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Pogonomyrmex Occidentalis Test Tube Setup Help

test tube pogonomyrmex occidentalis pogonomyrmex advice

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#1 Offline Neme123 - Posted July 3 2023 - 8:05 PM

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Hi All, I’m a newbie to ant keeping and looking for some veteran advice. :)

I was able to find and catch six Pogonomyrmex occidentalis (what I assume they are) queens - all wingless. Hoping to have at least two make it.

I have put them all in a plain test tube setup with some dandelion seeds. I’ve been reading that others do setups with a test tube in an outworld with a straw the queen can get through to forage. Also putting substrate in the tube.

My question is, should I disrupt the queens to put them in the outward like setup or just keep them in the test tube as is since they have seeds already? What about adding the substrate at this point?

I also have several mini hearths on the way that I plan to move them to once I see some nanitics.

Thanks in advance for any insight and direction. I’m excited to have started this hobby and adventure!

Edited by Neme123, July 3 2023 - 8:18 PM.


#2 Offline ReignofRage - Posted July 3 2023 - 8:27 PM

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Some people think substrate is necessary, however I've found it to only be necessary for species that need it to spin cocoons, which Pogonomyrmex is not one of those genera. I've also found that giving founding queens a foraging area is unecessary as well, especially if you have already provided seeds in the test tube. Plenty of people will say that seeds are not needed because "only P. californicus is semi-claustral," however at least one study and plenty of unpublished data has shown multiple occidentalis-group species and barbatus-group species to be facultative during founding. The only thing that is needed for high success with the genus is to give some seeds during founding and heat them to 90+ degrees F. 



#3 Offline Neme123 - Posted July 4 2023 - 12:17 AM

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Some people think substrate is necessary, however I've found it to only be necessary for species that need it to spin cocoons, which Pogonomyrmex is not one of those genera. I've also found that giving founding queens a foraging area is unecessary as well, especially if you have already provided seeds in the test tube. Plenty of people will say that seeds are not needed because "only P. californicus is semi-claustral," however at least one study and plenty of unpublished data has shown multiple occidentalis-group species and barbatus-group species to be facultative during founding. The only thing that is needed for high success with the genus is to give some seeds during founding and heat them to 90+ degrees F.


Ok this is great info. Thank you!

To get them to or around 90 degrees, I have them placed in a shoe box with a 15 watt heating cable and part of the tube (side without water) on the cable which they seem to like.

I guess from here I pray, haha! 😎





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