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CCJ's ants - Opisthopsis (strobe ant), Melophorus, Pheidole antipodum, Polyrhachis, Myrmecia

journal opisthopsis rufithorax strobe ant camponotus melophorus furnace ant pheidole iridomyrmex suffusus polyrhachis rufifemur meat ant antipodum rhytidoponera aphaenogaster nigrocincta aspera myrmecia bull ant fulvipes

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#641 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 23 2018 - 11:21 PM

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Pheidole cf antipodum 15mm queen
in magnetic glass top gypsum founding nest

35+ brood

 

She looks to have a huge ball of eggs/brood, at least 30, maybe over 40 now....

but damn this queen is so careless with her eggs..

 

I see one egg stuck on the glass top an inch away from her nesting spot.

3 stuck on top of her gaster, and 4 forgotten in the middle chamber of the nest :/


  • DaveJay likes this

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#642 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 24 2018 - 6:45 AM

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Spring 25th September 2018

 

Rhytidoponera cf aspera queen 8-9mm queen
16mm Test tube with aquarium filter wool dam, and cotton double chamber setup
1 egg
 

Hey she has an egg! Not sure when she laid it.

Must have been yesterday,

 

But she still hasn't left the test tube since I opened it up nor eaten anything.

I hope she does go out and drag in that termite I left for her, as they have no social stomach so the brood will need it


  • DaveJay likes this

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#643 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 24 2018 - 3:03 PM

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Rhytidoponera, green 8mm queen
16mm test tube, aquarium filter wool, corrugated cardboard floor with red film
3 eggs
 
An egg a day, keeps the keeper away :D
She laid another one!


Melophorus sp.- red black 6-7mm queen
refillable gypsum plugged test tube connected to outworld - heatcable
1 minor worker, 15 brood

Yowsar, she laid another 2 eggs. 15 total brood now.

So continuous laying seems to be the go instead of batch laying.

 

 


  • DaveJay likes this

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#644 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 24 2018 - 9:34 PM

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Rhytidoponera cf aspera queen 8-9mm queen
16mm Test tube with aquarium filter wool dam, and cotton double chamber setup - in small outworld
2 eggs

She laid a second egg today

Still hasn't touched the termite, unlike my green Rhytidoponera queen, but she should when the eggs turn into larvae.
Maybe I drop it directly into her chamber...

Edited by CoolColJ, September 24 2018 - 9:37 PM.

  • DaveJay likes this

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#645 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 24 2018 - 10:37 PM

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I pet store bought wood roach feeder setup, which started as small ones, now has 1 winged adult male, and probably a few adult females.
So it's go time for babies :)
  • DaveJay likes this

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#646 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 25 2018 - 5:19 PM

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Spring 26th September 2018

 

Papyrius sp. 8mm queen
16mm test tube - aquarium filter wool - red film

 

She has been munching on the termite alate nymph I put in her test tube, so she at least won't die from starvation, but now to see if she will lay some eggs...


Meat ant queen - Iridomyrmex purpureus 14mm queen
20mm test tube, cotton double chamber setup - heatcable
15 eggs
 
Eh back down to 15 eggs.... this one has issues getting cotton tangled on her mandibles, and she freaks out trying to get it off, gets stressed and eats her eggs.

Then I have to pull her off the cotton - sigh... third time now...

 

 

Rhytidoponera cf aspera queen 8-9mm queen
16mm Test tube with aquarium filter wool dam, and cotton double chamber setup - in small outworld
3 eggs

 

Last night I dumped a termite alate nymph directly into her chamber and she did grab it, sting and munch on it a bit. So no need to wait for her to go outside and drag it in :)

Oh, she laid a third egg last night as well!

 

click to enlarge

 

A little comparison between my two Rhytidoponera queens - This one might be an aspera.

The green one is too big to be a R.metallica, but would usually be ID as one, even though there are so many types of green Rhytidoponera... so who knows!

 

 


Edited by CoolColJ, September 25 2018 - 5:22 PM.

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Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#647 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 26 2018 - 1:19 AM

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Pheidole cf antipodum 15mm queen
in magnetic glass top gypsum founding nest

So I ended up running the heatcable along the top of the nest's glass top, placed over the end, directly above the queen.
Holding it down with a heavy metal tape measure
Since running it under the nest seems to cause condensation over the whole glass, while doing the above only in one corner
 
I didn't check on her till this afternoon.
And she packed bags and moved herself and the brood back to the middle chamber area!
shown in pic - she used to be on the far end of the right side passage.
 

 
Maybe due to the enclosed walls feeling warmer? Or maybe cooler, if the heat bothered her.
Hopefully by the weekend the brood will have a growth spurt from the heat and become small larvae
 
She still has a single egg sitting on top of her thorax....


I left the heating cable only on the corner of the nest near her, for the last few days.
Everything seem to be going well, the condensation on one corner had dried out.

But today she once gain abandoned her huge pile of brood in that right side passage, and moved to the centre chamber.
She has 4 eggs there as well, but this is strange?!

I took the heat cable off, and will see if she will move herself back.
There is something bothering her, or attracting her there, but why does she not take her brood with her?!

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#648 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 26 2018 - 2:11 AM

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Wow, so the Pheidole cf antipodum queen actually laid a new batch of brood in the middle chamber of her nest after abandoning the huge ball of 35+ brood on the right side passage where she had been hanging out, until I applied the heat cable!
The new brood ball is at least 60% of the size of the old one!

WTH

This one is definitely careless about her brood... I don't even know what to do! :o


edit - disaster averted, I manually moved the old brood ball to her new position, with some featherweight forceps and small paint brush, that means she has some 60 brood now!

Edited by CoolColJ, September 26 2018 - 2:26 AM.

  • DaveJay likes this

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#649 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 26 2018 - 6:03 AM

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Pheidole Colony A - Phediole sp. red head/black body 9mm queen
heatcable

30-40 workers, first major pupa

 

Their first major larvae has finishing pupating. it took about 5 days, so not as slow as I thought, but slower than colony B's 2 days, and Colony C took 3 days.

Crazy, this morning the pupa still looked like a larvae....

This major pupa is over 50% of the queens size, so it should be the largest one yet.

 

Lots of recent worker eclosures, and more to come with lots of brown pupa.

Should be over 40 workers by the time the major pupa ecloses


Edited by CoolColJ, September 26 2018 - 6:08 AM.

  • DaveJay likes this

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#650 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 26 2018 - 9:17 PM

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Some flights today , 11am by the looks of it, I found a unknown winged queen, bent antenna, means queen for sure, and what looks like Rhytidoponera queen wandering around in my backyard when I went to throw some rubbish :)
Went to the bush to see if those bush Iridomyrmex were flying

Pretty quiet in the bush, much cooler in the shade, but I turned over a rock that revealed a termite nest with more advanced alate nymphs, with brown wings already, so these termites may fly within a month or so.
There was a Polyrhachis ammon nest right next to them, under the rock, which probably had no idea they were next to termites.
Some of them scrambled and grabbed a few termites, while others moved their cocoons into a small hole :)
 
I captured another batch of termites from here, some brown wing alate nymphs, workers and guards.
Hopefully I can get some mature alates out of these and get my own tandem pairing king and queen action happening ;)
 
 
--
 
Possibly a Nylanderia sp. queen i captured todaywhich may not ahve mated as I saw a tiny male 1m away....
 
click to enlarge


 
7-8 mm Rhytidoponera queen I found wandering in my backyard today.
I've never seen these in my yard so it has to be from my neighbour :)
Although I have seen workers of a smaller species, for the first time, this week in my yard....
 





Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#651 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 26 2018 - 11:50 PM

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Released my 8.5mm Iridomyrmex queen colony.
With all then incoming queens, it was time to cull of any colonies I don't intend to keep long term.
Once I sell off a few Pheidole colonies, when they get their majors, that should trim things down a lot as well

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#652 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 27 2018 - 2:55 AM

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Spring 27th September 2018

Pheidole Colony B - Pheidole sp, all black 8mm queen
heatcable
35-40 workers. 1 Major. 1 major pupa

Second major pupa is starting to go brown, and should eclose in a 1-2 weeks time.
Fastest developing majors of all my Pheidole species colonies, and already going into a second one, while the others are still pupating their first.
This one looks larger than the first major! Need to confirm.


Pheidole Colony C - 2x Phediole sp. red head/black body 7mm queens
heatcable
20'ish workers - lots of brood, first major pupa

Finallly get a good look at the first major pupa, since they have spread the brood pile out.
Looks to be the smallest major pupa of the 3 most advanced Pheidole colonies.
Makes sense, as the queens are smaller than the other two.


---


Sold my black Rhytidoponera sp colony 4 workers and brood. So no more updates on that one, but the queen did lay 2 eggs the last 2 days!


Edited by CoolColJ, September 27 2018 - 2:55 AM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#653 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 27 2018 - 3:41 AM

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Meat ant queen - Iridomyrmex purpureus 14mm queen
20mm test tube, cotton double chamber setup - heatcable
8 eggs

 

ARgghhhh, she ate another 7 eggs, WTF is wrong with her,

 

Fed her a termite, just in case she is just after something to eat... well she certainly attacked it good!


Edited by CoolColJ, September 27 2018 - 3:49 AM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#654 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 27 2018 - 9:14 PM

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7-8 mm Rhytidoponera queen I found wandering in my backyard today.
I've never seen these in my yard so it has to be from my neighbour :)
Although I have seen workers of a smaller species, for the first time, this week in my yard....
 






Found another in exactly the same spot today :o
This other one has a purple and blue iridescence on the gaster vs the gold
  • DaveJay likes this

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#655 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 27 2018 - 9:36 PM

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Spring 28th September 2018
 
Rhytidoponera cf aspera queen 8-9mm queen
16mm Test tube with aquarium filter wool dam, and cotton double chamber setup - in small outworld
5 eggs
 
The forced feeding of a termite seems to have done the trick, I see 5 eggs now. 2 more than yesterday!
That's quite a lot for a semi-claustral queen's first batch.


Rhytidoponera sp2, green 7-8mm queen

16mm Test tube with aquarium filter wool dam, cardboard floor substrate.

2 eggs

 

She had one egg in front of her in the cardboard lined test tube and one poop stain behind her  :lol:

Must have laid a couple of hours ago, as earlier I did not see an egg
Just watched her lay her second egg over a couple of mins, a long birth :D

 

For some reason, she put both her eggs on the poop stain...


Edited by CoolColJ, September 27 2018 - 9:38 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#656 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 28 2018 - 12:09 AM

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Polyrhachis rufifemur colony - 9mm queen

16mm test tube connected to outworld

2 eggs, 1 nanitics, 1 small Camponotus larvae

 

Hooray she laid a second egg, sometime this week!


  • DaveJay likes this

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#657 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 28 2018 - 4:36 PM

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Spring 29th September 2018
 
Rhytidoponera sp2, green 7-8mm queen - gold gaster iridesence
16mm Test tube with aquarium filter wool dam, cardboard floor substrate.
2 eggs
 
Clever girl - she somehow managed to move a bit of honey from the front of the test tube, in the feeding dish, and place it next to her eggs on the cardboard! B)

 

 

Rhytidoponera sp2, green 7-8mm queen2 - purple/blue gaster iridesence
16mm Test tube with aquarium filter wool dam, cardboard floor substrate.
1 egg

 

She laid an egg overnight.

Didn't expect it as she was by far the most unsettled of 3 green queens I caught recently.

That cardboard substrate helps I think :)

 

--

 

Have a buyer lined up for one of my Rhytidoponera queens with eggs from Gumtree


Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#658 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 28 2018 - 5:44 PM

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Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant) 10mm queen
heat cable - Atom C nest inside circular outworld
8 workers, 9 cocoons, some larvae, stack of eggs

 

Worker number 8 eclosed! Must have been yesterday.

That snuck up on me!

 

That took 2 months, with some distant heat cable on the outside of the outworld, that the nest sits inside, to eclose after the cocoon was spun.

Yeah pretty slow these girls.

I noticed a nice stack of eggs, but will need to take a macro pic to see how many :)


Edited by CoolColJ, September 28 2018 - 5:47 PM.

  • DaveJay likes this

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#659 Offline CoolColJ - Posted September 28 2018 - 9:02 PM

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Ha I think I might have made a Rhytidoponera aspera gamergate or two... maybe more!
 
I saw a green tinted R.aspera grooming herself in my backyard, near the fence, so likely from my neighbour. I captured to take a closer look, 10 seconds later I saw a drone, so I also captured him and dumped him into the same container.
Without any notice he jumped on her gaster and did the dirty deed :D

Only it lasted only 10 secs? Then he hopped off. I expected him to die, but he didn't so maybe it wasn't fully done?
 
I captured a second worker a minute later and also placed her in the same container, this ones looks smaller, and he also tried to mount her.
And then attempted to mount the larger one again :D
 
Captured 4 more workers wandering around, so I could have a 6 worker gamergate colony :)
Quite a size variance between the 6 workers
 
LOL he's still alive and is trying to mount the other 4!
Sharing the honey with the others, and a worker has been grooming him... 
 
click to enlarge


Edited by CoolColJ, September 28 2018 - 9:02 PM.

  • DaveJay likes this

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus sp2. black and orange, Pheidole species, Pheidole antipodum
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#660 Offline DaveJay - Posted September 28 2018 - 9:36 PM

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I wish I could get a look at the winged R. metallica that was with my colony, I didn't get to check the antenna, your drone seems to have a plump gaster, perhaps I was mistaken. I would be interested to see how long the drone lives when left in the nest.





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