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Aaron's Tetramorium bicarinatum Journal (Updated 12/4/20)

tetramorium journal

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#21 Offline Aaron567 - Posted February 23 2018 - 4:50 PM

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February 23, 2018

 

Lots of development since the last update. Three days ago I moved the colony into their first formicarium (an AusAnts Size 2 Acrylic nest) and they have over 130 workers now. That is about 100 workers gained in less than two months. They are getting such large workers that it is taking me a minute to actually spot the queen (Tetrionna). She completely blends in with them. Their nest is sitting inside a plastic container with sand at the bottom which is what is now their outworld.

 

She is right out in the open in this picture.

ffAHemh.jpg

 

 

Here they are moving into the new formicarium. They basically starting bringing the brood in immediately.

0PrOtKN.jpg

 

 

The queen with one of the larger workers.

Y75kMwu.jpg

 

 

Other pics.

2waSC3J.jpg

VmAAMnZ.jpg

0LDB90h.jpg

x7yues2.jpg

Q8xeQ6e.jpg

LTnUTgr.jpg

zQ1lH76.jpg

zdtCwgd.jpg


Edited by Aaron567, May 12 2018 - 10:18 AM.

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#22 Offline Ants_Texas - Posted February 23 2018 - 5:59 PM

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Awesome! I'm gonna try these ants out again. Completely failed last time. 



#23 Offline MegaMyrmex - Posted February 23 2018 - 7:07 PM

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Nice! They look almost identical to Vollenhovia emeryi!

Proverbs 6:6-8 New International Version (NIV)

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
    consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
    no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
    and gathers its food at harvest.

 


#24 Offline Aaron567 - Posted May 12 2018 - 4:29 PM

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May 12, 2018

 

Big news.. the first alates have arrived! Both male and female.

 

LkzPxd4.jpg

 

The colony has just over 200 workers now, but they did have a large die-off of about 50 workers a few weeks ago due to humidity reasons. I had a feeling they would be getting alates soon because of how quickly this species matures. I have seen one female and three males so far. I did not realize they were even creating alates until yesterday when I spotted a couple male pupae, because they've been packing their brood so tightly together and because the alate brood is the same size as the worker brood.

 

In the pictures below you can clearly see the little female alate and I've circled the three males.

 

1gNupmV.jpg

lb7Wchv.jpg

 

 

 

And now, since this species mates in the nest, we will have to wait for this colony to become a multi-queen colony. I will probably get the colony moved into a new formicarium in the next few weeks, and maybe they'll have some new queens by then!

 

sOXWcgc.jpg


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#25 Offline irvosanjose - Posted May 12 2018 - 5:04 PM

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Love your pictures.

#26 Offline Aaron567 - Posted June 21 2018 - 2:10 PM

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On June 1, I noticed an alate in the nest that looked strange. When I looked closer, I immediately knew what it was.

 

1x0Ik1j.jpg

yGeik8V.jpg

nrBEXCh.jpg

 

A bilateral gynandromorph alate. A bilateral gynandromorph is an animal that is born as both male and female, with one side of its body being male and the other side being female, split down the middle with a straight line. The male side of the alate had male mandibles, legs, antennae, eyes, and color while the female side had the female characteristics. 

 

This alate lived a great life of about 2.5 weeks, from June 1 to June 17. 

(A picture showcasing its female side)

btDiFwI.jpg

 

June 20, 2018

 

This is what they are looking like right now. They've been in this new formicarium for several weeks.

 

4kvmZut.jpg

ktu6Tnt.jpg

Z8wkxt4.jpg

 

 

Yesterday the female alates were all crowding around the outworld's air vent like they wanted to fly.

 

ABz8W7u.jpg

 

 

I also noticed yesterday that one of the females has shed her wings. I am not sure if this dealate is mated or not but she still roams the outworld. If she is indeed mated that would mean the colony now has two egg-laying queens. This female is also slightly larger and more colorful than the original founding queen. 

 

sA457YE.jpg

hAAQGpd.jpg

jdCas0a.jpg

 

 

(Other pictures)

 

A male alate.

uBMId04.jpg

 

A newly eclosed female.

tdvDZOs.jpg

 

Two female alates.

86zXkfo.jpg

 

The founding queen.

pIig1T2.jpg


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#27 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted June 21 2018 - 2:18 PM

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That 50/50 gender alate is so cool!!!

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#28 Offline Aaron567 - Posted July 12 2018 - 3:25 PM

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July 12, 2018

 

HKFzb0d.jpg

e94r8oj.jpg

 

The colony doesn't seem to be growing very much lately. I'm beginning to wonder if the single queen is only able to achieve around this many workers. There are now 4 dealate females besides the queen, but it appears they've only shed their wings to act as workers. When each female shed her wings, there were no males present (they were all dead by then). They also still forage and their gasters have not swollen with eggs like the original queen's has.

 

The wild nuptial flights of this species should be happening here pretty soon. If I catch any additional queens, I will certainly try to introduce them to this colony. This species is highly polygynous so I imagine they probably accept new queens from nuptial flights.

 

Here is the original queen, right in the middle.  

iR7lbRF.jpg

 

One of the dealate females.

mgdYEOt.jpg

 

Last week there was another strange alate born. I found out that it is an intercaste (different from the gynandromorph in the last post) between a male and a queen. It has the head of a male and the thorax and petiole of a queen.

 

On the left is the male-queen bilateral gynandromorph (female side), and on the right is the new male-queen intercaste. I'm preserving both.

 

fUnB6xW.jpg


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#29 Offline AntsBC - Posted July 12 2018 - 4:01 PM

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Do you know why this colony is founding so many weird/deformed alates or is it a species thing?


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#30 Offline Aaron567 - Posted July 12 2018 - 6:55 PM

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Do you know why this colony is founding so many weird/deformed alates or is it a species thing?

 

Apparently it is most common with colonies that are just starting to produce alates. 



#31 Offline EthanNgo678 - Posted September 4 2018 - 5:54 PM

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update please.


Plants r cool


#32 Offline Aaron567 - Posted March 4 2019 - 5:49 PM

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March 4, 2019

 

The colony died several months ago. Didn't catch any new T. bicarinatum queens in 2018 so I hope I get some this year so I can have another colony. It was fun watching them get all those weird reproductives.



#33 Offline Leo - Posted March 4 2019 - 5:59 PM

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On June 1, I noticed an alate in the nest that looked strange. When I looked closer, I immediately knew what it was.

 

1x0Ik1j.jpg

yGeik8V.jpg

nrBEXCh.jpg

 

A bilateral gynandromorph alate. A bilateral gynandromorph is an animal that is born as both male and female, with one side of its body being male and the other side being female, split down the middle with a straight line. The male side of the alate had male mandibles, legs, antennae, eyes, and color while the female side had the female characteristics. 

 

This alate lived a great life of about 2.5 weeks, from June 1 to June 17. 

(A picture showcasing its female side)

btDiFwI.jpg

 

June 20, 2018

 

This is what they are looking like right now. They've been in this new formicarium for several weeks.

 

4kvmZut.jpg

ktu6Tnt.jpg

Z8wkxt4.jpg

 

 

Yesterday the female alates were all crowding around the outworld's air vent like they wanted to fly.

 

ABz8W7u.jpg

 

 

I also noticed yesterday that one of the females has shed her wings. I am not sure if this dealate is mated or not but she still roams the outworld. If she is indeed mated that would mean the colony now has two egg-laying queens. This female is also slightly larger and more colorful than the original founding queen. 

 

sA457YE.jpg

hAAQGpd.jpg

jdCas0a.jpg

 

 

(Other pictures)

 

A male alate.

uBMId04.jpg

 

A newly eclosed female.

tdvDZOs.jpg

 

Two female alates.

86zXkfo.jpg

 

The founding queen.

pIig1T2.jpg

I have a gyndanromorph worker at home too!



#34 Offline Rstheant - Posted March 4 2019 - 6:08 PM

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They look ugly. One mandible is larger than the other. But cool nonetheless.

#35 Offline Aaron567 - Posted June 1 2020 - 11:25 AM

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June 1, 2020

 

Since using a new light setup for attracting queens, I have been able to catch my first Tetramorium bicarinatum alates since 2017. I got the first one on May 22 (an earlier date than any of the 2017 queens) at my light at dusk. On May 28, I got second one and at my light in the early morning hours of May 28, and there was also a dead one at the light that I didn't catch soon enough. I did not combine the second queen with the first one because I was afraid the first one may reject a second queen after being on her own for several days already. A few days ago I found out that my second queen escaped from her test tube anyway, because the cotton was far too loose. I expect to catch more queens of this species in the coming months, because in 2017 I was finding them up until September.

 

tHZ985V.jpg

 

 

Here is the queen's progress as of right now. So far I have fed her a single termite alate, and that has kept her gaster full for several days.

 

gfpV01W.jpg

bdP6dKE.jpg


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#36 Offline Canadant - Posted June 2 2020 - 12:26 PM

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Great photos! Are those first ones top down looking into a test tube? How'd you do that? Awesome. Such a pretty ant.
"You don't get what you want. You get what you deserve".

#37 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 2 2020 - 12:43 PM

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What light do you use, Aaron?
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#38 Offline Aaron567 - Posted June 5 2020 - 9:58 PM

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Great photos! Are those first ones top down looking into a test tube? How'd you do that? Awesome. Such a pretty ant.

 

The first ones are from before she was test tubed, she was just in a little plastic container.

 

What light do you use, Aaron?

 

I use an 85-watt 6500K CFL bulb along with a 13-watt UV bulb. I leave them on at the same time. In this picture the UV bulb is hanging on the opposite side of the sheet but it's the fluorescent tube from BioQuip.

 

anEfRJA.jpg


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#39 Offline Aaron567 - Posted June 6 2020 - 11:51 AM

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June 6, 2020

 

There are now several larvae. These pictures are from a couple days ago but she only has one wing left today. After these pictures she ate her second termite and some sugar water.

 

IWtWOpk.jpg

HuCTDu7.jpg

WGA8FhT.jpg

k2ENFEC.jpg

eJ4Ok6L.jpg


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#40 Offline VoidElecent - Posted June 6 2020 - 11:57 AM

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Beautiful colony and beautiful pictures, as usual!


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