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FloridaAnts Trachymyrmex septrionalis journal

floridaants leaf cutting ants small ants poop farming ants trachymyrmex trachymyrmex septrionalis fungus fungus farmers frequent updates journal

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#1 Offline FloridaAnts - Posted July 26 2022 - 4:58 PM

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June 7th, 2022
I was on a walk around 7 PM, and then I spotted it, a Trachymyrmex septrionalis queen! She was slender and fast, only stopping to investigate a few workers of another species. Quickly, I grabbed my test tube and scooped her up. She was very inactive from this point on. Knowing they were flying that day, I quickly moved leaf litter, dead grass, and inspected other plants to find more. After about 25 minutes of looking like a complete idiot moving leaves around, I found yet another. This one had much more darker coloration, and that is why until a name is given, I will be calling them “Dark face” and “Grey face”.

July 24th, 2022
I was just sitting around, watching Solenopsis invicta alates swarm, so I got up an went to investigate a small dirt pile that I spotted. A few workers came and went… but wait… they were Trachymyrmex! Quickly, I got a small shovel preparing to tunnel several feet deep in the ground. That was a mistake, the small shovel. I wanted to find a small fungus chmaber, not the main fungus chmaber, so I avoided the main tunnel as I didn’t need a queen, but fungus. After 2.5 hours in the summer heat and three feet deep in the ground, I gave one last scrape of the shovel, against a dirt wall, but something happend. A small opening of about 10mm opened up. It was a fungus chmaber! I couldn’t believe I almost missed it, so quickly I took what I need, fungus and 20 workers. I also happend to get a male in the process. I also couldn’t help but take a shovel of this sand. Dang, it felt good to stick my hands in it :lol:. This really wasn’t alot of fungus. It was only enough to fill up a 8mm tube. Taking the tube, I went to work straight away on finding my old Trachymyrmex queens in a small plaster bowl. After a few weeks, they had no fungus(I did feed them oats, apples, and leaves). I introduced some substrate, workers, and fungus. The queens showed little aggression to the workers, who just went about their business. I fed them some oats, which the next day, they accepted. They were housed in a deli cup with an acrylic lid, a hole for a nestmate, inside a Rubbermade box
July 25th, 2022
“Grey face” laid an egg. A worker immediately carted it away to safety. I hope to see some workers in the future!

Sorry for the story telling, I couldn’t help myself.
(Also sorry for bad pictures, I can use a macro Lense from this far up.(Tall deli cup)
Can you spot both queens? If you can, you have sharp eye!
Attached File  B538D350-77A8-4D96-BB6C-87A259363333.jpeg   301.51KB   2 downloads
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  • OiledOlives, antsandmore and futurebird like this
Check out my Camponotus socius journal!
https://www.formicul...socius-journal/
Check out my Florida Carpenter Ant journal!(Camponotus floridanus, and Camponotus tortoganus)
https://www.formicul...naltwo-species/
Check out my Odontomachus ruginodis(Trap-Jaw ants) journal!
https://www.formicul...urnal/?p=215735
Check out my Trachymyrmex septrionalis(Fungus farmers) journal!
https://www.formicul...onalis-journal/

#2 Offline FloridaAnts - Posted July 28 2022 - 6:03 AM

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July 28, 2022
They disassembled the fungus and I am not sure where it went. I think I found what is little pieces of fungus in the outworld covered in Cotton strands. Maybe I give them Cotton to use for their fungus? They have been tearing it off a cotton ball with nectar so I might make it easier for them. I also moved a decently sized piece of fungus into the nest to encourage them to bring it back…

They also have mites or somehow got tick larvae in their nest. They are these little orange things with six legs. Whenever I see one, I get tweezers and kill it.
Check out my Camponotus socius journal!
https://www.formicul...socius-journal/
Check out my Florida Carpenter Ant journal!(Camponotus floridanus, and Camponotus tortoganus)
https://www.formicul...naltwo-species/
Check out my Odontomachus ruginodis(Trap-Jaw ants) journal!
https://www.formicul...urnal/?p=215735
Check out my Trachymyrmex septrionalis(Fungus farmers) journal!
https://www.formicul...onalis-journal/

#3 Offline FloridaAnts - Posted July 28 2022 - 10:35 AM

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If anybody has any tips for me, let me know. I really hope the fungus comes back, but when I check on them in three days and still gone I will probably give up on this colony.
Check out my Camponotus socius journal!
https://www.formicul...socius-journal/
Check out my Florida Carpenter Ant journal!(Camponotus floridanus, and Camponotus tortoganus)
https://www.formicul...naltwo-species/
Check out my Odontomachus ruginodis(Trap-Jaw ants) journal!
https://www.formicul...urnal/?p=215735
Check out my Trachymyrmex septrionalis(Fungus farmers) journal!
https://www.formicul...onalis-journal/

#4 Offline NicholasP - Posted July 28 2022 - 10:57 AM

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ABSOLUTELY DON'T GIVE THEM COTTON. Cotton is the number one killer of leafcutter colonies. Remove all cotton as soon as possible. My advice is, if possible, search for people with Trachymyrmex septronollenis colonies and ask them if they can give you a small piece of their fungus. If there's no one with T. septronollensis fungus, then see if someone has any other leafcutter fungus. Every other fungus will very likely work besides Cyphomyrmex fungus and or yeast.


  • futurebird and FloridaAnts like this

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#5 Offline FloridaAnts - Posted July 28 2022 - 2:56 PM

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ABSOLUTELY DON'T GIVE THEM COTTON. Cotton is the number one killer of leafcutter colonies. Remove all cotton as soon as possible. My advice is, if possible, search for people with Trachymyrmex septronollenis colonies and ask them if they can give you a small piece of their fungus. If there's no one with T. septronollensis fungus, then see if someone has any other leafcutter fungus. Every other fungus will very likely work besides Cyphomyrmex fungus and or yeast.

Alright, removed cotton. Thank you for the advice. They still have some fungus, but it’s all disassembled and all over. I want to give them time alone to try to rebuild.

Mini update +edit:

Is hair okay? There was one or two pieces in the dirt, and they kind of stick the remaining fungus on it.

Also, guess where more fungus was… under the cotton. Does cotton kill them because it molds? Or it is just “unnatural”

Edited by FloridaAnts, July 28 2022 - 3:01 PM.

Check out my Camponotus socius journal!
https://www.formicul...socius-journal/
Check out my Florida Carpenter Ant journal!(Camponotus floridanus, and Camponotus tortoganus)
https://www.formicul...naltwo-species/
Check out my Odontomachus ruginodis(Trap-Jaw ants) journal!
https://www.formicul...urnal/?p=215735
Check out my Trachymyrmex septrionalis(Fungus farmers) journal!
https://www.formicul...onalis-journal/

#6 Offline NicholasP - Posted July 29 2022 - 9:28 AM

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The reason cotton is so bad is because it's very easy to get moldy and isn't really healthy for the fungus to have cotton. This is why people get bashed for putting leafcutter ants in test tubes. Because the cotton molds.


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#7 Offline mmcguffi - Posted July 29 2022 - 9:46 AM

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My guess is they found the microclimate that the moist cotton made preferable, but as NicolasP has said, the cotton should be removed. You can feed them sugars with a normal water/sugar tower



#8 Offline FloridaAnts - Posted July 29 2022 - 10:17 AM

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My guess is they found the microclimate that the moist cotton made preferable, but as NicolasP has said, the cotton should be removed. You can feed them sugars with a normal water/sugar tower


Okay, I cannot thank you all enough for the advice! I removed the cotton, and if they have no fungus in a few days will look into buying some.

Does it have to be T. Septrionalis fungus? Can fungus be shipped across state lines? Is there certain species of Atta fungus that works?
Check out my Camponotus socius journal!
https://www.formicul...socius-journal/
Check out my Florida Carpenter Ant journal!(Camponotus floridanus, and Camponotus tortoganus)
https://www.formicul...naltwo-species/
Check out my Odontomachus ruginodis(Trap-Jaw ants) journal!
https://www.formicul...urnal/?p=215735
Check out my Trachymyrmex septrionalis(Fungus farmers) journal!
https://www.formicul...onalis-journal/





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