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GrandAntKing's Various Ants Journal

various ants

51 replies to this topic

#1 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted June 2 2022 - 3:42 PM

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Formica pacifica 2021
I caught a Formica pacifica queen last year. She overwinter in a natural dirt setup in a 1 gallon mason glass jar.
I discover at the end of May, she has small larvae and two eggs. Her chamber is about a inch down in the dirt. She really likes to be vertical for some reason, either hanging upside down and putting the brood on the glass surface or down at the botton, reaching up to tend the brood.
 
Camponotus modoc (With Wings) 06/01/22
I caught her climbing up my garage, and put her into another mason jar with dirt and rotten wood (natural setup).
 
4 Camponotus modoc (With Wings) 06/01/22 
I manage to catch 4 more queen (with wings) and put them in 29 gallon aquarium natural setup with dirt and rotten wood. Its amazing how fast they disappear once you put them in aquarium. I only seen one of them ( she shed her wings), its at the bottom of the aquarium, exploring the rotten wood cavern.
I know that you are not suppose to mix queen together, but this is more of an experiment since the 1st one i caught was put in the mason jar.
I do plan on putting more different species queens in the aquarium.
 
Also all the mason jars and aquarium are outside.
The mason jars are protect from the rain in the lean-to and the aquarium is protected by blue tarps over it.
 
Questions about Formica pacifica (Its the first time a queen actually survive for me, they usually end up dying from parasites)
 
1.How long does it take for formica pacifica to go from egg to worker?
2.Any special care for them?


#2 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted June 2 2022 - 8:48 PM

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Some pictures of the Aquarium and Mason Jar Setup
 

Aquarium Setup Picture #5
Aquarium Setup Picture #4
Aquarium Setup Picture #3
Aquarium Setup Picture #2
Aquarium Setup Picture #1

 

Formica pacifica Pictures

 

FP Mason Jar Pic #2
FP Mason Jar Pic #1
FP Mason Jar Pic #3

 


Edited by GrandAntKing, June 2 2022 - 8:50 PM.


#3 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted June 3 2022 - 10:14 AM

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Update 6/3/22
 
4 C. Modoc plus 1 (Aquarium)
Yesterday, I manage to rescue a C. modoc queen from some Formica obscuripes foragers. I put her into the aquarium and she quickly hide under the big rock in there.
 
I did see one of the C. modoc queen at the bottom of the aquarium, in the rotten wood caverns. She shed her wings and was exploring the wood. I haven't seen the other 3 queens since i put them in there.
 
Formica Pacifica (Mason Jar)
 
She put her brood against the glass, warming them up. Then she started a small expansion of her chamber at the bottom, moving some dirt around.
 
C. Modoc (Mason Jar)
 
I haven't seen her since i put her in the mason jar, hopefully she shed her wings and start egg laying soon.


#4 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted June 3 2022 - 12:34 PM

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Good news everyone!

One of the C. modoc decide to nest in the rotten log on top of the surface in the Aquarium.

I didn't notice it before.

 

3 pictures taken at  2 different angles, you will notice the wood shavings and dirt around the rotten log entrance.

 

CM A #1
CM A #2
CM A #3

Edited by GrandAntKing, June 3 2022 - 12:35 PM.

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#5 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 3 2022 - 12:37 PM

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I would highly recommend starting Camponotus in standard test tube setups. You will basically never see these slow growing ants again in such huge dirt setups. Not being able to fully observe a colony defeats the whole purpose of keeping ants, to be honest.
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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.

#6 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted June 3 2022 - 12:51 PM

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I would highly recommend starting Camponotus in standard test tube setups. You will basically never see these slow growing ants again in such huge dirt setups. Not being able to fully observe a colony defeats the whole purpose of keeping ants, to be honest.

 

 

I would disagree, I do not mind fully observing them, since I feel the natural setups that are place outside, subject to the weather change and temperatures might naturally help them grow and be healthy as well as see their natural behavior (I could be wrong about it, but I feel it would be an interesting experiment for ant keepers to read and see the pictures). 

 

Plus I do have good luck with queens in the natural setups in mason jars, placing their brood on the glass for me to watch.


Edited by GrandAntKing, June 3 2022 - 5:59 PM.


#7 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted June 4 2022 - 7:56 PM

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Small Update 6/4/22
 
I caught a C. novaeboracensis and put her in the last mason jar.
She calm down pretty quickly and quickly disapper in the rotten wood cavern.
 

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#8 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted June 6 2022 - 10:30 AM

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Small Update 6/6/22
 
I move the mason jars next to the aquarium. 
The reason for the move is to get the jars in sunlight(the warmth) to speed up brood growth.
I use some old blue tarps to cover them from the rain.
 
Aquarium
C. modoc x5
 
I saw one of them, she was at the bottom slowly and clumsily exploring the rotten wood.
Its interesting that when C. modoc feel safe and secure, they tend to be more clumsy.
The behavior seen different then the ant keeper's youtube videos' where they keep them in formicarium.
The queens in videos seen more graceful and active.
From the looks of it, all of they shed their wings, so they seen to like the environment.
 
 
F. pacifica
In respond of being move, she cover up the hole in her chamber near the glass (The one in the earlier picture).
Hopefully she is not stress and did not eat her brood.
She might uncover hole in a few days.
 
Mason Jar #2
C. modoc
 
Nothing to report. I haven't seen her since i put her in.
 
Mason Jar #3
C. novaeboracensis
 
Nothing to report either. I haven't seen her since i put her in.

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#9 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 6 2022 - 11:06 AM

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Be careful not to cook them in the sun.
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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 GrandAntKing - Posted June 7 2022 - 10:42 AM

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Be careful not to cook them in the sun.

No worries, i have some blue tarps i can put over the jars and shield them from the sun



#11 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted June 7 2022 - 10:49 AM

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Small Update 6/7/22

 

C. novaeboracensis

 

I did see her today, she came out of her hiding spot today. All she did was run around the jar and went back to her hiding spot.

 

C.N Hiding Spot
 
Her spot is at the corner of the two rotten wood
 
 
C. modoc
 
i caught her climbing my garage, snap a picture of her and release her in the woods, near a rotten log. 
I think 6 of them are enough.
 
C.m
 

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#12 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted June 10 2022 - 1:11 PM

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6/10/22
 
A rainy cloudy day in the high 60s.
In btw the rain storms, I took off the blue tarps to let them dry.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aquarium (C. modoc x5)
Nothing to really report about the queens.
The pill bugs and sowbugs are out, eating some dead bugs I put in there.
The Dandelion seeds I put in there, sprouted and growing. I am hoping to start an aphid farm when the Dandelions fully grown, as a cheap way to get sweets to the ants.
Also some slugs sneak into the aquarium.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mason Jar #1 (F. pacifica)
She did make a small window in her chamber near the glass. Maybe on a hot sunny day, she will enlarge the window.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mason Jar #2 (C. modoc)
I haven't seen her since I put here jar.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mason Jar #3 (C. novaeboracensis)
She been running around the surface, then quickly hiding in her hidey hole. She might take a week to finally calm down.

Edited by GrandAntKing, June 10 2022 - 1:11 PM.

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#13 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted June 14 2022 - 7:10 PM

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6/14/22

 

Aquarium

Nothing to really report about the queens.

I am expecting a sowbug/pill bug population explosion. They seem to like the environment of aquarium (which also means the queen do too)

A small snail and an aphid sneak into the aquarium. I am hoping the aphid will stay on the dandelion sprouts.

The small slugs are hiding under the dead leaves.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mason Jars #1-3

Nothing to really report either. 



#14 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted June 19 2022 - 7:17 PM

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6/19/22

I am hoping the high temp weather next week will speed up their brood growth.

 

Aquarium

Looks like the slugs and single snail made a home in there.

Nothing new with the queens.

 

Mason Jar #1-2

Nothing new with the queens.

 

Mason Jar #3 (C. novaeboracensis)

I found her dead on the surface, so I remove her and put her in the aquarium for a snack for the pill bugs/sow bugs.

I clean out the jar with soap and water, letting it air dry and going to set it up again with rotten wood and coco fiber.


Edited by GrandAntKing, June 19 2022 - 7:18 PM.


#15 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted July 14 2022 - 7:17 PM

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7/14/2022

 

Terrarium (C. modoc x7)

Nothing new with the queens.

The Pill Bugs and Sowbugs had a population explosion (a lot of babies). Also, a some of the older pill bugs and sow bugs are dying. 

The Dandelions are growing pretty well.

 

Mason Jar #1 (F. pacifica)

The queen was found dead on the surface.

 

Mason Jar #2 (C. modoc)

Nothing new with the queen.

 

Mason Jar #3 (C. modoc)

Put a newly capture C. modoc queen in the jar last month.

Nothing to really report, she vanish in the dirt. It looks like she did a lot of digging though.


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#16 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted July 15 2022 - 5:52 AM

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I really like your approach. I agree with you that ants isn natural habitats are the happiest, and growing plants and trying to get aphids is super fun as well. Keep it up!

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

My Journals:

Formica Species Journal

Myrmica Species Journal

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Attention Ant-Keepers in South Dakota! Join the SoDak(Society Of Dakotan Ant Keepers)


#17 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted July 22 2022 - 5:01 PM

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7/22/2022

 

‚ÄčIt's been a month and half since i capture the queens, I brought some mini ant feeders and going to put one in terrarium and the mason jars filled with hummingbird nectar to see if any of them have workers.

 

Terrarium (C. modoc x7)

 It seems the pill bugs and sow bugs are now avoiding the rotten piece of wood now. There are some dead ones near the entrance to the wood. Other than that, nothing new with the queens. I been trying to get aphids establish on the dandelions, but they are just dying.

 

Mason Jar #2 (C. modoc)

Nothing new with the queen. I do know where she is now in the mason jar, she pop her head out of her chamber and scold me today lol.

 

Mason Jar #3 (C. modoc)

Nothing new with the queen.


Edited by GrandAntKing, July 23 2022 - 7:08 AM.


#18 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted July 29 2022 - 12:52 PM

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7/29/2022

 

Terrarium (C. modoc x7)

Nothing so far with the queens.

The sow bugs and pill bugs are swarming over the ant feeder, even knocking it down at night. I had to refill it.

I did not know that the sow bugs and pill bugs like hummingbird nectar so much. 

 

Mason Jar #2 (C. modoc)

Nothing new with the queen. So far, the ant feeder hasn't been touched.

 

Mason Jar #3 (C. modoc)

It looks like the queen is feeding from the ant feeder at night, I discover the ant feeder been empty. I had to refill it today.



#19 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted July 31 2022 - 3:50 PM

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7/31/2022

 

We are still having high temperatures in the 90s, going to drop in the 70s-80s next month. I am down to 8 C. modoc queens now.

I plan on buying some freeze-dried crickets to feed them when they have workers.
 

Terrarium (C. modoc x7)

I have not seen any C. modoc workers so far, but I am still hopeful I will see some next month.

It seems the sowbugs and pill bugs really like the nectar; they are draining it like crazy. It seems the nectar is really energizing them. They are munching down on any dead bugs I put in there, even the big bugs are gone in a day or two.  I am worried they will bully the workers and keep them from getting any of the bugs or nectar. 

 

1-new
2-new
3-new
4-new
 

Mason Jar #2 (C. modoc)

Nothing new with the queen. So far, the ant feeder hasn't been touched.

I took some close-up pictures of the queen chamber location.

 

MJ 1-new
MJ 2- new

 

Mason Jar #3 (C. modoc)(Dead)

I found the queen dead on the surface. I remove her and put her in the terrarium.



#20 Offline GrandAntKing - Posted August 11 2022 - 6:17 PM

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8/11/2022

 

Good News everyone :)

 

Terrarium (C. modoc x7)

 

The Queen that settled down the rotten log, she has workers!!! i discovered one that was crawling outside the terrarium near the top of it. I put her back in and she ran under the log. Another worker came out, walk around the top of the log, visited the two feeders and ran back under the log. I move the dead beetle to the top of the log for them to feed on. They are fast little buggers; I couldn't snap a picture of them. I hope she got a lot of workers since she going to get spoiled by me a lot. 

 

Mason Jar #2 (C. modoc)

Nothing new, no sign of them drinking from the feeders or anything.


Edited by GrandAntKing, August 12 2022 - 1:35 PM.





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