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(A Beginning Antkeeper's) Journey of a Solenopsis Queen

solenopsisfire ant beginner queen new the_gaming-gate first colony advice needed advice

98 replies to this topic

#81 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted April 6 2024 - 7:04 AM

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4 / 6 / 2024 - ``Finally!``


The mealworm got moldy. Very moldy. It became grey and fuzzy and sort of disgusting, but it was easily removed with tweezers. Queen Firestorm is looking on the slim side, and not as active as she was before the nanitic arrived. To fix this, I offered the ants some grains of sugar which the worker immediately ran over to check out. She nibbled on a piece and then brought another grain to the queen, who appreciated it. I'm happy the ants finally got some sense and started eating.

A pretty funny story, when I removed the moldy mealworm piece the worker climbed onto my tweezers. I dumped her in the AC Test Tube and she began frantically searching for the nest entrance. I tried to use my tweezers to guide her back to familiar territory, but the little worker refused to cooperate. Eventually she did find the enterance into the nest, although it took her a few moments to realize where she was. She was exhausted, and immediately went back to devouring sugar grains.

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Edited by The_Gaming-gate, April 6 2024 - 7:09 AM.

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Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#82 Offline Artisan_Ants - Posted April 6 2024 - 11:00 AM

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I tend to find that after queens raise their first nanitics; they are very tired and sleepy. My Camponotus queen is literally always sleeping in the day and is on awake around midnight. She is also awake when there is disturbance (light). Formica on the other hand are always active; even the queen. She is never tired when I check on them.
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Keeping:

2x - S. molesta (colonies)                1x - C. nearcticus (founding)  (y) New!

1x - C. chromaiodes (colony)           1x - C. subbarbatus (founding)  (y) New!

2x - F. pallidefulva (colonies)             1x T. sessile (mega colony)

2x - C. cerasi (founding)  workers are here!  :yahoo:

1x - B. depilis (founding but no eggs)

2x - P. imparis (colony) 2x P. imparis (founding)  Unfortunately no multi queen P. imparis colonies as all of the queens died due to fungus infection (assumed). RIP  :( 

Check out my C. nearcticus journal here: https://www.formicul...cticus-journal/

Check out my C. chromaiodes journal here: https://www.formicul...aiodes-journal/


#83 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted April 6 2024 - 12:49 PM

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Thank you so much ! I got concerned for a bit.

Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#84 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted April 15 2024 - 4:36 PM

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4/15/2024 - ``MOLD!``

That pesky worker just had to bring all of her food onto the cotton, didn't she! There's a mold outbreak, and it has taken over the tube. It started with dark stuff covering the cotton, then colonies branching out. Yucky stuff! I tried to move them, by attaching a test-tube to the AC portal, in hopes they would move over, but the ants did not. After a lot of methods, such as light and tapping the tube, I've came to the conclusion that the mold is not harmful, so the ants don't care about it. If they aren't concerned, I'm not concerned- totally. Those eggs also haven't hatched yet, I'm very confused.

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Edited by The_Gaming-gate, April 15 2024 - 4:46 PM.

Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#85 Offline Artisan_Ants - Posted April 16 2024 - 2:04 PM

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Those eggs could be trophies eggs. Common among many species. They are used for feeding the rest of the colony members providing protein and other things essential to the colony. This should only be happening (usually) when the colony does not have an abundant food source (and you fed them but here’s the thing). The queen might possibly still have food stores available for the nanitics to eat from; causing her to lay trophic eggs as a boost, or maybe it’s the fact that they don’t want the food you are giving them right now. Whichever way I believe you are dealing with trophic eggs here.
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Keeping:

2x - S. molesta (colonies)                1x - C. nearcticus (founding)  (y) New!

1x - C. chromaiodes (colony)           1x - C. subbarbatus (founding)  (y) New!

2x - F. pallidefulva (colonies)             1x T. sessile (mega colony)

2x - C. cerasi (founding)  workers are here!  :yahoo:

1x - B. depilis (founding but no eggs)

2x - P. imparis (colony) 2x P. imparis (founding)  Unfortunately no multi queen P. imparis colonies as all of the queens died due to fungus infection (assumed). RIP  :( 

Check out my C. nearcticus journal here: https://www.formicul...cticus-journal/

Check out my C. chromaiodes journal here: https://www.formicul...aiodes-journal/


#86 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted April 17 2024 - 4:31 AM

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Thank you! That scared me! But how do I make her lay some fertilized eggs? I’ve been feeding them all sorts of things, honey, mealworms, sugar, and yet none of the eggs are hatching. Will I have to wait for them to eat all of the trophic eggs first?

Edited by The_Gaming-gate, April 17 2024 - 4:32 AM.

Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#87 Offline Flu1d - Posted April 17 2024 - 5:33 AM

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Thank you! That scared me! But how do I make her lay some fertilized eggs? I’ve been feeding them all sorts of things, honey, mealworms, sugar, and yet none of the eggs are hatching. Will I have to wait for them to eat all of the trophic eggs first?


My S. invicta loved fruit flies and discoid roaches more than anything.

You're for sure positive that your queen is fertile, and your current workers aren't just from a brood boost?

I know it's possible to find queens/alates walking around that have been kicked out of the nest for one reason or another.
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#88 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted April 17 2024 - 10:43 AM

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Thank you! That scared me! But how do I make her lay some fertilized eggs? I’ve been feeding them all sorts of things, honey, mealworms, sugar, and yet none of the eggs are hatching. Will I have to wait for them to eat all of the trophic eggs first?

My S. invicta loved fruit flies and discoid roaches more than anything.

You're for sure positive that your queen is fertile, and your current workers aren't just from a brood boost?

I know it's possible to find queens/alates walking around that have been kicked out of the nest for one reason or another.
I got the queen with a male, so she should be fertile. The current worker is from a boost I believe.

Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#89 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted April 17 2024 - 10:47 AM

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I did see this though.

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Edited by The_Gaming-gate, April 17 2024 - 10:48 AM.

Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#90 Offline GOCAMPONOTUS - Posted April 17 2024 - 11:12 AM

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Well the egg hatching time depends on the genus,size,heating and -ect


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Currently keeping
1.Camponotus vicinus. 5 workers
2.Camponotus modoc. 5 workers
3. Camponotus hyatti. 1 worker
4.Veromessor pergandei. founding
5 Linepithema humile. 70-100 workers 5 queens
6. Pheidole Californica. 65 workers
I want: Atta,Myrmecia,Myrmica,Myrmecocystus


#91 Offline Artisan_Ants - Posted April 17 2024 - 12:24 PM

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Well the egg hatching time depends on the genus,size,heating and -ect

Very true indeed. Google just mentions the relativity of how long it takes; but they usually always miss the main points like the statements GOCAMPONOTUS made.

Keeping:

2x - S. molesta (colonies)                1x - C. nearcticus (founding)  (y) New!

1x - C. chromaiodes (colony)           1x - C. subbarbatus (founding)  (y) New!

2x - F. pallidefulva (colonies)             1x T. sessile (mega colony)

2x - C. cerasi (founding)  workers are here!  :yahoo:

1x - B. depilis (founding but no eggs)

2x - P. imparis (colony) 2x P. imparis (founding)  Unfortunately no multi queen P. imparis colonies as all of the queens died due to fungus infection (assumed). RIP  :( 

Check out my C. nearcticus journal here: https://www.formicul...cticus-journal/

Check out my C. chromaiodes journal here: https://www.formicul...aiodes-journal/


#92 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted April 17 2024 - 2:40 PM

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Well the egg hatching time depends on the genus,size,heating and -ect

Very true indeed. Google just mentions the relativity of how long it takes; but they usually always miss the main points like the statements GOCAMPONOTUS made.

 

They are kept around 80 degrees, but drops to 75 at night. It's Solenopsis, and there is 1 worker and the queen of course. 


Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#93 Offline Flu1d - Posted April 17 2024 - 5:47 PM

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Thank you! That scared me! But how do I make her lay some fertilized eggs? I’ve been feeding them all sorts of things, honey, mealworms, sugar, and yet none of the eggs are hatching. Will I have to wait for them to eat all of the trophic eggs first?

My S. invicta loved fruit flies and discoid roaches more than anything.

You're for sure positive that your queen is fertile, and your current workers aren't just from a brood boost?

I know it's possible to find queens/alates walking around that have been kicked out of the nest for one reason or another.
I got the queen with a male, so she should be fertile. The current worker is from a boost I believe.

Chances are, she is fertile. However, part of me wonders if they finished their deal before the male detached? Or if there was something biologically wrong with the male or even the female alate?

Curious to see how it plays out. The good thing, however, is that you can find Solenopsis invicta queens darn-near year round here in Florida, so you could easily replace her if need be.
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#94 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted April 18 2024 - 1:01 AM

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Thank you! That scared me! But how do I make her lay some fertilized eggs? I’ve been feeding them all sorts of things, honey, mealworms, sugar, and yet none of the eggs are hatching. Will I have to wait for them to eat all of the trophic eggs first?

My S. invicta loved fruit flies and discoid roaches more than anything.

You're for sure positive that your queen is fertile, and your current workers aren't just from a brood boost?

I know it's possible to find queens/alates walking around that have been kicked out of the nest for one reason or another.
I got the queen with a male, so she should be fertile. The current worker is from a boost I believe.
Chances are, she is fertile. However, part of me wonders if they finished their deal before the male detached? Or if there was something biologically wrong with the male or even the female alate?

Curious to see how it plays out. The good thing, however, is that you can find Solenopsis invicta queens darn-near year round here in Florida, so you could easily replace her if need be.
Yeah, I have no clue what’s the deal with the queen I have, but I can catch more. I do remember that right before the nanitics enclosed, she ate a whole lot of her eggs, so I’m wondering if the eggs she has are actually new ones?

Edited by The_Gaming-gate, April 18 2024 - 1:02 AM.

Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#95 Offline Flu1d - Posted April 18 2024 - 3:34 AM

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It's going to be an interesting journey, for sure.

I had only a couple, out of the 30 or so S. invicta queens that I caught and attempted to found, that were unable to found. The vast majority of them founded easily.

You may have a dud, and if that is true then it isn't a bad idea to have an additional colony or two just in case, so that you can have one that successfully founds.

I even had several polygynous colonies that I founded, some with up to 7 queens in a single tube. I have mostly polygynous colonies around my particular neighborhood, with small pockets of monogynous ones sprinkled throughout.

30 minutes from me, in a more rural area, it seems the opposite. Mostly monogynous colonies with some polygynous peppered in here and there.

I think it would be neat if you were able to find the polygynous kind, it's so cool to watch them work together to build a colony. They also explode very fast. I had single queen colonies, 2 queen, 3 queen, 5 queen and a 7 queen colony. I was told more than 7 may do more harm than good as far as founding goes, due to the potential of them competing too much for the resources and to be the main layer.. so I kept it there.

They all seemed successful, and you could see how much faster they were able to blow up once the nanitics began to eclose.
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#96 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted April 24 2024 - 10:34 AM

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This isn’t a real update, but our second worker has hatched! She is slightly larger than the first worker, and based off her coloring quite new to the colony! To address the elephant in the room, the queen is probably a dud, but I don’t mind since it’s a good excuse to tear up invasive fire ant colony to boost her.

Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#97 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted May 2 2024 - 3:07 AM

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More Mini-Updates since I need to keep this on the front page of the journaling sub-forum.

The colony is doing well, and the workers sometimes forage when it’s dark (but immediately run back to the nest when they are exposed to light) The queen seems a bit skinnier, but that’s probably due to the fact I changed their feeding schedule from every 4 - 5 days to every 6 - 7 days. (My life is getting busy, and I like to waste my time drawing or blacklighting.) Other than that, the colony is fine so see you next time!

Edited by The_Gaming-gate, May 2 2024 - 3:08 AM.

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Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#98 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted May 9 2024 - 11:42 AM

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Colony is alive and well. Both workers forage regularly, although usually not at the same time. Queen is a bit more active, but this is probably due to my vibrations and flash-light. She calms down after a few minutes and goes back to tending to brood after that.
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Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#99 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted May 16 2024 - 3:58 AM

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All I’m going to say is that Firestorm has some competition. She’s in triple trouble.

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Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 






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