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bmb1bee's Antkeeping Journals (Discontinued)


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#41 Offline bmb1bee - Posted June 14 2022 - 7:28 PM

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I swear I will upload up-to-date pics after this. Warning though, it's gonna be a massive photo dump...

 

Cardiocondyla mauritanica: I'll be selling off or trading the previously mentioned colonies, so no more updates on them. I currently have a small colony with 4 queens and 8 workers, and they're doing fairly well! They have a decent pile of brood, with larvae of all sizes and a couple pupae, plus a small clutch of eggs. 

 

Monomorium ergatogyna: The 4 queen colony will be sold, so also no more updates for them. The second colony is now down to 8 queens and in a neat little custom formicarium (made with a Daiso display box and two miniformisquariums), but had a little surprise for me... Apparently, one of the males was not a male at all... it was a gynandromorph!!! I couldn't believe it. A half male half female ant. My first gynandromorph. Wow. I'm really not sure what to do with it though. I'm considering preserving it in alcohol when it dies, but the problem is, how do I let it die? Within its colony seems a little risky, as the workers could take it apart in the trash pile. I guess I could let it die naturally in a separate container and preserve it after, but I'd feel a bit guilty about that. Ah, we'll see.

 

Tetramorium immigrans: The 300 worker colony loves superworms. They're still in a test tube, but I will eventually have to move them out into a bigger and better formicarium once I get one. It should arrive by the end of this week. They're surprisingly chill in a test tube though... I got another 65 queens of this species, but sold all of them off. 9 from the 24th and 25th of May remain, those all have larvae and a few of those are in the prepupal stage by now.

 

Pogonomyrmex rugosus: Worker count is at 18 workers! They also have a pretty large prepupa, which is a fair margin larger than most of the other worker larvae and pupae. Maybe it's the colony's first full-sized worker?

 

Tapinoma sessile: They're pretty cute... for now. Still at 3 workers, but have a pupae and a couple more prepupal larvae. 

 

Camponotus us-ca02: Massive ants... The "small median" I mentioned last time was actually just a big minor worker. I still can't believe it. They're up to 9 workers now, with at least 3 more pupae on the way. They enjoy munching on superworms.

 

Prenolepis imparis: No more updates, she will be traded off. She only had eggs the last time I checked though, but might have a tiny larva or two.

 

Liometopum occidentale: Man, these things grow quick! At least 20 nanitics have eclosed in the last two days. A few more pupae might eclose later this week, so the worker count might rise even higher. I gave them their first drop of honey a few hours ago.

 

Hypoponera opacior: I'm assuming this is opacior, but she might actually be punctatissima. I did the best I could to get an ID from examining her under a microscope, but it was a little mixed up, since the queen woke up from refrigerator time too early. The "w" shape under the petiole suggests opacior though, so... Anyway, the dealate queen now has one large larva and a couple smaller ones, as well as around 6 eggs. She's currently housed in a THA Genesis Test Tube Insert. I hope to get a cocoon sometime by the end of the week. I assumed she wasn't interested in springtails last time, but when I checked a couple days later, the springtails were all dead and in a pile within the Petri dish. That was definitely her doing. I also witnessed her catching a few more springtails whenever I dropped some in, so when I assumed she was uninterested last time, it was really just because she was full from the big fruit fly I gave her. My favorite queen so far...


Edited by bmb1bee, June 15 2022 - 8:33 AM.

"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

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#42 Offline lazyant - Posted June 14 2022 - 8:14 PM

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(looks at my boring mystery Camponotus) I still love you guys.... it's just these are cooler!

Also where do you collect Hypoponera 


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#43 Offline bmb1bee - Posted June 14 2022 - 9:29 PM

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(looks at my boring mystery Camponotus) I still love you guys.... it's just these are cooler!

Also where do you collect Hypoponera 

Nah, your Camponotus are pretty cool too! My ca02 colony is still super small, it'll probably only reach 25 workers at most by the end of the year. On the bright side, they don't need hibernation, so...

Anyway, I found the Hypoponera queens in front of my garage on a black light I set up, on the night of May 24. I was pretty surprised they could be found in such a suburban neighborhood, and wasn't expecting to find any until October, which was when I last saw a couple queens out after a rain. If you're looking for whole colonies, try checking out damp leaf litter or under rocks. I found a few workers when I spread aside some leaves in a shallow hole filled with soil and leaf litter at my school.


Edited by bmb1bee, June 14 2022 - 9:30 PM.

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#44 Offline bmb1bee - Posted June 17 2022 - 7:17 PM

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Ughhh I keep procrastinating to upload pictures of my ants. But I promise. For the last time. It shall be done today! Also, it's a bit early for a new update, but I recently got some new ants and updates that I'd like to share.

 

Cardioconyla mauritanica: Nothing new yet, aside from getting more brood.

 

Monomorium ergatogyna: Everything is good so far, none have escaped yet as I've used a lid and sealed all possible escape routes.

 

Tetramorium immigrans: No updates for now.

 

Pogonomyrmex rugosus: Moved to a larger formicarium I got from OiledOlives. Their brood pile has grown fairly well and there's a new clutch of eggs that will hatch soon! The types of food they eat now are crickets, carrots, fish flakes, chia seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, and bluegrass seeds.

 

Tapinoma sessile: Sadly, they've lost a worker. The remaining two and the queen are full of honey at the moment and tending to a decently sized pile of brood. They'll be getting some new workers soon, as there are at least 3 pupae so far.

 

Camponotus us-ca02No new updates yet.

 

Liometopum occidentale: At least 25 workers now, they have eaten a cricket and some honey as of earlier today. They're in a small formicarium I got from NancyZamora.

 

Hypoponera opaciorA few larvae now. The queen also got her first pupae! It was spinning its cocoon earlier today. I'm hoping that she'll get her first worker by the end of the month...

 

Myrmecocystus depilis: I got one of these queens from Vern this week from his shop AntopiaUSA. She arrived in good condition and laid around 15 eggs a day later. Hopefully I get my first colony of honeypot ants from this queen... She also drank some honey when I offered it to her, so she's a little physogastric.

 

Pheidole navigans: Last but definitely not the least, my new Pheidole navigans! I got these cute lil ants from AntsCali098 in a trade. They currently have around 30 workers and a major. I fed them an almond and a piece of cricket, along with a drop of honey when they arrived, which they are pretty content with. With the heat and food I'm giving them, they should have a population boom in no time!


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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#45 Offline bmb1bee - Posted June 17 2022 - 7:34 PM

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Ant photo dump:

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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#46 Offline bmb1bee - Posted June 17 2022 - 8:03 PM

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First post on journal edited to have the list of all the ants I've kept.


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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#47 Offline AntsCali098 - Posted June 18 2022 - 10:12 AM

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Awesome! Glad you like them
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Interested buying in ants? Feel free to check out my shop

Feel free to read my journals, like this one.

 

Wishlist:

Atta sp (wish they were in CA), Crematogaster cerasi, Most Pheidole species

 

 


#48 Offline bmb1bee - Posted July 20 2022 - 1:36 PM

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Been over a month since I've updated this journal. Got a heating cable, new formicariums, and some more ants. Lots of things have changed, some good news and some bad news. Can't guarantee any pics soon, but hopefully I'll be able to upload them.

 

Cardioconyla mauritanica: A bunch of new brood and workers. I now have them in one of my Etsy formicariums. They've been boosted with some brood, workers, and queens from another colony I caught in the same area and have (hopefully) merged successfully. Some mild aggression was shown, but they're all nesting in the same spot and no casualties so far.

 

Monomorium ergatogyna: They've been doing pretty well. Same amount of queens and a big pile of brood. No escapees, which is good. They never seem to eat much food though, and are usually satisfied with the weekly chunk of superworm and occasional almond, as well as the honey from their liquid feeder.

 

Tetramorium immigrans: Lots of brood and workers. I transferred them to an old formicarium I got from Etsy, but didn't know that they could slide under the transparent acrylic over their nest. Additionally, they were smart enough to stuff sand and waste under the acrylic when I tightened it, so I pretty much gave up on them. They haven't really bothered any of my other colonies anyway, and usually just have around 15 workers or so foraging around my shelf.

 

Pogonomyrmex rugosus: Moving them to a larger formicarium was definitely a good choice. They got their first full-sized worker, as well as a huge batch of 25 eggs or so, laid last week. They went through a bump last month where they ate their eggs and some of their larvae died when their water tower went dry. I make sure to water it at least bi-weekly though. They LOVE moths and earwigs I catch outside for them, as well as the occasional crane fly and water boatman. They have a pile of dandelion and chia seeds on their water tower right next to their brood.

 

Tapinoma sessile: Traded off, so no more updates for now, although I'll hopefully catch more at my grandparents' house.

 

Camponotus us-ca02They're now in a formicarium I got for them from Amazon, which they sort of like. I'll get to that in a second. They're up to 12 workers and have a bunch of little larvae. Hydrating their nest is a pain though. Now about the previously mentioned issue, they keep nesting on top of the nest instead of inside it. And when I disturb them, they move back into the nest and stay in there for a day or two. I think it's because of the heating cable, which they don't seem too fond of. They do better with a little heat, but the nest side of their formicarium was probably too close to the cable, which made them evacuate. And whenever I water it from them top, they always attack my syringe and crawl up my hand. They're pretty lovable though, although they're my scariest ants.

 

Liometopum occidentale: The Lios now have an estimated 40-50 workers. I caught another queen last month, but she died after getting a bunch of pupae, so I boosted my original colony with her brood. They'll probably reach a hundred workers by August. I try not to give them too much heat, as I've heard all the horror stories about them.

 

Hypoponera opaciorI found another two queens on June 22, one of which I traded off and the other is now living happily with my original queen. The two June queens shed their wings a couple weeks after I caught them. The dual queen colony (original and June queen) apparently opened and ate their cocoon yesterday for some reason, probably because I didn't give them enough springtails that day. They're currently in a mini Formisquarium and have a bunch of small larvae and eggs, as well as around 3 big larvae that will pupate soon. In fact, one of them is spinning their cocoon right now, which is pretty cool.

 

Myrmecocystus depilis: The original queen from Vern died due to some kinda parasite, but I got another one from him for free. She had larvae upon arrival, but ate them shortly after unfortunately. She has another pile of at least 10 eggs though, so that's pretty good. I hoping to have better luck with honeypot queens.

 

Pheidole navigans: Sadly, these perished when the heating cable I got overheated their tube. I'll hopefully be getting more Pheidole soon though, so stay posted!

 

Lasius crypticus: I got one of these queens from NancyZamora, which currently has a few eggs and small larvae. She came with a few pupae, but killed them by neglecting them. She loves honey, which I give a drop of whenever I check on her.

 

Brachymyrmex patagonicus: I got two colonies from AlexLebedev in a trade, both with around 10-15 workers as of today. They grow pretty quickly and love heat. I've fed them fruit flies and superworms, which they seem to like.


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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

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#49 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 20 2022 - 1:55 PM

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Glue the acrylic on with 100% silicone. The fumes won’t hurt them.
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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.

#50 Offline AntsCali098 - Posted July 20 2022 - 2:29 PM

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Sad that the pheidole navigans died. I’ve pmed you about another thing
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Interested buying in ants? Feel free to check out my shop

Feel free to read my journals, like this one.

 

Wishlist:

Atta sp (wish they were in CA), Crematogaster cerasi, Most Pheidole species

 

 


#51 Offline bmb1bee - Posted July 20 2022 - 6:18 PM

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Glue the acrylic on with 100% silicone. The fumes won’t hurt them.

Would hot glue work? I don't think I have silicone at the moment.


"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#52 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 21 2022 - 2:34 AM

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Glue the acrylic on with 100% silicone. The fumes won’t hurt them.

Would hot glue work? I don't think I have silicone at the moment.
It will stop them for the time being, but they’ll chew through it eventually.
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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.

#53 Offline bmb1bee - Posted August 23 2022 - 5:05 PM

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Glue the acrylic on with 100% silicone. The fumes won’t hurt them.

Would hot glue work? I don't think I have silicone at the moment.
It will stop them for the time being, but they’ll chew through it eventually.

 

They managed to get through a hole in the thin layer I applied the first time, but were luckily unable to get through the second layer I applied over the first one.


"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#54 Offline bmb1bee - Posted August 23 2022 - 7:29 PM

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UPDATEEE!!! I doubt I'll be able to update as much, since I unwisely chose some rather tough classes this year. Not sure if I can catch up with homework and deal with ants at the same time, but I'll try my best. I might add pictures later this week, so stay posted!

 

Cardiocondyla mauritanica: They're doing super well at the moment. Their brood pile and worker count has literally doubled in size, probably because of the colony combination that actually worked. They probably have around 15 queens and 75-100 workers. 2 of the 15 queens were actually alates born from the massive brood pile, which eventually shed their wings (possibly mated? I dunno if there are any males in there, but there are then they're probably ergatoid). They've been fed a diet of around 5-10 fruit flies daily, until they started needing more food, so I switched to a 1.5" cut-up mealworm every couple days. They also accepted fish flakes, so I left a small pile of them in their outworld. I prefer to feed my ants exclusively pink fish flakes for some reason, probably because I like watching their larvae turn pink from the inside.

 

Monomorium ergatogyna: My custom formicarium Monomorium ergatogyna colony has just been in some sort of diapause the whole time, probably because I either neglected to feed or water them, so they all just stayed in their nest and chilled in there. I left some food in the outworld, but they're not coming out to eat. Worker count is probably around 150-200, with about 7-8 queens. The brood pile has gotten slightly smaller, but they don't seem to be having a severe die-off. However, my 4-queen colony in a test tube did have a huge worker die-off. I originally decided to sell the colony, but then some things happened with the customer and the purchase got delayed and put off. In the meantime, I forgot to feed them and couldn't replace their dry test tube, so a fair amount of workers and a queen died. My remaining 3 queens and around 10 workers survived, so I put them into a fresh, clean test tube with some honey and a fruit fly, which they plumped up on. No eggs from them yet, but hopefully they'll recover from that soon.

 

Tetramorium immigrans: This colony is literally just a pain in the *ss at this point. Well over 500 workers, they destroy all the food I give them in a matter of days. No amount of mealworms or superworms will keep them satisfied, and their water tower goes empty twice a week. I'm hoping the huge pile of fish flakes I sprinkled into their formicarium will deal with them for a few days. I highly doubt anyone would want to purchase them if I decide to sell though.

 

Pogonomyrmex rugosus: Awesome colony, they're growing pretty quickly, with over 35 workers and a huge brood pile. They also love gorging on fish flakes, and the occasional moths and crane flies I drop in. They've made a pile of seeds in a chamber of their nest, and I sometimes catch the workers splitting the seeds open and feeding the insides to their larvae. Beautiful black and red ants, and super fun to keep...

 

Camponotus us-ca02: The biggest ants I've ever kept. I moved them to a small formicarium that NancyZamora made, which I got along with the Solenopsis molesta queen that I will mention later. They've remained at around the same worker count as last time, around 10-12 workers, but have a bunch of small larvae and a few pupae. They don't eat as much as my other ants for some reason, although they used to show a preference for grasshopper legs and large moths. I feed them mealworm and superworm chunks though, which they drink the fluids of but don't like nearly as much. The only thing they seem to go out into their outworld for is to drink from the water tower and occasionally take a sip of the honey puddle next to it.

 

Liometopum occidentale: These girls are even crazier than the Tetras. I already have over 100 workers, and the next gen will probably bring it to 200-300. There's a bunch of brood that they stuffed into one of the narrower chambers of the nest that I have them in. They love honey and sugar water, as well as actual normal water, which they swarm over. I've been feeding them mealworm slices, small moths, and fruit flies, which they all show equal preference to.

 

Hypoponera cf. opacior: One of, if not my favorite colony so far. The dual queens now have 6 workers and a decent amount of brood. 1 cocoon, a few larvae, and around 15-20 eggs. They're still living happily in their mini Formisquarium and like eating 2-3 prekilled fruit flies every couple of days. It's fun watching them find the flies then drag them to where the larvae are.

 

Myrmecocystus depilis: This queen has been doing well-ish in the past few weeks. She got larvae again, and didn't eat them this time. Current brood consists of around 10 eggs, 1 larva, 1 naked pupa, and a cocoon, which should eclose sometime soon. The queen has accepted occasional drops of honey and sugar water, as well as single prekilled fruit flies. I'm so excited, since this will be my first colony of honeypot ants.

 

Lasius crypticus: Just a single queen a got from NancyZamora. She has one biological larva, but ate the rest of her brood. I broodboosted her with 3 of NZ's cocoons, 2 of which the queen opened up. She ate one of the pupae, but left the other alone since it seemed like it was going to eclose soon. Drinking honey has made her pretty plump, although not as extreme as in Myrmecocystus or my Brachymyrmex queen, which I'll mention next.

 

Brachymyrmex patagonicus: My two colonies still have a similar amount of workers, although one is doing better than the other. The smaller colony has around 10 workers, and is fed fruit flies and honey almost daily by me. The queen is so physogastric from honey that her abdomen has extended to nearly 3 times her original size. They have a bunch of cocoons and eggs as of today. The other colony has around 15 workers and was neglected for a little while when I was on vacation, so they didn't produce as much brood as my other colony. I fed them when I got back and that seemed to have jumpstarted them again.

 

Pheidole californica: I got a single queen of this species from a friend a month ago, to replace my colony of Pheidole navigans that had unfortunately passed away. The queen came with some eggs, which hatched and quickly developed into pupae soon after. First gen had only 5 workers, although the colony is now up to almost 15 workers, since a bunch of 2nd gen pupae eclosed a few days ago. They like eating fish flakes, which I find that most of my myrmecine ants like to feed their larvae with. I've also fed them a few fruit flies and a couple chia seeds, along with a small drop of honey.

 

Solenopsis molesta: This queen was also from NZ, which I purchased a couple weeks ago along with my Camponotus ca02's nest. She now has a neat pile of eggs, probably around 25 or so, and refuses to leave them. I've left a tiny drop of honey and a piece of fruit fly near the entrance of the test tube and she hasn't wandered there to eat ever since I got her. I don't mind though, since she's claustral anyway.

 

Linepithema humile: I found a few queens while watering my garden and flooding one of their nests by accident. I didn't see much brood, only a couple big larvae being carried around, just a few hundred ants swarming everywhere and forming clusters around the queens under my flowerpots. I caught 4 queens, which I might decide to keep along with a limited amount of workers, probably less than 12 if I want to let them remain in a test tube. They've already started laying eggs everywhere in the tube I put them in. Not sure if I'd want to raise them long-term though, so I might just feed the workers to my Lactrodectus (black widow) spiderling and feed the queens to my Pogonomyrmex rugosus colony.


Edited by bmb1bee, August 23 2022 - 7:29 PM.

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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#55 Offline Flu1d - Posted November 6 2022 - 10:09 PM

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I'm curious to hear about your Rugosus if you ever get a chance to update! :)
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#56 Offline bmb1bee - Posted November 7 2022 - 4:19 PM

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I'm curious to hear about your Rugosus if you ever get a chance to update! :)

Yeah, I haven't updated in a while. Will probably do that sometime this week. Been busy for the last couple months, so I haven't had a chance to post on any of my ants. I have a bunch of good news, but also some bad news.


"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#57 Offline Flu1d - Posted November 7 2022 - 5:51 PM

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I am very interested to hear. I am from Florida, and we have a breed of Pogonomyrmex called "The Florida Harvester Ant", known scientifically as "Pogonomyrmex Badius", and they are massive with HUGE majors. I used to see them as a kid and always thoughtthey were so cool, big and red and fast with crazy intimidating nests because they always cleared everything out near the entry and they left these black things around the outside of the hole.. Easy to find because of that. Sadly, they arent native to New Mexico, which is where I will eventually be moving.. However the Rugosus is native there and I know they probably arent as big or aggressive as the Badius, they're still really beautiful ants and one high up on my list to collect.

Your journal has been such an awesome journey, I love all of these species. I wish I had gotten into myrmecology BEFORE summer so I could have caught some queens during nuptials, but I will be ready for next year!

Edited by Flu1d, November 7 2022 - 5:52 PM.

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#58 Offline bmb1bee - Posted November 7 2022 - 6:53 PM

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Thanks! P. badius sure do look cool lined up with other Pogonomyrmex species, although I'd say P. rugosus have prettier colors. I'll hopefully have more species in this journal next year, which is when I'll be catching more ants and start seriously antkeeping.


"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#59 Offline Flu1d - Posted November 7 2022 - 9:21 PM

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Yeah, the rugosus are much prettier, the badius just actually look big and mean.. And I think they might actually be considered super aggressive, although I heard they're not bad to keep cause they suck at escaping

#60 Offline bmb1bee - Posted November 8 2022 - 8:42 AM

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I really like how polymorphic P. badius are. Their majors have such huge heads... 


"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.





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