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MG's P. imparis, a possibly Tragic Tale (but maybe not!)

antkeeping formicaria prenelopsis imparis canada ontario winter ant false honeypot ant polygyny

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113 replies to this topic

#81 Offline mantisgal - Posted August 10 2021 - 5:31 PM

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Good luck! I am honestly spoiled because there are several wild colonies in my immediate vicinity: am looking forward to an absolute abundance in '22.

I tried hooking up the L format and yes, it does look cute, but I think I'm going to detach it for now. It's like 30°C up here and I think they're going to stick close to the nest chamber. I'll reattach them when they start acting hungry:
Attached File  20210810_212815.jpg   230.88KB   0 downloads

Edited by mantisgal, August 10 2021 - 5:31 PM.

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#82 Offline m99 - Posted August 10 2021 - 6:44 PM

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Oh good, mine are still looking pretty estivatey too. Was starting to get worried if they were all active and exploratory even up north. I'm really curious to see how their seasonal activity cycle is gonna play out with the autumn!

 

Are you keeping them additionally covered, or are they happy with just the red film?


Edited by m99, August 10 2021 - 6:44 PM.

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#83 Offline mantisgal - Posted August 10 2021 - 8:05 PM

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So far, so good, with the red film. They've become used to me observing them under red light anyway and again, it is possible that being a well founded trio helps their confidence, but I don't think they require any additional covering so long as they're kept in dim light to begin with: their permanent shelf will be quite poorly lit.

Some of the babies have even eclosed under soft white and gold light, so they know no other normality and behave calmly until a Queen freaks out. They were kept pitch black during their founding stages with the exception of brief inspections to confirm life. They experienced the most light recently when I specifically began trying to make them unhappy so they would move, starting at approx 10 workers. However it seems to have hardened them a little given how two Queens had to be literally dragged by their faces to leave, even under very strong white light with enticing shadows lining The Way To New Dark.

We're having heat waves and suchlike here in Southern Ontario, and my living in the largest city with its associated microclimate means it is fabulously, stupidly hot out. All my girls got fat ASAP and it sure as heck looks like they are settling in for a heatwave lockdown since they haven't been taking food recently.

I assume I will see a lot of exit tube oriented activity should they get hungry. This may take days or weeks. They have a LOT of chonks stored up on the ceiling so I'm just gonna wait and see.

Edited by mantisgal, August 10 2021 - 8:09 PM.

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#84 Offline mantisgal - Posted August 10 2021 - 8:34 PM

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Just did a count. There's more like 24-30 workers in there, pay no attention to the me that said 14. I was bad at counting them when they were moving. Whoops
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#85 Offline mantisgal - Posted August 11 2021 - 6:20 AM

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E S T I V A T I O N

Very little movement except to service the nursery or do the tropholaxis with a SugarMaid (I'd say a third to half of all adults are corpulent, possibly more. They hide in the nursery pile when they aren't on the ceiling of the chamber. Rotation of 3-5 guards at chamber entrance but nobody seems anxious to go exploring.

It is actually very restful to observe.
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#86 Offline AntBoi3030 - Posted August 11 2021 - 6:33 AM

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I think mine are a bit confused. The queen may have undergone estivation in may for about three weeks. She is still laying eggs lol
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My favorite queens/colony’s:
Pheidole Tysoni, Selonopis Molesta, Brachymyrmex Depilis, Tetramorium Immagrians, Prenolepis Imparis, Pheidole Bicirinata 


#87 Offline mantisgal - Posted August 11 2021 - 7:05 AM

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Brooding (laying eggs and raising larvae) continues during estivation, they just don't leave the house at all and rely on their fat-bottomed girls to make the world go round, so... she might have? They're a pretty chilled-out bunch to begin with (at least mine are), so try to recall if they were exploring and taking food. If not, they might have had their extended siesta in the heat. It possible that they have several instances of estivation in a year depending on where you're at and the average temps involved. I look forward to finding out!

#88 Offline AntBoi3030 - Posted August 11 2021 - 7:23 AM

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They still eat food. Not around me though (protein they eat sugars when I’m looking), the only way I know they eat protein is because I saw a worker with her butt sticking out of a mealworm with her legs flailing everywhere XD
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My favorite queens/colony’s:
Pheidole Tysoni, Selonopis Molesta, Brachymyrmex Depilis, Tetramorium Immagrians, Prenolepis Imparis, Pheidole Bicirinata 


#89 Offline mantisgal - Posted August 11 2021 - 10:33 AM

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If they are truly estivating they won't leave the chamber iirc from researching them, but perhaps captive estivation comes with differences? This is super interesting!
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#90 Offline mantisgal - Posted August 13 2021 - 7:17 AM

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T E R R O R in My Ladies' Bower!

So I am a neophyte and learning how to be good. I know that prennies love moisture so I wanted to be sure their apartment was staying hydrated. I will add a drop or two daily.

So, uh, I kinda misjudged my angle and a bit of water got into the nest chamber.

C H A O S.

A scout reported that the entranceway, although near the refuse pile, had space enough for those bebbies who could drown, and there was space enough near the ceiling of the nest chamber for nursemaids to humidify eggs and larva in their mandibles. The Queens agreed and everyone shifted. There are guards and occasional scouts in the tube

I know that they will dry out eventually but just in case they are now attached to a nice clean apartment box by an L-connector. They may ignore it completely in favour of staying where they are and just mopping up, but honestly I'd love to clean it now that the water has spread their uncollected trash a bit.

So, will they move to the drier nest? Or wallow in their marsh?

Remember to tune in to this ant-time, this ant-channel for updates to this gripping drama at the Summer Rest Home

Attached File  20210813_111647.jpg   117.25KB   0 downloads

Edited by mantisgal, August 13 2021 - 7:18 AM.

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#91 Offline AntBoi3030 - Posted August 13 2021 - 7:33 AM

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They’ll probably move back. That’s the problem with this nest is that water gets in often.
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My favorite queens/colony’s:
Pheidole Tysoni, Selonopis Molesta, Brachymyrmex Depilis, Tetramorium Immagrians, Prenolepis Imparis, Pheidole Bicirinata 


#92 Offline mantisgal - Posted August 13 2021 - 9:13 AM

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Duly noted.

Two scouts have found the new box.

A Discussion is in progress.
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#93 Offline mantisgal - Posted August 14 2021 - 8:37 AM

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The Discussion appears to be at a détente. I noted a couple pieces of trash in the clean box, so I re-did the arrangement (and cleaned out the bit of trash).

Current arrangement allows for choice AND Garbage disposal: BOTH apartments are attached by a T-junction to the mini-outworld. I am leaving them the choice because although the current nest is drying they are still keeping brood next to the refuse pile and I Do Not Like. Yes, they are very estivatey and aren't exploring for food but it does appear that they will move for natural disaster.

More soon, probably.

Attached File  20210814_123654.jpg   125KB   0 downloads
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#94 Offline mantisgal - Posted August 19 2021 - 9:02 AM

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The heat wave here ended so it looks like it's back to business in the Queens' Chamber.

Adult numbers may be up to 35-40, with many corpulents. During the siesta, no hunting went on for food. As the heat let up, I started seeing activity at the nectar feeder. A day or two after the nectar was raided, Scouts tasted a bit of grain-free cat food paté and deemed it good, sparking what appeared to be a new round of egg-laying with élan. Previously everything went... very... slowly... There are even a few protein-filled repletes now. I am filled with joy 😊

How did they have cat food, you ask? Well, since I didn't know when they would be hungry I kept a little offering of protein in the outworld everyday: bit of fly, scrap of cat food, whatever I had. Yesterday it happened to be the cat food. This is quite economical for me as a cat owner.
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#95 Offline mantisgal - Posted August 28 2021 - 5:20 PM

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Queens remain fat and healthy, workers are also appropriately plump.

BUT

Yesterday I saw them chewing on something. I couldn't quite make out what it was, but it had the shine of (gasp!) Another Ant. I am guessing a corpulent died and they ate her rather than waste her. Does anyone with prenny knowledge have experience of this behaviour?
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#96 Offline m99 - Posted August 28 2021 - 5:48 PM

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Maybe she back talked one too many times!  :o


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#97 Offline mantisgal - Posted August 28 2021 - 9:40 PM

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Oh nooooooo

#98 Offline Antcatcherpro3 - Posted August 29 2021 - 4:55 AM

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Queens remain fat and healthy, workers are also appropriately plump.

BUT

Yesterday I saw them chewing on something. I couldn't quite make out what it was, but it had the shine of (gasp!) Another Ant. I am guessing a corpulent died and they ate her rather than waste her. Does anyone with prenny knowledge have experience of this behaviour?

My Preno never do that. In fact they sit around in their tube all day. I give them food but they don't eat because they are all so filled up. Every single worker, and the queen.


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#99 Offline mantisgal - Posted August 29 2021 - 8:51 AM

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I'm assuming she just keeled over of natural causes

#100 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted August 29 2021 - 8:53 AM

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I'm pretty sure ants will eat their dead if they died very recently and they need the nutrients.


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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: antkeeping, formicaria, prenelopsis imparis, canada, ontario, winter ant, false honeypot ant, polygyny

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