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AntsTopia's Atta Mexicana Journal (Updated 2/4/24)

atta mexicana ants leaf cutter ants journals journal atta leaf cutting ants leaf cutters leaf-cutter ants leaf-cutting ants

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#21 Offline Ernteameise - Posted August 24 2023 - 11:56 AM

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Good luck!


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#22 Offline AntsTopia - Posted August 24 2023 - 12:36 PM

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So far they have completely rearranged all the fungus and are building it to their needs. I'm not giving them leaves until tomorrow since I want them to focus on building their fungus.

Edited by AntsTopia, August 24 2023 - 12:37 PM.

Keeper of:

 

Atta Mexicana x 1

Messor Barbarus x 1

 

Ants are just better.


#23 Offline UrbanOrganisms - Posted August 24 2023 - 1:04 PM

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You definitely should give them leaves ASAP. They'll know whether they should cut them or focus on rebuilding. 



#24 Offline AntsCali098 - Posted August 24 2023 - 2:20 PM

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Wow. That's incredible that those gals survived waiting on the package for that long. So tough!
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Interested buying in ants? Feel free to check out my shop

Feel free to read my journals, like this one.

 

Wishlist:

Atta sp (wish they were in CA), Crematogaster cerasi, Most Pheidole species

 

 


#25 Offline Jonathan5608 - Posted August 24 2023 - 2:23 PM

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Has the queen moved

#26 Offline AntsTopia - Posted August 24 2023 - 3:59 PM

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Ok update pictures.

Once I saw all the fungus moved and built I gave them leaves. Really strange what happend though. The workers started to cut and then put the leaves in the trash pile. And only bringing one back to process.

About the queen. The workers and soldiers were pulling her legs to make her move to the fungus. However no matter how much they tried she would not budge. After some thought I did not want the queen injured so I grabbed some featherweight tweezers and placed her on the fungus. She didn't seem that upset and did not run away from the fungus.

Here are some photos of the rebuilt photos.

Attached Images

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Keeper of:

 

Atta Mexicana x 1

Messor Barbarus x 1

 

Ants are just better.


#27 Offline AntsTopia - Posted August 24 2023 - 4:01 PM

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They have also seemed to make fungus under the mesh which is concerning because when fungus comes in contact with the fungus it will die. I won't move it though and just let it be. Will make updates in 3 days!

Keeper of:

 

Atta Mexicana x 1

Messor Barbarus x 1

 

Ants are just better.


#28 Offline UrbanOrganisms - Posted August 24 2023 - 4:37 PM

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Really strange what happend though. The workers started to cut and then put the leaves in the trash pile. And only bringing one back to process.

 

When they do this it's a sign that they don't like whatever leaf material they are being offered. Rose leaves and petals are among all attas favorite, other leaves they like is kale, linden tree leaves, and lettuce as well.


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#29 Offline Jonathan5608 - Posted August 24 2023 - 5:23 PM

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Ok update pictures.

Once I saw all the fungus moved and built I gave them leaves. Really strange what happend though. The workers started to cut and then put the leaves in the trash pile. And only bringing one back to process.

About the queen. The workers and soldiers were pulling her legs to make her move to the fungus. However no matter how much they tried she would not budge. After some thought I did not want the queen injured so I grabbed some featherweight tweezers and placed her on the fungus. She didn't seem that upset and did not run away from the fungus.

Here are some photos of the rebuilt photos.

have you seen the queen move at all. Make sure she has not passed
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#30 Offline AntsTopia - Posted August 24 2023 - 7:09 PM

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Yea I saw her move about 10 minutes ago. I swear this queen is a conveyer belt. The workers picked a fungus piece and fed it to her. She then proceeded to lay 39 eggs (counted). Of course my phone died while trying to take a video. Irony strikes again.

Also, should I be concerned that some water will kill the fungus that is touching the plaster/gypsum?

Also I was about to cut of the head of the strawberry where the leaves are and put it in the trash but instead took the leaves off. I then proceeded to remove the existing leaves the atta colony rejected and give them some strawberry leaves. And to my surprise they chopped 7 peices of the leaves and took it to their garden to process.

Edited by AntsTopia, August 24 2023 - 7:59 PM.

Keeper of:

 

Atta Mexicana x 1

Messor Barbarus x 1

 

Ants are just better.


#31 Offline bmb1bee - Posted August 24 2023 - 8:10 PM

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Be careful with strawberries and other fruits, since those may retain some pesticide residue.


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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#32 Offline AntsTopia - Posted August 24 2023 - 8:52 PM

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Be careful with strawberries and other fruits, since those may retain some pesticide residue.


Yep I made sure that it was completely organic and USDA certified.

Keeper of:

 

Atta Mexicana x 1

Messor Barbarus x 1

 

Ants are just better.


#33 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted August 24 2023 - 9:25 PM

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Is it just me, or is this definitely not Atta cephalotes. Looks much more like A. texana or mexicana to me.

For reference, this is an Atta cephalotes queen I found in Costa Rica. Just doesn't look at all similar to me.

AIL4fc8J3pIf6VEVUpWZP-VknaJ2_4dwhoxqJo7s


Either way, good luck with the colony, Atta are a whole lot of fun. (I can't say I support the idea to use a Wakooshi fungus pod, but whatever, lol)


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#34 Offline AntsTopia - Posted August 25 2023 - 7:37 AM

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Honestly I thought that it would be a bad product at first since it's 3D printed but the viewing of the colony is awesome. I have a problem with the big white mesh looking thing tho...

Keeper of:

 

Atta Mexicana x 1

Messor Barbarus x 1

 

Ants are just better.


#35 Offline AntsTopia - Posted August 25 2023 - 8:36 PM

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Update 8/26/23

I thought I could hold off updating this journal but apparently not...

After having a conversation with my
neighbor, he allowed me to pluck a rose cutting from his rose bush which was %100 organic.

After giving this to my colony they ignored it. However a couple minutes later they started chopping a lot of leaves down. To my surprise they did not touch the actual flower at all. The only thing they like and show attention to is the leaves.

After some quick compare and contrast pictures I noticed that the fungus has indeed grown a small amount. Leaf cutter Fungus grows way quicker than I expected.

I will update this journal when there is more to show! I will also be purchasing a macro camera.

Attached Images

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Edited by AntsTopia, August 25 2023 - 8:39 PM.

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Keeper of:

 

Atta Mexicana x 1

Messor Barbarus x 1

 

Ants are just better.


#36 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted August 25 2023 - 9:33 PM

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If they're feeding the fungus, which it seems they are, then success is essentially guaranteed. Just make sure you keep humidity and temperature at acceptable levels and keep experimenting with different plants to see what they like most.

Also, I'd recommend getting an actual foraging area soon instead of placing plants inside the nest. In my experience they tend to collect plant material better when it's in a foraging area, and it will also encourage them to dispose of trash properly.

Lastly, I am confident these are A. mexicana.


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#37 Offline AntsAmerica - Posted August 25 2023 - 9:35 PM

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If they're feeding the fungus, which it seems they are, then success is essentially guaranteed. Just make sure you keep humidity and temperature at acceptable levels and keep experimenting with different plants to see what they like most.

Also, I'd recommend getting an actual foraging area soon instead of placing plants inside the nest. In my experience they tend to collect plant material better when it's in a foraging area, and it will also encourage them to dispose of trash properly.

Lastly, I am confident these are A. mexicana.

agreed, atta mexicana make trash dumps above ground in the wild, and it's best for antkeepers to take full advantage of that benefit. 


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#38 Offline AntsTopia - Posted August 25 2023 - 10:33 PM

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Yes they have a garbage dump on the opposite side of the nest which I guess is a tell tale sign they are Atta Mexicana.

That's great that you guys found out the species because I was about to name the journal Atta Sp.

Anyway I will get them a garbage and an outworld as soon as possible.
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Keeper of:

 

Atta Mexicana x 1

Messor Barbarus x 1

 

Ants are just better.


#39 Offline AntsTopia - Posted August 29 2023 - 7:54 AM

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Update 8/29/23

The colony is doing great. After giving them all the leaves that I can, they picked their favorites. So now I only give them their favorites. And well, let me tell you what's been happening.

They were chopping their favorite leaves night and day. One morning I woke up and there was this pyramid of fungus. It was massive. And it doesn't stop there.

One thing that's kind of worrying me is the fungus is much bigger than the workforce. I don't if this is a thing with atta but it seems a bit worrisome to me.

Also when I opened the cap to put some leaves in I was hit with a dirt kind of smell. Like I just landed in a pile of dirt. It has a very earthy smell to it. I like it sort of.

I ordered 2 other wakooshi pods because they make the tubes exactly to only fit the pods. Anyway colony is doing great and will update when they grow bigger.

Attached Images

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Keeper of:

 

Atta Mexicana x 1

Messor Barbarus x 1

 

Ants are just better.


#40 Offline Ernteameise - Posted August 29 2023 - 10:03 AM

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I am so happy for you (and for your girls of course).

I am eagerly looking forward to your updates.

Great little colony.


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