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OiledOlives Parasites (currently Lasius interjectus)

parasites

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#1 Offline OiledOlives - Posted January 14 2022 - 2:08 PM

OiledOlives

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Around September, I was out canoeing and it just so happened that Lasius aphidicola flights were that day. As I departed from the dock, I could see the shapes of tens of male and female alates. I couldn't find my vial for a while, so I missed out on dozens that I could have collected. After I left the lake, I had around 10 queens. One perished on the trip home, and I quickly put them all in tubes, with two pairs. Successfully introduced 1 queen (with only one failed attempt) into a group of workers (75-100) with some larvae. When moving, I broke the tube and the ants nested in the outworld for a while until they died. (They later killed all of the claviger queens I got.) After transferring them to my basement, they escaped out of a crack in the nest, as I find that the plastic on formisquariums are very easy to break, and the cotton I used to plug them up obviously was not working. In December, I discovered a worker free range on the table and found that they were nesting in an old tube. Around a week later, I got around to plugging up their (broken) tube. At this time, I had three living aphidicola queens left. This was the first time I tried vinegar with parasites. I dumped the queen in a shallow pool of vinegar for around 25 seconds. I dried it off and put it straight into the tube, which only had around 15 workers, way too few for a successful parasitic colony (which I will need brood for). Queen was immediately successful, and a worker groomed her right away. I was excited, but I had no more Lasius workers. I decided to just use my small Lasius neoniger colony. This queen was far less successful, and was attacked and had the whole tube in disarray. After two days, she was tolerated by most of the workers (she killed around 4). By the fourth day, she was pretty much accepted into the colony. I have just taken both out of hibernation, which is the stage they are at now. No brood is present besides the small larvae originally collected while sucking workers.

Videos:
Colony 1:

Colony 2:



Apologies for the unsteady hand and blurry videos. It is difficult to hold a phone one handed while keeping it stable.


Edited by OiledOlives, May 17 2022 - 5:08 AM.

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#2 Offline OiledOlives - Posted January 31 2022 - 6:23 AM

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I have moved Colony 1 into a 3d printed AliExpress nest (3 chamber nest). I gave them some Solenopsis brood to see what they would do with it. It seems they only care for the larvae, as they put the pupae in a pile and let them die. Queen still has not laid.

Colony 2 is doing okay. The L. cf. neoniger queen has been laying a lot of eggs and hopefully some eggs from the aphidicola queen are mixed in as well. I am starting to think that the queen may be infertile, as she has not tried to kill the host queen.


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#3 Offline OiledOlives - Posted February 23 2022 - 6:16 AM

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I moved Colony 1 back into a tube a while back. Two Solenopsis larvae are still alive and the queen has laid eggs. The first batch shriveled up and died because the workers were not caring for them, but I forced them to be together by restricting them to a small area. 

Colony 2 had a lot of eggs, but they looked to be diminishing. I dropped them into a THA Mini Hearth to see if that would help them. I saw the L. neoniger queen lay some eggs, but a day later, most were gone. I will be separating the two queens later. 

Both colonies desperately need Lasius pupae.


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#4 Offline OiledOlives - Posted March 28 2022 - 10:06 AM

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I ended up moving colony 2 out of the Mini Hearth to make space for an occidentalis colony. I will be putting them back in diapause until wild colonies get pupae or someone sends some to me.



#5 Offline OiledOlives - Posted May 13 2022 - 7:21 PM

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I took them out a bit ago and separated the neoniger and aphidicola queens in colony 2. I boosted colony 2 with around 30 L. americanus larvae as well. I caught a Lasius interjectus queen tonight, so I went ahead and introduced her to the 60-70 Lasius americanus hosts I had lying around with vinegar. Around 60% of their larvae has died in the freezer and they've got some weird beetle insects that are crawling around the tube. Gross! The interjectus had a rocky start but after a little bit of shaking, the americanus calmed down and are grooming her. Really hoping she doesn't die.



#6 Offline OiledOlives - Posted May 17 2022 - 5:11 AM

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she died.

I received two Lasius interjectus queens in the mail and introduced them to some claviger I had lying around. One queen is fighting back, the other is acting really docile. The docile one is at the tolerance stage and the other one has killed all three workers I introduced. I've got 300+ hosts so that should be enough for both queens.







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