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Dspdrew's Pheidole hyatti Journal [205] (Updated 2-5-2024)

pheidole hyatti dspdrew journal harvester ants big-headed ants

69 replies to this topic

#21 Offline Crystals - Posted June 2 2015 - 7:47 AM

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Is all the brood at the top to avoid the more humid lower chambers, or because the top is warmer?


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#22 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 2 2015 - 8:18 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

They are avoiding the moisture near the bottom. I am finding that most of my colonies of all different species really do not like much moisture. I'm starting to understand why the Germans think we are weird with all our obsessive focus on hydration.



#23 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted June 2 2015 - 3:13 PM

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They are avoiding the moisture near the bottom. I am finding that most of my colonies of all different species really do not like much moisture. I'm starting to understand why the Germans think we are weird with all our obsessive focus on hydration.

 

What material do the Germans most commonly use in their formicaria?


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#24 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 2 2015 - 3:21 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Well all I can say is what we were told by our hand-full of German members here who visit from time to time. I think it was mostly Ytong. They said they don't even hydrate anything, and instead just provide water in liquid feeders. Now that might be fine for some species of ants, but I know some will die if they don't have enough humidity; I've had it happen when test tubes ran out of water without me knowing. Even though the colony had liquid to drink, they all dried up and died.


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#25 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 11 2015 - 3:48 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA
Update 6-11-2015
 
The colony has reached a population of about 1500 now, many of which are male and female alates too. When I first put them in this formicarium, not only was it not specifically designed for ants this small, but the colony was also very small for the size of the formicarium. The latter has definitely changed, and they're now really starting to fill this thing up.
 
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They've been eating a lot of food lately, presumably because of all the alate brood that needs to be fed.
 
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#26 Offline dermy - Posted June 11 2015 - 5:22 PM

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That's great about the alates!



#27 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 16 2015 - 7:13 AM

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Update 6-16-2015
 
Yesterday when I got home from work around 4:00 PM, the colony was having a mating flight. Alates and workers were swarming all over the place in the out world, and there were males climbing up the liquid feeders and flying around.



#28 Offline Foogoo - Posted June 16 2015 - 7:27 AM

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Does that mean you now have a bunch of fertilized queens running around the nest?


Camponotus vicinus, Crematogaster 1, Crematogaster 2, Formica francoeuri, *, *, Myrmecocystus testaceus, Novomessor cockerelli, Pheidole hyatti, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, Solenopsis invicta


#29 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 16 2015 - 7:35 AM

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Does that mean you now have a bunch of fertilized queens running around the nest?

 

Probably not. I never actually saw any mating.



#30 Offline Myrmicinae - Posted July 27 2015 - 2:03 PM

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Are those alates still alive?


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#31 Offline dspdrew - Posted July 30 2015 - 5:05 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Yes.



#32 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 11 2015 - 10:02 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA
Update 8-11-2015
 
There is still a lot of alates left in the colony, although most of them have been killed off it seems. They made a very large pile of trash including many of those dead alates in the far back of the out world, and due to the recent high humidity, and the closed ant cabinet raising it even more, all that trash began to mold pretty bad. It got to a point where the ants were starting to build tunnels in the fungus, so I figured it was time to clean it out.
 
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I found an easy way to get all the ants back into their nest so I could work on the out world. I just put a hot light right over the top of them, and once they all retreated to the nest to get out of the extreme heat, I just plugged the hole.
 
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The colony has shrunk in size slightly because I haven't been able to even open the top and feed them for over a month.
 
Everything is all clean now, and they have been fed. I just got a new bag of cichlid fish pellets the other day for my Acromyrmex and I decided to give some of them to these guys, since they are harvester ants and they like dry food. They quickly snatched them all up and had a feast. It's interesting the way these ants eat. They like to pin their food to the walls or the ceilings of their chambers and hold it there while they eat it. I don't think I've ever seen them eating something on the floor of their chamber.

#33 Offline Foogoo - Posted August 11 2015 - 8:36 PM

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Why do they kill off the alates? Because they didn't fly?


Camponotus vicinus, Crematogaster 1, Crematogaster 2, Formica francoeuri, *, *, Myrmecocystus testaceus, Novomessor cockerelli, Pheidole hyatti, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, Solenopsis invicta


#34 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 11 2015 - 8:42 PM

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As far as I know, they either do that or just evict them if they're left-overs.



#35 Offline BrittonLS - Posted August 11 2015 - 9:01 PM

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If they don't fly they're just draining nest resources and are useless to the colony. Better to kill them than feed them and take care of them from the ant's perspective. 


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#36 Offline drtrmiller - Posted August 11 2015 - 9:21 PM

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The entire purpose of ant colonies is to reproduce—a colony would not eliminate its reproductive potential—a great investment in energy and time—without good reason.

 

Many species overwinter alates.  Since ants do not have an understanding of the world around them the same way we do, but rather operate on many simple if this, then that instructions, it is more likely that the reproductives were recycled or removed due to adverse environmental conditions or lack of food.

 

True that the colony should survive than the reproductives—but just understand that the decision making process was more rule-based and fixed, versus something premeditated and carefully thought out.




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#37 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 12 2015 - 6:06 AM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Not sure how you can say their decision making process is rule-based, but then also claim that they are actually aware of how much of an investment it was to create alates and thus make decisions based on that.



#38 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 13 2015 - 4:18 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 8-13-2015
 
Well it looks like most of their alates are still there. They've been swarming in the evenings again right around the time I get home from work every day.

 

Here's some video I got of them this time.

 


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#39 Offline William. T - Posted August 13 2015 - 5:27 PM

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You should release some outside to breed with the other alates, and then collect the spoils. You would have still mated captive queens.

 

Update 8-13-2015
 
Well it looks like most of their alates are still there. They've been swarming in the evenings again right around the time I get home from work every day.

 

Here's some video I got of them this time.

 


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Species I keep:

 

1 Lasius cf. Neoniger 30 workers

1 Camponotus sp. 15 workers

20 Tetramorium SpE 30 workers

1 T. Sessile 200 workers

 


#40 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 13 2015 - 5:36 PM

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These don't live outside my house.







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