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59 replies to this topic

#41 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 14 2021 - 3:04 AM

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These are happy colonies and a solid journal. Nice work! I wouldn’t advise putting Tapinoma in a natural setup because escape prevention may be too hard. I honestly would not advise keeping them at all if you have so many other interesting species.

Edited by ANTdrew, June 14 2021 - 7:01 AM.

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Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#42 Offline UtahAnts - Posted June 26 2021 - 2:59 PM

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Update #10

 

Camponotus (80 workers):

They continue to grow, and they have gotten to the point where I have trouble feeding them enough protein, especially with multiple voracious Formica colonies to feed as well. I need to move them into an actual formicarium soon, any ideas?
 
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Formica 1 (80 workers):
I recently moved this colony from their messy THA mini hearth into a "perfect cast" nest. A birds eye view makes it much easier to observe them.
 
 
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The queen herself:
 
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Formica 2 (10 workers):
 
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Crematogaster 1 (100+ workers):
Just growing:
 
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Some cool smaller entrances they built out of sand:
 
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This colony also has some polymorphism going on:
 
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Crematogaster 2 (60 workers):
Probably my fastest growing colony, these ants, or more specifically the queen, will mot stop laying eggs. They continue to inhabit their old founding test tube with no problem, and I plan on simply giving them more test tubes as it's worked well so far.
 
A random brood pile outside the test tube:
 
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Crematogaster emeryans 1:
This colony is not growing very well. Their death rate is beginning to exceed their newly eclosed workers, I hope this colony doesn't die on me.
 
Crematogaster emerayans 3 (dual queen):
All the pupae from last update have recently eclosed:
 
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Laius neoniger:
4 workers now, with more coming. These ants are definitely a slower growing species, at least so far.
 
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Unknown Camponotus species in need of ID:
I thought these were sansabeanus, but their dark gasters and elongated body make me think otherwise, any suggestions? Sorry about the images.
 
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#43 Offline NickAnter - Posted June 26 2021 - 3:25 PM

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That Camponotus is probably vicinus. And the cf. novaeboracensis in the previous post looked like a Myrmentoma sp. to me, possibly C. hyatti.


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Species being kept:

 

 Solenopsis "plebeius", Camponotus vicinus, Camponotus maritimus, Formica cf. subaenescens, Formica cf. aerata, Lasius cf. americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Lasius brevicornis, Lasius nr claviger, Nylanderia vividula, Temnothorax rudis and a Hypoponera sp.

 

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...


#44 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 26 2021 - 3:28 PM

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That new Formica nest is a work of art.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#45 Offline UtahAnts - Posted August 1 2021 - 4:15 PM

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Update #11

 

 

Campnotus hyatti (7 workers)

These ants are doing great, they lost about three workers by escaping through the tight space between the glass and wood, favorite foods so far are hummingbird nectar and crickets:

 

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Camponotus vicinus (5 workers):

I brood boosted this colony with a very large median if not major pupae:

 

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(For size reference, the nanitics in the image are about the size of a tetramorium queen)

 

 

Crematogaster 1 (250 workers)

Still growing:

 

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It is very hard to see but you can see the increasingly elusive queen under the larvae on the glass:

 

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Crematogaster 2 (100 workers)

It's becoming very difficult to feed this colony because they treat their outworld as a nest, probably due to excessive heat and/or moisture. Whenever I try to feed them, they go everywhere, treating their Tupperware container as a compromised nest.

 

Crematogaster Emeryans 3: (60 workers)

This colony got about 5 drones recently, hopefully not a sign of infertility: (sorry about the inverted images)

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Lots of eggs:

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Temnothorax Nevadensis (200 Workers)

Due to a sudden grain mite population in the outworld, I've had to stop feeding them excessive protein, I'm probably just going to replace the outworld, as no grain mites can be seen in the nest. Temnothorax are definetly one of the hardiest species I've ever kept.

 

Some new eggs:

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Lasius neoniger (8 workers):

 

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New Species:

 

Tetramorium Immagrans:

Pretty standard colonies, but they make great beginner species. These colonies make up most of what I sell, so they will have sporadic entries in this journal, here's a newly founded colony:

 

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Some quick tips on tetramorium I've found over the years: 

  • If you want a high sucsses rate try putting multiple queens together, I've found that 2 is a good number. Even if one queen dies off when workers arrive, the remaning queen should be unharmed.
  • Substrate in the testube can help a founding colony but is not needed.
  • The testube setup remains the best way to raise tetramorium immigrans, with natural setups coming in at a close second
  • When placing a newly captured queen in a tube, a small drop of sugary liquid will go a long way.
  • Tetramorium eat brood very easily so only checking on them every 2 if not 3 weeks is best. Be sure to keep them in a semi dark to a completely dark area, preferably heated.

 

Aphaenogaster boulderensis (40 workers):

I've had this colony for a while but never got around to making a journal entry until now:

 

This colony has been thriving in a mini hearth, just another example of why THA is the go-to formicarium shop. This colony has a suprisingly explosive feeding response, as soon as one worker finds food, at least 20 more will pour out of the nest entrance, and begin cutting up the protien to feed to their larvae:

 

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Founding Pogonomyrmex occidentalis:

Caught a good amount of occidentalis recently, when they get workers, I'll officially start their entries.

 

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Edited by AntsUtah, October 30 2021 - 10:04 AM.

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#46 Offline NickAnter - Posted August 14 2021 - 9:04 PM

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Nice work!

That boulderensis is occidentalis. One of the few cases where color is an easy distinguisher.
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Species being kept:

 

 Solenopsis "plebeius", Camponotus vicinus, Camponotus maritimus, Formica cf. subaenescens, Formica cf. aerata, Lasius cf. americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Lasius brevicornis, Lasius nr claviger, Nylanderia vividula, Temnothorax rudis and a Hypoponera sp.

 

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...


#47 Offline UtahAnts - Posted August 24 2021 - 2:33 PM

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Update #12

 

 

Camponotus sp. (90 workers):
 
I finally got around to moving this colony into a Foranto nest (All it took was heat). About a quarter of the colony stayed in a piece of dead wood in the out world, but the results speak for themselves:
 
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Camponotus hyatti (9 workers):
 
Discontinued (Sold)
 
 
Camponotus vicinus (7 workers): 
 
The major pupae from the last update eclosed!
 
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Some ants drinking Nectar: 
 
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Temnothorax nevadensis (200 workers):
 
Due to a horrible grain might infestation, this colony got a new out world. So far, so good, but I'm wary of any eggs that may have hitched a ride on the ants. I will miss seeing them hunt the mites though, very interesting and entertaining.
 
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Crematogaster sp #1 (400 workers):
 
Large population boom, largely due to constant heat and a fat meal worm every few days, I might need to tone it back down again though. At the moment I have 4 crematogaster colonies, not mention several formica colonies as well, and I don't know how long my meal worm farm or my budget will last at the present rate.
 
 
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Tetramorium immigrans (4-50 workers):
 
10 too many colonies...
Still growing, I need to sell most of these soon though.
 
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#48 Offline UtahAnts - Posted August 28 2021 - 3:45 PM

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Update #13

 

A quick update on the Foranto nest colonies, I just can't help it:

 

Camponotus sp. (90 workers):

 

The only downside to the foranto nests that I can come up with is that the acrylic he uses has a pretty bad glare. You really have to find the perfect angle.

 

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Crematogaster sp. #2  (100+ workers)

 

This colony got moved from their single, inadequate, test tube into a Foranto and Perfect Cast petri nest. I used two different media to allow the ants to choose which one they liked better. So far they are split between the perfect cast and wood:

 

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Lasius neoniger (10 workers)

 

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Crematogaster emeryans 3 (70 workers)

 

Lots of small, fat, larvae hanging from the ceiling and walls:

 

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#49 Offline UtahAnts - Posted September 12 2021 - 1:47 PM

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Update #14

 

I'm using a Cannon Rebel xs now for my images, heres a link to the thread were I got the inspiration and help needed, along with more pictures of some of my colonies. 

 

This journal is hard to keep track of, so I'm editing my first post in the journal to show what species I am journaling as of now. Here's the list:

 

Red means in diapause (no updates for the species during winter)

Green means out of hibernation (updates for that species)

 

Aphaenogaster occidentalis
Camponotus vicinus
Camponotus hyatti
Crematogaster emeryans (colonies 1 and 3)
Crematogaster mormonum (sp. 1 and 2)
Formica fusca group (formica 2)
Formica sp.
Formica subsericia group (colony 1)
Lasius americanus (soon)
Lasius brevicornis (soon)
Lasius creightoni (soon)
Lasius neoniger
Pheidole bicarinata (soon)
Pheidole ceres (soon)
Pogonomymex occidentalis
Tapinoma sessile
Temnothorax nevadensis
Tetramorium immigrans
 
 
I used different apertures and flash exposures for each species below. Which style do you guys like the best, or think I should improve on?

 

Temnothorax nevadensis (200 workers):

 

This colony is going into diapause next week, they have larvae of varying sizes, but no growth has been noticed for a while now. This will be their last update until next year.
 
Attached File  IMG_6157.JPG   166.65KB   0 downloads
 
You can see the larger gaster of a gamergate to the right:
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Crematogaster mormonum(120+ workers):
 
This particular crematogaster species seems to have a longer growth season compared to local species (crematogaster emeryans), probably because they are from southern Utah. They still eggs and pupae, so I plan on keeping them warm for another 2-5 weeks, depending on how many eggs are being produced.
 
 
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Formica subsericia group (colony 1)(90 workers):
 
No growth, or eggs or anything, although they do accept protein and sugar still. This will be their last update until next year.
 
 
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A dark undershot image of a worker:
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#50 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 12 2021 - 5:41 PM

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Mormon Crematogaster, imagine that!
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#51 Offline UtahAnts - Posted September 20 2021 - 6:04 PM

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Update #15:

 
Species being documented right now:
 

Red: In diapause/hibernation

Green: Not being Hibernated

 

Aphaenogaster occidentalis
Camponotus vicinus
Camponotus hyatti
Crematogaster emeryans (colonies 1 and 3)
Crematogaster mormonum (sp. 1 and 2)
Formica fusca group (formica 2)
Formica sp.
Formica subsericia group (colony 1)
Lasius americanus (soon)
Lasius brevicornis (soon)
Lasius creightoni (soon)
Lasius neoniger
Pheidole bicarinata
Pheidole ceres (soon)
Pogonomymex occidentalis
Tapinoma sessile
Temnothorax nevadensis
Tetramorium immigrans

 

 

Aphaenogaster occidentalis (150 workers):
 
Multiple stages of brood can be seen still, they don't seem like they are going to slow down anytime soon.
 
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Camponotus hyatti (90 workers):
 
This colony has larvae that are not progressing, and they are not taking protein. I plan to take them off the heat in a week or so.
 
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Pheidole cf. bicarinata (10 workers):
 
First update on this colony I bought from a fellow keeper. I'm not sure of the exact species, but they have 3 queens, and no major pupae yet.
 
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Pogonomyrmex occidentalis (Colony 1 has 6 workers/Colony 2 has 2 workers):
 
I have 2 successful colonies left, the rest were sold or died during the founding process (60% mortality rate). They are thriving off a mix of hummingbird nectar, fish flakes, dandelion seeds, and a mix of native seeds collected from mature colonies.
 
 
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Tetramorium immigrans (11 colonies, 5-100 workers):
 
Growing like the plague, they've taken an interest in fish flakes lately, especially the large colonies.
 
 
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Formica subsericia(?) group (90 workers):
 
Still active but no brood:
 
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Some images of the ever elusive queen:
 
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Some more random shots of my ants:
 
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Gamergate in the bottom left corner of image:
 
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Edited by AntsUtah, October 30 2021 - 10:11 AM.

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#52 Offline UtahAnts - Posted November 5 2021 - 1:34 PM

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Update #16

 

 

Red: In diapause/hibernation

Green: Not being Hibernated

 

Aphaenogaster occidentalis
Camponotus vicinus
Camponotus hyatti
Crematogaster emeryans (colonies 1 and 3)
Crematogaster mormonum (sp. 1 and 2)
Formica fusca group (formica 2)
Formica sp.
Formica subsericia group (colony 1)
Lasius americanus (soon)
Lasius brevicornis (soon)
Lasius creightoni (soon)
Lasius neoniger
Pheidole bicarinata
Pheidole ceres (soon)
Pogonomymex occidentalis
Tapinoma sessile
Temnothorax nevadensis
Tetramorium immigrans

 

All colonies except for Pogonomyrmex and Tetramorium are in hibernation. Pogonomyex colony 1 is at 8 workers while colony 2 is at 5. The Tetramorium colonies are ranging from 10-300 workers, it's amazing how different each Tetramorium colony can be in size.

 

 

Large brood piles of one of the largest:

 

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Edited by AntsUtah, November 5 2021 - 3:47 PM.

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#53 Offline UtahAnts - Posted March 22 2022 - 7:06 PM

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Update #17

 

All colonies out of hibernation:
Aphaenogaster occidentalis
Camponotus vicinus
Camponotus hyatti
Crematogaster emeryans (colonies 1 and 3)
Crematogaster mormonum (colonies 1 and 2)
Formica fusca group (formica 2)
Formica sp.
Formica neorufibarbis (colony 1)
Lasius americanus
Lasius brevicornis
Pheidole bicarinata
Pogonomymex occidentalis
Tapinoma sessile
Temnothorax nevadensis
 
First of all I moved my crematogaster and formica colonies to another journal. See below for links
 
Updates on other colonies. Sorry for the lack of pictures
Aphaenogaster occidentalis
Loads of larvae and eggs, I attached a mini hearth xl to their current mini hearth. Lots of expected growth this year.
Camponotus vicinus
Overwintered larvae are about to pupate. Second generation of larvae is well on its way as well.
Camponotus hyatti
About 100 small lavae in the nest, colony is very active right now.
Lasius americanus
All 5 queens have eggs and small larvae. All are still for sale.
Lasius brevicornis
One founding queen with eggs/larvae.
Pheidole bicarinata
2 founding queens
Pogonomymex occidentalis
Both colonies have nice batches of eggs and larvae
Tapinoma sessile
Over a hundred larvae can be seen at the bottom of their natural setup. Estimating they have around 250 workers.
Temnothorax nevadensis
At least 50 alate larvae. The colony has a large feeding response, with nearly 100 workers in the outworld foraging at a time. This genus is always full of suprises
 
Colonies sold since last update:
Lasius neoniger
The rest of my Tetramorium immigrans colonies *finally*
Crematogaster mormonum x2

Edited by UtahAnts, March 22 2022 - 7:07 PM.

Leave the road, take the trails -Pythagoras


#54 Offline UtahAnts - Posted April 5 2022 - 5:18 PM

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Update #18
 
Species being documented
Aphaenogaster occidentalis
Lasius americanus
Lasius brevicornis
Pheidole bicarinata
Pogonomymex occidentalis
Tapinoma sessile
Temnothorax nevadensis
 
New Journal for the Camponotus colonies:
Camponotus vicinus
Camponotus hyatti
 
Aphaenogaster occidentalis (200 workers)
Still growing, most of them moved from the THA mini hearth into the xl, with a few stragglers remaining behind.
 
IMG 4907
 
IMG 7216
 
IMG 7221

 

 
Pogonomymex occidentalis (4-7 workers)
Both colonies are growing, if a bit slower than expected. Any tips from experienced readers on helping this species grow faster? They have plenty of seeds and are constantly heated around 85 degrees.
 
IMG 7198

 

 
Temnothorax nevadensis (200 workers)
The floor and glass of this colony's wood nest is littered with brood, most of it alate larvae. Hopefully by next update we'll have some winged ants walking about
 
IMG 7144
 
IMG 7143
 
IMG 7146
 
IMG 7150

 

 

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Leave the road, take the trails -Pythagoras


#55 Offline AntsCali098 - Posted April 7 2022 - 9:28 AM

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Great colonies man! I love that Temnothorax colony I'd like a large Temnothorax colony like that one day. Keep up the good work!


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#56 Offline futurebird - Posted April 7 2022 - 9:47 AM

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I agree about the glare on the foranto nests. I'm considering unscrewing the plastic and replacing it with magnets and museum glass. Risky since I love how they look and do not want to ruin it... but worth a shot if I can find the right sized piece of glass.

 

You photos are lovely and we have many of the same species. 

 

Any tips on getting Formica subsericea to grow more? My colony just never seems to grow very quickly. 


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Starting this July I'm posting videos of my ants every week on youTube.

I like to make relaxing videos that capture the joy of watching ants.

If that sounds like your kind of thing... follow me >here<


#57 Offline UtahAnts - Posted April 7 2022 - 10:42 AM

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I find that having a heating and humidity gradient helps a lot with brood production for formica. Also feeding them insects whenever you see the colony foraging (especially in the spring and summer months) will ensure that the brood never goes hungry, and that the queen(s) will be more likely to lay eggs.


Leave the road, take the trails -Pythagoras


#58 Offline United-Ants - Posted April 8 2022 - 7:04 AM

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I would recmend giveing the Pogonomyrmex lots of bugs and I would also recmed to move them into a tarheelants minihearth
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#59 Offline UtahAnts - Posted May 2 2022 - 7:27 PM

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Update #19
 
Quick update and photo dump. Sorry the images are little out of focus, my camera had a preset function I couldn't find how to change.
 
Species being documented:
Aphaenogaster occidentalis
Lasius americanus
Pheidole bicarinata
Pogonomymex occidentalis
Tapinoma sessile
Temnothorax nevadensis
 
Aphaenogaster occidentalis: Main colony is still growing (250 workers), here's an image smaller 20 worker colony I have going as well.
 
IMG 7508

 

Lasius americanus: (4 founding queens) One of the queens has nanitics, however the workers seem to be dying after they eclose. Maybe the queen is killing them? Any help would be appreciated.

 

IMG 7493
 
IMG 7495
 
Pogonomymex occidentalis (15 workers): The colony's population finally seems to be taking off, it seems hibernation caused them to slow down for the last couple months.
 
IMG 7467
 
IMG 7466

 

Temnothorax nevadensis (200 workers): Official alate pupae! Now it's only a matter of time before we'll have winged acorn ants in the nest! Still trying to decide if I should attempt to stage a nuptial flight for them.
 
IMG 7419
 
IMG 7420

 

 
 

 


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Leave the road, take the trails -Pythagoras


#60 Offline UtahAnts - Posted June 12 2022 - 9:49 PM

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Update #20
 
Species being documented:
Aphaenogaster occidentalis
Lasius americanus
Pogonomymex occidentalis
Tapinoma sessile
Temnothorax nevadensis

 

All of the featured colonies on this journal have grown quite a bit since the last update. June is always my favorite month for feeding and observing the ants becuase of the major growth of each colony, large or small.

 

Aphaenogaster occidentalis (250 workers)
Lots of new eggs, I took this colony off the heat about a month ago, but the queen is still producing a good amount of eggs (which the workers hang from the ceiling) at 65 degrees.
 
IMG 7825
 
IMG 7833
 
IMG 7829

 

 
Lasius americanus (3-5 workers)
2 of the queens ate or killed their first workers, leaving two successful colonies behind. Apparently americanus is a good host species for parasites, so I'm hoping by next year the colonies will be large enough to donate pupae.
 
IMG 7808
 
 
Pogonomymex occidentalis (25 workers)
Just growing, I noticed the colony does appreciate sugar a lot more now.
 
IMG 7893
 
IMG 7889

 

 
Temnothorax nevadensis (250 workers)
The larvae pile turned into a pupae pile which turned into alates! So far no drones have eclosed, all of the alates are females.
 
The first queen to eclose!
IMG 7903
 
IMG 7896

Edited by UtahAnts, June 13 2022 - 6:02 AM.

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Leave the road, take the trails -Pythagoras






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