Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

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Hikari
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 26970Post Hikari
Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:16 pm

- (7-16-17) Sold my first colony via the GAN website today. Yay! My biggest Myrmica colony. I wish them and their new owner well. ^-^ Good timing, since I could use the money (need to start making up for what I've spent on ant supplies so far, lol).

Also, decided to brood-boost my Formica queen with pupa from my yard's wild burnpile colony (you'd think by now they'd learn not to put their pupa under the same rock I always pick up, but nope). Although, didn't realize she already has three of her own...that was fast! I didn't count, but I'd say I probably put in at least 20. She was kinda freaking out about it, but I'm not surprised. I think once she realizes they aren't gonna hurt her, she'll up and adopt them. They're a little bit bigger than her little nanitic pupa. I figure that way, she can have a nice head-start, and I can move them into a formicarium that much sooner.

Running the blacklight tonight, and I'll check it up til around midnight, then again around sunrise. Not sure if anything will fly, but if it does, I'll be ready. Hopefully.

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Hikari
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 27290Post Hikari
Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:35 pm

Another Maya vid, this time with the macro lens!



In other news, my Formica queen seems to have put the pupa too close to the cotton (including her own, not just the boosted ones), and now they're all looking rather wet. I tried to move them away, but she immediately put them all back. x_x I gave up after that. I just hope she knows what she's doing. I didn't think they were supposed to get that wet.

Nothing else to report. Besides the Formica queen's questionable ant-rearing skills, it's been a pretty quiet week.

Cormac
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Location: Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 27648Post Cormac
Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:10 pm

Awesome video. Its to bad the condensation blocks the view of formacarium.

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Hikari
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 27679Post Hikari
Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:09 pm

(8-1-17) So, today was a big day for Maya and her colony. Bit of backstory. I'd noticed that I'd lost a nanitic a few days ago. Didn't think much of it, heard they don't live very long. Well, last night I saw two more, and when I mentioned it on ant Discord chat, they said they shouldn't be dying that quickly. That got me concerned. As anyone who's read my journal knows, I haven't been a huge fan of THA's formicarium for a few reasons. Still, Maya seemed to be doing alright in it, so I just left her be. Well, with that many nanitics dead, I figured something should be done. I hooked them up to one of the extra bead container formicarium I had made, and waited overnight.

Well, I waited all day and they weren't even remotely interested in moving. I also saw another dead nanitic. That decided it. I was hoping not to use force, but in this case I did. Although, it wasn't really all that forceful, lol. I basically just opened both formicaria in a critter carrier to prevent escapes, and one by one, scooped out the nanitics and placed them in the new formicarium. Maya, bless her, was scrambling around so much, she actually fell in on her own, lol. Worked for me, I wasn't too keen on getting on the wrong end of those mandibles. She was in angry mama ant mode. After the adults were all added safely, I just lightly scooped out the brood in afterwards, and that was that. There was a bit of chaos while they got re-situated, but they have all settled in nicely. They seem to prefer the middle section. They've parked the brood on the warm side there. The bottom level humidity should eventually level out a bit, it's just rather damp because I just hydrated it.

In other news, my Tapinoma sessile queen got her first workers. I'm gonna keep an eye on them a bit longer to make sure they eat okay, but then they'll be listed on GAN. I've got too many other species to keep already.

My crazy Formica queen seems to have settled, and has stopped attempting to drown her pupa for now. I still don't think they look quite right, but I'll leave them be as long as they don't start growing mold. I haven't found any other Formica queens yet, so I'm riding on her to get a colony going.

One of these days, I need to sort out all the Temnothorax tubes and get them all in the same container. I just have so many... Going to release any queens who haven't laid any eggs yet. I know I had a few I put in tubes with their wings still attached.

Anyways, I think that's all the eventful stuff that's gone on today. I'll try and get update pics on everyone when I check in on them. I know y'all are probably curious to see Maya in her new home.

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Hikari
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 27758Post Hikari
Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:10 pm

(8-2-17) - So, my Formica queen is a total fail mom. She messed up both her own pupa and half the ones I gave her from a wild colony. She now has workers only because I took it upon myself to peel off the cocoons from the surviving pupa that were ready. On the plus side, she now has workers, so as long as she just remembers to lay more eggs, she'll hopefully be fine. One of the workers was so overdue in her pupa, her exoskeleton was already hardened, and she literally ran off as soon as she was out like "FREEDOM!!!" (and I'm like "WOAH, come back!" XD ). She's been all over the formicarium, and I have no doubt she'll be the first one to find the food on the level above. Most of the others are a little (or a lot) more wobbly, and still need to let their exoskeleton harden, but should be good to go in a day or two. I peeked in and it looks like the queen is at least trying to help groom the new workers a little. Glad she's at least adopted them alright. I'll be keeping an eye on the rest of the pupa, but I think the workers should be able to handle things from here.

Also, a really odd thing that happened at the park. There were a TON of Formica sp. ants running around, and they were dragging along what appeared to be a lot of unwilling female alates. It was chaos. Wasn't sure what exactly was going on, and it didn't seem like a run-of-the-mill nuptial flight. I captured a few, just on the slim chance they had flown, landed, and in the midst of finding spots, landed in that mess. My luck though, they're probably unmated. None of them have removed their wings yet. If they don't by Friday, I'll just release them where I found them (although they'll probably get jumped again). It was just so weird though, I'd never seen workers rounding up alates outside the nest like that like they do when they want to move queens. You'd think if they were unmated, they'd just leave them be to fly. One queen I didn't capture literally had a worker clamped on to her leg. Maybe it was an ant battle instead? Ants do weird things.

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Hikari
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 28135Post Hikari
Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:55 pm

Multi-day update, cause I forgot to post here...woops!

(8-3-17) Was at my local park releasing the Formica alates I had caught the day before, since I didn't think they had mated, and there was no sense in keeping them. Since I had gone out there, I decided to check the treeline to see if I could maybe spot something there instead. I stumbled upon a suspicious-looking acorn. Cracked it open to find these two:

Image

Score! Two Lasius cf. niger, founding together. Since they'll eventually fight when workers arrive, I plan to separate them probably around the time the first pupa arrive, and split the brood as evenly as I can. Til then though, I plan to leave them together to care for the brood. Makes up for the Myrmica colony I found in another acorn that seems to be lacking a queen. Found eggs, larva, pupa, and alates...but no queen. It's weird. My only guess is the colony was split between acorns, but usually when I find them nesting in them, they're all together. Oh well. I'm probably going to release them, but they weather got cold and rainy, so there hasn't been a good chance. Also found a few Temnothorax curvispinosus colonies while I was out too, but with all the Temnothorax queens I have, I really don't need any more right now, lol.

(8-5-17) Looked in on Freya, only to discover her brood was a mess. Things were moldy, she'd soaked her only pupa and it was basically mush, and it was just a mess. I decided to modify my THA formicarium, add a second hole to attach a test tube though, a vent for better air circulation, and also a cotton-plugged tube for feeding, and put her in there. I debated giving her some of Terra's pupa, but thought if she messed up that badly, I'll just see if she can redeem herself on her own. Good thing I didn't mess with Terra. She's been a good mom, and later on that night, I saw her first nanitic had eclosed!

Checking up on Maya, I noticed she'd lost another nanitic. She had made her way down to the lower level of the formicarium, and just died. I am starting to think maybe it really was their time. That would make 5 out of 6 of the original nanitics that had died roughly within the same timeframe they were eclosed.

(8-6-17) Had to clean up the Formica's formicarium quite a bit today. Because of the queen's stupid antics, a lot of the rest of the pupa that were eclosed by the workers only contained dead ants. They were starting to mold, so I took them out. Some of the older pupa did still did do alright though, miraculously. Saw a live callow worker as I was cleaning, so that was nice. They have received some fresh pupa again, courtesy of my burnpile colony, and the workers have been doing a good job caring for those. They should be in good hands (mandibles?). Visibility isn't the greatest in the bead containers though, even though they actually do function rather well, so I'm thinking of trying a second formicarium design I've seen lately, and seeing if maybe they'll prefer that better. At the very least, it'd keep them away from the cotton water wick, which seems to be a weakness for the queens.

Another of Maya's nanitics is currently parked in the lower level of the formicarium. I can guess I probably won't find her alive in the morning. Poor nanitics...they really do have short lives T-T The colony as a whole should be okay though. She still has 6 or so workers, and two of the pupa look ready to eclose any day now.

xTNxANTMANx
Posts: 399
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:03 am
Location: Western Tennessee

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 28201Post xTNxANTMANx
Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:52 pm

So it seems you've been rather busy since I've last posted on your Journal LOL. But so have I. I need to update my signature when I'm through typing this out but I hope your Formica make it. My first Formica pallidefulva queen I caught got her first 4 nanitics little over a week ago. I have also managed to catch 3 Formica subsericea queens all of which started laying within 18 hrs of capture, YAY!!! But I have quite a few that I'm going to try and sell. All sorts of species. I also managed to collect a Crematogaster cerasi colony that was going to be killed off and now they have to be over 200+ strong. They really do call them acrobat ants for a reason :-). But they are also a fun species. I really like your Journal once again. :-)
Keeping:
Camponotus subbarbatus
Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
Crematogaster ashmeadi
Crematogaster missouriensis
Formica pallidefulva x2
Formica subsericea x2
Lasius sp x2
Pheidole sp. x3
Tetramorium immigrans x2
Unknown sp.

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Hikari
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 28325Post Hikari
Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:09 pm

Somehow this didn't post right last night?
(8-6-17) So, Maya lost not one, but four workers since last I checked on her, and a fifth isn't looking all that great. Not really sure what's going on at this point. Since the dying workers all went to the bottom section, I decided to plug that halfway with cotton to discourage them from going down there. Not sure if it'll affect anything or not though. I don't even know if it's the formicarium's fault, or the nanitics just being really short-lived or what. TBH, part of me is tempted to move them into a test tube set-up, but seeing as I've already moved them once already, I'd rather not stress them out more. Plus, for what it's worth, new workers are eclosing. Got a new one today, with two more looking ready soon too. Maya also still appears to be doing alright as well. I suppose I could still hook a test tube up to the formicarium as an option for them to move into in case there is something about the bead container they don't like. In the meantime, I've been meaning to experiment with a different type of grout formicarium, and I plan to make them an outworld too, and I'll have a few days off to do it. A proper outworld would allow me to use the sugar waterers I made again. The mini-outworlds and the bead containers are too small, and I've had to make due using small trays made from the inner rim of plastic bottlecaps.

Formica workers are eclosing at a brisk pace now, and their bead container is bustling, so they'll also need a proper outworld too. I've been seeing many callow workers, so I know the other workers are taking care of all the pupa. The queen has been pretty chill this whole time. Hopefully she's debating on her next batch of eggs soon. If I buy a new formicarium any time soon, it'll be for these girls.

Tomorrow will be feeding day. Got something special. Frozen organic berry mix. Gonna thaw a few out and give the ants different pieces to see what they like. Protein will be either crickets or fruit flies, haven't decided yet.

xTNxANTMANx
Posts: 399
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:03 am
Location: Western Tennessee

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 28349Post xTNxANTMANx
Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:50 pm

Hey, I have 3 Camponotus pennsylvanicus queens and just my opinion, I think something may be wrong. I don't think I have lost no more than 3 or maybe 4 nanitics and that's from all 3 of mine, and mine eclosed b4 yours did, that's of your journal is correct and I'm sure it is :D. Then again, I could be wrong. But anyways, work is calling me...ugh
Keeping:
Camponotus subbarbatus
Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
Crematogaster ashmeadi
Crematogaster missouriensis
Formica pallidefulva x2
Formica subsericea x2
Lasius sp x2
Pheidole sp. x3
Tetramorium immigrans x2
Unknown sp.

User avatar
Hikari
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed May 24, 2017 12:40 am
Location: NE Ohio

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 28350Post Hikari
Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:13 pm

xTNxANTMANx wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:50 pm
Hey, I have 3 Camponotus pennsylvanicus queens and just my opinion, I think something may be wrong. I don't think I have lost no more than 3 or maybe 4 nanitics and that's from all 3 of mine, and mine eclosed b4 yours did, that's of your journal is correct and I'm sure it is :D. Then again, I could be wrong. But anyways, work is calling me...ugh
No, I'm thinking something is wrong. Everyone else is saying the same thing, that nanitics should be lasting longer than that. I'm just trying to think of what I can do about it. I have no idea what would be causing it.

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