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JCRHJM's Myrmecia Forficata and Nigrocincta (and Rhytidoponera metallica)


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#1 Offline JCRHJM - Posted August 5 2021 - 1:35 AM

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Sooooooo....
 
After shipping delays due to Rona my Myrmecia Forficata finally arrived in the mail.
This is my first time keeping this genus and I'm fairly new to antkeeping in general with my 2 other colonies both being Rhytidoponera Metallica. But I've done a lot of research and I'm feeling confident. 
 
I haven't decided on a name for this beautiful queen, but she's currently in a tubs and tubes set up and came with 7 fairly small larvae. As of now, she's received manuka honey and half a mealworm. I also moved a power point up to her tub for warmth as it is quite cold here in Sydney.
 
This should be an interesting journey and I'll be sure to keep u all updated.


Edited by JCRHJM, September 24 2021 - 4:16 AM.

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#2 Offline SYUTEO - Posted August 5 2021 - 2:10 AM

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Followed.

 

And also don't forget that larvae need substrate to spin their cocoons.


Antkeeping since 2018   :)

 

My current list:

Camponotus parius x1, Camponotus irritans x1, Meranoplus bicolor x1, Lepisiota rothneyi x1,  Anochetus sp x1, Monomorium monomorium x1, Tetramorium cf lanuginosum x1, Odontomachus simillimus x2, Iridomyrmex anceps x1, Crematogaster sp x1, Solenopsis geminata x2, Paratopula sp x1, Trichomyrmex destructor x1, Anochetus sp2 1, Camponotus albosparsus x1, Tetramorium cf bicarinatum x1, Unknown Ponerinae x1, Mesoponera rubra x2, Polyrhachis cf bicolor x1, Colobopsis sp x2

 

All ant journal: https://www.formicul...os-ant-journal/


#3 Offline JCRHJM - Posted August 5 2021 - 2:21 AM

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Eating mealworm, larvae should have another few weeks of growth ahead, no eggs at present.


Edited by JCRHJM, August 5 2021 - 2:26 AM.

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#4 Offline JCRHJM - Posted August 13 2021 - 1:31 AM

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The queen has been accepting a steady supply of mealworm halves which the larvae eat in around 2 days, they are absolutely voracious



#5 Offline JCRHJM - Posted August 13 2021 - 2:21 AM

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Screen Shot 2021 08 13 At 8.18.11 Pm
Screen Shot 2021 08 13 At 8.18.23 Pm

 

Here is the queen stinging a still wriggling mealworm


Edited by JCRHJM, August 13 2021 - 2:23 AM.

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#6 Offline JCRHJM - Posted August 13 2021 - 2:23 AM

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I'll try to get better pictures when she gets workers since I don't want to disturb her too much



#7 Offline JCRHJM - Posted August 15 2021 - 6:22 PM

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Larvae have increased in size after a little over a week, I will be moving them onto crickets soon since they have been eating almost exclusively mealworms


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#8 Offline SYUTEO - Posted August 15 2021 - 6:30 PM

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If you're giving her crickets, give her smaller ones if you're feeding them live or you can just kill the cricket and give it to her, the reason is that crickets can be dangerous if fed live because they can injure your queen by kicking or biting her.


Antkeeping since 2018   :)

 

My current list:

Camponotus parius x1, Camponotus irritans x1, Meranoplus bicolor x1, Lepisiota rothneyi x1,  Anochetus sp x1, Monomorium monomorium x1, Tetramorium cf lanuginosum x1, Odontomachus simillimus x2, Iridomyrmex anceps x1, Crematogaster sp x1, Solenopsis geminata x2, Paratopula sp x1, Trichomyrmex destructor x1, Anochetus sp2 1, Camponotus albosparsus x1, Tetramorium cf bicarinatum x1, Unknown Ponerinae x1, Mesoponera rubra x2, Polyrhachis cf bicolor x1, Colobopsis sp x2

 

All ant journal: https://www.formicul...os-ant-journal/


#9 Offline JCRHJM - Posted August 15 2021 - 9:21 PM

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If you're giving her crickets, give her smaller ones if you're feeding them live or you can just kill the cricket and give it to her, the reason is that crickets can be dangerous if fed live because they can injure your queen by kicking or biting her.

Yeah definitely pre killed now though I'm looking forward to observing their hunting behaviours after getting some workers 



#10 Offline JCRHJM - Posted August 18 2021 - 9:19 PM

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Its been the 2 week mark now, and the larvae are polishing off their first cricket, they are significantly larger than when I first received them and seem to be growing at a rapid rate. They are absolute eating machines and are always to chow down on food immediately after finishing the previous item. This is in contrast with my 2 rhytidoponera colonies which haven't eaten much over the winter but maybe its because I've been heating my bull ants. I counted 6 larvae today so maybe 1 of them was consumed but i'm not sure since I didn't have a super close look as mother hen was standing over them. Either way I expect them to start pupating sometime in the next couple of weeks. 

The queen has been fairly bold, coming out to take a look whenever I'm doing maintenance in the area I wonder if she has begun to associate my presence with food? 

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Edited by JCRHJM, August 18 2021 - 9:40 PM.

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#11 Online m99 - Posted August 18 2021 - 9:38 PM

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Such a cool looking queen!


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#12 Offline Shazza - Posted August 19 2021 - 1:46 AM

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Good luck, on my list to get one day. Following closely
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#13 Offline JCRHJM - Posted August 23 2021 - 6:07 AM

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No photos this time since I don't want to disturb them, but they are still eating continuously, as soon as one carcass is dumped, they are onto the next one. The queen really lives up to their reputation as bull ants, she is extremely aggressive and bold. Most of the time when I open the lid of the tub she comes rampaging out with jaws wide open ready brawl. She follows movements outside of the tub really closely as can be expected by the excellent vision of Myrmecia and is very reactive to things going on. I hope that doesn't mean she is more easily disturbed, I've got my fingers crossed she doesn't get overly stressed and consumes her lavae


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#14 Offline JCRHJM - Posted August 25 2021 - 7:45 PM

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I noticed some water in the test tube so I checked to make sure there wasn't any flooding, thankfully things are fine in there and the brood are doing well. There has been a lot of condensation building up on the walls of the tub these past few days from the cooler temperatures which I wiped up. The liquid feeder has somehow managed to release  a lot of water into the outworld sand as well. 

Edited by JCRHJM, August 25 2021 - 10:14 PM.


#15 Offline JCRHJM - Posted August 27 2021 - 2:05 AM

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I decided to do something today about the condensation that was building up each morning to save myself the bother of wiping it up by switching her sugar water dish (a kfc spoon) for some of the old honey lying in my pantry. I had heat it up to decrystalise it but it tasted fine so that's what she's getting until I get some new honey. Larvae have grown marginally larger and are currently alternating between mealworms and crickets. Check out that cute face 

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Edited by JCRHJM, August 27 2021 - 2:06 AM.

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#16 Offline Shazza - Posted August 27 2021 - 2:37 PM

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Starting to get big now, hopefully not long now untill cocoons!!!
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#17 Offline JCRHJM - Posted August 27 2021 - 6:24 PM

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Starting to get big now, hopefully not long now untill cocoons!!!

Yeah its getting warmer now in Australia so their growth should start accelerating 



#18 Offline JCRHJM - Posted August 31 2021 - 12:43 AM

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The larvae are getting real close to pupae size now, they seem to get noticeably larger with each food item. Their sheer growth rate has been a pleasant surprise since their heating is pretty minimal and its still fairly cold right now. The queen also looks physogastric so I'm expecting more eggs once the larvae spin their cocoons. 

I'll update this thread again when I have pupae. 

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Edited by JCRHJM, August 31 2021 - 12:44 AM.

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#19 Offline JCRHJM - Posted September 7 2021 - 2:28 AM

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Since my Myrmecia are in do not disturb mode, but are still accepting food so we don't have pupae yet, I thought I would show the naturalistic setup for one of my Rhytidoponera metallica colonies. These are another iconic australian ant and are metallic green with an extremely hard exoskeleton, its like those things are made of rocks. They can sting but they can't climb so they are easy to contain. 

I made the mistake of putting a relatively small colony into a dirt setup so I barely see them out especially since its cold currently. I have a 2nd colony which I will be selling so I'll get some pictures of them once I have extracted them tomorrow.

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They have an entrance hole in front of the clam as well as next to the liquid feeder


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#20 Offline JCRHJM - Posted September 8 2021 - 9:50 PM

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The dual queen metallica colony has now been extracted mostly by shaking them out of their old test tube. They milled around the tray for a while but have since taken up residence in the new test tube and rescued all of their brood. This does seem to be a pretty robust species as they seem pretty unfazed and enthusiastically took some honey today despite having a stressful past few days.

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Myrmecia larvae have not pupated yet but have reached some next level thiccness 

Edited by JCRHJM, September 8 2021 - 9:53 PM.

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