Jump to content

  • Chat
  •  
  •  

Welcome to Formiculture.com!

This is a website for anyone interested in Myrmecology and all aspects of finding, keeping, and studying ants. The site and forum are free to use. Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation points to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!

Photo

Picture timeline journal of a Myrmecocystus mexicanus colony

myrmecocystus myrmecocystus mexicanus formicarium diy honeypot ant journal picture timeline

35 replies to this topic

#21 Offline 100lols - Posted September 26 2023 - 8:59 PM

100lols

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 404 posts
  • LocationSan Diego, CA
Stunning! I’m glad the move worked out and the colony is thriving. I would imagine a little sugar fast is probably good for them every now and then as in the wild sugar is not infinite. I’m taking major inspiration from you in attempting to found a few colonies of mexicanus this year. :D
  • UtahAnts likes this

#22 Offline Locness - Posted September 27 2023 - 10:02 AM

Locness

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 165 posts
  • LocationCalifornia
Love that the queen and brood are sitting at the top, perfect for viewing. Will you keep them heated throughout winter?
  • UtahAnts likes this

#23 Offline UtahAnts - Posted September 27 2023 - 11:42 AM

UtahAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 592 posts
  • LocationUtah Valley

I'm planning on it, last year the brood didn't develop very quickly over the winter, but that may have been due to the lower ambient temperature of the room.


  • 100lols likes this

Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here

Photo Album --- Here

Videos --- Here


#24 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 29 2023 - 7:54 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

That's an amazing colony and pictures. I have a pretty big colony that's over eight years old now, so they can be around for a very long time. My colony has died way off and gotten really big again quite a few times over the years. I wish I could get pictures as good as yours, but it's in a dirt nest, so it's hard.


  • UtahAnts and 100lols like this

#25 Offline ben - Posted October 17 2023 - 6:27 AM

ben

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Wow awesome pictures! I was just wondering how the project turned out after the transfer. Looks like they’re thriving, you’ve got quite the colony on your hands. Glad to see the base is holding up as well.

I just received my own mexicanus Queen a couple weeks ago and it’s soooo hard to not check on her. She seems to have laid a giant first clutch of eggs, fingers crossed that I can get to your colony’s size!
  • UtahAnts and 100lols like this

#26 Offline antsriondel - Posted October 17 2023 - 7:05 AM

antsriondel

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 904 posts
  • LocationRiondel British Columbia Canada.

Wow that is colony is huge! It's incredible that you made all of those formicarium's yourself as they are just beautiful.  (y)


  • UtahAnts and 100lols like this

#27 Offline UtahAnts - Posted November 10 2023 - 10:03 PM

UtahAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 592 posts
  • LocationUtah Valley
October - November 2023 - More Repletes
Updated the original post.
 
They continue to grow at a steady pace. I've been feeding them about 5 crickets a week, any more and they might outgrow the nest. I haven't been giving the colony a huge supply of nectar, but they do get a refill to their THA liquid feeder every week as well. Repletes and various sizes of workers continue to eclose every day. Next update will hopefully include a full 360 degree video. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Forgot to include this from a few months ago-
 
 
 
Half an hour of the upper portion colony.
 
 
 
 
IMG 0536

 

--------------------------------------------------
Care Tip: When this species grows into the full capacity of their formicarium, I've noticed a slowing of growth. An upgraded formicarium may encourage faster growth. As a general rule, whenever repletes cover the ceiling, and pupae cover the floor, it's time for a new formicarium. A couple years ago before this colony here, I had a colony that never outgrew their THA mini hearth. However I believe they were constrained by the nest itself. Had they been given more space the colony could have expanded by creating new repletes. Just be sure to have a nest upgrade on hand, especially for smaller, growing colonies.
 
Conversely, limiting the size of the formicarium may be a valid method to cap population - for example if you want to keep a smaller, manageable colony.
 
 
 
IMG 0542
 
 
IMG 0537
 
 
Repletes
 
 
ezgif.com Gif maker

 


  • Ernteameise, 100lols and BleepingBleepers like this

Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here

Photo Album --- Here

Videos --- Here


#28 Offline Ernteameise - Posted November 11 2023 - 12:53 AM

Ernteameise

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 686 posts
  • LocationGermany

This simply is an amazing colony in a stunning display nest.

 

Good observation on nest size limiting growth- however, from what I have seen from other keepers, this might not apply to all species.


  • 100lols likes this

#29 Offline 100lols - Posted November 12 2023 - 9:40 AM

100lols

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 404 posts
  • LocationSan Diego, CA
What can I say man! I’m one of your biggest fans haha :)

Thank you so much for the care tips. Your journal has been such a valuable resource for me. It’s incredible how awesome this forum is & it’s because of people like you [mention]UtahAnts [/mention] !!!

I’m working on a dome nest like yours btw. Finally found an acrylic dome Christmas decoration that will work at the dollar store.
  • UtahAnts likes this

#30 Offline UtahAnts - Posted November 12 2023 - 12:26 PM

UtahAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 592 posts
  • LocationUtah Valley

Glad to hear it! I'd love to see some pictures of the process or final product when that formicarium is finished.


  • 100lols likes this

Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here

Photo Album --- Here

Videos --- Here


#31 Offline UtahAnts - Posted December 28 2023 - 1:00 PM

UtahAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 592 posts
  • LocationUtah Valley
December 2023 - Winter  
Updated the original post.
 
The colony has slowed, although they are still growing in numbers. They continue to get a new supply of nectar every few weeks, which the workers are quick to store in the resident repletes. I'll upload a full video of the colony eventually. 
 
 
IMG 0800
 
 
Picture above from this video: https://www.youtube....rts/4zMgm8eLPgU
 

 

IMG 0813

 

IMG 0810

 

IMG 3028

 

IMG 3038

 

queen

 

replete row 2
 
Replete row
 

 

 

 

 


  • Full_Frontal_Yeti, Ernteameise, 100lols and 1 other like this

Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here

Photo Album --- Here

Videos --- Here


#32 Offline ANTdrew - Posted December 28 2023 - 1:56 PM

ANTdrew

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 9,340 posts
  • LocationAlexandria, VA
Legendary setup!
  • UtahAnts and BleepingBleepers like 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.

#33 Offline BleepingBleepers - Posted December 28 2023 - 2:09 PM

BleepingBleepers

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 226 posts

This journal so makes me want to reconsider my idea of not getting honeypots due to lack of space. But I must hold myself strong and be responsible. Say no to drugs...uh...I mean more ants than I can handle.

 

Really love the GIFs and videos.

 

I'm a visual person and my journal is starting to fill up with pictures too, so I love this journal as it's very eye appealing. Gave ya a 5 star, def deserve it for the effort, showcasing and unique formicaria setup.


Edited by BleepingBleepers, December 28 2023 - 2:12 PM.

  • UtahAnts and 100lols like this

JOURNAL: Camponotus CA02 - First Time At Ant Keeping CLICK HERE

JOURNAL: Ectomomyrmex cf. astutus - Ant Species #2 CLICK HERE


#34 Offline Ernteameise - Posted December 28 2023 - 3:11 PM

Ernteameise

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 686 posts
  • LocationGermany

Love reading this journal.

Beautiful setup, amazing pictures. It is a joy to follow.


  • UtahAnts and 100lols like this

#35 Offline UtahAnts - Posted Yesterday, 9:11 PM

UtahAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 592 posts
  • LocationUtah Valley
January 2024 - Winter 
Updated the original post.
 
The colony remained heated throughout winter, but their growth rate definitely slowed. I was keeping the population steady around 1k by feeding about 5 crickets a week. Queen remains healthy and can often be seen around the upper tiers of the nest. Interestingly she has stopped hanging upside down but over the last few months has preferred to be upright on the levels. I was sure to include a few more care tips and videos below.
 
 
IMG 3008
 
IMG 2995
 
IMG 2986
 
IMG 2963

 

--------------------------------------------
Care tip: I believe I've mentioned this but I want to reiterate: the repletes need a rough surface to hang from. Glass and smooth plastic is not optimal for repletes. I would always recommend these colonies be housed in a composite nest. If you have a plastic setup for them, coat the interior to provide grip for the repletes to hang from.
 
 
 
IMG 2958
 
IMG 2968
 
IMG 2970
 
IMG 3052
 
IMG 2974
 
--------------------------------------------
Care tip: ensure the setup has airflow. When a colony reaches a suitable size, they will consume a considerable amount of air. Luckily, this species is not known to gas themselves with formic acid but they do appreciate airflow. Living in the desert, the air in my house is dry which suites the species just fine. But they will need a water/humidity source to offset the dry air. As with any colony, the larger the humidity gradient the higher the chance the ants can find something they like. So be sure to aerate your setup so that a gradient can form. In my case I used two tubes running through the nest covered with mesh to allow for a convection air current to form from the heating pad below.
 
 
IMG 2848
 
IMG 2852
 
IMG 2851

 

---------------------------------------------
Care tip: Diversity of sugars is important even if it doesn't seem like it. The repletes can hold sugars for months if not longer and the colony cycles and redistributes sugars from repletes, sometimes filling new repletes and retiring the old. This allows the colony to live off of scarce sugar sources for extended periods of time. However I still recommend a rotation of sugars, especially during spring and fall seasons. While this colony loves hummingbird nectar, they really appreciate a fresh nectarine among other sugar water sources, and a change in sugars can often be seen to lead to a boom in eggs.
 
 
IMG 2878
 
IMG 2872
 
IMG 2865
 
 

 


  • ANTdrew and futurebird like this

Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here

Photo Album --- Here

Videos --- Here


#36 Offline GOCAMPONOTUS - Posted Yesterday, 9:14 PM

GOCAMPONOTUS

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 106 posts
  • LocationRocklin,CA

This colony is  getting bigger and bigger by the days!


Edited by GOCAMPONOTUS, Yesterday, 9:15 PM.

I LIKE ANTS

 

 

          Wishlist:ATTA,Camponotus CA02,and Carabara DIVERSA






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: myrmecocystus, myrmecocystus mexicanus, formicarium, diy, honeypot ant, journal, picture, timeline

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users