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Phasor's Crematogaster Journal

journal crematogaster

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38 replies to this topic

#21 Offline antsandmore - Posted February 17 2021 - 10:27 AM

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its these kinds of moments that makes me unable to resist checking my colony.


Ants I am keeping:

 none for now, planning on being more active this year


#22 Offline PhasorShift - Posted February 18 2021 - 5:48 PM

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Attached File  IPC_2021-02-18.18.54.53.3740.jpg   1.06MB   0 downloads

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Got a new scope today.
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#23 Offline Canadant - Posted February 19 2021 - 6:00 PM

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Those are fantastic cool pics. love me some close-ups. Thanks.


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"You don't get what you want. You get what you deserve".

#24 Offline PhasorShift - Posted February 20 2021 - 12:46 PM

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Update 2/20/2021

My Crematogaster colony is at 8 workers now, so I figured I'd try again to attach that little outworld from last week. I've got better talcum powder, and I'm more confident I'm not about to randomly kill them.

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I dumped a few dead fruit flies into it, and sat to watch them for a little while. I set my scope up to watch their first steps out of the connector, and into the new world... They just moved all their brood back away from the tube entrance, and ignored it.

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They've taken the flies from before, and the next bit of mealworm I've given them, and I can see dark spots inside the larvae from the protein they've been eating. I didn't watch them for long, so I put the lid back on the outworld and left them be. I'll check again later to see if they've started exploring.

#25 Offline PhasorShift - Posted February 28 2021 - 5:54 PM

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Update 2/27/2021

Well, I have bad news, and I have good news.

The bad news is we have had our first worker death. I came home from work on Friday and saw a single worker in the outworld, not moving, where I expect their trash pile is. I fished it out and sure enough, dead.

The good news is I finally have a worker that will stand still enough to get some good pictures.

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My first attempt at a pin, too. I think I need smaller pins.

I'm also getting the hang of lighting and focus, and using the camera settings. I just have a USB microscope thing that I plug into my phone, and it doesn't have the greatest control over settings or quality. If you have any advice on that matter, let me know.

The other good news is finally I have some detailed enough pictures to get a positive ID. Much as I expected, this is in fact Crematogaster cerasi.

As for the rest of the colony, they seem to be doing alright. The other day I had 8 workers. One died, and now I have... 8 workers. I guess a new one eclosed to replace the one lost. I have seen them eating the food and drinking from the liquid feeder I have in the outworld, so I think they're taking care of themselves. I don't know why this one died though, but I guess it was just bad luck.

I did block the tube with a bit of cotton and a straw, to make them feel a bit more closed in. I wish I used a clear straw so I could see inside it easier, because they sure like to sit and guard the entrance.

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Here's their current setup.
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I have noticed they still pile garbage inside the tube, near the entrance. They also seem to just dump it out front, right outside the opening.
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And finally, the queen, her brood, and some workers. Hopefully they're happy, healthy, and growing in numbers. It is neat seeing the dark color of the protein in the stomachs of the larvae.

Attached File  IPC_2021-02-27.13.16.30.1540.jpg   1.28MB   0 downloads

That's all for this week!
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#26 Offline Canadant - Posted March 1 2021 - 3:17 AM

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I've also switched to a cotton ball and straw method for my crematogaster. They were much more comfortable and even went ahead s sealed it further. There is just the smallest hole where the come in and out with ease.
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"You don't get what you want. You get what you deserve".

#27 Online ANTdrew - Posted March 1 2021 - 3:27 AM

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I like the acrylic test tubes that come with a plastic cap. I drill a tiny hole in the cap as an entrance.
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#28 Offline UtahAnts - Posted March 1 2021 - 7:30 PM

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I like to use the cork caps supplied with my test tubes. I just drill a hole big enough for the queen to fit through. Personally I like cork openings better then plastic or straw openings because:

1. They provide a more natural feel for the ants

2. They provide a better surface for gripping than cotton or straw openings

3. The ants modify these openings as they wish, with the soft cork.

4. Based on my observation, the humidity in a tube with a cork opening is more then that of a cotton one

And in case your test tubes don't come with cork, you can take them from random bottles lying around. In my years of tubes and tubs, this method works the best for new colonies


Leave the road, take the trails -Pythagoras


#29 Offline PhasorShift - Posted March 2 2021 - 6:33 AM

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Using caps or corks with holes drilled is good for tubs and tubes, if the test tube is set inside the outworld, but when it's connected via a tube you can't really use that, can you? The cotton and straw works well enough.

#30 Online ANTdrew - Posted March 2 2021 - 6:50 AM

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It's all good. Do what works for you.


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

#31 Offline PhasorShift - Posted March 2 2021 - 7:04 AM

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Eh, I'm sorry. You're just adding your input and I'm being negative about it. Those are good ideas which I'll probably use if I do tubes and tubs, but this is all I could think of with the connecting tube.

I still might swap it for a clear or white straw, instead of the red. I'll have to bother them a bit to do it but it can be hard to get a count when they're hiding in there.

#32 Offline PhasorShift - Posted March 4 2021 - 6:19 PM

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Welcome to the world, little sister!

Attached File  IPC_2021-03-04.21.07.24.1520.jpg   217.68KB   0 downloads
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#33 Offline antsandmore - Posted March 4 2021 - 7:30 PM

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Welcome to the world, little sister!

attachicon.gifIPC_2021-03-04.21.07.24.1520.jpg

awwww yes


Ants I am keeping:

 none for now, planning on being more active this year


#34 Offline PhasorShift - Posted March 6 2021 - 1:03 PM

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Update 3/06/2021

 

Not a whole lot to report on this week, other than a few new workers. My little colony is now up to 12! They seem to be doing well.

 

 PXL-20210306-190424360.jpg

 

I am about to head out of town for a week or two, so I'm going to have to leave them alone for a while. Hopefully they have enough Sunburst nectar to last the week, and I gave them a clump of fruit flies (frozen then boiled) to munch on. I imagine there will be quite a few more workers in the tube when I return! I need to start thinking about what nest I want to move them into...

PXL-20210306-192043170.jpg

 


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#35 Offline PhasorShift - Posted March 18 2021 - 5:07 AM

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Update 3/15/2021(ish...)

 

My little Crematogaster are still doing quite well~ They're eating pretty much any food I put in there, and continuing to grow nicely!

 

When I got back from my trip, it looked like I was up to around 20 workers, give or take a couple. One was taken though, as I found another dead worker in the trash pile... But that's life. They still seem to be on their way to a healthy and happy colony!

 

IPC-2021-03-14-18-47-11-4069.jpg

A happy looking queen!

 

IPC-2021-03-14-18-48-04-8780.jpg

Another dead worker...

 

PXL-20210318-111131136.jpg

I'm leaving again for another week for work, so I gave them a bunch of fruit flies again before I left. And just like last time, they collected them all into a pile behind the brood. I guess just for easier storage, and preventing their food from being stolen by potential competition? Last time that pile was almost completely empty when I came back, so I'm not too worried that they won't eat everything there.

 

Anyway, I'm excited to see how many I'll have when I come back this time!

 

 


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#36 Offline PhasorShift - Posted September 6 2021 - 2:51 PM

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Update 9/6/2021

 

Of all my colonies, this is the one that changed the most over the last, six months I guess.

 

My Crematogaster got to around 20 workers very quickly, but then stayed there for months. I was getting worried, especially when some workers started dying without any new brood at all. I kept them feed, kept ample nectar. Moved them into a new tube with a new feeding chamber. They seemed very inactive though.

 

Here's their new setup. 

 

PXL-20210706-005018955.jpg

 

 

They moved over quickly enough, but you can see how there's not many there. 

 

I was worried. Was it just a strange, summertime diapause?

 

Turns out, I had no reason to be worried.

 

Here they are today.

 

PXL_20210906_020559875.MP.jpg

 

PXL_20210906_020549828.jpg

 

IPC-2021-08-27-23-53-56-2370.jpg

 

IPC-2021-08-27-23-42-06-5120.jpg

 

IPC-2021-09-05-22-27-04-2710.jpg

 

IPC-2021-08-27-23-53-04-6000.jpg

 

 

Had my first minor jail break when I tried to clean out their little outworld the other day. Maybe five or six workers got out, but I think I managed to get them all back inside without harm. It's clear that they are about to run out of space though, especially with that massive pile of brood. I'm actually 3D printing a nest I designed for them at this moment, and if it goes well, I hope to move them in this week.

 

 

 

 



#37 Offline PhasorShift - Posted September 6 2021 - 2:56 PM

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#38 Offline NancyZamora4991 - Posted September 6 2021 - 2:58 PM

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you can see the food moving in the larva


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#39 Online ANTdrew - Posted September 6 2021 - 3:05 PM

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In my experience, these do take summertime breaks from growing. My mega-colony is in a weird funk and hasn’t grown for months.
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.





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