I've decided to finally make a journal on my Formica pacifica. I think to begin with I'm going to center around specifically one of my Formica pacifica queens and soon to be colony but I may add other colonies I have in here as they grow.
So this species dominates where I live and they are basically all I catch with exceptions from going to parks and other places. I have had some trouble raising them though. I didn't exactly know that ants need to hibernate before laying eggs, so basically every year I released all the ants that hadn't laid. I also didn't know that releasing (certain) ants was bad for the environment... (My bad). This species is native though so its not really a big deal. Anyways, this year I decided to keep a few of these queens over hibernation just because. In the spring I moved one of these guys into a naturalistic setup. I wondered if the reason they didn't lay eggs the first summer was because they didn't like test tube setups so this was a blockbuster attempt of mine. I waited for quite some time with her in the setup but she never dug a claustral chamber. I made sure that the dirt was moist and all that but despite my efforts she just didn't dig. Looking back I think that the reason she didn't was because there was a lid on the container and I think she felt secure just being at the surface of the container. Whenever I opened the lid up she freaked out so that is why I thought that. Anyways a few weeks went by and then the weirdest thing happened. I went to check on her and she had a batch of eggs that she was taking care of on the surface of the dirt! I was overjoyed in seeing this. She raised her brood there for quite some time, and I saw that she liked to move them around the container. One day she would be in the corner but then the next she would be in the center, that kind of deal. I must admit that I liked how I could check on her without disturbing her as I could just peek through the container lol. Eventually i decided to move her into a test tube as I didn't really see the point of her raising her brood on the surface. She kind of defeated the whole naturalistic setup idea lol. I have been keeping her in a test tube setup for a few weeks now and at the moment she has 4 pupae and 1 larva. I'm pretty hyped for her colony. I have other Formica pacifica queens and colonies now too but she is my favorite of this species. This species is quite cool as they have beautiful coloration and the queens are highly physogastric so its cool to see how far their gasters extend lol.
Anyways I will update this journal once she gets nanitics. Thanks for reading this very long post!
Here's some photos of her and her brood:
Edited by AntsBC, October 28 2019 - 11:35 AM.