I suppose I’ll start off with Luctuosum, the smaller of the two. I got a few queens of this species just a few weeks ago, unaware of what I was getting myself into. Just a few days later on the 19th of June, the queen I was planning to keep for myself laid eggs, just like any ol queen would do. I then put her with my other queens by the heating cable and forgot about her.
Oh and these queens aren’t big at all, maybe a little under a centimeter at max. She wasn’t anything out of the ordinary and definitely wasn’t as big as any of the Camponotus queens I had found that day. One thing I was completely surprised about was the sheer amount of eggs she laid. Even on her first batch, there has to be at least 15. She then laid a few more, putting the count at around 30. A few… After seeing these ants in the wild with their massive colonies and huge trails stretching 100s of feet, I knew the queen would probably lay a sizable batch of eggs, but I really wasn’t expecting this many.
Only 9 days later on the 28th, the queen had larvae. Not tiny little larvae that I normally see after an egg hatches, but larvae much much bigger than the egg they had hatched from.
I really don’t know how they grew so quickly but I’m thinking it was mainly because of the heat. It’s possible the queen could’ve been feeding the larvae trophic eggs but I can’t prove this.
Another 6 days after that the queen had a buncha pupae, larvae, and eggs. And then after yet another 6 days, her first workers eclosed. Interestingly enough, the workers are extremely small compared to the queen and workers I see in the wild but I expect them to get a lot bigger once the colony grows. Overall, it seems this colony will get about 30ish nanitics which is insane.
20 days egg to worker has got to be the fastest I’ve ever seen, possibly even faster than invicta. Seeing how quickly they developed forced me move all the queens off the heating cable before I got overwhelmed with lio workers.
Despite the ever growing fear of actually keeping this species, I’m quite excited to see how they’ll do as long as they don’t escape all over my room.
Edited by SirDuckington, July 10 2021 - 11:18 PM.