Jump to content

  • Chat
  •  
  •  

Welcome to Formiculture.com!

This is a website for anyone interested in Myrmecology and all aspects of finding, keeping, and studying ants. The site and forum are free to use. Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation points to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!

Photo
- - - - -

Myrmecism's Formica pallidefulva-group journal


  • Please log in to reply
3 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Myrmecism - Posted July 25 2022 - 9:23 AM

Myrmecism

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

It's summer and I'm bored so I thought, why not start and antkeeping journal. I think I'll make this one about the Formica queen I caught a few weeks ago since I don't know much about them and might need some help later on.

 

I caught her running on an asphalt trail, with a lawn to one side and trees to the other side. She was very physogastric and looked healthy. The first picture is of when I first caught her on the 5th of July. 

 

Attached File  IMG_20220705_225143385_2.jpg   135.85KB   2 downloads

 

I put her test tube in a small box on my top shelf in my bedroom. Up there it's consistently over 75 F, usually 80+ at the hottest time of the day. I try to only check my founding queens on Sundays, but usually I'm not responsible enough to maintain this habit. For the Formica queen, though, I managed to stick to the routine. I first checked on her on Sunday the 10th. As you can see, there are some eggs and maybe young larvae.

 

Attached File  IMG_20220710_112141707.jpg   178.9KB   1 downloads

 

I checked on them again on the next Sunday, the 17th, but I don't have any pictures of them on my computer right now. The queen had a bunch of larvae in various stages of development, though none of them looked mature. I checked them again yesterday and she has around 8 pupae and 2 mature larvae. Assuming that all her brood are maturing at a similar rate, then that means the pupae probably spun their cocoons very recently. The difference in the queen's body is dramatic. After feeding her brood she's not physogastric at all anymore.

 

Attached File  formicaP.PNG   874.7KB   1 downloads

 

At this rate, by Sunday of this week it's not likely for there to be workers, but it's not impossible. Most of them will probably eclose next week. I'm looking forward to that so I can finally key the workers and figure out which pallidefulva-group species they are. Afterwards, I'll give them a diet of sugar water mixed with honey, wild caught termites (cuz I have no feeder insects), and meat, unless any of you know a better diet for Formica. In fact, if there's anything I'm doing wrong or anything I could to better, please tell me.


  • lazyant likes this

#2 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 25 2022 - 11:25 AM

ANTdrew

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,683 posts
  • LocationAlexandria, VA
This species gets workers extremely fast for such large ants. Good luck!
  • lazyant likes this
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#3 Offline Myrmecism - Posted July 31 2022 - 9:08 AM

Myrmecism

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Here's my Formica queen after another week. You can see that all the brood are in the pupa stage right now. Most of them are cocooned, but one of them at the bottom is naked. They look pretty mature, and I can see eyes through the silk cocoon on most of them. I'm sure they'll hatch sometime next week, and they'll probably all be workers by next Sunday. This species grows pretty fast for such big ants. The tube is kinda dirty but that shouldn't be a problem.

 

Attached File  Screenshot_20220731-123818_2.png   299.46KB   1 downloads



#4 Offline Myrmecism - Posted August 8 2022 - 3:04 PM

Myrmecism

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Attached File  IMG_20220808_184951180_2.jpg   171.02KB   1 downloads

 

It's been another week since the last Formica queen update. I actually checked her on Thursday too, and she already had her first 3 workers. Yesterday, on Sunday the 7th, she had 8 nanitics. Of her original batch of 10 first generation cocoons, only 2 were still pupae. Those will probably eclose any day now. I fed them a drop of sugar water and a  dead fruit fly from my house. I don't have any feeder insect colonies, so my available protein sources are pest fruit flies, wild termites, and human food scraps. The ants were shy at first, but the soon drank the sugar and attacked the fly.

 

I don't know if you can see well, but she already has some more eggs and larvae. This colony is developing so quickly for a fairly large species. The cotton is pretty dirty with black mold, but that hasn't harmed any of my other test tube colonies, so I'll leave them be. I'm planning on moving them into a tubs and tubes setup when the second generation emerges.






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users