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San Francisco Ant Journal

sanfrancisco california camponotus tapinoma monomorium formica

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#1 Offline sericultivist - Posted November 11 2017 - 4:25 PM

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In this journal I will talk about ants that I currently have in my possession, and will talk about past failures in a separate post. 

 

As of today, November 11, 2017, I have:

 

11 Camponotus Semitestaceus queens in test tube setups.

 

     This is a nocturnal species, and I caught them in Tennessee Valley, a small nature park in Marin. I caught 17 of them between two nights, 11 the first, 6 the second. I noticed the first queens on the ground September 22 at 7:43 PM, shortly after the sun set. A week after they were put in their test tubes, I checked on them to insure that nothing was amiss and found that 6 of the had perished to a yellow fungus that grew all over their bodies like sand grains. I removed those test tubes from the drawer and sterilized them. After checking on these queens a month later, October 30, they were still acting very skittish and frightened, and none had laid eggs. 

 

2 Formica spp. queens in test tube setups.

 

    I caught these Formica queens on the road up to Tennessee Valley on August 2, at around 2:50 PM. There were originally 3, with 2 of them retaining their wings. One shortly shed them after being put in the test tube, but the other held onto them until she was found dead at the monthly check of September 5th. As of October 30th, they still had not laid eggs. 

 

1 Monomorium ergatogyna queen in a test tube setup.

 

    I found this solitary Monomorium queen in the sand dunes of Ocean Beach, specifically at the Taraval intersection of the Great Highway, I believe June 22 around 4:00 PM. Since then, she has had several nanitics but cannot seem to keep them alive, which could possibly be my own fault. I believe these ants generally have multiple queens, up to 6, and this may be part of the reason she is struggling.  

 

1 small colony of Tapinoma sessile that I am currently trying to move into a test tube setup. 

 

    Overturning a rock near my house, I found a full colony of Tapinoma sessile, with the whole colony and the brood (including the queen) firmly attached to the rock on November 11 (Which is today). The colony is very small, so I am currently attempting to move them into a test tube setup. Finding this species is a great surprise, as my neighborhood is completely dominated by Argentine Ants and has been since I moved here 18 years ago. For as long as I can remember, the only ants that survived in the area was a lone cluster of Formica ants that take up one corner, and a Monomorium species that shelters in the same corner.

 

2 Camponotus modoc queens in test tube setups.

 

    I caught these two queens next to the Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, June 24 at 1:07 PM. They remained in their test tubes for about a month before I checked on them July 28 to find that they had laid eggs. Unlike ants that I have caught locally in the Bay Area, which do not hibernate, these queens from the mountains do hibernate, and are currently dormant. 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

I will be updating this topic with information as it becomes relevant. 


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#2 Offline Derpy - Posted November 11 2017 - 5:29 PM

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Do you have any colonies up for sale? I also live in the bay area.


-1x Parasitic Formica Sp. Colony

-1x Pogonomymrex Californicus Colony

-1x Camponotus Hyatti Colony

 


#3 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted December 3 2017 - 1:10 PM

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How are they now?


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

#4 Offline sericultivist - Posted February 11 2018 - 10:59 PM

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 February Update!

 

First off I want to apologize to the two people who commented on this, I never got notifications about it and had no idea!

 

It's been a good start to 2018, the Bay Area nuptial flights for Prenolepis imparis took place a few days ago, and I managed to catch a queen. Unfortunately, the Monomorium queen passed away, but she had not been doing well for a long time, despite my best efforts. Both of the Camponotus modoc queens survived hibernation, and are now tending their larvae again. The Formica and Camponotus semitestaceus queens are still alive, though they are not laying eggs. I'm going to be moving them to several different places in my house to see if it is an environmental issue. The Tapinoma seem to be hibernating on their own, though I expect them to become active soon enough with the warm temperatures.

 

Overall, I'm looking forwards to a good year for finding queens.



#5 Offline nurbs - Posted February 11 2018 - 11:09 PM

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Your C. modoc have no workers, just brood still? And they were found last year in June? They should at least have a few workers. Start slowly warming them up. Camponotus are slow, but not that slow. Something is up.

 

Found C. modoc last year in the Eastern Sierras in May, and many of them have 20-60 workers coming out of hibernation. Sold a colony to a user here last year, and he's now over a 100.


Instagram:
nurbsants
 
YouTube
 
California Ants for Sale

 

Unidentified Myrmecocystus

https://www.formicul...ls-near-desert/

 

Undescribed "Modoc"

https://www.formicul...mp-ca-5-4-2017/

 

Camponotus or Colobopsis yogi:

https://www.formicul...a-ca-1-28-2018/

 
Camponotus us-ca02
https://www.formicul...onotus-us-ca02/

 

Unidentified Formica

https://www.formicul...l-ca-6-27-2020/

 
Pencil Case and Test Tube Formicariums
https://www.formicul...m-and-outworld/
 
Bloodworm Soup
https://www.formicul...bloodworm-soup/


#6 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted February 12 2018 - 7:58 AM

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Ayy, I guess we're all following the (insert state) ant journal trend  :lol:


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

#7 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted February 12 2018 - 11:56 AM

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My Camponotus Modoc are at 1 worker, from 6 :( What do you think I should do???

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#8 Offline Jadeninja9 - Posted February 12 2018 - 11:58 AM

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My Camponotus Modoc are at 1 worker, from 6 :( What do you think I should do???


What is going on with them?

#9 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted February 12 2018 - 11:59 AM

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My Camponotus Modoc are at 1 worker, from 6 :( What do you think I should do???


What is going on with them?
They died from formic acid poisoning, probably when I moved them because of mold. I made a terrible mistake, didn't know what I was doing. Is there a chance they will recover?

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#10 Offline AntsMaryland - Posted February 12 2018 - 12:13 PM

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No. They will no. Sorry to hear that. But the colony will still survive most likely. Just will delay them a little (6 months).


Aphaenogaster cf. rudis 

Tetramorium immigrans 

Tapinoma sessile

Formica subsericea

Pheidole sp.

Camponotus nearcticus


#11 Offline sericultivist - Posted February 13 2018 - 7:33 PM

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Your C. modoc have no workers, just brood still? And they were found last year in June? They should at least have a few workers. Start slowly warming them up. Camponotus are slow, but not that slow. Something is up.

 

Found C. modoc last year in the Eastern Sierras in May, and many of them have 20-60 workers coming out of hibernation. Sold a colony to a user here last year, and he's now over a 100.

 

I know they are taking a long time, I think a big part of it was the temperature change for them. San Francisco is a lot colder than Lake Tahoe during the summer, and I didn't provide them with any extra heat. Tahoe averages 70° into the 80s during the summer, and San Francisco is lucky to hit 60°, it's our coldest season because of all the fog. They took a -long- time to lay as well, about a month. When they start looking active again they are going to be heated and fed to see if that will get them going for real. Thank you for your worry, though, I'm hoping they start to do well.



#12 Offline Jadeninja9 - Posted February 13 2018 - 7:43 PM

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Your C. modoc have no workers, just brood still? And they were found last year in June? They should at least have a few workers. Start slowly warming them up. Camponotus are slow, but not that slow. Something is up.

 

Found C. modoc last year in the Eastern Sierras in May, and many of them have 20-60 workers coming out of hibernation. Sold a colony to a user here last year, and he's now over a 100.

 

I know they are taking a long time, I think a big part of it was the temperature change for them. San Francisco is a lot colder than Lake Tahoe during the summer, and I didn't provide them with any extra heat. Tahoe averages 70° into the 80s during the summer, and San Francisco is lucky to hit 60°, it's our coldest season because of all the fog. They took a -long- time to lay as well, about a month. When they start looking active again they are going to be heated and fed to see if that will get them going for real. Thank you for your worry, though, I'm hoping they start to do well.

 

I really wish there was more research done on the behavior of bay area ants. I'll email Brian Fisher and see if there are any research papers.



#13 Offline MegaMyrmex - Posted February 13 2018 - 7:57 PM

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My Camponotus Modoc are at 1 worker, from 6 :( What do you think I should do???

Similar situation here, my guess would be formic aacid poisoning or stress in general.

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.

 


#14 Offline sericultivist - Posted February 13 2018 - 10:30 PM

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Do you have any colonies up for sale? I also live in the bay area.

 

When I get some queens with nanitics I will post them up for sale, but nothing at the moment though, sorry!



#15 Offline Derpy - Posted February 13 2018 - 10:36 PM

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that's okay.

Edited by Derpy, February 13 2018 - 10:37 PM.

-1x Parasitic Formica Sp. Colony

-1x Pogonomymrex Californicus Colony

-1x Camponotus Hyatti Colony

 


#16 Offline sericultivist - Posted February 16 2018 - 5:45 PM

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Alright, another quick update:

 

I've split the ants into groups, and moved them to different areas of my room that have different conditions and will hopefully be a lot quieter. I took this time to feed each of the queens, seeing as they would be disturbed anyways. For most of the queens, I'm going to let them be for a month now, and check on their progress then. With the C. modoc I'm going to be monitoring them a little more closely, because it's been a long time since I've caught them. They were very grateful for the honey meal, and I'm wondering if I should offer a cockroach leg for protein. 



#17 Offline sericultivist - Posted February 25 2018 - 12:45 AM

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It really does seem like heat was the problem, as both the C. modoc queens are on heat now and their larvae have grown more in a few days than the past several months. They seem to be doing very well now.



#18 Offline Jadeninja9 - Posted February 25 2018 - 11:16 PM

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It really does seem like heat was the problem, as both the C. modoc queens are on heat now and their larvae have grown more in a few days than the past several months. They seem to be doing very well now.

Interesting. 



#19 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted April 23 2018 - 8:49 PM

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It really does seem like heat was the problem, as both the C. modoc queens are on heat now and their larvae have grown more in a few days than the past several months. They seem to be doing very well now.

Gotta heat Camponotus Spp. I have had some go from egg to pupa in less than 3 weeks when heated to ~85 Fahrenheit. Good luck with your queens!

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#20 Offline sericultivist - Posted April 27 2018 - 12:15 PM

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It really does seem like heat was the problem, as both the C. modoc queens are on heat now and their larvae have grown more in a few days than the past several months. They seem to be doing very well now.

Gotta heat Camponotus Spp. I have had some go from egg to pupa in less than 3 weeks when heated to ~85 Fahrenheit. Good luck with your queens!

 

 

Yeah I've learned that the hard way. They are doing fantastically now that they have heat, though.







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