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AntsAreUs's Ponera pennsylvanica Journal

ponera ponera sp. ponera pennsylvanica

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#1 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted April 14 2018 - 3:14 PM

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I don't have high hopes for raising these, but I'm going to experiment a little just in case. The main issue I think I'll have is feeding them. If anybody has recommendations of what to feed them, I will attempt it. Right now I plan on feeding them springtails and diplurans (sugar water?). So far I have a handful and currently catching more as I see them.

 

The setup:

 


Edited by AntsAreUs, June 26 2018 - 7:28 AM.

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#2 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted April 14 2018 - 8:45 PM

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Seems good, they don't seem to do good in test tubes for me but I see you already have that problem solved. The springtails most commonly on the market (Folsomia candida) are probably the best option to feed her because they are slow and clumsy, and reproduce fast and grow to a decent size.



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#3 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted April 16 2018 - 2:01 PM

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Seems good, they don't seem to do good in test tubes for me but I see you already have that problem solved. The springtails most commonly on the market (Folsomia candida) are probably the best option to feed her because they are slow and clumsy, and reproduce fast and grow to a decent size.

I actually have Folsomia sp. and Cyphoderus sp. in my area, but they are quite difficult to collect in large amount. Right now I have a large culture of Tomocerus vulgaris and have been putting the smaller nymphs in the setups. Haven't seen any foraging behavior yet, but they love to dig.

 

Also if anyone is wandering, my setup consists of 2 small plastic cups (bought 50 for $2.50) with homemade compost in between them. I also poked a tiny hole in the middle for hydration. This makes it very easy to feed them as all I have to do is lift the top cup and put the springtails in.


Edited by AntsAreUs, April 16 2018 - 2:10 PM.


#4 Offline noebl1 - Posted April 16 2018 - 3:41 PM

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I have a Ponera pennsylvanica queen I've had alive since I caught her back on 9/5, and she survived hibernation.  She readily takes fruit flies (about one a week), and pretty much any small flying insect.  I have not fed any sugars at this point (not sure if they even would take it as predacious).  I can't tell if she's laid or not as the coconut fiber/sand mixture makes it hard to tell.   Again, like you, just an experiment as not sure if she'll survive, lay, or even is fertile.  If you can see in the the space in the top, I put the fruit flies in there, and they disappear.  I've added springtails (Folsomia candida from NEHerp )to keep the mold in check, and she leaves them alone.  Impossible to see her on camera, but there's a chamber towards the bottom that she tends to frequent, and think there may be an egg, but not 100% sure.

 

RoIU8MW.jpg

 

If you ever put a live fruit fly or gnat in, they are pretty aggressive hunters to watch.



#5 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted April 16 2018 - 5:05 PM

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Got a nice shot of one of them snagging a moth.

 


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#6 Offline MegaMyrmex - Posted April 17 2018 - 4:07 AM

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I have my col9ny housed in a small emtpy container with a layer of plaster on the bottom and some peat moss layered very thinly on top. I clump some of the substrate creating a mound for them to nest in and I keep the humidity very moist.

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.

 


#7 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted April 17 2018 - 1:13 PM

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I have my col9ny housed in a small emtpy container with a layer of plaster on the bottom and some peat moss layered very thinly on top. I clump some of the substrate creating a mound for them to nest in and I keep the humidity very moist.

I'll consider adding peat moss to my next setups, thanks.



#8 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted April 22 2018 - 11:05 AM

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First egg has been laid! It looks like a little noodle. Pics coming soon...


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#9 Offline VenomousBeast - Posted April 23 2018 - 6:23 AM

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Hey! So my Ponera pennsylvanica colony has about 20ish workers and has 3 larvae. I've had this colony for almost a year. They love Dipluras and some crushed Isopods. I've noticed that they need very high humidity. I use soaked wood as a substrate as you can see them better as the blackish color of them pop out more in the tanish color. I haven't noticed them drinking any sugar-water, honey-water, etc. I've found large colonies in large pieces of decayed wood, almost up to their 100 worker expectations. 


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Keeps:
1:Aphaenogaster fulva
2:Camponotus chromaiodes
1:Dorymyrmex bureni
1:Pheidole sp.

#10 Offline noebl1 - Posted April 23 2018 - 6:28 AM

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Hey! So my Ponera pennsylvanica colony has about 20ish workers and has 3 larvae. I've had this colony for almost a year. They love Dipluras and some crushed Isopods. I've noticed that they need very high humidity. I use soaked wood as a substrate as you can see them better as the blackish color of them pop out more in the tanish color. I haven't noticed them drinking any sugar-water, honey-water, etc. I've found large colonies in large pieces of decayed wood, almost up to their 100 worker expectations. 

 

These posts encourage me as mine is really damp due to the coconut fiber and absorption through out and only the very edges are dry (so there's a gradient).    Mine hasn't touched any of the springtails I put in, but will drag fruit flies and other small insects into the nesting area.  She doesn't always finish eating them, so the springtails help keep the mold in check.  Now if she'd only lay :(



#11 Offline VenomousBeast - Posted April 23 2018 - 6:41 AM

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Try increasing the temperature a bit, mine had to have a bit of a temperature increase to start the egg laying process. Also, they are a slow growing colony so don't expect eggs within the first month to four months of caching her.


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Keeps:
1:Aphaenogaster fulva
2:Camponotus chromaiodes
1:Dorymyrmex bureni
1:Pheidole sp.

#12 Offline VenomousBeast - Posted April 23 2018 - 6:44 AM

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I also currently have 2 founding queens in test tube setups. They work in test tubes ONLY if moist substrate is added. I've never been able to produce a colony in a test tube setup without substrate.


Keeps:
1:Aphaenogaster fulva
2:Camponotus chromaiodes
1:Dorymyrmex bureni
1:Pheidole sp.

#13 Offline VenomousBeast - Posted April 23 2018 - 6:47 AM

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Also are these ant species polygyne?? My brother has a colony of them with 3 or 4 queens and they are functioning together nicely. 


Keeps:
1:Aphaenogaster fulva
2:Camponotus chromaiodes
1:Dorymyrmex bureni
1:Pheidole sp.

#14 Offline noebl1 - Posted April 23 2018 - 6:50 AM

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Try increasing the temperature a bit, mine had to have a bit of a temperature increase to start the egg laying process. Also, they are a slow growing colony so don't expect eggs within the first month to four months of caching her.

 

I caught mine last fall, she overwintered in a test tube with substrate, and in March I took her out of hibernation and put her in the formicarium in the pic above.  I'll try heating and see if it encourages it, I appreciate the help (and sorry AntsAreUs for hijacking a bit, but it's not a common species I've seen kept.)  I was getting worried my nest was too damp, so happy to hear it's where it should be, you have no idea :D

 

About what temp do you keep her at?



#15 Offline VenomousBeast - Posted April 23 2018 - 7:06 AM

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Well, I keep mine at 68 degrees water temp and air temp around 75ish. It depends on where you are from. In northern areas I would say decrease the temp 1-5 degrees. Also, make a temperature gradient so she can pick what temp she wants. 


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Keeps:
1:Aphaenogaster fulva
2:Camponotus chromaiodes
1:Dorymyrmex bureni
1:Pheidole sp.

#16 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted April 23 2018 - 1:22 PM

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Also are these ant species polygyne?? My brother has a colony of them with 3 or 4 queens and they are functioning together nicely. 

Yes they are, they can only found colonies alone though and will end up wrestling if put together.

 

 

 

(and sorry AntsAreUs for hijacking a bit, but it's not a common species I've seen kept.)

That's the point of making this journal.  ;)


Edited by AntsAreUs, April 23 2018 - 1:28 PM.

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#17 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted April 23 2018 - 1:24 PM

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Pics:

 

They seem to like moth larva too

 

2 egg with one of my queens


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#18 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted April 28 2018 - 3:46 PM

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4-28-18

 

I now have 6 queens. Only 3 queens have eggs, one with 2 eggs, another with 3 eggs, and the last one with 1 egg. They also like crushed Tomoceridae (large springtails).


Edited by AntsAreUs, April 28 2018 - 4:14 PM.


#19 Offline MegaMyrmex - Posted May 2 2018 - 6:48 PM

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Nice journal! I'll try feeding mine crushed springtails as well.

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.

 


#20 Offline noebl1 - Posted May 14 2018 - 6:27 AM

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Lost mine.  She didn't lay, and eventually looks to have died.  I'll try again this Fall :)







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