Alright here goes! First time antkeeper, after a totally fruitless June of searching, had a bumper crop of finds in July and now I'm sitting on three tetra queens and two Camponotus (plus a first-year Prenolepis colony purchased with its first few nanitics, which may or may not feature in this journal eventually, but you can read about me accidentally terrorizing here).
Here the tetra queens are shortly after capture in early/mid June, each of them found in a northeast US backyard near pool deck pavers or a brick walkway. Two of the three were very active and promising from the start, the third was more sluggish (and has remained that way, she doesn't show up here outside the group shot, and is in remedial care in a dark box alone after being offered food a couple weeks ago, still with no brood and a lot of test tube streaking, so I don't have much hope for her).
The two who've laid so far got right to work (one of them was obsessively cleaning her business end literally minutes after being caught, and indeed she started laying her second night in the claustral tube) and had healthy little egg piles within the first week.
I started heating them with a mat a few days ago, and it's definitely sped up the timeline a bit, because they've both got the cutest little pupae just starting to develop about 4-5 days ahead of the expected schedule. I especially love this shot of all their little legs just starting to differentiate from the wormy bits
Edited by m99, August 28 2021 - 2:15 PM.