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Dspdrew's Myrmecocystus mexicanus Journal [124] (Updated 2-4-2024)

myrmecocystus dspdrew journal

245 replies to this topic

#221 Offline Kalidas - Posted November 7 2019 - 10:42 PM

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Woah that giant vase setup is so amazing, glad to see them doing well and developing

#222 Offline Silq - Posted November 8 2019 - 11:04 AM

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Update 11-7-2019
 
I still have both colonies, but the one in the vertical prototype formicarium is not doing well. It's been losing workers like crazy. I'm not sure what's going on, but every time I look at it, there is a pile of dead workers in the foraging area.

 

You can see piles of dead workers here. I've probably lost 75% of the colony by now. It's down to about 200 workers, and pretty much all the repletes are gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm guessing maybe the black mold that has been growing inside the nest over the years might have something to do with it.

 

 

Your custom feeder looks like it is 3D printed and the standard material PLA is not food-grade safe for humans. I don't know if that means harmful enough to kill ants, probably even more potent. I would take a look at replacing the feeders and maybe that may help. 

 

An alternative is to using PETG filament as it is food-grade safe but your 3D printer will need to get up to 250c to use that material and a heated bed.

 

Afterthought, the commercially sold feeders are 3D printed as well so it maybe PLA so I could be totally wrong. Just trying to throw out ideas.

 

edit: spelling.


Edited by Silq, November 8 2019 - 11:06 AM.

Ant Journal: http://www.formicult...-journal/<br> My colonies: C. Semitestaceus, P. Californicus, V. Pergandei, S. Xyloni.


#223 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 8 2019 - 12:32 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

 

Update 11-7-2019
 
I still have both colonies, but the one in the vertical prototype formicarium is not doing well. It's been losing workers like crazy. I'm not sure what's going on, but every time I look at it, there is a pile of dead workers in the foraging area.

 

You can see piles of dead workers here. I've probably lost 75% of the colony by now. It's down to about 200 workers, and pretty much all the repletes are gone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm guessing maybe the black mold that has been growing inside the nest over the years might have something to do with it.

 

 

Your custom feeder looks like it is 3D printed and the standard material PLA is not food-grade safe for humans. I don't know if that means harmful enough to kill ants, probably even more potent. I would take a look at replacing the feeders and maybe that may help. 

 

An alternative is to using PETG filament as it is food-grade safe but your 3D printer will need to get up to 250c to use that material and a heated bed.

 

Afterthought, the commercially sold feeders are 3D printed as well so it maybe PLA so I could be totally wrong. Just trying to throw out ideas.

 

edit: spelling.

 

 

I don't print feeders with PLA, I use PETG. Also these feeders are not unique to this colony, I have lots of colonies that drink from them.



#224 Offline Manitobant - Posted November 8 2019 - 7:18 PM

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Maybe the colony has picked up the scent of their old nest and associate it with mold and germs? Try moving them into a completely new nest and see what happens.

#225 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 8 2019 - 7:25 PM

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Maybe the colony has picked up the scent of their old nest and associate it with mold and germs? Try moving them into a completely new nest and see what happens.

 

There shouldn't be any old scents after going through the cleaning process I put my formicariums through.


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#226 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 24 2020 - 3:24 PM

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Update 5-24-2020
 

I'll start with the oldest colony in the giant vase. This colony is 4 years and 10 months old now, and they're still doing pretty well. They're producing a little less than they were in the last update, and there were some deaths again for a little while, but not so much now.

 

gallery_2_43_31801.jpg

 

 

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They don't have a whole lot of brood right now, but here's one of their cocoon piles.

 

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This is some of the smaller brood they have right now.

 

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Here you can see where the queen resides. She is in the very bottom chamber in this picture, right in the center. There is another chamber further down, but that one's pretty wet.

 

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Next is the colony in the prototype formicarium that's been doing horribly. The workers finally stopped dying, but the colony only has about 20 workers left now.

 

This is all that's left of it.

 

gallery_2_43_476345.jpg

 

 

Still producing, but not much.

 

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Now for the new colony from last season. This is the one that started in one of the giant vase setups as a single queen and has been growing steadily. It's hard to say how many workers there are now, but I was able to count around 40 or so, so there is probably a lot more than that.

 

You can see they dragged a lot of larger pieces of gravel up and put it all around their nest entrance.

 

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You can see how much more they have dug compared to the last pictures.

 

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gallery_2_43_167186.jpg


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#227 Offline mmcguffi - Posted October 25 2020 - 9:25 PM

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Amazing journal! I can't believe I just found this now. How are your colonies doing? Did the prototype colony pull through in the end?



#228 Offline mmcguffi - Posted November 6 2020 - 10:11 PM

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posting for posterity  :D

 

lots of opinions on AC here, but there is some really great footage of your colonies here and it seems a shame not to post it here. AC's footage of your Acromyrmex colony is also great


Edited by mmcguffi, November 6 2020 - 10:11 PM.

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#229 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 7 2020 - 10:23 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Amazing journal! I cant believe I just found this now. How are your colonies doing? Did the prototype colony pull through in the end?

 

Thanks. The queen and the last two workers of that colony just died a few days ago. I'll have to decide what colony to put in that formicarium now that its vacant.


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#230 Offline ZTYguy - Posted November 7 2020 - 11:34 PM

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You should save that nest for a dream colony if you have any in mind. Save it for the next season.


Edited by ZTYguy, November 7 2020 - 11:34 PM.

Ant Keeping Since June 2018
Currently Keeping:
A. versicolor, C. us-ca02, C. yogi, C. Vicinus, C. laevigatus, C. clarithorax, C. maritimus, C. ocreatus, M. mexicanus, M. placodops 01, V. andrei, V. pergandei, N. cockerelli, P. barbata, P. montanus

Hoping to Catch This season:

M. romanei, M. placodops 02, P. imberbiculus, Polyergus sp., F. moki, A. megomatta, Cyphomyrmex sp.,Temnothorax sp.


#231 Offline Antkeeper01 - Posted July 25 2021 - 4:38 AM

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update?


1X Pogonomyrmex occidentalis 40-50 Workers

1X Solenopsis molesta 10 Workers (mono)

Ants I Want: Crematogaster sp, Camponotus Sp., Ponera Pennsylvanica, Mymercocystus sp.

 

My Youtube channel: https://www.youtube....kUjx-dPFMyVqOLw

 

 Join Our Fledgling Discord Server https://discord.com/...089056687423489


#232 Offline dspdrew - Posted July 28 2022 - 8:39 PM

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I recently found more M. mexicanus queens, and couldn't help but notice some really obvious and interesting differences in the ones from a completely different part of the Mojave desert. These are kind of a rust color, and the heads are quite a bit larger too.
 
gallery_2_43_344404.jpg

gallery_2_43_659318.jpg
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#233 Offline AntsCali098 - Posted July 28 2022 - 8:42 PM

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It seems like a lot of people are catching mexicanas lately. Is it a good time to go to Joshua tree or something?

Interested buying in ants? Feel free to check out my shop

Feel free to read my journals, like this one.

 

Wishlist:

Atta sp (wish they were in CA), Crematogaster cerasi, Most Pheidole species

 

 


#234 Offline dspdrew - Posted July 28 2022 - 8:57 PM

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They are all over the Mojave desert,  you just have to go when it gets enough rain.



#235 Offline AntsCali098 - Posted July 28 2022 - 9:31 PM

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Okay. I’ll check if it rains soon. Thanks

Interested buying in ants? Feel free to check out my shop

Feel free to read my journals, like this one.

 

Wishlist:

Atta sp (wish they were in CA), Crematogaster cerasi, Most Pheidole species

 

 


#236 Offline B_rad0806 - Posted July 29 2022 - 12:19 AM

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I recently found more M. mexicanus queens, and couldn't help but notice some really obvious and interesting differences in the ones from a completely different part of the Mojave desert. These are kind of a rust color, and the heads are quite a bit larger too.
 
gallery_2_43_344404.jpg

gallery_2_43_659318.jpg


I noticed the same thing too with mine. Looks much better
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#237 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 7 2023 - 9:20 PM

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Update 12-7-2023
 

It's been a long time since I last updated this journal. I guess not much changes very often with these.

 

I still have my large colony in the vase setup, and it's almost eight and a half years old now! It's hard to believe an insect can live for that long.

 

The colony has had multiple die-offs over the years with the worst happening about a year ago, when it was all the way down to maybe 50 workers or so. Now I estimate around 800 workers, which was one fast recovery this time. In addition to that, they have HUGE piles of brood totaling probably in the thousands.

 

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They actually just recently did some digging and expanding of their nest for the first time in many, many years, so that was pretty interesting. You can see all the fresh dirt they dug out.

 

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This last season, as always I found a bunch more queens and kept three new colonies. One is not doing all that great, but the other two are doing fairly well with about 50 to 60 workers each and plenty repletes.

 

gallery_2_43_951051.jpg

 

gallery_2_43_862283.jpg


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#238 Offline 100lols - Posted December 7 2023 - 9:37 PM

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Looking good!! That eight year old colony really is impressive. Keeping a colony that long is an achievement in its own. Then when it’s honeypots it’s even better! I have three colonies from this season as well so I hope to see some success. Thanks for the update :)
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#239 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 21 2023 - 1:24 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 12-21-2023
 

The large colony just did a bunch of digging again.

 

gallery_2_43_949881.jpg

 

 

You can see how much dirt they have added to the surface. I checked and it looks like they actually joined a few more chambers all the way around the back.

 

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They also had a bunch of their cocoons up on the surface stuffed underneath things for some reason.

 

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They're really starting to fill their chambers with big colorful repletes.

 

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The Fluon ledges I made for these setups have been working great. I actually haven't even had to swap any of them out in two years, as the ants still haven't breached them yet.

 

gallery_2_43_845928.jpg


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#240 Offline Ernteameise - Posted December 21 2023 - 3:18 AM

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Wow, this looks awesome!


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