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Darth Vaders epic Atta mexicana

atta mexicana

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#1 Offline Darthvader - Posted November 3 2023 - 8:28 AM

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Hey all! As of Wednesday morning, I am now one of an increasing member of proud owners of the legendary Atta mexicana! I hope to share my experiences on keeping this awesome colony with everyone else. As I've only had them for two days, the journal will be a little bare bones to start, but I will leave you with my pictures to satisfy you all until I get more videos and photos to share.

Have a good weekend! -Darth vader

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Edited by Darthvader, November 3 2023 - 8:30 AM.

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#2 Offline AntsAmerica - Posted November 3 2023 - 10:14 AM

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Epic stuff, can't wait to see how this works out.

 

Good luck!


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#3 Offline 100lols - Posted November 3 2023 - 1:54 PM

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Looks like you got your hands on a pretty well established little colony! Hoping for all the success.

#4 Online AntsCali098 - Posted November 3 2023 - 5:36 PM

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Ooo another atta journal. Good luck those are some nice pictures
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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

 

 


#5 Offline Darthvader - Posted November 5 2023 - 4:42 PM

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Hey guys, made a short video introducing my Atta to my channel, but it has some good clips of the queen and colony.


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#6 Online AntsCali098 - Posted November 5 2023 - 5:20 PM

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What camera/macro lens do you use?


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

 

 


#7 Offline Darthvader - Posted November 5 2023 - 6:08 PM

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What camera/macro lens do you use?

Canon EOS rebel t6 with an 18-55mm lens reversed.


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#8 Offline 100lols - Posted November 6 2023 - 8:30 AM

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What camera/macro lens do you use?

Canon EOS rebel t6 with an 18-55mm lens reversed.
Awesome pics, I want to try with my Canon… So do you use a lens reversing ring? or an adapter?

#9 Offline Darthvader - Posted November 6 2023 - 2:03 PM

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What camera/macro lens do you use?

Canon EOS rebel t6 with an 18-55mm lens reversed.
Awesome pics, I want to try with my Canon… So do you use a lens reversing ring? or an adapter?

 

A reverse ring yes, bought it on amazon


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#10 Offline Darthvader - Posted November 9 2023 - 8:18 AM

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It's official! The Atta have begun to utilize plant material to start growing the fungus as of last night, marking their first week under my care. It's such a refreshing sight to see, knowing they're comfortable and acclimated to the environment I've given them. Their first choice of plant material was a small apple leaf I gave them a few nights ago, they charged at it last night out of the blue and went crazy on it, bringing the entire thing inside the nesting area. Plenty more photos to come, I'm hoping to get the real camera out and get some nice macro of the new fungus. See you guys later!

20231109 100559
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Edited by Darthvader, November 9 2023 - 8:21 AM.

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#11 Offline Darthvader - Posted November 9 2023 - 8:21 AM

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A short I made of them cutting the apple leaf

https://youtube.com/shorts/VYtieafOVEg


Edited by Darthvader, November 9 2023 - 8:22 AM.

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#12 Offline Darthvader - Posted November 11 2023 - 9:27 PM

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Hey all, just wanted to post the progress of the fungus growing so far, since thursday the colony has done plenty more growing, and continues to do so. They have brought an entire apple leaf into the nest, and have begun bringing another in, can't wait to get them big enough to start a bridge or vine trail, very excited for this colony. Good night to you all.


20231111 232129

Edited by Darthvader, November 11 2023 - 9:27 PM.

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#13 Offline 100lols - Posted November 12 2023 - 9:32 AM

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Absolutely beautiful! The fungus looks very healthy.
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#14 Offline Darthvader - Posted November 13 2023 - 12:51 PM

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Made a time lapse last night of the Atta processing some apple leaf fragments, hope you guys enjoy.


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#15 Offline Darthvader - Posted November 14 2023 - 6:48 PM

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The Atta have done plenty more growing, both growth points are now the same size and they've connected them both right through the middle. They cut up a rose leaf, and will likely cut more of them, Doing super well, interestingly enough they seem to be disinterested in flowers of any kind, only taking some of the leaves I've offered, which isn't the worst thing in the world. I'll make another update in a few days, maybe even another video. Until then!

20231114 151025
 

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#16 Offline 100lols - Posted November 18 2023 - 4:41 PM

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How do you plan to source leaves year round for such a colony? So amazing!!!

#17 Offline ANTdrew - Posted November 18 2023 - 7:08 PM

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It would be very easy to grow your own clover with a seed sprouting device like they sell for micro salad greens.
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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.

#18 Offline Darthvader - Posted November 19 2023 - 7:47 PM

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It would be very easy to grow your own clover with a seed sprouting device like they sell for micro salad greens.

This is actually precisely what I plan to do. Clover, along with other micro greens that have larger leaves, with oats and dried flowers will be their winter foods. There are a surprising amount greenery still around this late in the year, so I have no doubt I'll be able to keep them well fed with all the options.


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#19 Offline antsriondel - Posted November 20 2023 - 6:43 AM

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It would be very easy to grow your own clover with a seed sprouting device like they sell for micro salad greens.

Just out of interest what is so good about clovers? Are they abundant and easy to grow or just really good for ecosystems?



#20 Offline ANTdrew - Posted November 20 2023 - 2:27 PM

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Clover is a legume, which are plants that form symbiotic relationships with Nitrogen fixing bacteria. They make all the soil around them more fertile for other plants. Their leaves and pollen are high quality protein sources for wildlife, and their nectar is a great food source for bees. In short, basically everything is good about clovers.
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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.





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