lt-ant-journal/


#27 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted April 20 2021 - 5:18 AM

Kaelwizard

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,852 posts
  • LocationPoway, California

 

 

 

While I agree with ANTdrew, I wanted to point out that the ants you're describing aren't Formica rufa. F. rufa is a rare European species found nowhere in the U.S. Though, we have dozens of similar species in what we call the F. rufa-group.

They're not rare at all, one of the more common forest ants.

 

It was my understanding that they are now under protection in much of Europe due to their status as near-threatened (though some other websites said they were threatened).

 

That might be the case with other ants of this group such as Formica aquilonia, Formica lugubris, Formica pratensis, and Formica truncorum, however, ants from the species Formica rufa and Formica polyctena are protected because they are vital to forest habitats and thus removing their nests would damage said habitats. However F. rufa and F. polyctena, because they are so common are under partial protection which allows for some reduction in population numbers and keeping for scientific reasons, while all other mentioned Formica are under full protection.

 

I see. Thanks for the information.


  • Antkeeper01 likes this

#28 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted April 20 2021 - 6:16 AM

TennesseeAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,875 posts
  • LocationNashville, Tennessee

 

While I agree with ANTdrew, I wanted to point out that the ants you're describing aren't Formica rufa. F. rufa is a rare European species found nowhere in the U.S. Though, we have dozens of similar species in what we call the F. rufa-group.

They're not rare at all, one of the more common forest ants.

 

I should have specified: 

The species is rare in a few select European countries (last I heard, at least).

 

Edit: Please correct me if I'm wrong.


Edited by TennesseeAnts, April 20 2021 - 6:17 AM.


#29 Offline UtahAnts - Posted May 14 2021 - 1:17 PM

UtahAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 329 posts
  • LocationUtah County
Here's a quick update on some of the colonies, I'm discontinuing the camponotus 1 colony, as I recently sold it.
 
Crematogaster emeryana 1:
 
I moved this colony into a homemade perfect cast nest, (see link in signature for details on formicarium). They've started laying and the larvae are growing.
 
 
Attached File  IMG-0876 (1).jpg   181.44KB   0 downloads
 
 
Formica cf. fusca: 
 
Since the last update on them, they've grown to about 40 workers, with much more on the way. I try to vary their protein diet by feeding them everything from aphids to earwigs, to termites.
 
 
Attached File  IMG-0878.jpg   203.76KB   0 downloads
 
 
Crematogaster emeryana 2:
 
I chose this species of crematogaster to inhabit a new Foranto nest, and they seem to be enjoying it. You can see several batches of eggs in the chambers:
 
 
Attached File  IMG-0896.jpg   261.78KB   0 downloads
 
 
 
Camponotus, Unknown species (Formerly Camponotus colony 2):
I'm really excited about this colony, especially the new majors. They have around 6 or 7 majors, not super majors, but still about the same size as the queen. The majors have Orange/Yellow heads, whereas the minors and queen have black/dark red heads. I thought this species was originally novaeboracensis, but the color is throwing me off:
 
 
Attached File  IMG-0898.jpg   196.6KB   0 downloads
 
 
 
 
Camponotus Modoc: Lots of growth for a slow growing species. They are now at around 11 workers, and a truckload of eggs, as well as several larvae and pupae: 
 
***Sorry the picture is upside down***
Attached File  IMG-0913.jpg   197.73KB   0 downloads

Edited by AntsUtah, May 14 2021 - 1:19 PM.

  • TacticalHandleGaming likes this

Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 


#30 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted May 14 2021 - 1:22 PM

TennesseeAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,875 posts
  • LocationNashville, Tennessee

I don't know if you realized, but that colony isn't F. fusca. It looks like Camponotus.



#31 Offline NickAnter - Posted May 14 2021 - 1:29 PM

NickAnter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,283 posts
  • LocationOrange County, California

I don't know if you realized, but that colony isn't F. fusca. It looks like Camponotus.

Agreed. Besides. F. fusca is European.


  • TennesseeAnts likes this

Species being kept:

 

 Solenopsis "plebeius", Camponotus maritimus, Formica cf. subaenescens, Formica cf. aerata, Lasius cf. americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Lasius brevicornis, Lasius nr claviger, Nylanderia vividula, Temnothorax nevadensis, Temnothorax chandleri, Temnothorax arboreus Solenopsis validiuscula, Solenopsis truncorum, Solenopsis xyloni, Formica perpilosa, Formica cf. lasiodes, Formica cf. neogagates Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex salinus, and Myrmecocystus testaceus!!!!

 

Hoping to find this year:

Myrmecocystus, Liometopum occidentale, Camponotus essigi, Camponotus fragilis, Manica bradleyi, Formica perpilosa, Pheidole hyatti, and a Parasitic Formica sp.

 

People are stupid. It explains a lot...


#32 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 14 2021 - 2:02 PM

ANTdrew

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,706 posts
  • LocationAlexandria, VA
Crematogaster must love that Foranto nest!
  • UtahAnts likes this
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#33 Offline UtahAnts - Posted May 14 2021 - 5:39 PM

UtahAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 329 posts
  • LocationUtah County

 

I don't know if you realized, but that colony isn't F. fusca. It looks like Camponotus.

Agreed. Besides. F. fusca is European.

 

 
Sorry, wrong image, that other one is a modoc colony. Here's the Formica species in a characteristically messy mini hearth. You can see the piles of eggs on the water tower. Most of the workers are hiding on the side walls, they're pretty photophobic. They occasionally bring the pupae to surface, kind of like the Camponotus in the previous image. I can get a good image of the workers then.
 
Attached File  IMG-1834.jpg   192.66KB   0 downloads

  • TennesseeAnts likes this

Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 


#34 Offline UtahAnts - Posted May 26 2021 - 5:49 PM

UtahAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 329 posts
  • LocationUtah County

Update #8

 
(Formerly) Crematogaster cf. cerasi queen 2: After my novice firebrick incident about a year ago, this queen has not only recovered from losing all her workers, but has thrived. They are up to 20 now, with many on the way. The two crema colonies I previously thought were cerasi are in fact some other species. The queens are much larger than cerasi queens, and although the workers have a similar body color and shape, they are somewhat polymorphic, and on average, larger than cerasi.
 
Attached File  IMG-1145.jpg   239.82KB   0 downloads
 
 
(Formerly) Crematogasrer cf. cerasi colony 1: The plaster for this colony literally collapsed from the inside, due to ants tunneling and water erosion. After a stressful hour of sealing up the exits, I then decided to merge the formicarium with an out-world, creating an all in one nest. It's working pretty well right now, and they are up to about 40 workers, with a solid mountain of brood.
 
Attached File  IMG-1141.jpg   320.04KB   0 downloads
 
Attached File  IMG-1140.jpg   309.57KB   0 downloads
 
Laius sp.
I recently I acquired a large 5 queen Laius colonies. The workers are about 2-3 mm and the queens 7 mm.  These ants love to tunnel, so I might move them into a uncle Milton style nest, to fully observe their natural behaviors:
 
Attached File  IMG-1144.jpg   370.21KB   0 downloads
 
 
Formica sp.
After feeding about 50 live fruit flies on accident, this colony has really increased their brood production. I also put some dirt in their out world while feeding termites, which was a mistake. The ants have now mixed the dirt and loose sand to build a donut-like structure around their water tower, in which they have put the brood and queen. Here's an image of some skittish worker's running around:
 
Attached File  IMG-1147.jpg   183.96KB   0 downloads
 
 
Camponotus modoc: The colony is still growing at a fast pace, especially for camponotus. They still have about 10 workers, but the brood is multiplying:

 

Attached File  IMG-1142.jpg   192.77KB   0 downloads


Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 


#35 Offline NickAnter - Posted May 26 2021 - 6:42 PM

NickAnter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,283 posts
  • LocationOrange County, California

that's not Lasius... Looks like Dorymyrmex to me.


Species being kept:

 

 Solenopsis "plebeius", Camponotus maritimus, Formica cf. subaenescens, Formica cf. aerata, Lasius cf. americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Lasius brevicornis, Lasius nr claviger, Nylanderia vividula, Temnothorax nevadensis, Temnothorax chandleri, Temnothorax arboreus Solenopsis validiuscula, Solenopsis truncorum, Solenopsis xyloni, Formica perpilosa, Formica cf. lasiodes, Formica cf. neogagates Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex salinus, and Myrmecocystus testaceus!!!!

 

Hoping to find this year:

Myrmecocystus, Liometopum occidentale, Camponotus essigi, Camponotus fragilis, Manica bradleyi, Formica perpilosa, Pheidole hyatti, and a Parasitic Formica sp.

 

People are stupid. It explains a lot...


#36 Offline UtahAnts - Posted May 26 2021 - 8:15 PM

UtahAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 329 posts
  • LocationUtah County

I think you're definitely right, perhaps they could also be a Forelius species like pruinosus, or Tapinoma sessile? Here's some more images:

 

Attached File  IMG-1150.jpg   320.06KB   0 downloads

 

Attached File  IMG-1163.jpg   112.33KB   0 downloads


Edited by AntsUtah, May 26 2021 - 8:19 PM.

  • TacticalHandleGaming likes this

Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 


#37 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 27 2021 - 2:29 AM

ANTdrew

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,706 posts
  • LocationAlexandria, VA
Well fed C. cerasi workers can get really big!
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#38 Offline UtahAnts - Posted June 9 2021 - 3:51 PM

UtahAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 329 posts
  • LocationUtah County

Camponotus Modoc (Discontinued) 

Welp, my Modoc queen decided to randomly kick the bucket. They were doing so good until I checked on them today and the queen was just laying upside down. I don't know if it was my fault or if this queen was just weak. She had been laying on her side often before this, but she always got up to move around. Any suggestions on what to do with the 25 workers and brood?

 

Attached File  IMG-1318.jpg   184.84KB   0 downloads

 

Lasius neoniger (3 Workers)

To end on a high note though, I'm going to add a Laius neoniger colony to this journal, they just got nanitics about a week ago:
 
Attached File  IMG-1321.jpg   187.71KB   0 downloads

Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 


#39 Offline NickAnter - Posted June 9 2021 - 3:52 PM

NickAnter

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,283 posts
  • LocationOrange County, California

Cool! And yes, it is most likely Tapinoma sessile.


Species being kept:

 

 Solenopsis "plebeius", Camponotus maritimus, Formica cf. subaenescens, Formica cf. aerata, Lasius cf. americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Lasius brevicornis, Lasius nr claviger, Nylanderia vividula, Temnothorax nevadensis, Temnothorax chandleri, Temnothorax arboreus Solenopsis validiuscula, Solenopsis truncorum, Solenopsis xyloni, Formica perpilosa, Formica cf. lasiodes, Formica cf. neogagates Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex salinus, and Myrmecocystus testaceus!!!!

 

Hoping to find this year:

Myrmecocystus, Liometopum occidentale, Camponotus essigi, Camponotus fragilis, Manica bradleyi, Formica perpilosa, Pheidole hyatti, and a Parasitic Formica sp.

 

People are stupid. It explains a lot...


#40 Offline UtahAnts - Posted June 13 2021 - 7:09 PM

UtahAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 329 posts
  • LocationUtah County

Update #9

 

Tapinoma sessile (200 workers):

This colony has recently had drones eclose. They were surprisingly small and looked like black fruit flies, but they were definitely drones. The workers would escort them between the two test tubes in their out world. They also love to dig in their sand medium, so I'm moving this colony to a natural terrarium in the next few days. Check out my DIY formicarium journal for details along with my monomorium build soon!

Attached File  IMG-1374 (1).jpg   308.42KB   0 downloads

 

Formica 1 (75 workers)

Stellar growth as usual. They continue to accept any insect I place in their foraging area, live or dead. I'm planning on moving them into a XL mini hearth, along with a larger out world soon. After they outgrow that, I am go to buy a large THA nest or make my own, we'll see how my wallet is doing.

Attached File  IMG-1324.jpg   180.59KB   0 downloads

 

Formica 2 (4 Workers)

I caught this queen last year, and after a hibernation period, she raised 4 workers, subsequently, I moved them into simple a petri nest:

Attached File  IMG-1381.jpg   395.9KB   0 downloads

 

Lasius neoniger (3 Workers)

Nothing much has changed, they do have 5 pupae now.

 

Crematogaster 1 (80 Workers)

Last time I updated these girls a month ago, they were at 40 workers, now two weeks later they have almost doubled. Food wise, their favorite protein sources are definitely crickets, earwigs and fruit flies.

Attached File  IMG-1370.jpg   362.5KB   0 downloads

 

Crematogaster 2 (35 workers)

 

Attached File  IMG-1385 (1).jpg   226.32KB   0 downloads

 

Crematogaster emeryans 3 (25 workers)

This particular colony of Crematogaster emeryans is my third that I have mentioned, colony two in the foranto nest was sold. I moved these into my "arch formicarium" and they have recently started laying eggs again:

 

Attached File  IMG-1419.jpg   169.15KB   0 downloads

 

Camponotus cf. Novaboriencis (60 workers)

These ants are growing very fast, especially for camponotus, in about 2 months they have tripled in number, with at least 30 more workers coming in pupae:

Attached File  IMG-1362.jpg   185.67KB   0 downloads

 

One thing that has definitely helped is providing them with multiple nest areas, along with varied sugar and protein sources. I also placed a small amount of dried bird feces in the foraging area (the top left), and they have been more active ever since:

Attached File  IMG-1421.jpg   391.11KB   0 downloads

 

Temnothorax Nevadensis (200 Workers)

Not much has changed, the alate larvae has stayed the same size and color for a month now, I believe they need natural environmental cues too fully pupate into alates. They have created a satellite nest now in their water testube by forming a pile at the entrance with large wood chips up to ten times their volume! Small but strong:
Attached File  IMG-1372.jpg   308.66KB   0 downloads

 

-Thanks for reading!

 

 


Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: aphaenogaster, camponotus, crematogaster, formica, lasius, tapinoma, temnothorax, tetramorium, utah, formicariums, foranto, journal, pogonomyrmex, pheidole

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users