Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

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Hikari
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 21684Post Hikari
Wed May 24, 2017 11:42 pm

(I've got this thread running on another forum as well, so I'm cross-posting between the two. I know different people use different forums)

This my first time attempting to raise an ant colony. I'm going to record my newbie adventures in ant-keeping here. Seeing as I'm still learning, if you see me doing something questionable/wrong, please feel free to gently put me on track. I want to take care of my ants to the best of my ability, and though I've been doing research, I know there's still a LOT to learn. I just recently started getting interested in the hobby.

- (5/18/17) So, around 1am (I'm a night owl) when I went outside to retrieve a bucket, I stumbled across this queen on my porch:

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A bit of fumbling around later, and I got her into a decent test tube set-up. To say I was unprepared for a queen to literally appear at my doorstep was an understatement, lol. Got her a decent-sized test tube the next day and put her in a drawer. She settled in pretty quickly.

- (5/21/17) I changed her set-up to this:

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Her test tube is now nestled on the bottom shelf of my snake tank stand, in a plastic container filled with cotton balls to keep it both stable and insulated. The far side of it is cut out to allow the end of the test tube to poke out for fresh air, and the thermometer probe rests beside it. The red lid keeps the tube dim while allowing me to peek inside when I feel like it. Half of it is resting on the edge of a heating pad, and keeps the tube between 77-80°F. I'll probably get a heating cable at some point, but for now, this works. There's room to fit more test tubes if needed.

- (5/22/17) I noticed she was moving around a lot more than usual, and inspected the tube through the lid with my cell phone light. Lo and behold, she finally laid eggs! I guess she's enjoying her new, warmer set-up? Took her out for a quick photo-op before putting her back.

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Such a good mama, trying to protect them from the big, bad light and camera. At this point now, it's mostly going to just be waiting, and just keeping an eye on the temps. In the meantime though, her current set-up seems to be fine and I'll leave her be to do her thing. Hopefully all will go well and by this time next month, she'll have some larvae.

In the meantime, I do plan on hunting for more queens, just in case. Plus, it'll give me something to do.

- (5/24/17) My first ant queen is up to 8 eggs! I have decided to name her "Maya" (there's a reference there, but it's obscure. Just know I am a dork).

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Also, my brother caught an ant in the bathroom, and brought it to me. Turns out it was another queen (He was like, "wait, really?!", lol). Another C. Pennsylvanicus too. That brings the count up to two. My only concern is she has a dent in her gaster. I don't know how that will affect her long-term health, but she was definitely feisty getting her into her test tube set-up. I have decided to name her "Onyxia" after the dragon raid boss from World of Warcraft.

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Anyways, both test tubes are now snuggled in the cotton-ball filled container and being kept nice and toasty, and it looks like Onyxia has settled down and stopped trying to mangle her cotton ball.
Keeper of one lazy Basset Hound, a stubborn corn snake, several fish and bettas, and four C. pennsylvanicus queens.

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Hikari
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 21686Post Hikari
Thu May 25, 2017 1:33 am

I take it back. I checked on Onyxia again and she was back chewing at her cotton ball with vigor. Such a hatred of cotton balls in such a tiny body. :lol: Maybe by tomorrow morning she'll have given up.
Keeper of one lazy Basset Hound, a stubborn corn snake, several fish and bettas, and four C. pennsylvanicus queens.

User avatar
Hikari
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 21753Post Hikari
Thu May 25, 2017 9:49 pm

- (5-25-17) Maya has laid one or two more eggs. They're all in a pile so it's getting hard to count. Brings her up to 10 or so. Onyxia has finally settled and laid one egg already! I tried to get a pic, but she grabbed it in her mandibles and refused to let me get a good shot, lol. Just glad to see that her gaster injury doesn't appear to inhibit her egg-laying capabilities. I'll continue to monitor her.

On a side note, my founding formicarium from Tar Heel Ants shipped! I plan on moving Maya into it once it arrives. Although, with all the eggs she's laid, and the potential worker count, I'm starting to worry she might outgrow it before hibernation. Either way, I'm saving up for a Camponotus Hybrid nest from AntsCanada. I like the way the Tar Heels Ants starting formicarium look, but I like the way AntsCanada's bigger formicarium look and work. I'd make my own, but honestly, I don't trust myself to do it right. I'll probably take a crack at making my own outworld instead (which I think I'd have the most fun with anyways).
Keeper of one lazy Basset Hound, a stubborn corn snake, several fish and bettas, and four C. pennsylvanicus queens.

xTNxANTMANx
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:03 am
Location: Western Tennessee

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 21766Post xTNxANTMANx
Thu May 25, 2017 11:42 pm

Very good pictures. I have 2 of these Queens myself. One finally has a couple pupae and should be getting my first workers soon. The other still has small larvae. Again I will say these are very good pictures. Make sure to keep an eye on that temperature. I tried to do a similar thing with my Queens and luckily I checked on them 2 days after and they were way too warm. I could tell from how they had been pulling at the cotton trying to find a way out and also by how they were laying when I looked in there. They are doing perfect now though. I also purchased me a thermometer and have the sensor in there now LOL. You should check out my Camponotus subbarbatus journal and video I posted earlier. Do you use formiculture.com as your other place for your journal?
Keeper of:
Tapinoma sessile
Camponotus subbarbatus
Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Founding:
Solenopsis richteri x2
Camponotus pennsylvanicus x3
Camponotus castaneus
Pheidole sp x6
Formica pallidefulva x3
Colobobsis impressa

User avatar
Hikari
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 21771Post Hikari
Fri May 26, 2017 2:10 am

Thanks! I tried my best with the pictures. I've been use a magnifying lens under an Ottlite, since my phone camera isn't very good normally, but it works. It's just hard since I can only really take pictures from one angle. I may invest in another magnifier of some kind to take top-down pics one of these days. It'll be pretty much impossible to take pics once the founding formicarium arrives otherwise.

And yeah, I check the temp multiple times a day (easy, since it's in my bedroom). Benefit of owning a snake is I've gotten good at temperature management (although it's easier for her with the thermostat). That thermometer is actually from my snake tank's cool side, but seeing as she doesn't particularly need it, I left her with the back-up dial types and borrowed the digital one for the ants. :D The probe is tucked beside the test tubes in the container. Cool thing is, if you push a button, it'll give me the highest and lowest temps recorded for the day. I've got it set so it usually sits around 77°F and hasn't peaked above 81°F. So far so good. The ants seem to like it at any rate. They keep their eggs as close to the heating pad side as they can manage. I do plan on getting a heating cable one of these days to make heating a bit easier though (although I sometimes worry, cause some reptile things without thermostats can get HOT, so I'll probably have to invest in one for that too).

I've seen your journal too! I've been fond of stalking other people's journals that have Camponotus as well, lol. Helps me bide my time while I wait for my own colonies to mature. The ones you have are more red, and look pretty cool. And yeah, I use formiculture.com as my other journal place. Same handle there too. I only ended up there first because I had some difficulty getting activated on these forums, and I really wanted an ID of the ant I had found, lol. Now that I'm on both forums (after getting the admin to sort things out here), I've been bouncing between the two. There's a lot of really useful info on both! I watch the AntsCanada YouTube channel quite regularly though, so I'm really glad to be on this forum in particular.
Keeper of one lazy Basset Hound, a stubborn corn snake, several fish and bettas, and four C. pennsylvanicus queens.

User avatar
Hikari
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 21891Post Hikari
Sat May 27, 2017 11:50 pm

- (5-27-17) Maya is doing well. No new eggs that I can see, granted, she is almost always on top of the pile guarding them at this point. Onyxia is up to six eggs! She seems to be doing well so far despite her gaster dent.

My Tar Heel Ants "Atom C" founding formicarium arrived today too. I was excited, but noticed it had a bit of an odor to it, like paint or something. Erring on the side of caution, I've been letting it air out under my fan (since I have no idea what the things are made out of). I plan on letting Maya move into it once it no longer worries me. Not a huge deal, since I'm patient. Onyxia will have to remain in a test tube set-up for the time being though, since I wasn't expecting to acquire a second queen. She doesn't seem to mind though, and I'd like to make sure she'll even survive in the longer term first before getting anything fancier. Might just do the thing where I put her tube in a critter carrier outworld if she manages to get to the worker stage.
Keeper of one lazy Basset Hound, a stubborn corn snake, several fish and bettas, and four C. pennsylvanicus queens.

User avatar
Hikari
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 22104Post Hikari
Wed May 31, 2017 12:14 am

- (5-30-17) I moved Maya and her eggs into the Atom C formicarium from THA. To do so, I first had to lure her out of her tube. Soon as I unblocked the cotton and suck in a piece of tubing, she grabbed all her eggs and moved them to the other side (making my job to retrieve them later slightly harder). Curiosity got her to crawl into the tube however, and I blocked off both sides with cotton. She wasn't happy, and was tearing the crap out of it the entire time. I carefully moved her eggs into the formicarium according to the YouTube instructions, and then placed her inside via the tubing. She franticlly ran circles around it for a bit, then realized her eggs were there and settled a bit. Seems like she's completely settled in now, moving her eggs to a new spot, and has been brooding directly over them ever since. She gave me a scare earlier cause she looked crumpled, and here she'd literally wrapped herself around her eggs. When I took the red cover off for a better look, she looked up, and had the clump of eggs in her mandibles. She's not letting her guard down this time. :lol:

Meanwhile, Onyxia's just chillin' in her tube, blissfully unaware of the chaos. She's still doing well. She's up to 9 eggs.

I'll have to take some new pics at some point.
Keeper of one lazy Basset Hound, a stubborn corn snake, several fish and bettas, and four C. pennsylvanicus queens.

xTNxANTMANx
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:03 am
Location: Western Tennessee

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 22324Post xTNxANTMANx
Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:21 pm

Question, once you ordered your Atom C formicarium, how long till it shipped and how long till you recieved it? I ordered one Friday and just curious. Thx
Keeper of:
Tapinoma sessile
Camponotus subbarbatus
Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Founding:
Solenopsis richteri x2
Camponotus pennsylvanicus x3
Camponotus castaneus
Pheidole sp x6
Formica pallidefulva x3
Colobobsis impressa

User avatar
Hikari
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 22343Post Hikari
Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:59 pm

xTNxANTMANx wrote:
Sun Jun 04, 2017 5:21 pm
Question, once you ordered your Atom C formicarium, how long till it shipped and how long till you recieved it? I ordered one Friday and just curious. Thx
I think it took like two weeks? The orders were delayed slightly due to them getting a large volume of them all at once. Of course, then I had to let the thing air out for a few days, because it smelled funny to me when it arrived. It still kinda smalls like paint on the outside, but the sandy part no longer smells, and my ant doesn't seem to mind. Someone on my thread in the other forum told me they were losing ants in a THA formicarium before due to inadequate ventilation and the uncured smell, so I'm glad I erred on the side of caution and let mine air out. For my second queen, I'll probably just put her tube in a small critter carrier I have when the time comes.
Keeper of one lazy Basset Hound, a stubborn corn snake, several fish and bettas, and four C. pennsylvanicus queens.

xTNxANTMANx
Posts: 373
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:03 am
Location: Western Tennessee

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 22349Post xTNxANTMANx
Sun Jun 04, 2017 11:48 pm

I had seen where you said you purchased one so I looked them up and actually like the way they look. They are perfect for bigger species like Camponotus pennsylvanicus and Camponotus castaneus. Which is good because I caught my second Camponotus castaneus queen tonight! That's the species I have wanted more than any and thought I was too late. I can't believe I have 2 now :-). As you can tell in my signature I have 2 Camponotus pennsylvanicus Queens as well. Last night I used my backlight and caught 6 other queens, five of which I need to identify but they are very small Queens. The one that I think I know is a Camponotus sp. But yeah I look forward to getting the Atom C formicarium. I'm definitely going to let mine air as well. I just haven't made my mind up on which I want to put in it LOL. One of my Camponotus pennsylvanicus Queens now has 5 workers and I am thinking of letting them occupy it. Or maybe one of my C. castaneus... I'll make my mind up eventually :-). But thanks for the info. I hope your Queens are doing great. I know they look beautiful :-)
Keeper of:
Tapinoma sessile
Camponotus subbarbatus
Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Founding:
Solenopsis richteri x2
Camponotus pennsylvanicus x3
Camponotus castaneus
Pheidole sp x6
Formica pallidefulva x3
Colobobsis impressa

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