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Different Seeds consumed by seed eaters !


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#1 Offline Ant-nig321 - Posted January 9 2023 - 5:54 AM

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Just wandering the varieties of seeds, seed-eaters readily take in.I've heard dandelion seeds are most collected followed by chia and sesame etc do they also eat millets and other bird seedmix? Just need some opinions from you guys who has experience and what other seed-like foods like nuts are consumed? Thanks.

Edited by Ant-nig321, January 9 2023 - 6:31 AM.


#2 Offline TacticalHandleGaming - Posted January 9 2023 - 8:14 AM

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Mine seem to prefer Dandelion, chia, and poppy seeds. 


Currently kept species

L. neoniger, P. occidentalis, C. modoc, C. novaeboracensis, C. vicinus, T. immigrans, A. occidentalis, P. imparis.

 

Previously kept species

T. rugatulus, B. depilis.

 

Looking for

Myrmecocystus kennedyi, Myrmecocystus pyramicus, Myrmecocystus semirufus, Myrmecocystus testaceus

Pheidole californica, Pheidole creightoni, Pheidole inquilina, Solenopsis molesta, Crematogaster coarctata, Crematogaster mutans

My youtube channel. 


#3 Offline ISpeakForTheTrees - Posted January 13 2023 - 3:29 PM

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I've only really looked at Pogonomyrmex species (specifically P. occidentalis), but these are some seeds I've seen recommended for them (a lot of these are found in the links below):

dandelion, chia, poppy, black niger/nyjer, kentucky blue grass, canary grass, groat oats, thistle/russian thistle, millet, flax (blue), rapeseed (rapa), bermuda grass, buffalo grass, prairie aster, desert marigold, farewell to spring, plains coreopsis, california poppy, mexican gold poppy, indian blanket, bird's eyes, tidy tips, arizona lupine, arroyo lupine, blazing star, five spot, white evening primrose, snowy pink evening primrose, california bluebell, mexican hat, yarrow, coneflower, (crushed) sunflower, wheatgrass, flax, (crushed) pumpkin, canary, greasewood, shadscale, alkali sacaton, desert saltgrass, cheatgrass, sandberg bluegrass, peppergrass, need and thread grass, western needlegrass, indian ricegrass, etc.

 

Some more quoted from the first link below that I was admittedly too lazy to sort through (so there are repeats):

"Ericoma hymenoides (Indian millet). Oryzopsis bloomeri (wild rice). Silanion cinereum. •Stipa occidentalis. Melica bella (rye grass). Sitanion rigidum. Stipa comata (spear grass).

SHRUBS AND HERBS.

Agoseris sp. (goat chicory). Castelleja pinetorum (paint brush). Crypthantha torreyana (borage). Eriognutn depressum. Eriognum subalpinum. Eupatorium occidentale (boneset). Crepis acuminata. Gayophytum ramosissimum. Lewisia redeviva (bitter root). Lygodesmia spinosa (prairie pink). Opuntia xanthostemma (cactus). Pentstemon deustus. Potentilla biennis (cinquef oil). Salsola pestifer (Russian thistle). Amelanchier alnifolia (service berry). Circium or the (Canadian thistle). Eriognum aridum. Eriognum ovalifolium. Eriognum vimineum. Galium boreale (bedstraw). Coleosanthus grandiflorus. Heuchera ovalifolis (alum root). Lupinus tenulus (lupine). Opuntia polycantha (cactus). Oreocarya dolosa (borage). Philoria tenufolia (desert pink). Potentilla dichrona. Ribes cereum (currant)."

 

As far as birdseed goes, I've heard they'll eat it, but it's definitely not preferred. As far as preferences go, from people keeping them, I've heard they prefer millet, dandelion, black niger/nyjer, and kentucky bluegrass seeds. In the wild, they seem to prefer shadscale, greasewood, russian thistle, cheatgrass, and peppergrass (thistle, cheatgrass, and peppergrass are all invasive, non-natives to their wild range, but - based on seed collection rates - they seem to strongly prefer them over native seeds).

 

https://kb.osu.edu/b.../V32N01_010.pdf

https://www.formicul...ood-by-species/

 

This last link is separate, and I'd recommend giving it a look (specifically pages 69 and 70 electronically, or pages 64 and 65 if you go by the numbers on the scanned pages), it lists 39 species that the researchers knew the ants actually ate seeds of (page 69), and another 22 that the ants gathered seeds from but didn't seem to eat (page 70). Many/most of these are listed above.

https://mountainscho...e=1&isAllowed=y


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#4 Offline ANTdrew - Posted January 13 2023 - 5:52 PM

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There must be native thistles in their range as well.
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#5 Offline ISpeakForTheTrees - Posted January 13 2023 - 7:15 PM

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There must be native thistles in their range as well.

There are - I should have been more specific; the Russian Thistle (the one they seem to prefer) is non-native though.
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#6 Offline AntsCali098 - Posted January 13 2023 - 9:21 PM

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I just use a birdseed mix, all my seed eaters like it. My Tetramorium immigrans also loves these seeds crushed.

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

Feel free to read my journals, like this one.

 

Wishlist:

Atta sp, Camponotus essegi, Camponotus sansabeanus, Crematogaster cerasi, Pheidole bicarinata

 

 

 


#7 Offline bmb1bee - Posted January 13 2023 - 9:46 PM

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On my granivorous ants, so far I've used bluegrass, chia, dandelion, poppy, and sunflower seeds (crushed). 


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!


#8 Offline KadinB - Posted January 13 2023 - 11:19 PM

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Blue grass work great. I've used them for years now and every harvester I've had will eat them. 



#9 Offline ANTdrew - Posted January 14 2023 - 3:46 AM

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There must be native thistles in their range as well.

There are - I should have been more specific; the Russian Thistle (the one they seem to prefer) is non-native though.
Gotcha! You should put the Lorax as your profile pic, by the way.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#10 Offline Ant-nig321 - Posted January 14 2023 - 9:12 PM

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Thanks for all the response and contribution guys!

Sent from my TECNO BD4h using Tapatalk

#11 Offline ISpeakForTheTrees - Posted January 15 2023 - 2:35 PM

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There must be native thistles in their range as well.

There are - I should have been more specific; the Russian Thistle (the one they seem to prefer) is non-native though.
Gotcha! You should put the Lorax as your profile pic, by the way.

 

Haha, I would, but I'm a bit of a stickler for copyright and trademark laws. 



#12 Offline Full_Frontal_Yeti - Posted January 22 2023 - 3:06 PM

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I just got a THA 20+ pogonomyrmex occidentalis colony.

 

I made sure to offer them a wide variety for their move in after a trip in the mail.

 

black chia

poppy

Kentucky blue grass

dandelion

fennel

golden flax

caraway

 

three days later:

 

they took the dandelion seeds faster than anything else out there.

then the bluegass was next most popular, and while they have taken more of it back to the nest than all the rest combined

they were taking it in at a lower rate than the dandelion.

 

 

with only 2-4 each of the other options being brought back to the nest so far.

i'd say the golden flax is 3rd most popular of the group.

 

and fennel maybe least popular as they have only one in the nest. though it was brought back with gusto by the worker that picked it up as if they were really excited to get it.


Edited by Full_Frontal_Yeti, January 22 2023 - 3:11 PM.


#13 Offline Flu1d - Posted January 22 2023 - 8:04 PM

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I just got a THA 20+ pogonomyrmex occidentalis colony.

I made sure to offer them a wide variety for their move in after a trip in the mail.

black chia
poppy
Kentucky blue grass
dandelion
fennel
golden flax
caraway

three days later:

they took the dandelion seeds faster than anything else out there.
then the bluegass was next most popular, and while they have taken more of it back to the nest than all the rest combined
they were taking it in at a lower rate than the dandelion.


with only 2-4 each of the other options being brought back to the nest so far.
i'd say the golden flax is 3rd most popular of the group.

and fennel maybe least popular as they have only one in the nest. though it was brought back with gusto by the worker that picked it up as if they were really excited to get it.


Thanks for the post! I love observations like this.. Watching how ants do things is by far one of my favorite things to do

#14 Offline Full_Frontal_Yeti - Posted January 24 2023 - 8:44 AM

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I just got a THA 20+ pogonomyrmex occidentalis colony.
 
I made sure to offer them a wide variety for their move in after a trip in the mail.
 
black chia
poppy
Kentucky blue grass
dandelion
fennel
golden flax
caraway
 
three days later:
 
they took the dandelion seeds faster than anything else out there.
then the bluegass was next most popular, and while they have taken more of it back to the nest than all the rest combined
they were taking it in at a lower rate than the dandelion.
 
 
with only 2-4 each of the other options being brought back to the nest so far.
i'd say the golden flax is 3rd most popular of the group.
 
and fennel maybe least popular as they have only one in the nest. though it was brought back with gusto by the worker that picked it up as if they were really excited to get it.

 


UPDATE ON SEEDS:
Over time (a total of 4 days) they wound up taking in a lot more chia and poppy seeds. I noticed that there were two ants that mostly just brought these two seed types back to the nest all day long. While the bulk of seed moving workers just rearrange the pile in the ouworld.


It looks like they do have favorites as they did spend the upfront time taking in mostly just dandelion seeds and bluegrass at about a 2/1 ratio.
But throughout the 4th day, while there were still lots of dandelion seeds to be had in the outworld, they slowed down the intake of them in favor of others.
The seed pile in the nest is still seemingly weighted to dandelion, but is much more of a potpourri pile of them now than it started as.

Fennel still appears to be the least favorite by what i can see in the nest's seed pile.
The outworld seed pilers appear less fussy and have included the fennel seeds to a much higher rate, though that they were simply closer by and easier to get to relative to the front right corner pile may have been an influence on that. They are about 1.5x the ant's own size. The biggest of what's on offer.

i'd estimate the pile in the nest in this order of abundance:

dandelion
poppy/chia/bluegrass
caraway/golden flax
fennel

#15 Offline ANTdrew - Posted January 24 2023 - 2:07 PM

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Fennel must have strong phytochemicals to repel insects. I’d be amazed if they eat it at all. Same goes for caraway.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#16 Offline Full_Frontal_Yeti - Posted January 24 2023 - 4:30 PM

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Fennel must have strong phytochemicals to repel insects. I’d be amazed if they eat it at all. Same goes for caraway.

They took some of both into the nest. the outworld ants also put them in their piles. I'll be extra watchful on them now to see how they treat them long term.

 

When i got home today i have found the outworld almost fully cleaned up of poppy and black chia seeds. They are either in the nest, in one of the outworld piles, or somewhere in the tube. But the outworld floor where they were scattered has been cleaned up of them.



#17 Offline Full_Frontal_Yeti - Posted January 26 2023 - 12:02 PM

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Well sense Friday when the ants arrived they wound up taking in all the seed types with golden flax maybe the least taken in seed among the group.

I did notice two important things going on in seeds:

1: they more often took seeds that were easier to get to than harder to get to.
I placed the suspected favorite seed of dandelion on a high plateau they had to climb a vertical cliff to get to. It seemed pretty clear that for the first 3 days only a couple ants were taking the effort to climb and get them. more of the ants were staying busy down on the lower ground with easier to get seeds.
Over time the seeds on the lowest ground were gone first, and among those, the smallest ones first(poppy and chia).
But they did take in the fennel and caraway seeds which are kind of big sooner than they went after the dandelion in force, those were only being gone after by one or two ants a day at most, while the bulk of workers kept to the lower ground seeds.

basically they seemed like a big influence on what seeds to take was simply the least effort seeds to get.


2: but equally as influencing i think, whatever seeds an ant was into moving, that would be the only seed they were moving around all day.
the floor had a variety of seeds strewn about, but each day the bulk of the ants were focused on a specific type of seed. they were moving the poppy/chia around the most on one day, but then the fennel and caraway on another.
Basically each day i would see fewer seeds in the outworld, but fewer of a specific kind, not just fewer overall, they were clearly focused on a seed or two that day.
though as i said individual workers seemed to have their own seed preference that might not be what the bulk was into that day.


In the longer run i'd say i do not find they had an obvious favorite seed overall, but that on different days they favored different seeds. The nest stash is maybe at best weighted to dandelion by only about 10% now with a fairly even mix overall, with golden flax for sure the least. But i assign that to being up on the top where it's harder to get them. But if you did get up there then dandelions were also an option and those are almost a gone now.

Also of note, when i placed a large enough flat enough bit of apple in, they started bringing out the caraway and fennel seeds to lay on the apple. These both have tough husks and it looks like they are trying to soften them up.
Team nest drag the seeds up into the mini outworld, while team outworld take them out of their piles over to the apple slice there.

I've not yet seen anyone opening one but i'm pretty sure this is what they got going on.

Edited by Full_Frontal_Yeti, January 26 2023 - 12:05 PM.





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