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Leaf cutter ant (Acromyrmex versicolor) fungus dying

leafcutter leafcutter ant help fungus fungus needed california acromyrmex fungus

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8 replies to this topic

#1 Offline ps004ynos - Posted April 16 2024 - 5:55 PM

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I got a leaf cutter ant colony a while back (like a year ago) and recently, after I fed them a new food, their fungus died really quickly :facepalm: . My guess is that the new leaves that I gave them had some bacteria on it. There also was a huge die off of workers :( . The queens are ok for now though (luckily)  :whistle:

 

I contacted a vendor I knew, and they were out of fungus as well :(

 

Does anyone near Irvine, California have any leaf cutter fungus on them? 

 

 



#2 Offline ps004ynos - Posted April 16 2024 - 5:56 PM

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Also, I apologize if this was not supposed to be in this forum. I was going to publish a topic a while back after seeing the forum, but forgot to, and left this account untouched.



#3 Offline Artisan_Ants - Posted April 17 2024 - 8:01 AM

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It can’t be because of the food. Most if not all foods from Leafcutter ants like Acromyrmex or even Atta; use leaves and other foods for their fungus (it has to be leaf form usually). It was probab;y due to heat as their fungus easily dies in even a small fluctuation of temperature either higher or lower. I don’t know the recommended temperature as I don’t live them and practically never even seen them before in the wild (my location…) Otherwise; if you have kept them at the right temperature an they thrived (which is what I believe since you mentioned that you got them a year ago) then yeah, it is probably due to the food but I still doubt that. I believe the main reason the fungus died was because of a fluctuation in temp which killed all the buds they get their food from meaning that their fungus would have to work harder to produce more; likely causing it to die due the lack of food or constant fluctuation (because more effort doesn’t necessarily kill living things very easily). Anyways hopefully this colony does well. Their comebacks can be hard when fungus isn’t present but it better to try than to not right? Good luck!

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/


#4 Offline ReignofRage - Posted April 17 2024 - 8:24 AM

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It can’t be because of the food. It was probab;y due to heat as their fungus easily dies in even a small fluctuation of temperature either higher or lower.

 

Heat doesn't kill off the workers as the original post stated - tainted folliage/food on the other hand can and will kill both the fungus and workers. Acromyrmex versicolor workers can go weeks without fungus or longer, so it's extremely unlikely for workers to die out in a huge wave soon after a collapse in fungus volume. The detail of a small temperature fluctuation killing fungus is also erroneous unless the temperature is spiking a few degrees above 80 degrees F. The fungus is able to withstand over a 10 degree drop from 80 degrees F.


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#5 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted April 17 2024 - 10:40 AM

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It can’t be because of the food. It was probab;y due to heat as their fungus easily dies in even a small fluctuation of temperature either higher or lower.

Heat doesn't kill off the workers as the original post stated - tainted folliage/food on the other hand can and will kill both the fungus and workers. Acromyrmex versicolor workers can go weeks without fungus or longer, so it's extremely unlikely for workers to die out in a huge wave soon after a collapse in fungus volume. The detail of a small temperature fluctuation killing fungus is also erroneous unless the temperature is spiking a few degrees above 80 degrees F. The fungus is able to withstand over a 10 degree drop from 80 degrees F.
I agree. The cause most likely was a bacteria or fungus, as the original poster suggested. Another cause could be pesticides on the leaves that were fed to the ants, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

Edited by The_Gaming-gate, April 17 2024 - 12:41 PM.

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

 

 

 


#6 Offline ps004ynos - Posted April 17 2024 - 4:29 PM

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Now that I think about it, there were a few days that were quite hot in my area recently.

 

But that probably wasn't the cause because it was worse before than.

 

I agree with the bacteria part though.

 

Thanks for the help



#7 Offline ps004ynos - Posted April 17 2024 - 4:31 PM

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The leaves came from my backyard, where I grow things, and I am pretty sure none of my family members have used pesticides btw*

 

Edit : I am sure now after asking


Edited by ps004ynos, April 17 2024 - 4:35 PM.


#8 Offline ps004ynos - Posted April 17 2024 - 4:34 PM

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It can’t be because of the food. It was probab;y due to heat as their fungus easily dies in even a small fluctuation of temperature either higher or lower.

Heat doesn't kill off the workers as the original post stated - tainted folliage/food on the other hand can and will kill both the fungus and workers. Acromyrmex versicolor workers can go weeks without fungus or longer, so it's extremely unlikely for workers to die out in a huge wave soon after a collapse in fungus volume. The detail of a small temperature fluctuation killing fungus is also erroneous unless the temperature is spiking a few degrees above 80 degrees F. The fungus is able to withstand over a 10 degree drop from 80 degrees F.
I agree. The cause most likely was a bacteria or fungus, as the original poster suggested. Another cause could be pesticides on the leaves that were fed to the ants, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

 

The heat did rise above 80 but my house has air conditioning though, so if they make a comeback I'm not going to feed them leaves from my backyard anymore

 

Edit(s) : 

 

I added moisture to their outworld, and for some reason most of the queens have moved there?

 

Edit 2 : They actually have tiny shreds of fungus! I think that the majority of the fungus may have died because of me taking a (relatively long) vacation. Also, I have no ant keeping friends who can help me when I'm on vacation so that's why.


Edited by ps004ynos, April 17 2024 - 4:49 PM.


#9 Offline ReignofRage - Posted April 17 2024 - 7:25 PM

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It may be helpful to give them access to sugar water or nectar. The workers will occassionally consume sugars instead of fungus.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: leafcutter, leafcutter ant, help, fungus, fungus needed, california, acromyrmex fungus

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