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Strumigenys Colony (Found May 2022) Mini Trap-Jaw Ants

strumigenys diy formicarium springtails

23 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Ants101 - Posted August 7 2022 - 6:47 PM

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I have found a Strumigenys colony in a walnut on May 2022 at a park.

I have been reading from others experiences from the formiculture website and it was helpful.

I carefully opened the walnut and used a gentle brush to put them in a DIY nest out of hydrostone.

Attached File  ED1A9FC2-227F-401D-9DF1-7FED566EF8B9.jpeg   338.06KB   10 downloads

3 months later, I have been slowly figuring out how to feed them and minimizing accidents.

I been feeding them springtails and sugar water in cotton. They seem to be doing good so far.

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Here is a closer picture of them. I believe there is about 20 queens and they now have alates (5 males and 1 female on Late July and early August). Their nuptial flights might be in the early fall season.

Attached File  C6B05208-6413-41F4-BFDE-7A9927D6E543.jpeg   289.65KB   10 downloads

They love their springtails and are quite amazing how quickly they catch and sting. Here is a picture of them slowly cornering a springtail. Don’t underestimate their slow and little size.

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I have started a springtail culture farm which contains these backyard silver springtails.

I put coconut fiber as their substrate and give them brewers yeast powder and sugar water in cotton.

Takes them a month or so until they multiple and another month until they grow decent size (3-4mm).

Attached File  E40F9A8E-93CC-44C6-AFAA-3DAFEB99B3D9.jpeg   299.23KB   9 downloads

Edited by Ants101, August 16 2022 - 3:16 AM.

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#2 Offline Ants101 - Posted September 27 2022 - 8:53 AM

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Since early August, I've noticed that the adult worker ants that usually leave the nest, are fighting and stinging each other outside.

 

I would usually find 1 dead ant every other day.

 

As of now, near the end of September, fighting still continues.

 

Here are a few pictures of different occasions of fighting.

 

 Attached File  Ant War.jpg   132.2KB   5 downloads

 

I am aware there are more than 15 + queen ants and are laying plenty of eggs that are maturing into adults.

 

Maybe this is the cause of their division:

 

The original old adults (raised from the wild outdoors) vs the new and young adults (raised from captivity).

 

or 

 

Too many different adults from too many different queen ants, therefore, division and conflict with one another.

 

Attached File  IMG_0808.jpeg   267.24KB   5 downloads

 

I am going to remove the fighters that are usually outside the nest and are killing. I will keep the "peaceful ants" in the formicarium.

 

Not sure if this will work but we will see. 


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#3 Offline MrPurpleB - Posted September 27 2022 - 3:25 PM

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This is amazing. They got funny little head shapes, are their jaws somewhat similar to trapjaws? Probably the closet thing in California to a trapjaw species.

 

When you started with them, was it from a few queens or did you grab a pre-existing colony?



#4 Offline ReignofRage - Posted September 27 2022 - 4:01 PM

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This is amazing. They got funny little head shapes, are their jaws somewhat similar to trapjaws? Probably the closet thing in California to a trapjaw species.

 

When you started with them, was it from a few queens or did you grab a pre-existing colony?

 

The species more similar to trap-jaws would be the long-jawed species known to be in California such as S. louisianae, S. cf rogeri, and S. silvestrii. The other five known species in California have short jaws that don't really resemble the typical trap-jaw ant. 


Edited by ReignofRage, September 27 2022 - 4:04 PM.

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#5 Offline MrPurpleB - Posted September 27 2022 - 4:27 PM

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Thanks, for the correction @Reignofrage.

So many names, I get them mixed up haha.

#6 Offline T.C. - Posted September 27 2022 - 7:22 PM

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Are you just using using a clip on macro lens for these images? 

 

 

 

@MrPurpleB     Welcome back.  :)  Long time no see. 


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.

 

"You show me someone who's ok with losing and I'll show you a loser."  Josh Allen


#7 Offline Ants101 - Posted September 28 2022 - 6:16 AM

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Yes. I found it on amazon to attach it to a iphone:

 

https://www.amazon.c...00?ie=UTF8&th=1

 

 

Are you just using using a clip on macro lens for these images? 

 

 

 

@MrPurpleB     Welcome back.  :)  Long time no see. 



#8 Offline Ants101 - Posted September 28 2022 - 6:28 AM

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This is amazing. They got funny little head shapes, are their jaws somewhat similar to trapjaws? Probably the closet thing in California to a trapjaw species.

 

When you started with them, was it from a few queens or did you grab a pre-existing colony?

 

I found the multi-queen colony in a walnut in the wild as is. I had my eye on this walnut for more than a year but I decided not to pick them up yet.

 

This is because I wasn't successful with another colony that I found in a acorn a few years back.

 

This time, I wanted to be sure I had everything ready (formicarium designed for their size, springtail culture, and learn from others experience online)

 

before I decided to look for the walnut again. I was glad that I found the walnut again. 


Edited by Ants101, September 28 2022 - 1:15 PM.


#9 Offline MrPurpleB - Posted September 28 2022 - 3:32 PM

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This is amazing. They got funny little head shapes, are their jaws somewhat similar to trapjaws? Probably the closet thing in California to a trapjaw species.

 

When you started with them, was it from a few queens or did you grab a pre-existing colony?

 

I found the multi-queen colony in a walnut in the wild as is. I had my eye on this walnut for more than a year but I decided not to pick them up yet.

 

This is because I wasn't successful with another colony that I found in a acorn a few years back.

 

This time, I wanted to be sure I had everything ready (formicarium designed for their size, springtail culture, and learn from others experience online)

 

before I decided to look for the walnut again. I was glad that I found the walnut again. 

 

Your research and planning really payed off, hope to see there updates.

 

 

@T.C Thanks, I got a bit slow on the updates on the journals then stopped lol. Hope to restart those somehow, still been keeping ants, just go on and off formi sometimes. 


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#10 Offline Ants101 - Posted October 21 2022 - 6:55 PM

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As of October 2022, the colony is doing well so far. 

 

LEFT PICTURE (Adult Hunting for Food)

 

RIGHT PICTURE (Adults with silver springtails)

 

Attached File  Presentation1.jpg   209.5KB   4 downloads

 

I have removed the adults that were visibly stinging their own kind outside of the nest. I basically aspirated them out (maybe about 10) of the formicarium and transferred them into a tree nut so to be taken outside.

 

Enough was enough. I could not stand seeing a dead adult every other day.

 

Now, for the past 3 weeks or so, there has hardly been any deaths since. 

 

Notice the tiny larvae beneath them.

 

Attached File  Presentation2.jpg   278.51KB   4 downloads

 

 

 


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#11 Offline Ants101 - Posted November 15 2022 - 8:03 AM

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As of November of 2022, I have moved the colony into a new DIY formicarium.

 

I moved them carefully with a small and delicate paint brush. They seem to have settled in the nest and are exploring the outworld. 

 

Left Picture:

Notice how the magnets have rusted badly due to me applying water drops directly onto and around the nest which I won't do for now on. 

 

Right Picture:

This is the new nest which will be placed in a fridge later in the month to begin hibernation.

 

Attached File  Presentation1.jpg   218.53KB   4 downloads

 

 

They seem to standout more with their larvae which will help me to see them more clearly.

 

 

Attached File  IMG_1226.JPEG   279.23KB   4 downloads


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#12 Offline Ant-nig321 - Posted November 15 2022 - 8:07 AM

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Wow,nice colony.from when to when are you hibernating them?

Sent from my TECNO BD4h using Tapatalk

#13 Online ZTYguy - Posted November 15 2022 - 9:18 AM

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God this makes me jealous. These are such cool ants.
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Ant Keeping Since June 2018
Currently Keeping:
A. versicolor, C. vicinus, C. us-ca02, C. clarithorax, C. yogi, C. sansabeanus, C. semitestaceus, C. laevigatus, M. mimicus, M. mexicanus, M. navajo, M. placodops 01, M. placodops 02, M. mendax, P. californicus, P. subniditus, P. rugosus, V. andrei, V. pergandei, V. stoddardi,  N. cockerelli, P. hyatti, P. desertorum, P. cerebrosior, P. californica, D. bicolor, C. sp cf6, C. sp na, S. “molesta”

 

GO CHECK OUT ANTSEMPORIUM HERE: https://antsemporium.com/


#14 Offline Ants101 - Posted November 15 2022 - 1:26 PM

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Wow,nice colony.from when to when are you hibernating them?

Sent from my TECNO BD4h using Tapatalk

 

I am not too familiar with what is recommended but I plan to put them in a fridge around the last week of November (or the first week of December)

 

and then take them out around late month of March or early month of April. 


Edited by Ants101, November 15 2022 - 1:27 PM.


#15 Offline Ant-nig321 - Posted November 16 2022 - 10:11 AM

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Oh hope they pass through hibernation safely

#16 Offline bmb1bee - Posted November 16 2022 - 4:08 PM

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I am not too familiar with what is recommended but I plan to put them in a fridge around the last week of November (or the first week of December)

 

and then take them out around late month of March or early month of April. 

I don't think it is required to hibernate them (depending on species and location), but you could if you want. Just be careful of the temps you keep them at.


Wishlist ants I hope to get someday:

     - Camponotus yogi

     - Formica subpolita

     - Novomessor cockerelli

     - Pheidole hyatti / desertorum / vistana (aka any of the big ones)

     - Lasius sp. (parasitic)

     - Strumigenys membranifera

     - Stigmatomma pallipes

 

Check out my journal and shop!


#17 Offline Ants101 - Posted November 18 2022 - 7:39 PM

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I am not too familiar with what is recommended but I plan to put them in a fridge around the last week of November (or the first week of December)

 

and then take them out around late month of March or early month of April. 

I don't think it is required to hibernate them (depending on species and location), but you could if you want. Just be careful of the temps you keep them at.

 

 

I will be careful as much as possible. I did find them in a park where there are very cold winters.

 

The plan is that I will gradually lower the temperature in the fridge maybe 1 degree every week from 64 F to 50F (maybe 48F).

 

I will also keep an eye on them making sure there is no condensation inside their nest space and make sure there is sugar water available at all times.


Edited by Ants101, November 18 2022 - 7:40 PM.


#18 Offline MrEnfenete - Posted November 18 2022 - 7:47 PM

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Do you mist the out world because I have my Strumigenys pulchella out world humidity as well just so I can farm the springtails in there out world giving them unlimited supply of food.

#19 Online ZTYguy - Posted November 18 2022 - 11:20 PM

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Wow,nice colony.from when to when are you hibernating them?
Sent from my TECNO BD4h using Tapatalk

 
I am not too familiar with what is recommended but I plan to put them in a fridge around the last week of November (or the first week of December)
 
and then take them out around late month of March or early month of April.

I’m like 90% sure you don’t need to hibernate them. It would likely be fine to just take them off of heat but look into it.

Ant Keeping Since June 2018
Currently Keeping:
A. versicolor, C. vicinus, C. us-ca02, C. clarithorax, C. yogi, C. sansabeanus, C. semitestaceus, C. laevigatus, M. mimicus, M. mexicanus, M. navajo, M. placodops 01, M. placodops 02, M. mendax, P. californicus, P. subniditus, P. rugosus, V. andrei, V. pergandei, V. stoddardi,  N. cockerelli, P. hyatti, P. desertorum, P. cerebrosior, P. californica, D. bicolor, C. sp cf6, C. sp na, S. “molesta”

 

GO CHECK OUT ANTSEMPORIUM HERE: https://antsemporium.com/


#20 Offline Ant-nig321 - Posted November 19 2022 - 3:42 AM

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Wow,nice colony.from when to when are you hibernating them?
Sent from my TECNO BD4h using Tapatalk


I am not too familiar with what is recommended but I plan to put them in a fridge around the last week of November (or the first week of December)

and then take them out around late month of March or early month of April.
I’m like 90% sure you don’t need to hibernate them. It would likely be fine to just take them off of heat but look into it.
can hibernation reduce their mortality rate?





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