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Aaron's Trachymyrmex Queen Journal (Updated 11/20/20)

trachymyrmex attini attine fungus

53 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Aaron567 - Posted October 24 2017 - 4:39 PM

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Since I have been antkeeping (it has been about 1.5 years) I had not seen a Trachymyrmex septentrionalis queen until just a couple months ago, even though the colonies are everywhere. T. septentrionalis are one of the most numerous species around my house but for some reason it took me forever to find a potentially fertile queen. Last month, in September, I found my first Trachymyrmex queen while she was walking around on the ground. After a few days of doing nothing, she died.

 

On October 7, I found another Trachymyrmex queen in the pool right before a hurricane was supposed to hit.

AJhHFzj.jpg

 

A few months ago, I already made a founding setup for a Trachymyrmex queen if I were to ever catch one. A plastic container halfway filled with a grout/sand mixture.

Ei7CoYY.jpg

 

On October 11, I noticed her carrying around a very tiny fungus pellet that she regurgitated. You can see her holding it in her mandibles in this picture. I put several pieces of rose leaves and grass in her setup.

QtyLns0.jpg

 

By the next day, she had regurgitated even more fungus.

djwJ0vD.jpg

9v9O10p.jpg

 

 

 

October 14

BISPQkJ.jpg

 

 

 

October 15
Ixkoucj.jpg
 

 

 

October 20

wcBgHfF.jpg

EAe1zdG.jpg

 

 

 

October 24

dqen526.jpg

D3Zm5XZ.jpg

 

 

The past few days she has been cutting tiny pieces of the leaves I provided her with, even though the leaves have dried a lot. You can see the leaf pieces in her fungus (the dark parts). She has not laid eggs yet, so that is the next thing to watch for. I will probably update this if the fungus grows substantially or if she lays eggs.


Edited by Aaron567, November 20 2020 - 2:45 PM.

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#2 Offline Ant Broski - Posted October 24 2017 - 4:45 PM

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That's pretty good!

#3 Offline MegaMyrmex - Posted October 25 2017 - 3:33 AM

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OH MY GOSH YOU HAVE TRACHYMYRMEX I LOVE TRACHYMYRMEX SO JEALOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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.

 


#4 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted October 25 2017 - 4:07 AM

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They supposedly live in illinois, but I've never seen them. WANT SO BADLY.



#5 Offline antaioli - Posted October 25 2017 - 4:18 AM

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Thank you for sharing! I'll be watching for updates :)



#6 Offline Mdrogun - Posted October 25 2017 - 5:21 AM

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They supposedly live in illinois, but I've never seen them. WANT SO BADLY.

Fellow Chicagoan here. Our state is very vertical, and thus spans many climates. I wouldn't expect to be able to find even a quarter of the species in our state on antweb.org in one given area.


Edited by Mdrogun, October 25 2017 - 5:21 AM.

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Currently Keeping:
Trachymyrmex septentrionalis

Pheidole pilifera

Forelius sp. (Monogynous, bicolored) "Midwestern Forelius"
Crematogaster cerasi

Pheidole bicarinata

Aphaenogaster rudis

Camponotus chromaiodes

Formica sp. (microgena species)

Nylanderia cf. arenivega


#7 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted October 25 2017 - 5:23 AM

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They supposedly live in illinois, but I've never seen them. WANT SO BADLY.

Fellow Chicagoan here. Our state is very vertical, and thus spans many climates. I wouldn't expect to be able to find even a quarter of the species in our state on antweb.org in one given area.

 

You're correct, as usual. However this still doesn't stop me from wanting them REALLY badly.


Edited by Mettcollsuss, October 25 2017 - 5:24 AM.


#8 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted October 25 2017 - 7:10 AM

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You, Aaron, are a lucky guy. I always wanted to keep a fungus-grower, and I made up for that longing by keeping Aphaenogaster and Pheidole, which vaguely reminds me of Attini species.


Hawaiiant (Ben)

Keeper of
Miniature Labradoodle
Baby Wolf Spider
Mud Dauber wasp larvae
Ochetellus Glaber
Solenopsis Geminata
Brachymyrmex Obscurior
Cardiocondyla Emeryi
Tetramorium Bicarinatum
Plagiolepis Alluaudi
Anoplolepis Gracilipes
Technomyrmex Difficilis
Pheidole Megacephala
Aholehole fish
Cowrie snail
Sea Fan Worm
100+ sea squirts
Tree seedlings
Ghost Crab
Day Gecko
Small Fat Centipede
Endemic Lacewing larva
Vernal Pool shrimps

#9 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted October 25 2017 - 5:30 PM

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You, Aaron, are a lucky guy. I always wanted to keep a fungus-grower, and I made up for that longing by keeping Aphaenogaster and Pheidole, which vaguely reminds me of Attini species.

I can understand Pheidole, as it's in the attini tribe, but how is aphaenogaster similar to attini?



#10 Offline Canadian anter - Posted October 25 2017 - 7:53 PM

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Nice!


Visit us at www.canada-ant-colony.com !

#11 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted October 26 2017 - 7:28 AM

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You, Aaron, are a lucky guy. I always wanted to keep a fungus-grower, and I made up for that longing by keeping Aphaenogaster and Pheidole, which vaguely reminds me of Attini species.

I can understand Pheidole, as it's in the attini tribe, but how is aphaenogaster similar to attini?

 

The eliasome harvesting thing is kind of similar.


Hawaiiant (Ben)

Keeper of
Miniature Labradoodle
Baby Wolf Spider
Mud Dauber wasp larvae
Ochetellus Glaber
Solenopsis Geminata
Brachymyrmex Obscurior
Cardiocondyla Emeryi
Tetramorium Bicarinatum
Plagiolepis Alluaudi
Anoplolepis Gracilipes
Technomyrmex Difficilis
Pheidole Megacephala
Aholehole fish
Cowrie snail
Sea Fan Worm
100+ sea squirts
Tree seedlings
Ghost Crab
Day Gecko
Small Fat Centipede
Endemic Lacewing larva
Vernal Pool shrimps

#12 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted October 26 2017 - 4:23 PM

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They supposedly live in illinois, but I've never seen them. WANT SO BADLY.

Fellow Chicagoan here. Our state is very vertical, and thus spans many climates. I wouldn't expect to be able to find even a quarter of the species in our state on antweb.org in one given area.

 

Does anyone know what part of Illinois they live in? 



#13 Offline Aaron567 - Posted June 14 2018 - 12:14 PM

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The first queen from this journal never laid eggs and ended up completely eating her fungus once it got to about the size of her head. So, that was the end of that. Because she had her wings, she easily could've been unmated.

 

May 28, 2018

 

I was lucky enough to spot this dealate digging her founding chamber while I was walking around my backyard around noon. I waited and tried to catch her when she came up, but I was taking a video at the same time and was slightly distracted, so I completely missed and instead scared her back inside. She did not want to come back up because she knew she almost got caught by a potential predator. I got a small shovel and dug her out of the ground in one scoop, also finding some Solenopsis subterranean thief ants at the same time.

 

Wingless and digging her founding chamber, she was nearly guaranteed to be mated.

 

gI4oPus.jpg

m0PTKmA.jpg

SqBzmfS.jpg

 

June 14, 2018

 

After waiting just over two weeks, she has FINALLY regurgitated the fungal pellet. I just put some little pieces of grass in her setup two days ago so that may be what convinced her that this is her home.

 

These pictures are from far away because I am trying to avoid disturbing her as much as I can. 

 

rAnr2Wt.jpg

lEUmw8o.jpg

 

This is the setup she is in. I originally made this setup for an actual colony (I planned on digging one up), so it is quite large for just one little queen. The container she is in has a half-inch layer of plaster of paris at the bottom and I am keeping it humid. It is connected to a dry outworld with an air vent but I currently have the outworld blocked off to the queen. The smaller cylinders you can see are just some little vials I was restricting the queen to, to see if she would be more comfortable in them (she wasn't). I sprinkled some sand in the middle just to give her a medium to build with if she wanted to.

 

jM1WnKO.jpg

 

I am keeping this queen in a dark cabinet and will avoid disturbing her as much as I disturb my other ants.


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#14 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted June 14 2018 - 2:36 PM

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How do you get the photo backgrounds completely white like that?



#15 Offline Aaron567 - Posted June 14 2018 - 3:38 PM

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How do you get the photo backgrounds completely white like that?

 

I put her in a test tube and held the test tube above a white pillow while I took the picture and turned up the exposure when post-processing.


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#16 Offline Ants_Texas - Posted June 14 2018 - 4:08 PM

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How do you get the photo backgrounds completely white like that?

 

I put her in a test tube and held the test tube above a white pillow while I took the picture and turned up the exposure when post-processing.

 

Keeping to the theme of photography, what shutter speed do you use? 

(To take pictures of moving ants)


Edited by Ants_Texas, June 14 2018 - 4:08 PM.

My YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK90shiLguOZBECXtwr1M7A

 

Colonies:

Aphaenogaster sp., Camponotus festinatus, Camponotus cf. fragilis, Camponotus sansabeanus, Camponotus sp., Colobopsis impressa, Crematogaster cf. laeviuscula, Crematogaster minutissima, Crematogaster sp., Dorymyrmex bicolor, Myrmecocystus mendax, Nylanderia terricola, Nylanderia sp., Pheidole bicarinata, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, and unidentified species.

 

Queens: 

Monomorium minimum


#17 Offline David19 - Posted June 21 2018 - 8:26 AM

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She is beautiful! I hope everything goes well with her.



#18 Offline David19 - Posted September 20 2018 - 6:43 AM

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Trachymyrmex

 

So far I have 3 Trachymyrmex Septentrionalis queens in their founding stages.  I am giving them caterpillar poop and blades of grass for the fungus. 


I have found that they can use cornflakes to feed their fungus. 


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#19 Offline David19 - Posted September 25 2018 - 6:31 AM

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The first queen from this journal never laid eggs and ended up completely eating her fungus once it got to about the size of her head. So, that was the end of that. Because she had her wings, she easily could've been unmated.

 

May 28, 2018

 

I was lucky enough to spot this dealate digging her founding chamber while I was walking around my backyard around noon. I waited and tried to catch her when she came up, but I was taking a video at the same time and was slightly distracted, so I completely missed and instead scared her back inside. She did not want to come back up because she knew she almost got caught by a potential predator. I got a small shovel and dug her out of the ground in one scoop, also finding some Solenopsis subterranean thief ants at the same time.

 

Wingless and digging her founding chamber, she was nearly guaranteed to be mated.

 

gI4oPus.jpg

m0PTKmA.jpg

SqBzmfS.jpg

 

June 14, 2018

 

After waiting just over two weeks, she has FINALLY regurgitated the fungal pellet. I just put some little pieces of grass in her setup two days ago so that may be what convinced her that this is her home.

 

These pictures are from far away because I am trying to avoid disturbing her as much as I can. 

 

rAnr2Wt.jpg

lEUmw8o.jpg

 

This is the setup she is in. I originally made this setup for an actual colony (I planned on digging one up), so it is quite large for just one little queen. The container she is in has a half-inch layer of plaster of paris at the bottom and I am keeping it humid. It is connected to a dry outworld with an air vent but I currently have the outworld blocked off to the queen. The smaller cylinders you can see are just some little vials I was restricting the queen to, to see if she would be more comfortable in them (she wasn't). I sprinkled some sand in the middle just to give her a medium to build with if she wanted to.

 

jM1WnKO.jpg

 

I am keeping this queen in a dark cabinet and will avoid disturbing her as much as I disturb my other ants.

 

 

 

 

 

Where did you buy these containers?


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#20 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted November 19 2018 - 12:00 PM

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They look like miniature Acromyrmex versicolor! It makes me glad to know that we have an ant that looks and acts like Acromyrmex versicolor that lives here. Unfortunately, I have never been able to find any, not even a single worker.


Edited by CloudtheDinosaurKing, November 19 2018 - 12:03 PM.

Spoiler





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: trachymyrmex, attini, attine, fungus

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