(4-22-21) So recently I found a Ponera Pennsylvanica Queen, (first photo) I put her in a test tube set up as always and then got to researching on her. Now Ponera Pennsylvanica are cryptic and mainly nest underground, their mature colonies only have around 130-150 workers, while they mostly stay underground they do send around 1 worker at a time to the surface to forage for food. They mainly eat springtails and other very small insects. I’ve heard that they greatly benefit from a naturalistic set up, as they can hunt the springtails themselves there. So I’ve gotten a 10 gallon aquarium and plan on making it a terrarium for her once she has her first generation, and if she doesn’t make it then I’ll give it to my camponotus colony. I’ve noticed she had a hard time climbing on the glass of her tube and plan to add some dirt once I feed her something. I’ve decided to keep her in her tube and not give her an outworld even though she’s semi-claustral because of the fact in the wild they mainly stay underground and feed on spring tails.
I want to make sure she can get some workers to help her before throwing her into a tank and never seeing her again.
So after reading on her I went to go get her some springtails from another terrarium I had and feed them to her. However I greatly underestimated how hard it was to catch springtails with a pair of tweezers. So after around an hour of trying I gave up, and decided to just give her a bit of crushed up insect. (The juices from a cricket leg) and a bit of honey as seen in the second photo. I noticed that in the time it took me struggling to catch springtails she had taken bits of cotton and strewn them across her test tube so that she could walk across the glass MUCH easier. I was happy as this meant that I didn’t have to add dirt to solve this issue and possibly risk mold. After around 45 minutes she still hadn’t touched either the juice of cricket leg or the honey drop. In fact she seemed to have an aversion to the honey, which seemed very odd, but again this is my first cryptic and I knew that some things would be different. So I decided to give up for now and wipe away the honey and cricket and try again tomorrow as it was getting late, when at the last second I noticed that after I wiped up the honey and cricket juice she began to have a sip of honey once a very tiny bit of it had reached her cotton web. So I immediately took a photo (third photo) then let her enjoy her meal in darkness.
If any ant keepers with more experience with cryptics and more specifically ponera have any advise, please let me know, as I am very new to cryptic ant keeping.
I will try to update regularly and in the beginning around once a week maybe even sooner.
That’s it for now!
Edited by yibsi, May 27 2021 - 5:38 AM.