Tapinoma Melanocephalum Observations and Questions

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Yotsmungandr
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:25 pm
Location: Florida

Tapinoma Melanocephalum Observations and Questions

Post: # 33250Post Yotsmungandr
Sun Dec 17, 2017 9:07 pm

Shortly after Mikey did his video about catching the pharaoh ants, I discovered a nest of ghost ants creeping out of my wall and captured them in a similar way. These ants are oddballs and can be a pain to keep contained, but their antics are endearing. I have some observations and some questions.

Observations:
They love honey, but love sweet tea even more.
They can (kind of?) swim. I attempted to use moats to contain them at first; it was initially effective, but my setup emptied quickly after they figured it out. A thick coat of PTFE keeps them inside effectively now.
Extreme wanderlust. They keep picking up their nest and moving it for no apparent reason.
A bit suicidal. When they were escaping through the moat, some of them failed the swimming test. They'll also drown themselves in honey if given too much to be consumed quickly.
I've seen queens picked up and dragged around by workers for some reason. I've noticed that freshly caught queens assimilate into the nest more easily if their "handlers" are taken with them.

Questions:
Does anyone know the best way to get protein into these ants' diet? I've offered them freshly killed insects and cat food, but they don't seem to have taken a lot of interest, though it's possible that they've just not been eating enough for me to tell.
Does anyone know a good ratio of queens to workers, or even how many queens should be present in a sustained colony?
Has anyone made a formicarium or other nest specifically for this species? I'm looking at building something myself, but something specifically made for these or some examples others have made would save some time.

idahoantgirl
Posts: 1088
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:52 am
Location: Idaho, USA

Re: Tapinoma Melanocephalum Observations and Questions

Post: # 33275Post idahoantgirl
Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:38 pm

I can't answer the question about ratio, but I can tell you that if your ants aren't eating then they don't need to eat. they aren't going to forget how to eat. It is very possible that they are eating at night when your not watching them, and it is small enough for you to not notice. Colonies go through periods of not eating much. And then they will eat more later.
Proverbs 6:6-8

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.

Keeping Tetramorium immigrans, Tapinoma Sessile

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PenguinAntKeeper
Posts: 35
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2017 3:40 pm
Location: Toronto, ON

Re: Tapinoma Melanocephalum Observations and Questions

Post: # 33277Post PenguinAntKeeper
Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:42 pm

Tapinoma spp. are notoriously picky, try fruit flies (flightless) or other small soft bodied insects
Hibernating: (all)

Parasitic Lasius:2

Founding:
Tetramorium Immigrans:2

Colonies:
Tetramorium Immigrans:1
Formica Spp:3

I'm new to ant keeping so my colonies are all still in test tubes. :roll: :?

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