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Dan's Zootermopsis Angusticollis


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#1 Offline Dan_Not_Found - Posted July 28 2023 - 1:28 PM

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I finally got termites!! I've been wanting to keep termites forever, hopefully I can rear a thriving termite colony :)

My current plan is to wait for a few workers to fully mature, then move them into a plastic daiso box, with black kow as substrate, and these chunks of wood as their home / food.

I'm still very new to termite keeping. In fact, if not for the help of a community member, I likely would've killed this colony by using potting mix from Home Depot as their substrate... Any advice, help, or recommendations from now and onto the future would be greatly appreciated! f33ff5ae5e4f2c111b69ceeff8ba053a.jpgb0c3c2e31deddbd8e80ca397fbd83d86.jpgd1927fb7ed1285bf6b4a6434202b4a42.jpgb5019160e745a383bd3dd55e3f4179d6.jpg

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Currently Keeping:

Camponotus US-CA02

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Myrmecocystus Navajo


#2 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 28 2023 - 2:02 PM

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Buy wood smoker pellets, dissolve them in water, and use the resulting sawdust as your substrate. Termites are extremely slow growing and delicate compared to ants.
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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.

#3 Offline Dan_Not_Found - Posted August 3 2023 - 11:50 PM

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The termites have made some progress! There are a few newly hatched nymphs and the older generation has grown quite large!

These guys actually started to chew through the paper towel that was blocking the entrance of the testtube so I had to replace it with cotton lol. It's surprisingly fun observing them!

I also caught one of the royals regurgitating this brown liquid for the nymphs to feed on1242a274c98f3dc5f82d15960309ae71.jpge47c7560cfc487d3efff54789bea8221.jpg9308e2082d48c9b8a11863820ffb341b.jpg

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Currently Keeping:

Camponotus US-CA02

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Myrmecocystus Navajo


#4 Offline Dan_Not_Found - Posted August 9 2023 - 10:26 PM

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The first soldier seems to already be on its way!!! Didn't know they came so early!2616bc2f640ffd0d1e589b3347ee6b48.jpga002233a2c13076d3088e5cdb5de8f7e.jpg7c0fb6317c9546480cee62a721c51fd6.jpg

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Currently Keeping:

Camponotus US-CA02

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#5 Offline Jonathan5608 - Posted August 10 2023 - 9:49 AM

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The first soldier seems to already be on its way!!! Didn't know they came so early!2616bc2f640ffd0d1e589b3347ee6b48.jpga002233a2c13076d3088e5cdb5de8f7e.jpg7c0fb6317c9546480cee62a721c51fd6.jpg

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cool
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#6 Offline ANTdrew - Posted August 10 2023 - 10:01 AM

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Nice work! Cute roachoids there.
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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.

#7 Offline ANTS_KL - Posted August 19 2023 - 5:49 PM

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The first soldier seems to already be on its way!!! Didn't know they came so early!

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Most termite genera produce soldiers in the first generation itself, since workers can still molt into soldiers. 


Young ant keeper with a decent amount of knowledge on local ant species.

YouTube: https://m.youtube.co...uKsahGliSH7EqOQ (It's pretty dead. Might upload again soon, don't expect my voice to sound the same though.)

Currently kept ant species, favorites have a star in front of their names (in alphabetical order, also may be outdated sometimes): ★ Anochetus sp., ★ Camponotus irritans inferior, ★ Cardiocondyla sp., Carebara (Oligomyrmex) sp.★ Crematogaster cf. ferrarii, Odontomachus simillimus, ★ Ooceraea biroi, Pheidole parva, Polyrhachis (Myrma) sp., Tapinoma sp. (formerly Zatapinoma), ★ Trichomyrmex destructor.

 

Death count: Probably over a hundred individual queens and colonies by now. I cannot recall whatsoever. 


#8 Offline Nare - Posted September 23 2023 - 6:53 AM

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These look more like Z. nevadensis to me but I'm not super familiar with Californian termites.



#9 Offline Dan_Not_Found - Posted September 23 2023 - 9:55 PM

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These look more like Z. nevadensis to me but I'm not super familiar with Californian termites.

I was actually thinking that. The solider looked more like one from Nevandesis, but maybe its too early to judge? I'm not too sure. For the time being, I'll keep them as angusticollis since that's what they were identified as when I got them.


Currently Keeping:

Camponotus US-CA02

Pogonomyrmex Subnitidus

Myrmecocystus Navajo


#10 Offline Dan_Not_Found - Posted September 23 2023 - 9:57 PM

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The colony currently has 7 workers and 1 soldier. They have yet to move out of their testtube, in fact they sealed off the enterance...

They also have no eggs or nymphs. I know people say that they are very slow growing, but is this normal? 


Currently Keeping:

Camponotus US-CA02

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Myrmecocystus Navajo


#11 Offline Nare - Posted September 25 2023 - 8:25 AM

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These look more like Z. nevadensis to me but I'm not super familiar with Californian termites.

I was actually thinking that. The solider looked more like one from Nevandesis, but maybe its too early to judge? I'm not too sure. For the time being, I'll keep them as angusticollis since that's what they were identified as when I got them.

 

I'm basing that more on the imagos ("primaries" or "king and queen" if you want). Obviously colour isn't a great way to identify anything but all the angusticollis I've seen have been orange, and all the nevadensis have been brown. Length is another good identifier, with nevadensis generally being smaller than angusticollis. The same would apply to workers and soldiers. If I dig up a key I can try and key them out for you. It doesn't really matter, but in my experience nevadensis have preferred drier conditions than angusticollis.

As for once they've grown out of the tube, that's really where the trouble lies. I've raised nev 3 or 4 times and they do fantastic in a test tube setup similar to yours (it looks like it's just a large tube full of slightly rotted wood) but I've never had any luck transitioning them to a larger setup. I can tell you what hasn't worked is a container with a single large block of wood.

If I were to try again, what I'd do is something like this: fill the bottom of the container with a thick layer of tissue paper (you can compact it, looking for about 5-10mm or I guess like a quarter of an inch?). That keeps the humidity up. Then I'd add chunks of cubic brown-rotted wood ontop, and secure everything by shoving in bits of wood so that it doesn't move. Best way to move them is probably stick the test tube inside and let them move out on their own. I'll be trying something similar when I get some more nev this year so I'll keep you posted on how that goes.


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#12 Offline Dan_Not_Found - Posted September 25 2023 - 11:51 AM

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These look more like Z. nevadensis to me but I'm not super familiar with Californian termites.

I was actually thinking that. The solider looked more like one from Nevandesis, but maybe its too early to judge? I'm not too sure. For the time being, I'll keep them as angusticollis since that's what they were identified as when I got them.

 

I'm basing that more on the imagos ("primaries" or "king and queen" if you want). Obviously colour isn't a great way to identify anything but all the angusticollis I've seen have been orange, and all the nevadensis have been brown. Length is another good identifier, with nevadensis generally being smaller than angusticollis. The same would apply to workers and soldiers. If I dig up a key I can try and key them out for you. It doesn't really matter, but in my experience nevadensis have preferred drier conditions than angusticollis.

As for once they've grown out of the tube, that's really where the trouble lies. I've raised nev 3 or 4 times and they do fantastic in a test tube setup similar to yours (it looks like it's just a large tube full of slightly rotted wood) but I've never had any luck transitioning them to a larger setup. I can tell you what hasn't worked is a container with a single large block of wood.

If I were to try again, what I'd do is something like this: fill the bottom of the container with a thick layer of tissue paper (you can compact it, looking for about 5-10mm or I guess like a quarter of an inch?). That keeps the humidity up. Then I'd add chunks of cubic brown-rotted wood ontop, and secure everything by shoving in bits of wood so that it doesn't move. Best way to move them is probably stick the test tube inside and let them move out on their own. I'll be trying something similar when I get some more nev this year so I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

 

I think you're probably right on them being Nevadensis.

 

I've been told that all I need is a piece of damp wood and that they would move in eventually TT

I think the only issue for me is finding a place where I can find pieces of rotted wood. We have a few old stumps around our house where I can try to pick off pieces of wood, but I don't know how well that would work. 


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Currently Keeping:

Camponotus US-CA02

Pogonomyrmex Subnitidus

Myrmecocystus Navajo


#13 Offline Nare - Posted September 25 2023 - 11:59 AM

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These look more like Z. nevadensis to me but I'm not super familiar with Californian termites.

I was actually thinking that. The solider looked more like one from Nevandesis, but maybe its too early to judge? I'm not too sure. For the time being, I'll keep them as angusticollis since that's what they were identified as when I got them.

 

I'm basing that more on the imagos ("primaries" or "king and queen" if you want). Obviously colour isn't a great way to identify anything but all the angusticollis I've seen have been orange, and all the nevadensis have been brown. Length is another good identifier, with nevadensis generally being smaller than angusticollis. The same would apply to workers and soldiers. If I dig up a key I can try and key them out for you. It doesn't really matter, but in my experience nevadensis have preferred drier conditions than angusticollis.

As for once they've grown out of the tube, that's really where the trouble lies. I've raised nev 3 or 4 times and they do fantastic in a test tube setup similar to yours (it looks like it's just a large tube full of slightly rotted wood) but I've never had any luck transitioning them to a larger setup. I can tell you what hasn't worked is a container with a single large block of wood.

If I were to try again, what I'd do is something like this: fill the bottom of the container with a thick layer of tissue paper (you can compact it, looking for about 5-10mm or I guess like a quarter of an inch?). That keeps the humidity up. Then I'd add chunks of cubic brown-rotted wood ontop, and secure everything by shoving in bits of wood so that it doesn't move. Best way to move them is probably stick the test tube inside and let them move out on their own. I'll be trying something similar when I get some more nev this year so I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

 

I think you're probably right on them being Nevadensis.

 

I've been told that all I need is a piece of damp wood and that they would move in eventually TT

I think the only issue for me is finding a place where I can find pieces of rotted wood. We have a few old stumps around our house where I can try to pick off pieces of wood, but I don't know how well that would work. 

 

Stumps can be difficult to break apart. I recommend the old screwdriver-hammer technique. Otherwise I've had good luck with cubic brown rotted wood - it's naturally pretty crumbly and soft, and it's the basis for some artificial lab diets for termites. I usually find logs of it in the woods - they're pretty common. It might be worth it even to offer different sorts of woods and see what they like best.


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#14 Offline Dan_Not_Found - Posted September 25 2023 - 12:12 PM

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These look more like Z. nevadensis to me but I'm not super familiar with Californian termites.

I was actually thinking that. The solider looked more like one from Nevandesis, but maybe its too early to judge? I'm not too sure. For the time being, I'll keep them as angusticollis since that's what they were identified as when I got them.

 

I'm basing that more on the imagos ("primaries" or "king and queen" if you want). Obviously colour isn't a great way to identify anything but all the angusticollis I've seen have been orange, and all the nevadensis have been brown. Length is another good identifier, with nevadensis generally being smaller than angusticollis. The same would apply to workers and soldiers. If I dig up a key I can try and key them out for you. It doesn't really matter, but in my experience nevadensis have preferred drier conditions than angusticollis.

As for once they've grown out of the tube, that's really where the trouble lies. I've raised nev 3 or 4 times and they do fantastic in a test tube setup similar to yours (it looks like it's just a large tube full of slightly rotted wood) but I've never had any luck transitioning them to a larger setup. I can tell you what hasn't worked is a container with a single large block of wood.

If I were to try again, what I'd do is something like this: fill the bottom of the container with a thick layer of tissue paper (you can compact it, looking for about 5-10mm or I guess like a quarter of an inch?). That keeps the humidity up. Then I'd add chunks of cubic brown-rotted wood ontop, and secure everything by shoving in bits of wood so that it doesn't move. Best way to move them is probably stick the test tube inside and let them move out on their own. I'll be trying something similar when I get some more nev this year so I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

 

I think you're probably right on them being Nevadensis.

 

I've been told that all I need is a piece of damp wood and that they would move in eventually TT

I think the only issue for me is finding a place where I can find pieces of rotted wood. We have a few old stumps around our house where I can try to pick off pieces of wood, but I don't know how well that would work. 

 

Stumps can be difficult to break apart. I recommend the old screwdriver-hammer technique. Otherwise I've had good luck with cubic brown rotted wood - it's naturally pretty crumbly and soft, and it's the basis for some artificial lab diets for termites. I usually find logs of it in the woods - they're pretty common. It might be worth it even to offer different sorts of woods and see what they like best.

 

I'll see what I can do, unfortunately I live in the middle of LA so there's not exactly a lot of places for rotten logs. The best option I can think of right now is to go to a protected park or some hiking trail, but all those are also pretty far. Hopefully I can try and get some in upcoming breaks.


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Currently Keeping:

Camponotus US-CA02

Pogonomyrmex Subnitidus

Myrmecocystus Navajo


#15 Offline Dan_Not_Found - Posted October 10 2023 - 3:46 PM

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Well, I found one of the royals half eaten today :/

 

I'm not surpised but it's still sad to see. If I'm not wrong, I'm pretty sure this genus can produce new reproductives after a period of time? If so, it'll be worthwhile to keep them around.


Currently Keeping:

Camponotus US-CA02

Pogonomyrmex Subnitidus

Myrmecocystus Navajo


#16 Offline ANTdrew - Posted October 10 2023 - 4:05 PM

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Termite keeping is very, very difficult.
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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.

#17 Offline Nare - Posted October 11 2023 - 2:27 PM

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Well, I found one of the royals half eaten today :/

 

I'm not surpised but it's still sad to see. If I'm not wrong, I'm pretty sure this genus can produce new reproductives after a period of time? If so, it'll be worthwhile to keep them around.

Yup - Zoot are fairly flexible and iirc they don't have a true worker caste, so one of the workers will probably molt into a reproductive.

Couldn't tell you why it died although if I were to speculate I'd say it died of natural causes and was being cannibalized. With just two reproductives there shouldn't be any infighting (and Zoot nev seems to accept multiple imagos anyway), so it's possible one starved to death or contracted disease. I'd keep my eyes peeled for mites maybe.
I'll try and think of any indicators to tell if they're eating well on the nutrition side. What they're in now looks fine though.

Iunno. It's hard to troubleshoot these things. All I can suggest is hold onto them just in case.






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