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matt's Aphaenogaster longiceps journal (and Byformica products review)


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#1 Offline Mathiacus - Posted January 27 2015 - 9:54 AM

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I picked up one of these queens while i was raiding the nest of a different species, lets call her bycatch. She is/was UGLY and it took me and terry a long time to identify her. I do not know why it took so long given the fact that they are EVERYWHERE. You can not take 10 steps in the bush without running into anther "funnel ant" hole.

These girls are described as subterranean aphid farmers. They tend aphids on the roots of trees and bushes. They are rarely seen on the surface due to this but there is evidence that their distinctive, high sided funnel holes are actually a trap for insects. Kinda like an antlion hole.

She currently has 9? Nanitics. The doubt is due to the larvae not pupating like i am used to, they undergo metamorphosis "naked" so there may be a couple more that are done or very close to done. Bycatch, the queen, is a prolific egg layer! I was shocked by how fast her pile grew and the 9 moving nanitics all got up in the last few days.

I have their tube hooked up to a Byformica gro tube. And i am waiting for them to transfer across. I plan on attempting to keep them solely on Byformica products (except for the single drop of honey the received on a piece of paper two days ago). I will only change if the colony looks like it is in distress.

I set the gro tube up by spreading the plaster stuff thinly on the inner surfaces. I then applied the coconut fiber to the first third, white sand to the next third and finally i blocked the final third with black sand. I have some cotton wicks coming from the water reservoirs to different parts and can use them to independently moisten different zones.

#2 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted January 27 2015 - 11:49 AM

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I have seen images. Pretty ugly ants.

#3 Offline Mathiacus - Posted January 29 2015 - 1:50 PM

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Bycatch moved into the gro tube first. Her workers followed a little later. I have made a small error with my moisture placement but i will let it dry before i try a different reservior. There is not much activity at the moment. They are just chilling out near the entrance to the out world.

#4 Offline Mathiacus - Posted March 20 2015 - 10:56 PM

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bycatch died she pushed heself into the thinner part of the gro tube, got stuck then eventually died. poo!



#5 Offline Mathiacus - Posted March 22 2015 - 3:54 PM

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bycatch is a crafty little devil! not only is she not dead but she is not stuck either! she has at least 22 workers now but does not seem to have been laying for a while. there are around 12 larvae.



#6 Offline Ants4fun - Posted March 22 2015 - 4:29 PM

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Pics?

#7 Offline drtrmiller - Posted March 22 2015 - 4:50 PM

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bycatch is a crafty little devil! not only is she not dead but she is not stuck either! she has at least 22 workers now but does not seem to have been laying for a while. there are around 12 larvae.

 

With 22 workers, it sounds as if the colony has been processing the food you've offered and is thriving.  The lack of eggs is not uncommon for new queens, who often alternate between periods of high and low/no output until the colony (and ovaries) are more mature.


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byFormica® is the manufacturer of the iconic nectar feeders and Sunburst Ant Nectar.
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