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Kiedeerk's Epic multi-species Ant Keeping Journal

kiedeerk journal multi-species ant keeping epic

125 replies to this topic

#101 Offline kiedeerk - Posted October 1 2023 - 5:09 AM

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Here are some pictures of entire set ups: most colonies really need expansions nests

1. Pheidole rhea
2. Pogonomyrmex badius
3. Pogonomyrmex barbatus
4. Novomessor albisetosus
5. Odontomachus clarus
6/7.Myrmecocystus placadops 01



Most native ants have gone into the fridge except a few.

Bonus pictures:
M placadops pupae piles
Lasius neoniger with first nanitic
Solepnosis molesta rapidly growing colony with 4/5 queens
Pheidole bicarinata first few nanitics

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#102 Offline Ernteameise - Posted October 1 2023 - 5:39 AM

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Wow! Massive colonies!



#103 Offline Jonathan5608 - Posted October 1 2023 - 6:19 AM

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Also starting to move colonies to my shed. I’ll probably wait another month. Waiting on my pheidole, Lasius, one camponotus, selenopsis, a few Temnothorax, and a dorymyrmex.

#104 Offline 100lols - Posted October 1 2023 - 7:01 AM

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Epic indeed! Your seasoned colonies sure get a lot of love :D those are goals right there!

#105 Offline ANTdrew - Posted October 1 2023 - 9:24 AM

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How do you feed those rheas without all heck breaking loose?
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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.

#106 Offline kiedeerk - Posted October 1 2023 - 9:28 AM

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How do you feed those rheas without all heck breaking loose?


There is a chute at the top. I just drop a ton of seeds and forget about them for a week or two. As long as they have water.

I usually will lose like 10-20 workers in the process but their numbers are so high it’s a drop in the bucket.

Once a colony get to this size it’s a hassle to feed
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#107 Offline kiedeerk - Posted October 2 2023 - 1:32 PM

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Most people are wowed by massive colonies however once a colony gets massive you have a lot more to worry about and they will constantly try to break whatever barrier you use and require more and more food

Therefore many ant keepers are more interested in keeping small/tiny species or species that naturally stay small in numbers. Cryptic ant species usually fit that description.

They tend to be very specialized and difficult to keep.

I have made a few tiny nests that could serve a permanent home to these species

In the coming week or so, I will try to find a strumygenis colony. I have found many in the past so I know what to look for. Just need a bit of luck.

Moved a solenopsis molesta into one of the small nests

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#108 Offline 100lols - Posted October 2 2023 - 2:04 PM

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Do you ever cull the population a bit?

Lovely nests! I really like them. I usually like a more naturalistic formicarium, but the oval shaped one that has clean tight tunnels looks amazing.

#109 Offline kiedeerk - Posted October 2 2023 - 3:34 PM

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Do you ever cull the population a bit?
Lovely nests! I really like them. I usually like a more naturalistic formicarium, but the oval shaped one that has clean tight tunnels looks amazing.


Yes I have culled hundreds of rhea workers before a couple times
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#110 Offline kiedeerk - Posted October 6 2023 - 5:46 PM

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Went anting today for the first time in months. To my old spot where I have found many strumigenys before. I know what they like in terms of habit and where they like to nest in.

I was able to easily catch a mature colony. This one has 4-5 queens with 50-75 workers

I ordered some springtail cultures and will get some this weekend for them.

They have moved into my diy set up nicely

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#111 Offline Leo - Posted October 6 2023 - 6:26 PM

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these look like the non trapjaw strumigenys. Interested to see how they'll be able to catch springtails/


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#112 Offline Jonathan5608 - Posted October 6 2023 - 7:48 PM

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Went anting today for the first time in months. To my old spot where I have found many strumigenys before. I know what they like in terms of habit and where they like to nest in.

I was able to easily catch a mature colony. This one has 4-5 queens with 50-75 workers

I ordered some springtail cultures and will get some this weekend for them.

They have moved into my diy set up nicely

Nice find. I would kill for some strumigenys. Probably try to get them next year. Any tips? I heard they like to nest in acorns and such.

Edited by Jonathan5608, October 6 2023 - 7:48 PM.


#113 Offline kiedeerk - Posted October 6 2023 - 10:22 PM

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Went anting today for the first time in months. To my old spot where I have found many strumigenys before. I know what they like in terms of habit and where they like to nest in.
I was able to easily catch a mature colony. This one has 4-5 queens with 50-75 workers
I ordered some springtail cultures and will get some this weekend for them.
They have moved into my diy set up nicely

Nice find. I would kill for some strumigenys. Probably try to get them next year. Any tips? I heard they like to nest in acorns and such.
.

That’s correct. They nest in moist damp leaf litters and in rotten acorns or other nuts
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#114 Offline kiedeerk - Posted October 9 2023 - 5:02 PM

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M placadops exploding in numbers

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#115 Offline kiedeerk - Posted October 15 2023 - 2:31 PM

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Most of my colonies are in diapause mode or in the fridge except for a few

1. Solenopsis molesta colony are still doing great

2. Lasius neoniger have 10-15 workers and a decent pile of brood… when will they diapause?

3. Pogonomyrmex are in diapause mode after I dropped my ant room temperature to 60s

4. Same with odontomachus clarus/haematodus, seems like brood is not developing normally in cooler temps

5. Novomessor albisetosus are still producing brood even at lower temps. Weird behavior, the workers carry clumps of small larvae in their mouths

6. Pheidole rhea all huddled inside one part of the nest as the temperature drops

7. Formica pallidefulva in diapause

8. Camponotus castaneus in diapause

9. Aphaenogaster tennesseensis in diapause

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#116 Offline 100lols - Posted October 15 2023 - 3:00 PM

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Diapause! A nice break. All my native to Southern California ants don't give that luxery :P
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#117 Offline UtahAnts - Posted October 15 2023 - 3:36 PM

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Cool journal! I saw the same behavior in an Aphaenogaster colony from a few years ago. I'm guessing holding the brood helps regulate it at a specific humidity level or temperature.

 

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Edited by UtahAnts, October 15 2023 - 3:37 PM.

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Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here

Photo Album --- Here

Videos --- Here


#118 Offline kiedeerk - Posted November 24 2023 - 8:01 PM

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Been a while. The winter months usually are usually a nice break from ant keeping

However I do own quite a few desert ant species. I still allowed my ant room to go to 50-60s degree F
To stimulate diapause even for desert/sub tropical species and give the queens a month or two of rest
From egg laying.

All the natives are in the fridge.

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#119 Offline kiedeerk - Posted January 9 2024 - 9:49 AM

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Took some native ant species out of the fridge. They were there for 2-3 months

Castaneus brood progressing to pupae

Chromaiodes still in diapause mode

S molesta

T curvispinosus

F pallidefulva queens laid new eggs

Odontomachus slowly coming out of slow down

Rhea colony lost/culled about 80% of the workers
But the queen is now back at it laying eggs

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#120 Offline Virginian_ants - Posted January 10 2024 - 9:33 AM

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Beautiful colonies. Good work. I will take mine out soon.





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