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UA's Harvester Journal

journal harvester pogonomyrmex messor seed seeds utah colony

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#1 Offline UtahAnts - Posted January 23 2023 - 5:13 PM

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I'm starting this journal to focus solely on my granivorous colonies. Here's the original journal. At the moment I have two Pogonomyrmex colonies, otherwise known as harvester ants, native to Utah: P. occidentalis and P. rugosus. The timelines of their growth can be found below. I will also be featuring a colony of Messor structor, or reaper ants, which I obtained in a trade from a local keeper.

 

 

Messor Structor -  Reaper Ants

I got this colony a couple of weeks ago in an AC test tube portal with around 60 workers. I attached a small dirt box for them to use as they liked. Of course a few days later they quickly moved into it, and created several large chambers. Currently, the test tube portal is used as the only outworld, and the two water tubes which I left attached are being used as granaries. The colony also stores their famous ant bread in a drier portion of one of the tubes. 

 

A couple quick notes on the species for those not familiar with Messor sp:

  • The colony needs a high humidity zone around 90% humidity to store brood
  • A drier zone around 40% humidity is used for seeds and ant bread
  • Sometimes the ants will allow the seeds to germinate before consumption
  • Workers are polymorphic, with the smallest workers being shorter then the heads of the largest workers
  • Colonies (especially large ones) are very good at chewing through plastic and being destructive in general
  • Max population size of a couple thousand in captivity
  • Messor in general are photophobic, they hate any source of light.
  • Messor have some difficulty climbing, similar to harvester ants in that regard

 

The colony before I got them:

 

319279029 518348800278249 3069997446540508228 N
 
 
The dirt box.
 
IMG 6992

 

 

Current setup:

 

IMG 0663
 
IMG 0666
 
IMG 0695
 
 
The bread can be seen to the left of the seeds. 
 
IMG 0688

Edited by UtahAnts, January 31 2023 - 8:02 PM.

  • ANTdrew likes this

Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here


#2 Offline UtahAnts - Posted January 23 2023 - 5:16 PM

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Pogonomyrmex occidentalis - Western Harvester Ants

 

A quick timeline of their growth over the last two seasons.

 

August 1, 2021

Nuptial flight

 

Pogonomyrmex Flight
 
September 20, 2021
6 workers and brood
 
pogd
O

 

 

Post-Hibernation
April 5, 2022

7 workers and brood, housed in a THA Genesis test tube insert.

 

IMG 7198
 
 
May 2 
15 workers
 
IMG 7467

 

 

June 12

25 workers

 

IMG 7889
 
 
August 5
40 workers 
 
gallery 5683 2157 423721

 

 

October 9

75 workers - moved to new nest

 

IMG 8556
IMG 8532
 
 
January 2023 - Current
200 workers, in need of new setup
 
IMG 0676
IMG 0559
IMG 0558

Edited by UtahAnts, January 23 2023 - 5:18 PM.

Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here


#3 Offline UtahAnts - Posted January 23 2023 - 5:17 PM

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Pogonomyrmex rugosus - Rough Harvester Ants

 

Their growth over the last couple months:

 

July 2022

Nuptial flights

 

IMG 9921

 

 

December 15, 2022

8 workers and brood

 

IMG 0101
 
 
December 27, 2022
12 workers - new formicarium
 
IMG 0137

 

January 2023 - Current

30 workers

 

IMG 0604
IMG 0649

  • T.C. likes this

Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here


#4 Offline antsriondel - Posted January 23 2023 - 6:08 PM

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I wish that I had Rugosus in my area. 



#5 Offline ANTdrew - Posted January 23 2023 - 6:39 PM

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Excellent start to this journal.
  • antsriondel likes this
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#6 Offline UtahAnts - Posted February 5 2023 - 9:00 PM

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Pogonomyrmex occidentalis - Western Harvester Ants

 
Currently at 225 workers, with a hundred or so brood items and another hundred eggs.
 
I added another DIY section to their setup. They quickly filled it with seeds and brood. Their former nest is currently being used as a seed store and designated hangout area. They've started taking non-seed protein sources as readily as seeds - mainly fish flakes, roaches, and bloodworms. 
 
IMG 0801
 
IMG 0787
 
IMG 0797
 
IMG 0793
 
IMG 0788

 

 


  • ANTdrew likes this

Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here


#7 Offline ANTdrew - Posted February 6 2023 - 3:07 AM

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Awesome colony!
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.





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