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Lillyrose's Tapinoma sessile journal


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#21 Offline Lillyrose - Posted February 14 2021 - 7:50 PM

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I added heat to my ants for a few hours a day but the outworld is too small or something because there is condensation everywhere.

I didn't put the heat near the water but the rock does have some moisture. I'm not sure what to do.

I don't know if they're hiding but all the eggs and larvae seem to have disappeared. I worry that I stressed them to the point that the colony is going to fail.

I tried a small dish of plain sugar but the humidity was so high that it turned into a dish of liquid sugar.

No luck.

They also have refused the moth. I'm not sure they ever really ate them now since I found some buried. They don't bury stuff in the sand. They're moving on the sand much better now. I think the humidity kinda pasted the sand down. That they do seem happy about.

#22 Offline Lillyrose - Posted February 15 2021 - 7:43 PM

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Tomorrow is supposed to be about 50 degrees.

I'm going to release this poor colony. I'll clean everything out and try again later.

They started at like 150 and are down to less than 20. I feel horrible...

#23 Offline KitsAntVa - Posted February 16 2021 - 5:49 AM

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I guess that's the best thing to do, next year you should either try to find tetramorium immigrans queens or buy them from antdrew because these are good ones to raise in captivity, or find a pheidole species. Preferably pheidole dentata.


We don’t talk about that

#24 Offline ANTdrew - Posted February 16 2021 - 6:45 AM

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I can definitely hook you up once it gets warmer and flight season starts. Tetramorium or Pheidole would be good species to start with.


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

#25 Offline Lillyrose - Posted February 16 2021 - 9:04 AM

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I do have a pavement ant queen in hibernation as well as two more colonies of the ordourous ants.. so I haven't given up. I just feel guilty for this colony.

Hopefully I don't make the same kind of mistakes with the next ones I take out of hibernation.

I just really don't know what to use as substrate..

#26 Offline ANTdrew - Posted February 16 2021 - 9:24 AM

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Easiest thing is just to pour some plaster in the bottom of the container (you can embed some sand on the plaster right before it hardens).

Use a tubs and tubes set up. It is the easiest way to start a colony. If you want a more attractive formicarium, I'd only order from Tarheel Ants.


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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.

#27 Offline Lillyrose - Posted March 17 2021 - 11:58 AM

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So my little lovelies hate me.

I took the ones that I accidently killed the queen and put them in with the other ones since they came from the same place. The ones with a queen stay in their broken up acorn half (totally ignoring the cool rock) and the ones without a queen stay in their tube against the cotton. I never see any of them move. It is possible they aren't ready to wake up yet.

I gave them some different types of proteins and sweets but they ignored them all. No to sugar, no to Apple, no to honey, no to mealworms, no to cricket, no to strawberry, no to moth (which their old colony loved), no to sunflower seed, and so far .. no to flightless fruit flies.

I'm not sure if they're drinking when I go to bed.. maybe they wait for perfect silence and no vibrations and then come out and party but I haven't seen them do anything.

I put a little hood over the tube because I want the ones in the acorn bit to move in there or into the rock.. but it just isn't working.

I could wet the rock .. its absorbent.. but the world is so small that last time it caused a lot of condensation whenever the room got warm or I used the heat cable .. so I'm not doing it for now. I would give them a bigger outworld but they don't even move around this one so I figure it's not the issue.

The room is heated but not overly warm ... so maybe they're still sleeping .. the heat cable doesn't seem to push them to move at all.

These poor guys are my learning colony so I don't blame them for not wanting to be my friend lol. I'll make them love me yet!

It's worth noting I tried to let them go, realized it was too cold and brought them back. The result was that the water kinda froze and then melted, flooding the tube. Most of the colony died :-(

I haven't made good choices yet... but I am realllllly trying. I want to be the best owner.

#28 Offline Lillyrose - Posted March 17 2021 - 12:04 PM

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Their home .. they ignore the rock
http://imgur.com/a/s6VCstn
http://imgur.com/a/j3pkLTk
The acorn
http://imgur.com/a/ZiCI07T
The tube.. including flies which got stuck on the cotton.

#29 Offline Lillyrose - Posted March 18 2021 - 3:30 PM

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I came home and found three or four of the girls out and exploring. The dead fruit flies are still there so I guess that isn't our preference. They seem to be seeking out the heating cable behind the rock.

I kinda wonder if the heat isn't making it through the sand and that's why they haven't reacted to it before.

#30 Offline Lillyrose - Posted March 19 2021 - 8:45 AM

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http://imgur.com/a/xXbkgFH

Apparently we are playing in the corner? What in the world are you doing guys? Lol

Also, am I insane or do I have two different ants? I feel like there are some that are darker and just .. kinda different. I think I'm being paranoid.

Oh well

The girls are running around while they wait for their tube to dry. Idiot That I am I wasn't paying attention and slid the box back a little... totally forgetting about the heating cable. This pushed the cable to the water and ... welllll they left quickly when the water started to condensate in the tube.

Everytime I touch anything I kill some by accident... seriously, every choice I make is wrong. I'm big and clumsy and having a hell of a time .. so I want to let the tube dry out on its own rather than taking it out. I don't know if I can. If not. Maybe they'll move to the rock. I don't it though, the rock is dry (to prevent condensation) and they seem to like it a bit wetter.

I'm stuck

#31 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 19 2021 - 8:53 AM

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Change the tube.


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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.

#32 Offline Lillyrose - Posted March 19 2021 - 9:42 AM

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I went to change the tube but when I looked there was only a single drop of water and a few ants already back inside.. I think I caught it fast enough. I hate that I can't see inside without bugging them.

The sad thing is,, in the time it took for me to do my shift and then come back to check there is a new dead ant in the pile where all the ants were

I think the ants are fighting .. ohh noooo

Edited by Lillyrose, March 19 2021 - 9:48 AM.


#33 Offline Lillyrose - Posted March 19 2021 - 9:48 AM

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Maybe I'm not very good at thiz

#34 Offline Lillyrose - Posted March 19 2021 - 11:00 AM

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So it turns out the two colonies should not have merged .. despite them being found right next to each other in the woods. The colony with no queen and the colony with queens have gone to war.

I'm sitting here flabbergasted and horrified as they grab each other and yank them off their feet. Dead ants are everywhere.

At this point I can't separate them as I can't tell the difference and I'm likely to cause more harm. All I can do is pray who ever wins that at least a queen makes it out.

I feel horrible.

I really thought I was allowed to merge them. Someone told me I could, but it turned out to be a mistake. I won't do that again. Gosh.

When I said I wanted activity to watch this isn't what I meant. I'm trying to teach a class and I keep getting distracted by the carnage. My class keeps asking what I'm looking at as I trail off uncertainly.

#35 Offline Lillyrose - Posted March 19 2021 - 11:19 AM

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http://imgur.com/a/cSBqHFW

#36 Offline Lillyrose - Posted March 20 2021 - 4:58 AM

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So for a short while there was a truce, everyone back to their corners. Once the lights went out they returned to it though. I spotted the queen from my acorn running around and was so tempted to scoop her up and out for her own protection.

http://imgur.com/a/t6X9eTB

I decided to let it be though. This morning everyone is out and about. I think the ones in the acorn have won and now are exploring the area.

A small part of me wonders if they're both Tapinoma sessile... maybe I mixed ants and that's what led to the war.

I'm not sure.

They were all over the test tube this morning, which was the orphans home before. I think all the orphans are dead.

Usha (the queen) seems to be alive at the moment... but I'm not 100% sure. I am pretty sure I saw her in the acorn with her daughters.

They still haven't taken any food. I've tried moth and flies and corn muffin (suckers stole one from my kitchen last year, I thought they would like it) pure sugar, and mealworm. So far they've shown 0 interest in any of it. I suppose war is a massive distraction though so once they calm down I guess I'll try again.

#37 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 20 2021 - 12:26 PM

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My experience is that this species doesn’t eat anything in captivity. They’re pretty dreadful, honestly.
"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 Lillyrose - Posted March 20 2021 - 12:58 PM

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My experience is that this species doesn’t eat anything in captivity. They’re pretty dreadful, honestly.


I'm starting to agree lol

I kinda wanna get some Crematogaster cerasi... I think I found some out in the woods and I'm in love
http://imgur.com/a/FcUOoyC

(I may have the wrong name again)
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#39 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted March 20 2021 - 1:33 PM

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That looks like Camponotus castaneus. Crematogaster cerasi are small black ants with heart shaped gasters.

#40 Offline Lillyrose - Posted March 20 2021 - 2:59 PM

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Yep wrong name again lol ... I love then tho




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