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Cataglyphis rosenhaueri

cataglyphis rosenhaueri kowal

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#1 Offline Kowal - Posted August 3 2023 - 2:26 AM

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I was urged to try some Cataglyphis by few Discord folks for a while and I decided to order some as my friend was ordering ants from a retailer anyway, so I sneaked a colony in his order. I've decided to get C. rosenhaueri out of 4 species listed for sale. This particular species is on a small side of Cataglyphis and exhibits weaker polymorphism than more known species like C. nodus, but they have beautiful colour, reminding me of Camponotus lateralis. 

The colony was offered as having 20-30 workers. These ants are obviously dug up so I expected some deaths. My friend removed unknown amount of workers which died in transit to him, fed them and shipped them to me. They arrived at 2023.07.12 with 13 workers and a small batch of eggs. This means that 1/3 to 1/2 of the colony died in transport, but the small batch of eggs was promising. They appeared to be well fed, I guess by my friend, not the seller. 

The queen with her butt getting chomped cleaned:

20230712_143625.jpg

Some repletes:

20230712_143708.jpg

The brood they came with:

20230712_143639.jpg

 

Soon after arrival two workers dropped dead and the colony was showing signs of stress, the queen was sometimes going out of the tube and wandering in the outworld, workers seemed to run in circles at high speeds like they were lost. But the colony was ready to grow, the batch of eggs they came with was growing and on 2023.07.21 I've noticed first larvae. 10 days later, on 2023.07.31, a first pupa was present in the nest, but also two more workers died in the meantime, so the number is down to 9. Two days later I've checked them and the number of pupae is up to 6! Perhaps from the 6 eggs they came with. And there is some healthy further brood. This is a sign that even though the original workers are dying out of old age or travel related stress, the replacement should come in time and the colony should bounce back and become stable. The queen stopped going out of their tube and no workers are running in circles around the outworld, so I think they have finally learned where they are and what is the nest part - these ants are very vision oriented, they use sight to navigate the terrain, so perhaps they were just confused as this outworld is clearly not what they remembered from nature.

 

Few words about the ants and how I keep them:

As all Cataglyphis these ants are adapted to extreme heat conditions, foraging in the hottest time of the day to avoid competition from less adapted species. According to papers I found their peak activity occurs when the surface temperature reaches 44°C, and they can survive even higher, up to 50°C. To emulate this I am using a 10 W halogen lamp shining at the outworld from small distance, which raises the surface temperature directly below it to 40°C for 8 hours a day. These ants have a biological clock and will hide to the nest before the light goes off, in nature they realise that after some time the temperature will start dropping and competition is going to come out of their nests, so they hide before that happens and block the entrance with pebbles. The nest gets heated up to 30°C during the day and goes down to room temperature (22-24°C) at nights - preferably it should be more stable and in between these values, but they seem to be fine with it.

In nature a huge part of their diet are other ants. In captivity I can confirm that they not only use them as a food source, but actually prefer them - I am offering them tiny red runners and Camponotus fallax alates (sourced from my colony) and they only take the alates, leaving the red runners to dry out. 

They are bad climbers. Any barrier should work, perhaps no barrier, just an upside down rim would work, but I use the same oil I use against all my other ants. Due to bad climbing skills a test tube is not the greatest nest for them, so I offered them a test tube with some plaster poured on the floor, but they found it, one worker spent one night in it and ignored it - they know better what they want so I am not interfering. 

This is the way I keep them - light is pointing the far corner  from the nest to not increase the nest temperature too much.

20230803_121821.jpg


Edited by Kowal, June 9 2024 - 12:52 AM.

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#2 Offline Kowal - Posted August 19 2023 - 3:06 AM

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The colony is doing good. No more workers died and they are busy caring for lots of pupae. They are baking the pupae in the "sun" often. 

20230813_170907.jpg

 

The first worker raised under my care has enclosed recently, spotted yesterday (2023.08.18). The amount of further pupae makes me feel reassured about the future of this colony.

20230818_120337.jpg

20230818_120404.jpg


Edited by Kowal, August 19 2023 - 3:39 AM.

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#3 Offline Jonathan5608 - Posted August 19 2023 - 6:53 AM

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Pretty color

#4 Offline Kowal - Posted August 26 2023 - 4:25 AM

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No new worker deaths. One has a manky front leg, but is still kickin. There are 18 workers in total, so twice as many as at the lowest point. There are also 16 pupae, so even if they go into diapause soon and old workers do not make through it there will be enough workforce to build the colony next season. And I do not see signs of diapause yet.

 

I also made silly video (with sound) of a worker carrying a dead Lasius flavus queen and being visibly lost, trying to position itself using the "sun", but the short distance from it and changes of the angle on even small movements were confusing her. 
 


Edited by Kowal, October 31 2023 - 1:21 AM.

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#5 Offline Kowal - Posted September 14 2023 - 10:59 AM

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Two months have passed since I got them. This is the current state of the colony (night state, all colony within the nest) + a bonus photo of how they store pupae during the day. They bake them almost every day, but are now more cautious and don't want to keep them far from the nest - any disturbance causes evacuation back to the tube.

The two dead queens in the nest are Lasius flavus. They really like them, dragged those two to the nest and left red runners and a Lasius niger queen untouched in the outworld.

20230914_202310.jpg

20230914_202636.jpg

20230909_113418.jpg


Edited by Kowal, September 14 2023 - 11:19 AM.

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#6 Offline ANTS_KL - Posted September 15 2023 - 5:36 PM

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I've heard that Cataglyphis mainly feed on dried up insects in the arid regions they are from. Maybe try offering some? It would be interesting to see their reaction imo. 


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 (NOT in alphabetical order, also may be outdated sometimes): Camponotus irritans inferior, Ooceraea biroi, Pheidole parva, Nylanderia sp., Paraparatrechina tapinomoides, Platythyrea sp., Anochetus sp., Colobopsis sp. (cylindrica group), Crematogaster ferrarii, Polyrhachis (Myrma) cf. pruinosa, Polyrhachis (Cyrtomyrma) laevissima, Tapinoma sp. (formerly Zatapinoma)

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

#7 Offline Kowal - Posted September 16 2023 - 5:55 AM

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I've heard that Cataglyphis mainly feed on dried up insects in the arid regions they are from. Maybe try offering some? It would be interesting to see their reaction imo. 

I did feed them dead Camponotus fallax workers I found in fallax trash pile, dried to the point of falling apart and they were taken by the Cataglyphis colony as food. The reaction was exactly the same as for fresher food. I think it's a case of just being able to process dried insects rather than necessarily needing them or prefering them over fresh ones. 



#8 Offline Kowal - Posted October 19 2023 - 2:34 PM

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The colony has entered full diapause. Most of the colony is hugging dry cotton in their favorite test tube. Other test tubes get at most one worker spending the night there. 
During this season they produced almost 50 own workers, which makes me confident they will have enough fresh workforce to survive the winter. 

20231020_002755.jpg



#9 Offline Jonathan5608 - Posted October 19 2023 - 4:50 PM

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The colony has entered full diapause. Most of the colony is hugging dry cotton in their favorite test tube. Other test tubes get at most one worker spending the night there.
During this season they produced almost 50 own workers, which makes me confident they will have enough fresh workforce to survive the winter.
20231020_002755.jpg

cool

#10 Offline antsriondel - Posted October 19 2023 - 6:33 PM

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Impressive! Love the colors of these ants. How large are they?



#11 Offline Kowal - Posted October 19 2023 - 11:34 PM

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Impressive! Love the colors of these ants. How large are they?

Cataglyphis rosenhaueri are rather small and limited in polymorphism for Cataglyphis. One paper states worker size is 4,5-7,5 mm and workers in my colony seem to fall in this range. 
In the meantime I got my hands on another colony of this genus - much larger and more polymorphic. Unfortunately they don't want to start growing as nicely as this colony did.


Edited by Kowal, December 9 2023 - 4:31 PM.


#12 Offline Kowal - Posted March 31 2024 - 12:35 AM

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I started heating them on 2024.03.14. I didn't have to wait long for results, 16 days later the eggpile is looking great:

VideoCapture_20240331-102523.jpg

First eggs were spotted on 2024.03.23.


Edited by Kowal, April 4 2024 - 1:45 PM.

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#13 Offline Kowal - Posted April 4 2024 - 10:10 AM

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I didn't have to wait long to see larvae (2024.04.01) and currently there's a lot of them. I love how quick is their brood development. 

20240404_193408.jpg


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#14 Offline Ernteameise - Posted April 4 2024 - 10:19 AM

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Great colony!

I love these colors. This is a very good looking ant.

May I ask who you bought them from?

One of the big European stores?



#15 Offline Kowal - Posted April 4 2024 - 10:45 AM

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I bought them locally in Poland, I believe the seller got them from a Spanish trader named Victorete. 

I agree that they are extraordinarily pretty, with the right red shade for my taste. I have a hard time deciding what to keep and what to sell - in the meantime I also got Cataglyphis nodus, which are not as nicely coloured, but are very noticeably larger. They are still too similar to each other, so one will eventually go. I need to place the C. nodus colony on tracks first - the lack of a journal is partially caused by the colony not doing as well as C. rosenhaueri are.


Edited by Kowal, April 4 2024 - 10:51 AM.

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#16 Offline Kowal - Posted April 8 2024 - 1:02 AM

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Pupation station has been created. 

20240408_093251.jpg


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#17 Offline Kowal - Posted April 13 2024 - 8:52 AM

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3 weeks since I spotted first eggs. 

20240413_183641.jpg


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#18 Offline Kowal - Posted April 23 2024 - 8:34 AM

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Exactly a month has passed since I spotted first eggs. First worker has enclosed just today - yesterday it wasn't there yet. You can see it next to the light reflection, to the left of the queen.

20240423_182949.jpg


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#19 Offline Kowal - Posted June 9 2024 - 12:36 AM

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The colony is doing great. Unfortunately they refuse to move out of their tube to a nest I proposed and now are scattered across 2 tubes and a piece of underground tubing in the outworld, so it's hard to report their size properly. Definitely well over a hundred workers. 
Recently some large workers were produced. Some are almost as large as the queen. I think that the range of worker length given in one paper (4,5-7,5 mm) might not be correct.
20240609_014523.jpg







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