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Dspdrew's Novomessor cockerelli Journal [232] (Discontinued)

dspdrew journal novomessor cockerelli harvester ants

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#1 Offline dspdrew - Posted July 28 2015 - 1:30 PM

  • LocationSanta Ana, CA
1. Location of collection: Goffs, California.
2. Date of collection: 7-7-2015.
3. Habitat of collection:  High desert.
4. Length (from head to gaster): 
I caught a bunch of these queens in the desert out in Goffs, California, on 7-7-2015. A storm went through two days before, dropping a little over an inch of rain. We got there around 4:00 am, and these queens were running around all over the place.
I have given quite a few of these away, but I still have a good amount left. Most all of them have larvae now of all different sizes. Out of all 30 something queens, I've only had one die so far. Right now I just have all of these in plain test tube setups.
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#2 Offline Wamdar - Posted July 28 2015 - 1:32 PM


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Great Shots! I hope I get larvae soon!

#3 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted July 28 2015 - 2:13 PM


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Awesome! If you have had only one queen die, them mine must have just been unlucky... :( Then again you know how she died, so it was unlucky anyway. :lol:

#4 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 14 2015 - 8:08 AM

  • LocationSanta Ana, CA
Update 8-14-2015
A few of these queens got their first nanitic workers two days ago.
I have only had one more die since the last update, so that is pretty good considering the amount I have.
I decided to put a few of these in foraging containers with a layer of Hydrostone in the bottom covered with desert substrate.
I also moved a couple of them into the same containers but only put a test tube in them for hydration. The idea is that the water-filled test tube will eliminate the need to hydrate them every few days. I'm not sure if it will be a problem or not having the substrate wet at all times, but that's what I'm hoping to find out.
As you can see they have already dug themselves a little nest.
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#5 Offline Vendayn - Posted August 14 2015 - 9:19 AM


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Nice. :) They developed really quick. I thought it would take longer.

#6 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted August 14 2015 - 3:13 PM


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Awesome! :D

#7 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 27 2015 - 7:10 PM

  • LocationSanta Ana, CA
Update 8-27-2015
Okay, so giving them wet substrate to dig in was not a good idea. These things love to dig, and they don't stop until they have the nest they want. In a small container with limited space, this became a problem, as you can see in the pictures below. They just kept digging and digging until they couldn't dig anymore, then turned around and start digging in the dirt they already dug up. They did this over and over until the whole container was a mess. I have since moved them back into one of the other setups.
Every colony now has workers, with most of them having between three and five. The largest colony has seven workers. Right now there are four of these in foraging containers.
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#8 Offline Crystals - Posted August 27 2015 - 7:40 PM


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I amazed that they didn't pile dirt against the cotton and drain the whole tube.

"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens


List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

My Colonies

#9 Offline NightsWebs - Posted August 27 2015 - 8:40 PM


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I agree they dig crazy paths. I keep them in mason jars currently and the tailings are piled high.

Current Colonies;

Acromyrmex Versicolor

Dorymyrmex Bicolor

Pogonomyrmex Californicus
Pogonomyrmex Rugosus

Pogonomyrmex Tenuispinus
Novomessor Cockerelli
Myrmecocystus Mexicanus


Last Update: 08 Jul 2016



#10 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 27 2015 - 9:19 PM

  • LocationSanta Ana, CA


I amazed that they didn't pile dirt against the cotton and drain the whole tube.


I purposely set those up with dirt against the cotton so it would stay wet. It's only going to get so wet before the water stops draining out. The dirt is really just an extension of the cotton ball.

#11 Offline Foogoo - Posted June 28 2016 - 9:44 PM


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How are these doing? Mine has exploded, definitely one of the easier and interesting species I have.

Camponotus vicinus, Crematogaster 1, Crematogaster 2, Formica francoeuri, *, *, Myrmecocystus testaceus, Novomessor cockerelli, Pheidole hyatti, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, Solenopsis invicta

#12 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 28 2016 - 11:06 PM

  • LocationSanta Ana, CA
Update 6-28-2016
None of my colonies ever did very well. I only have one left now, and it has been growing VERY slowly. They finally just reached 20 workers. I decided to move this colony into one of my founding formicariums.

#13 Offline Goldsystem - Posted June 29 2016 - 9:39 AM


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Are those ants really big or is it just the picture making them look big?

#14 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 29 2016 - 7:06 PM

  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

The workers are about 10mm.

#15 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 9 2016 - 12:48 AM

  • LocationSanta Ana, CA
Update 8-9-2016
This colony has finally started to grow a bit faster, and are now up to about 35 workers. They seem to like the formicarium they're in, as they're almost always all stuffed inside it. They've been eating a LOT of insects lately. They're pretty entertaining ants. I can only imagine how fun it must be for NightsWebs, watching his colony of a few hundred.

#16 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 21 2016 - 7:22 AM

  • LocationSanta Ana, CA
Update 9-21-2016
The colony is up to 40 workers now.
I just moved them into one of my vertical formicarium prototypes for testing. This was the fastest I've ever seen a colony move. Within 30 minutes they moved out of their current formicarium and into the new one on their own.
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#17 Offline spider_creations - Posted September 21 2016 - 7:49 AM


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Awesome colony! My queens was infertile :(

#18 Offline Salmon - Posted September 21 2016 - 10:17 AM


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I like the look of this species's larvae
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#19 Offline kudofo - Posted October 4 2016 - 5:54 PM


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Man that is awesome. I hope to one day host a colony of these. Just gorgeous monsters.

#20 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 25 2016 - 12:10 PM

  • LocationSanta Ana, CA
Update 11-25-2016
This colony is doing great. They are now up to about 130 workers, and the formicarium they're in seems to be working well for them.
One thing I noticed about these guys, is there is always one worker that holds all the small larvae and eggs. I have never seen it laying anywhere. It's always being held in the mandibles of one of the workers at all times. You can see the designated egg holder in these two pictures. :)
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