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Termite questions


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Offline lazyant - Posted June 6 2022 - 9:12 PM

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So, I have wanted to start termite keeping I know the basics like how to make a termite tube, the husbandry and stuff.

But what I want to know like when they fly and how to tell the king and queens apart *There are king and queens for the people who don't know*

Also is there like formicariums for Termites? Like there are for ants?

Any other tips n' tricks would help!


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#2 Offline VenomousBeast - Posted June 7 2022 - 3:03 AM

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When they fly depends on your area and the species. There aren't a wide variety of termite species in the States (at least recognized because it's a very under studied topic and they look very similar and are subterranean mostly). Most termites fly in May-July, especially in the genus Reticulitermes. But there's some invasive populations of the very cool Nasutitermes in Southern Texas, and other various species of drywood termites of the west that fly in August and September. The best way to know when they fly is to observe a wild colony, just like you would with ants.
Now for determining the difference between a queen and king, that also depends on the species. You really have to know your species very well to determine sex, some have different number of plates on their thorax, while others are so similar that it's recognized by behavior. Also, in the genus Reticulitermes, the queens can clone themselves to create their workers/soldiers etc. albeit a lot slower than a mating couple. Also, there isn't a lot of good websites for learning about termites and their identification so I'd start with learning their genera and learning about what their name means in Latin (this also helps with ants!!)

**edit
There really is no mainstream Formicarium build for termites yet except the termitat and those are very pricey. What I do is I make an open plaster nest with large chambers that are natural for the species I'm keeping and fill it with cellulose powder. Then put them in and boom, just water it and you've got all you need for a pretty long time! Especially since plaster nests hold water longer. (I also boil plaster and the container in hot water to kill everything before putting it together to help prevent mold growth)

Edited by VenomousBeast, June 7 2022 - 3:07 AM.

  • ANTdrew, UtahAnts, antsinvirgina and 1 other like this
Keeps:
1:Tetramorium immigrans
1:Stigmatomma pallipes
1:Proceratium sp.
2:Prenolepis imparis (founding)
2:Camponotus casteanus
8:Camponotus chromaiodes
1:Vollenhovia emeryi
1:Trachymyrmex septentrionalis
1:Crematogaster sp. Queen (founding)

#3 Offline lazyant - Posted June 7 2022 - 11:13 AM

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When they fly depends on your area and the species. There aren't a wide variety of termite species in the States (at least recognized because it's a very under studied topic and they look very similar and are subterranean mostly). Most termites fly in May-July, especially in the genus Reticulitermes. But there's some invasive populations of the very cool Nasutitermes in Southern Texas, and other various species of drywood termites of the west that fly in August and September. The best way to know when they fly is to observe a wild colony, just like you would with ants.
Now for determining the difference between a queen and king, that also depends on the species. You really have to know your species very well to determine sex, some have different number of plates on their thorax, while others are so similar that it's recognized by behavior. Also, in the genus Reticulitermes, the queens can clone themselves to create their workers/soldiers etc. albeit a lot slower than a mating couple. Also, there isn't a lot of good websites for learning about termites and their identification so I'd start with learning their genera and learning about what their name means in Latin (this also helps with ants!!)

**edit
There really is no mainstream Formicarium build for termites yet except the termitat and those are very pricey. What I do is I make an open plaster nest with large chambers that are natural for the species I'm keeping and fill it with cellulose powder. Then put them in and boom, just water it and you've got all you need for a pretty long time! Especially since plaster nests hold water longer. (I also boil plaster and the container in hot water to kill everything before putting it together to help prevent mold growth)

Thanks, in my back yard I saw a smaller colony(?) of Reticulitermes sp. I saw a couple majors and some nymphs but queen was out of my sight and the king also. There are some of the same species on the bottom floor of my garden they aren't the same colony because uhh there is a large wall of cement... I live in the Bay area of CA... when do you think they might fly it just rained a couple days ago.


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#4 Offline VenomousBeast - Posted June 7 2022 - 11:56 AM

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It's possible that they may have already flown. Also, that cement wall doesn't do anything for termites. Reticulitermes colonies have been known to be nesting up to 30ft below the ground with a surface area of about 1 square mile for their food sources. (Another reason why I will never pay for termite traps, etc. It does nothing) You can also just collect a lot of nymphs and workers and they will eventually develop into secondary kings and queens. They lay less than true queens but they can have several per colony. This is actually very very common in Reticulitermes due to the 30ft under thing. If a group gets seperated from the main colony, they will grow these queens and kings. It takes about 6 months but you can have hundreds of secondary queens and kings if you collect enough from the same colony! 😁
Keeps:
1:Tetramorium immigrans
1:Stigmatomma pallipes
1:Proceratium sp.
2:Prenolepis imparis (founding)
2:Camponotus casteanus
8:Camponotus chromaiodes
1:Vollenhovia emeryi
1:Trachymyrmex septentrionalis
1:Crematogaster sp. Queen (founding)

#5 Offline lazyant - Posted June 7 2022 - 12:29 PM

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It's possible that they may have already flown. Also, that cement wall doesn't do anything for termites. Reticulitermes colonies have been known to be nesting up to 30ft below the ground with a surface area of about 1 square mile for their food sources. (Another reason why I will never pay for termite traps, etc. It does nothing) You can also just collect a lot of nymphs and workers and they will eventually develop into secondary kings and queens. They lay less than true queens but they can have several per colony. This is actually very very common in Reticulitermes due to the 30ft under thing. If a group gets seperated from the main colony, they will grow these queens and kings. It takes about 6 months but you can have hundreds of secondary queens and kings if you collect enough from the same colony!

Oh wow! I will collect a good sized group of workers and nymphs, Should I just put them in a termite style test tube set up?


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#6 Offline VenomousBeast - Posted June 7 2022 - 6:06 PM

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It's possible that they may have already flown. Also, that cement wall doesn't do anything for termites. Reticulitermes colonies have been known to be nesting up to 30ft below the ground with a surface area of about 1 square mile for their food sources. (Another reason why I will never pay for termite traps, etc. It does nothing) You can also just collect a lot of nymphs and workers and they will eventually develop into secondary kings and queens. They lay less than true queens but they can have several per colony. This is actually very very common in Reticulitermes due to the 30ft under thing. If a group gets seperated from the main colony, they will grow these queens and kings. It takes about 6 months but you can have hundreds of secondary queens and kings if you collect enough from the same colony!

Oh wow! I will collect a good sized group of workers and nymphs, Should I just put them in a termite style test tube set up?
You can if you think that'll fit all of them! I'd also keep in mind that they do need a bit of airflow since their digestion produces a lot of methane and the build up of it is toxic to all living creatures
  • lazyant likes this
Keeps:
1:Tetramorium immigrans
1:Stigmatomma pallipes
1:Proceratium sp.
2:Prenolepis imparis (founding)
2:Camponotus casteanus
8:Camponotus chromaiodes
1:Vollenhovia emeryi
1:Trachymyrmex septentrionalis
1:Crematogaster sp. Queen (founding)

#7 Offline lazyant - Posted June 7 2022 - 9:06 PM

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Okay, My mom thinks they'll escape the tube so I made this setup (I collected around 50+ Workers and soldiers couple nymphs put some clumps of dirt that several were coming out of maybe more than 70 now?)

 

Attached File  20220607_215331.jpg   97.55KB   4 downloads

 


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#8 Offline VenomousBeast - Posted June 8 2022 - 5:41 AM

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Okay, My mom thinks they'll escape the tube so I made this setup (I collected around 50+ Workers and soldiers couple nymphs put some clumps of dirt that several were coming out of maybe more than 70 now?)

20220607_215331.jpg

That works, just make sure you keep the humidity up! That's the biggest killer
  • lazyant likes this
Keeps:
1:Tetramorium immigrans
1:Stigmatomma pallipes
1:Proceratium sp.
2:Prenolepis imparis (founding)
2:Camponotus casteanus
8:Camponotus chromaiodes
1:Vollenhovia emeryi
1:Trachymyrmex septentrionalis
1:Crematogaster sp. Queen (founding)




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