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Captive Bred Aphaenogaster tennesseensis


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#1 Offline Canadian anter - Posted September 19 2023 - 9:31 AM

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Hi All!

 

I'm gonna try hard to post on formiculture more. I realize I've been less than active in the last couple years.

 

I wanted to show you guys our Aphaenogaster tennesseensis breeding project. Currently, all of our small colonies of Aphaenogaster tennesseensis and Aphaenogaster rudis/picea are captive bred (or artificially induced mating). I don't want to give away the secrets too much, but UV light exposure seems to be extremely important for this species. Light exposure, temperature, humidity, air flow, changes in light exposure, and various chemical stimulants are just some of the things we've been working with. The goal is to have Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, Pheidole spp, Messor spp, Formica pallidefulva, Formica neorufibarbis, Manica, and a couple other species be fully captive bred within the next couple years. 

 

We've replicated these methods several times with 4-5 partners across southern Ontario with their local populations. The video below is one such example. We are now producing around 70 queens of this species per year, although we are still dependent on alates collected from wild colonies to supplement, we are currently rearing multiple growing colonies so that everything will be sourced from a controlled setting

 

Aphaenogaster tennesseensis breeding in captivity - YouTube

 

Either way, there's a lot of potential here for future growth in the hobby this way, particularly moving away from wild collection, inconsistent sources of queens, and parasites (maybe even breeding specific lines or colour variants).

 

We're currently selling Aphaenogaster tennesseensis colonies with boosted workers for 76 CAD or 56 USD (not that we ship to the US). These colonies are more or less guaranteed fertile with confirmed pairings and are parasite free. Currently we're working on artifically inducing queen production with juvenile hormone and analogs. Although, I'm somehow always struggling to get enough males in the colonies, LOL.

 

You can support us by grabbing a colony here at Canada Ant Colony (canada-ant-colony.com)


Edited by Canadian anter, September 19 2023 - 9:33 AM.

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#2 Offline antsriondel - Posted September 19 2023 - 4:07 PM

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That would be crazy! I hope it works out!



#3 Offline Voidley - Posted September 19 2023 - 5:47 PM

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(maybe even breeding specific lines or colour variants).

Honestly selectively bred ant colonies is such an interesting idea that I’ve never ever considered before. I’m not sure if I’d be totally on board with it, but it’s definitely an interesting thought experiment. The idea of different colored ant species already sounds neat, but you could also do things like make colonies with higher ratios of major workers or faster development rate of brood. you could take this concept even far and begin creating new species through many generations of selective breeding. Obviously there are multiple ethical concerns, and many of these variations would either just die off quickly, or become highly invasive and wreak the ecosystem. I’m guessing that the environmental departments of governments wouldn’t be to thrilled about it either for the reasons I outlined as well as various other reasons. Again though, it’s a fascinating idea and reminds me a bit of that “imagine your own ant” thread where people invented their ideal species that they would keep.

Edited by Voidley, September 19 2023 - 5:48 PM.


#4 Offline Virginian_ants - Posted September 20 2023 - 3:18 AM

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I get the concern but for an animal to change it takes dozens of generations for even small changes. Color, pattern, and behavior are probably the fastest to change.

#5 Offline Canadian anter - Posted September 20 2023 - 6:46 AM

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I think breeding out new color variants is going to be very unlikely to come out in the near future. I'm more so referring to propagating existing, but perhaps more scarce color forms. For example, in many species of Formica, there seem to be significantly darker individuals. Similarly, there's Camponotus novaeborecensis with orange instead of red. Perhaps breeding a particularly orange population of Aphaenogaster tennesseensis.


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#6 Offline ClaytonBaby - Posted September 20 2023 - 2:46 PM

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I think breeding out new color variants is going to be very unlikely to come out in the near future. I'm more so referring to propagating existing, but perhaps more scarce color forms. For example, in many species of Formica, there seem to be significantly darker individuals. Similarly, there's Camponotus novaeborecensis with orange instead of red. Perhaps breeding a particularly orange population of Aphaenogaster tennesseensis.

I’ve been getting ready to breed my local Rugosus for awhile now so this is a LOVELY thread for me. So much goes in to the flight but once you get it all down it’s as simple as building a rain chamber for pacman frogs. People don’t consider how diverse individual colony’s can be as far as worker appearance…. Also not having to capture them from the wild is a plus in all sorts of ways! Luxury ants coming soon! LOL


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