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If you have been following my Lasius journal, you would have seen my single surviving Crematogaster Queen was starting to take over, since she was the fastest developing. Well, now that she has her first nanitics, I am moving her story to a separate thread, and keeping the Lasius there.
Anyway, this past week has been full of anticipation for me. My first workers! Finally I have an actual colony, instead of just a few queens. I was very excited, and was hard pressed to not check in on her frequently to see the pupae getting darker. In fact, last night I set up a time lapse camera to record for twelve hours, because I was convinced that they were just hours away from eclosing. Well, they did not start moving in that time, but I still did catch some really interesting events, including a lot of moving brood around, several new eggs being laid, and even a larvae getting cleaned by the queen to become a pupa! Check it out here!
Like I said, when I went to check on them this morning, they had not yet eclosed, though they had to be getting close. Here's a pic I took then, with four pupae a nice dark brown, almost ready to come out of the oven!
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After this check, I did set up my time lapse camera again, but unfortunately it wasn't in focus this time so you couldn't really see anything... Soon I'll have a much better setup for taking videos like this! And I won't have to use a knockoff GoPro with a phone's macro lens taped to the front.
When I went back down to check later this afternoon, there they were! I think. One was moving around, but I lost sight of it. Then I think it was just in the pile with the other. I pulled the tube out where I could see better and watched the new little ones. And little they were! This was my first indication of just how much smaller workers are compared to the queen. Other than pictures and videos I've seen, in person I'd only ever seen workers alone, or queens alone.
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I did catch this adorable interaction where the queen picked up one of the new callows by the head and moved her around, before cleaning her.
I'm sure the other two nanitics will be up and moving tonight, if they aren't already as I'm writing this. Tomorrow I'll give them a drop of Sunburst, then on Monday after work I'll swing by the pet store and pick up a few feeder insects for them. I hear this species eats a lot! I'm looking forward to having many little mouths to feed.
It's actually starting now! I'm an antkeeper!