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Pogonomyrmex badius (Again)


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55 replies to this topic

#21 Offline Runner12 - Posted April 15 2017 - 11:26 AM

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Added some water and food today and they all came up out of the nest, including the small worker like queen. Water always stimulates a big digging event. Working on building a new formicarium for them, hoping to have it done within a month or so.

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Edited by Runner12, April 15 2017 - 11:28 AM.

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#22 Offline dspdrew - Posted April 15 2017 - 12:12 PM

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Mine start digging too when the nest gets wet.



#23 Offline dspdrew - Posted April 15 2017 - 12:14 PM

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Yeah in the wild I've seen them nest in extremely fine sand somehow.

Ive even found them in sand dunes just above the high tide mark at the beach in sand so soft your foot will sink into it. I have no idea how they keep their nests together in places like that.

 

We have a species here (P. magnacanthus) that nests in sand dunes too. I can't figure out how some of their nests don't just collapse.


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#24 Offline Alabama Anter - Posted April 15 2017 - 1:25 PM

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So cool :P
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YJK


#25 Offline Runner12 - Posted April 23 2017 - 6:43 PM

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Moved this colony to their new formicarium today. I vastly underestimated the population,a hand count during the move got me 714, which I'm sure isn't entirely accurate, but if anything it's too low. I have never had a colony grow this quickly before, this one is only 10mo old.

Hoping they'll settle in well to their new home here. The nest area of the enclosure is 30in tall, 0.5 inches wide, the entire thing is 48 inches tall give or take.


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The queen with minor, media, and major workers

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Edited by Runner12, April 23 2017 - 7:21 PM.

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#26 Offline Alabama Anter - Posted April 24 2017 - 1:25 PM

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Omg I'm so jealous! I NEED P. Badius on my life...

YJK


#27 Offline AntswerMe - Posted April 26 2017 - 11:08 AM

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So cool! This species is one of my dream ants. It's native where I live and I've been dying to get a queen. Congrats on the progress!

#28 Offline Runner12 - Posted April 27 2017 - 9:20 AM

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Thanks guys. So far they're doing well, but I'm afraid the plants may not make it. They've decided to dig out underneath one in particular.

Kind of frustrating but trying to stop it would do more harm than good I think.

#29 Offline Superant33 - Posted April 27 2017 - 2:15 PM

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Hmmmm. Runner12 is frustrated that his plants might not make it? My Pogonomyrmex "colonies" now have a combined 2 queens, 1 nanitic, and about 10 eggs. And they are about as old as Runner's colony. I wish I had your frustration!! Once again, great work. If I catch new alates this year, I will attempt to use some of your methods. Keep the posts and updates coming. Even if they make feel like a total failure at life.
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#30 Offline Runner12 - Posted May 23 2017 - 5:35 PM

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They've adapted pretty well to the new enclosure. Tons of new eggs I couldn't get decent pictures of, but there are a lot of larger worker and major worker pupae with this last batch of brood. Most of the activity is centered around the heating cable. If this colony continues to grow at the rate they'll probably break 1000 before July gets here.


























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#31 Offline 123LordOfAnts123 - Posted May 23 2017 - 6:59 PM

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Excellent! I'm convinced now after 3 years of failure of attempting to keep dozens of P. badius queens in anything but soil, that doing just that is the way to go.

Mind sharing the dimensions of the nest? What size tank is the outworld? Are you using a particular blend of substrate? Lastly, how are you dealing with hydration?

#32 Offline Runner12 - Posted May 23 2017 - 8:45 PM

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Sure, the out world is a ten gallon aquarium with a slot cut in the bottom of it using a diamond wheel dremmel attachment.

The nest is made of two 1/4 inch thick glass pieces that are 30 inches by 12 inches. There's 1/4 inch space between them.

For hydration I mostly just add water in the top directly over the nest using a squirt bottle, but I also have two hydrostone pillars on either side that stick out the bottom into two reservoirs that I can add water to if the bottom is getting too dried out.

For substrate I use sand from where I found the queens. I bake it in the oven for 30 min on 400 degrees before using it. For what it's worth I've never had success with sandless setups for this species.

Hope this helped some

#33 Offline Runner12 - Posted August 27 2017 - 7:19 PM

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So this colony in the span of three or four months has already outgrown the new enclosure I had designed for them.

Rather than make a completely new one, I modified the existing one by making the space between the glass thicker, from one half inch to one inch,doubling the space they have available. It looks similar to before:








This colony has grown at an incredible rate. Back in May I counted around 750, when I took them out this time there were way too many to ever count. There must be at least 2500 or 3000 if not more in here judging by how it went the last time I had to remove them,and this is probably a conservative estimate.






Here's the queen with each of the four or so castes I usually see. Minor, media, major,and a very large "supermajor," some of these are actually bigger than the queen.





And here they are in their new home:










Brood production has dropped off a bit recently, not sure if this is because they were out of room or because fall is coming. I'm hoping it's not something else. This colony is just past a year at this point and I've had queens drop dead suddenly before around this age.

Edited by Runner12, August 27 2017 - 7:21 PM.

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#34 Offline Runner12 - Posted October 3 2017 - 7:26 PM

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So a big development, today I noticed a few full size queen pupae in the nest. This colony had produced a small worker like queen in the past which is actually still around, but these are normal size for a queen.

So, in the span of a year and three months this colony has gone from a single queen to maturity. These are a few lousy pictures just because I didn't want to do text only




These two are of the only queen pupae I could take a picture of. It's a head on view from the top.








Edited by Runner12, October 3 2017 - 7:29 PM.

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#35 Offline Ants853 - Posted October 3 2017 - 9:28 PM

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what's the temperature you are running with those cables?

thank you and congratulations! awsome colony!



#36 Offline Runner12 - Posted October 4 2017 - 4:55 AM

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Thanks! I don't have a thermometer attached so I'm not exactly sure what the exact temp is, but they are 25 Watts if that helps.

I also have them hooked up to a plug in lamp dimmer and I usually set the switch to about 90 percent output.

#37 Offline Runner12 - Posted October 29 2017 - 8:01 AM

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Two of the female alates at the surface today. Each have had a wing torn off, not sure why they always seem to do this in captivity.

They were getting a lot of attention from the workers, not sure all of it was good, since I've seen them attack and kill them sometimes.

There are a lot more in development in the nest and a few males too. Not sure what to do about them really, they can make it hard to tell which is the true queen and in the past I have seen workers kill all of them indiscriminately, including the "real" queen.

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Edited by Runner12, October 29 2017 - 8:03 AM.


#38 Offline VoidElecent - Posted October 29 2017 - 8:17 AM

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What an incredible colony. That setup is amazing; I love the vertical natural dirt nest.


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#39 Offline T.C. - Posted October 29 2017 - 8:24 AM

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What are the dimensions of the dirt nest?

" Whatever You Are, Be a Good One "


#40 Offline Runner12 - Posted October 29 2017 - 8:36 AM

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First one was 10 wide x 12 tall, 3/8 thick, kept them there until they hit about 700 population wise.

Second was 36 inches tall, 12 inches wide, 3/8 inches thick. They stayed in this one until they hit about 3k

Third one was just a modification of the second, I increased the space between the glass panes to 1 inch, doubled the amount of space they had to dig in. They've done well so far, will probably need another expansion next year that will involve a taller nest




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