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SirDuckington’s Liometopum Journal - with a sprinkle of pain and suffering


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#1 Offline SirDuckington - Posted July 10 2021 - 11:10 PM

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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#2 Offline SirDuckington - Posted July 10 2021 - 11:44 PM

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And if things couldn’t get any worse, on July second, I caught a ton of apiculatum queens during their nuptial flights. For anyone who may not know, apiculatum is basically luctuosum’s big brother. With massive 15mm queens, large workers and a colony size of 150k, they are definitely more impressive than the much smaller luctuosum. Both still grow at incredible speeds so I was definitely in for a treat since I was planning on keeping both species. I was actually trying to catch this specific species for a while so I was quite happy to finally witness a flight. It happened around 10am and lasted only about an hour, but during that time queens were absolutely everywhere.

 

Interestingly enough, this one spot in Payson and the Chiricahua mountains are the only places I've ever seen this species in Arizona, so I'm quite happy to have been there at the right time to catch them. I'm sure there's many other places in Arizona that have this species that I just don't know of yet, but its very convenient being able to find them so close to home. Every time we thought we had found apiculatum on other anting trips, it ended up being luctuosum instead. 

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After keeping multiple queens in a tiny cup for an extended period of time, I quickly realized that they had a temperament similar to atta and hated being with other queens. Luckily I was able to get the queens I wanted in tubes.

The queens were fast to drop their wings and lay eggs, with most having a small pile two days later.

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After seeing what a founding Luctuosum queen can do, I wasn’t surprised when the egg pile doubled only two days later.

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Apparently apiculatum eggs take a relatively long time to develop without heat so I decided to put my personal queen under the heating cable to see if she can beat luctuosum’s 20 day egg to worker record.

As long as I can keep them contained, I'm pretty excited to keep this species. They're much prettier than luctusoum in my opinion, with the Payson variant having a black abdomen and a dull red thorax and head. The largest workers are also quite a bit bigger than luctuosums. And of course we can't forget about their insane development speed and massive colony sizes that every ant keeper wants so badly in their year old 10 worker colony of camponotus pennsylvanicus. 


Edited by SirDuckington, July 11 2021 - 9:54 AM.

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#3 Offline ANTS_KL - Posted July 11 2021 - 12:45 AM

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I want them but they not in Malaysia. We only got iridomyrmex.

Sent from my CPH2201 using Tapatalk
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Ants epic :D
YouTube: https://m.youtube.co...uKsahGliSH7EqOQ

My current ants: Camponotus irritans, 2x Camponotus parius, Odontomachus rixosus, Oecophylla smaragdina, Solenopsis geminata

 

Death count: idk there's too many that I've lost :(

Also I got an antlion o-0


#4 Offline ReignofRage - Posted July 11 2021 - 1:08 AM

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I want them but they not in Malaysia. We only got iridomyrmex.

Sent from my CPH2201 using Tapatalk

You do not want them, they grow uncontrollably and are amazing at climbing and escaping. And when I say that they grow uncontrollably I mean my first generation for L. occidentale was well above 50... that wasn't even heated either.


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#5 Offline Antkeeper01 - Posted July 11 2021 - 1:13 AM

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I want them but they not in Malaysia. We only got iridomyrmex.

Sent from my CPH2201 using Tapatalk

You do not want them, they grow uncontrollably and are amazing at climbing and escaping. And when I say that they grow uncontrollably I mean my first generation for L. occidentale was well above 50... that wasn't even heated either.

 

ha i wonder what would have happened if you put them on the heat lol


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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


#6 Offline ANTS_KL - Posted July 11 2021 - 1:43 AM

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I want them but they not in Malaysia. We only got iridomyrmex.

Sent from my CPH2201 using Tapatalk

You do not want them, they grow uncontrollably and are amazing at climbing and escaping. And when I say that they grow uncontrollably I mean my first generation for L. occidentale was well above 50... that wasn't even heated either.
That's exactly what I want. Iridomyrmex anceps are sorta similar. Can't wait to find a queen

Sent from my CPH2201 using Tapatalk

Ants epic :D
YouTube: https://m.youtube.co...uKsahGliSH7EqOQ

My current ants: Camponotus irritans, 2x Camponotus parius, Odontomachus rixosus, Oecophylla smaragdina, Solenopsis geminata

 

Death count: idk there's too many that I've lost :(

Also I got an antlion o-0


#7 Online ANTdrew - Posted July 11 2021 - 2:03 AM

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Sounds like my kind of ant!
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#8 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted July 11 2021 - 6:06 AM

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I want them but they not in Malaysia. We only got iridomyrmex.

Sent from my CPH2201 using Tapatalk

You do not want them, they grow uncontrollably and are amazing at climbing and escaping. And when I say that they grow uncontrollably I mean my first generation for L. occidentale was well above 50... that wasn't even heated either.
That is exactly what a lot of people want lol. Besides the escape part of course.

Edited by Kaelwizard, July 11 2021 - 6:07 AM.


#9 Online ANTdrew - Posted July 11 2021 - 6:13 AM

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I’m sure they could be managed with huge outworlds and upside down fluon.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#10 Offline ANTS_KL - Posted July 12 2021 - 3:18 AM

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I’m sure they could be managed with huge outworlds and upside down fluon.

Yea and Vaseline is good as well. Most ants tend to avoid crossing it.

Sent from my CPH2201 using Tapatalk

Ants epic :D
YouTube: https://m.youtube.co...uKsahGliSH7EqOQ

My current ants: Camponotus irritans, 2x Camponotus parius, Odontomachus rixosus, Oecophylla smaragdina, Solenopsis geminata

 

Death count: idk there's too many that I've lost :(

Also I got an antlion o-0


#11 Offline SirDuckington - Posted July 31 2021 - 9:19 AM

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7/31

Just a quick update on the apiculatum queen.

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She’s got more pupae in the founding stage than I’ve ever seen from any other ant. I’ve noticed that the pupae take longer to develop than any other stage which is nice for me since I have enough time to get a large enough nest which will definitely be needed once they eclose. She’s got at least 50 pupae as well as new eggs so it’ll be interesting to see how the colony does once she gets her first workers.
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#12 Offline That_one_ant_guy - Posted July 31 2021 - 10:37 AM

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7/31

Just a quick update on the apiculatum queen.

df14b112872eb2589a8830eb9e15da35.jpg


She’s got more pupae in the founding stage than I’ve ever seen from any other ant. I’ve noticed that the pupae take longer to develop than any other stage which is nice for me since I have enough time to get a large enough nest which will definitely be needed once they eclose. She’s got at least 50 pupae as well as new eggs so it’ll be interesting to see how the colony does once she gets her first workers.

wowzers
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#13 Offline NickAnter - Posted July 31 2021 - 11:35 AM

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Make sure they have a liquid feeder. It would seem that lack of sugar is what causes so many colonies to just up and die.


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Species being kept:

 

 Solenopsis "plebeius", Camponotus vicinus, Camponotus maritimus, Formica cf. subaenescens, Formica cf. aerata, Lasius cf. americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Lasius brevicornis, Lasius nr claviger, Nylanderia vividula, Temnothorax rudis and a Hypoponera sp.

 

Hoping to find this year:

Myrmecocystus, Liometopum occidentale, Camponotus essigi, Camponotus fragilis, Manica bradleyi, Formica perpilosa, Pheidole hyatti, and a Parasitic Formica sp.

 

People are stupid. It explains a lot...


#14 Offline ANTS_KL - Posted July 31 2021 - 8:06 PM

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7/31

Just a quick update on the apiculatum queen.

df14b112872eb2589a8830eb9e15da35.jpg


She’s got more pupae in the founding stage than I’ve ever seen from any other ant. I’ve noticed that the pupae take longer to develop than any other stage which is nice for me since I have enough time to get a large enough nest which will definitely be needed once they eclose. She’s got at least 50 pupae as well as new eggs so it’ll be interesting to see how the colony does once she gets her first workers.

Now I really want iridomyrmex and liomopetum.

Sent from my CPH2201 using Tapatalk
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Ants epic :D
YouTube: https://m.youtube.co...uKsahGliSH7EqOQ

My current ants: Camponotus irritans, 2x Camponotus parius, Odontomachus rixosus, Oecophylla smaragdina, Solenopsis geminata

 

Death count: idk there's too many that I've lost :(

Also I got an antlion o-0


#15 Online ANTdrew - Posted August 1 2021 - 2:41 AM

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

#16 Offline SirDuckington - Posted August 4 2021 - 12:09 PM

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8/4

We have workers. Very many workers.

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The rate at which they all eclosed really surprised me. One day there was no workers and the next day almost every single pupa had eclosed. Some of the workers already seem to have dimorphism which is pretty cool.

Because my tarheel ant nest hasn’t arrived yet, I’ll probably have to keep them in a tubs and tubes setup temporarily. Once the workers all harden up it’ll be impossible to feed them so a different setup will definitely be helpful.

One thing that's kinda interesting is that despite the size difference between apiculatum and luctuosum queens, the nanitics are basically the same size. The only difference is the color of the nanitics, with the apic having a bit more reddish orange on their mandibles and face.

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Anyway, the colony seems to already be plotting my demise so wish me luck.

Edited by SirDuckington, August 4 2021 - 12:11 PM.

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#17 Offline AntBoi3030 - Posted August 4 2021 - 5:00 PM

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it’s truly amazing to see how many workers one queen ant can produce alone.
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My favorite queens/colony’s:
Pheidole Tysoni, Selonopis Molesta, Brachymyrmex Depilis, Tetramorium Immagrians, Prenolepis Imparis, Pheidole Bicirinata 


#18 Offline NickAnter - Posted August 4 2021 - 6:41 PM

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:o :o :o

That is an absolutely insane amount of workers... I shudder to think how hard getting that picture must have been, opening the test tube haha.

 

Hopefully they do well... And don't take over everything.


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Species being kept:

 

 Solenopsis "plebeius", Camponotus vicinus, Camponotus maritimus, Formica cf. subaenescens, Formica cf. aerata, Lasius cf. americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Lasius brevicornis, Lasius nr claviger, Nylanderia vividula, Temnothorax rudis and a Hypoponera sp.

 

Hoping to find this year:

Myrmecocystus, Liometopum occidentale, Camponotus essigi, Camponotus fragilis, Manica bradleyi, Formica perpilosa, Pheidole hyatti, and a Parasitic Formica sp.

 

People are stupid. It explains a lot...


#19 Offline antsriondel - Posted January 29 2022 - 6:53 PM

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update???






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