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New Acromyrmex versicolor colony - please help me save them

leafcutter ants

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#1 Offline BeezAnts - Posted December 27 2022 - 2:42 PM



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Can anyone please help? My (10 year old) son was given a desert leafcutter ant colony (2 queens and ~20 workers). They all seem OK for now (I.e., they are moving around and somewhat active), but I really don't know how to care for them. Their "fungus" is looking green and not at all like what I've seen when I've looked for examples online, and more troubling is that I think some black mold has now formed. Is this colony doomed or is there a way I can save them??? Please see photos; I am grateful for any tips or advice. We've had them for about 3 weeks now.
A few additional notes:

  • they have been kept at 70-75 F, but when moisture started to develop I removed them from the area where some heat was being emitted.
  • they were sent with a small mound of fungus, but it seems to have disappeared.
  • they are provided rose petals and other leaf matter, but it doesn't look like they are cutting them (I tore them into smaller pieces in order for them to fit into the chamber).

Attached Images

  • Leafcutters - 1.jpg
  • Leafcutters - 2.jpg

#2 Offline ZTYguy - Posted December 27 2022 - 3:33 PM


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Well I’m sorry to inform you but that colony has no fungus. Unless you are able to get them fungus from someone else then they are going to die. Also take all organic material out of that formicarium. One more thing but is this your sons first colony?

Currently: Considering moving to Australia
Reason: Myrmecia

#3 Offline mmcguffi - Posted December 28 2022 - 1:05 PM


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the "fungus" in the picture appears to be mold, which should be removed immediately, along with all other organic material like @ZTYguy said. You can connect a separate chamber where they can forage for rose petals, leaves, etc


More pressing, you need to get a new sample of fungus -- even just a marble-size piece should suffice. If you are in California or Arizona, you likely will have local hobbyists you can buy some off of (or potentially give you some for free). If you are elsewhere you will likely have to have some shipped out to you, which will need expedited shipping because the fungus is very sensitive

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: leafcutter ants

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