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Greenday's Atta mexicana journal -- discontinued 8/18/23

atta formicarium leafcutter nest

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#1 Offline AntsAmerica - Posted January 2 2023 - 7:54 AM

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There haven't been many atta journals here, so here we go!

 

About 2 weeks ago, I traded off some ants and nests to my friend for this small Atta mexicana colony. Originally, they were in a deli cup with dirt, but after I received them they ate almost all their fungus. I'm guessing the stress of shipping didn't help, and for the first week or so, they didn't really collect any of the leaves or flowers I offered them. I got a small fungus refill from a friend and gave it to them, hoping they would grow it. 

 

About a week ago, I ended up moving them into another deli cup with an ultracal bottom, and connected a foraging area for them. The next morning, I saw that they had begun to move small leaf bits into the nest for the first time. They have been taking a liking to bramble and these little golden flowers I received a while ago. 

 

Today, their fungus has grown a ton! They take in several leaf bits every night, and have grown their fungus maybe 4-5x the size of the original fungus boost. What's interesting is that they have formed little chambers in the fungus, one of which the eggs and larva are nestled in. 

IMG 0039

 

 

The queen is around 22mm long, for size reference.

IMG 0038
IMG 0040

Edited by AntsAmerica, January 17 2024 - 10:55 AM.

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#2 Offline JustabirdfromFlorida - Posted January 2 2023 - 3:47 PM

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Cool, wish we had fungus growers in Florida that were that big.

#3 Offline antsriondel - Posted January 2 2023 - 5:04 PM

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Awesome! Fungus growers are so cool, good luck!



#4 Offline AntsAmerica - Posted January 4 2023 - 8:36 PM

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The plants in the original outworld got kind of old and started to kind of stick together, so I decided to give them a little outworld upgrade. They are also only eating dried flower petals.

 

I'd estimate the size of the fungus to be maybe around 1/2 of a golf ball at this point. I can't really see any of the brood anymore, so I have no idea how many eggs the queen is laying.

 

Tonight, they were going to town on this yellow flower I gave them, and the fungus was speckled with bits of yellow all over. The bottom of the fungus is starting to look really white and fluffy, which is also cool to see. 

 

These were pictures from 2 days ago: 

IMG 0050
IMG 0049
 
And these were pictures from tonight:
IMG 0053
IMG 0054

 

 

 

 


Edited by AntsAmerica, July 30 2023 - 2:59 PM.

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#5 Offline AntsCali098 - Posted January 4 2023 - 9:13 PM

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Awesome colony! I wish atta were native to CA.

Interested buying in ants? Feel free to check out my shop

Feel free to read my journals, like this one.

 

Wishlist:

Atta sp (wish they were in CA), Crematogaster cerasi, Most Pheidole species

 

 


#6 Offline Ftorres - Posted January 4 2023 - 9:17 PM

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Me too!!

#7 Offline AntsAmerica - Posted January 9 2023 - 5:09 PM

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The fungus hit the top of the deli cup a while ago, and unfortunately I didn't really have the foresight to make the container bigger, so I will probably have to move them soon since they have kind of stopped growing the fungus. They seem to only want to build it upwards, not sideways. I have a larger nest I'll move them into once they get a brood cycle going. Hopefully once I do that, they will grow it upwards like they usually do.


Edited by AntsAmerica, July 8 2023 - 8:02 AM.

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#8 Offline benxixi - Posted January 12 2023 - 9:13 AM

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6d204285de36444d3d6f434f0e82c0d.png


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Ants ,formicary, and ants supply product for selling .

Discord : benxixi#0053 , ins :benxixi_ (ants, product, nest pictures)

Pogonomyrmex californicus  1

 

 


#9 Offline AntsAmerica - Posted January 14 2023 - 9:44 PM

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I moved the colony today!

 

When I first put them in that small deli cup, they grew insanely quickly until they hit the lid, at which point they stopped growing it and kind of just maintained the size. For some reason they can't fathom that there's space horizontally for them to grow; they only want to grow it upwards. So today I moved them into a big nest, hopefully one they will be able to use for a while at least. 

 

When moving the fungus I saw a huge pile of eggs and larva in the biggest chamber, so hopefully we will have a bunch of new workers in the coming weeks. They don't have many workers right now, and I suspect that the fungus will stay smallish if they can't get enough hands on deck to grow it. Hopefully that changes in the coming weeks.

 Anyways, here ya go:

 

IMG 0062
IMG 0061

 

Here's a little shot of the fungus after they sprinkled it with yellow flower petals. Pretty cool.

 

IMG 0063

Edited by AntsAmerica, July 8 2023 - 8:04 AM.

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#10 Offline AntsAmerica - Posted January 17 2023 - 3:58 PM

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The fungus exploded! 

 

2 nights into the new, taller nest, and the ants almost doubled the previous size! The fungus is a little more than an inch tall now and is nearing the size of a golf ball.

 

When they were in the deli cup nest, I made the mistake of allowing them to go out and forage, instead of putting leaves directly in the container. With this nest, it's super easy to just drop plant material in and let them do their thing. Upon moving, they also took in fresh leaves for the first time which was a big jump. After the initial move, I dropped a whole rose inside the nest and woke up to 3 petals completely gone and new fungus everywhere. 

 

I'm super happy with this move; now the ants have a ton of space to grow upwards like they want to and it's super easy for me to just drop flowers in. Hopefully the worker count goes up soon so they cut more leaves. 

 

Anyways, pretty happy with how things are going so far, here's what the colony looks like now.

IMG 0079
IMG 0080

 

The queen seems to like hanging upside down or sideways from the fungus for some reason lol

IMG 0081

 


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#11 Offline verrerorocher - Posted January 17 2023 - 4:25 PM

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Awesome update! I really wanna move to Texas just to keep these sp, but nah I ain’t going to the us
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#12 Offline AntsAmerica - Posted January 17 2023 - 10:56 PM

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Awesome update! I really wanna move to Texas just to keep these sp, but nah I ain’t going to the us

texana is pretty cool, being the only polygynous atta


Edited by AntsAmerica, July 8 2023 - 8:05 AM.

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#13 Offline AntsAmerica - Posted January 20 2023 - 6:40 PM

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The fungus is noticeably much larger than a night or two ago now, and the ants are really starting to shape it with little chambers and holes everywhere. They're accepting several kinds of fresh leaves, so feeding them isn't really a concern now. I hardly even use the outworld; I just dump more flower petals right in the nest and they do their thing. I'm gonna keep the outworld there so they have an outlet for garbage or a need for any dry food. 

 

From what I can see, there's a large egg pile and several larva of different sizes. There's also a single pupa now, which is pretty cool. I might get a small brood boost from a friend soon, to boost the colony even more. 

That's pretty much it, just wanted to document the fungus growth mainly.

 

IMG 0090

 

I'm really liking the shape of the fungus, all covered in holes and pockets.


Edited by AntsAmerica, July 8 2023 - 8:08 AM.

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#14 Offline 86793o5 - Posted January 20 2023 - 8:28 PM

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feed them rose petals with pesticides, that would be pretty funny I think


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#15 Offline T.C. - Posted January 20 2023 - 8:32 PM

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I feel like I'm updating this too often lol.

 

Being that most users on this forum don't have access to this species, your not updating this enough for me.  B)

 

 

 

feed them rose petals with pesticides, that would be pretty funny I think

 

  You should try eating it instead. I'd like to see that more.


Edited by T.C., January 20 2023 - 8:34 PM.

“If I am killed for simply living, let death be kinder than man.” -Althea Davis

#16 Offline 86793o5 - Posted January 20 2023 - 8:40 PM

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I feel like I'm updating this too often lol.

 

Being that most users on this forum don't have access to this species, your not updating this enough for me.  B)

 

 

 

feed them rose petals with pesticides, that would be pretty funny I think

 

  You should try eating it instead. I'd like to see that more.

 

that might be pretty funny I think


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#17 Offline AntsAmerica - Posted January 20 2023 - 8:41 PM

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I feel like I'm updating this too often lol.

 

Being that most users on this forum don't have access to this species, your not updating this enough for me.  B)

 

 

these can grow quickly, so there's kinda always something interesting going on with em


Edited by AntsAmerica, July 8 2023 - 8:08 AM.

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#18 Offline AntsAmerica - Posted January 22 2023 - 5:44 PM

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It might be hard to see, but the fungus has grown significantly over the past 2 nights. The ants have almost finished off the entire rose, which is pretty crazy to me.

They're about 60-70% percent of the way to the lid of the nest now, and the fungus is getting super wobbly. When it gets a bit higher, I think I'm going to manually tip it over and lay it on its side, so it sits in a better position. More pictures here:

 
IMG 0094
IMG 0091
IMG 0093

 


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#19 Offline AntsAmerica - Posted January 26 2023 - 3:42 PM

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The fungus tipped over last night!

 

It was getting pretty unstable a few days into the new nest, since these ants only know how to build upwards it seems. Once it had tipped, I turned the fungus over so it was positioned nicely and let them do their thing with it, and the next morning, they had grown it a considerable amount. 

 

The fungus is maybe about 1.25 inches tall, 2 inches long, and maybe 1 inch deep at the moment. It's big enough so that they have a bunch of little chambers to hide their brood, but from what I can see, they have a couple nice piles of eggs, maybe 20 or so larva of different sizes, and a couple larger pupa too. I would be able to see more, but the queen likes to sit directly on top of the brood chambers pretty much all day.

 

I've been experimenting with different plants, and they pretty much only like rose at the moment. They used to consume only dried flowers, but now only go into their foraging area occasionally, to dispose of any garbage. I pretty much just put a whole rose in the fungus chamber every few days and they seem to like that. 

 

Can't wait for some brood cycles! It seems like that's basically all that's left to do at this point, now that they have a nice fungus ball. 

 

IMG 0107 (1)
IMG 0106

 

Forgot to mention it but they also like that pink flower in the background.


Edited by AntsAmerica, January 26 2023 - 3:44 PM.

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#20 Offline AntsAmerica - Posted January 28 2023 - 11:54 PM

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This is unrelated to the current journal, but I might be getting another colony of this species in a month's time. It will be a much larger and more mature colony, so hopefully I will be able to grab it. Will keep this journal updated on the current colony for now, though. 


Edited by AntsAmerica, January 28 2023 - 11:54 PM.

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