Acromyrmex Versicolor Journal

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Kalidas
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:15 am
Location: Santa Ana

Acromyrmex Versicolor Journal

Post: # 53968Post Kalidas
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:15 pm

So I started this project probably over a month ago so I will need to fill you all in on what's been going on. Instead of doing it as one massive dump I will make different posts like a normal journal would and just go on from there.

So a few months ago I went on my first ant hunting trip. Took a drive down to the Joshua Tree national park in Southern California after some heavy rains, where the Acromyrmex Versicolor were having their nuptial flights en masse early that morning. I met up with two guys I met from the Formiculture forums (one of them is a nearby GAN farmer) and my son. Well I caught one queen and the guys wanted to go somewhere else, because one of them already had too many Acro Queens and the other wants nothing to do with leaf cutters(they are pretty difficult to raise). But after hours of not getting much else other places I drove back with my son and grabbed two other Queens I saw foraging in hopes they would at least lay brood and I could buy fungus for them later

After a week, two of the Queens died and all that remained was my very first Queen, no brood no fungus. But luckily for me the GAN farmer in my city sold me three more Queens and two pea size balls of fungus for 30$. The farmer is actually someone mentioned in the AC videos esspecialy the videos about the leaf cutters and the Honeypot ants, we live in the same city.

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The Three Queens

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Close up!

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Yummy fungus

Well that is it for first post, more on the way so stay tuned

Kalidas
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:15 am
Location: Santa Ana

Re: Acromyrmex Versicolor Journal

Post: # 53969Post Kalidas
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:21 pm

So here I will show you all the Queens and what started happening next.

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This queen was very excited about her fungus and ran for it. As you can see in this picture she is standing guard over it. To this day she still does this every time I come around with my light and phone to take pictures. Very protective.

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This queen started taking bites out of the fungus and moving the bits closer to the water logged cotton of her test tube.

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The set up! Small Tupperware containers I got at the 99 cent store. Some white sand, and rose leaf and petals I got from my grandmother's rose bushes. The snap caps are filled with liquid and cotton balls for humidity. Don't worry I add more stuff for humidity later.

Well part two is over, part three is on the way

Kalidas
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:15 am
Location: Santa Ana

Re: Acromyrmex Versicolor Journal

Post: # 53970Post Kalidas
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:33 pm

Part three we will meet the queens and how they were doing about two weeks ago.

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This queen is one of the three I bought but was never given fungus. Not much to say here.

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This is that very protective Queens and her fungus. As you can see there is some black on it where she was adding leaf and rose petals to it.
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This is the fungus that one queen tore up. As you can see the left half is orange and dried out and dying. The piece on the right has a little bit of white and is barely hanging on to dear life. I was so worried thinking she had killed it.

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My first Queen. The mud is what I took the homein since I didn't have test tubes at the time and only had snap caps I had to improvise.

Kalidas
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:15 am
Location: Santa Ana

Re: Acromyrmex Versicolor Journal

Post: # 53971Post Kalidas
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:45 pm

Here's part 4

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New giant plastic test tubes added with lots of water to really increase the humidity.

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Remember that queen I was worried killed her fungus? Look what she managed to do! She fixed it. Ants sure are amazing.

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Other Queens fungus getting bigger

Kalidas
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:15 am
Location: Santa Ana

Re: Acromyrmex Versicolor Journal

Post: # 53972Post Kalidas
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:50 pm

Update number 5 is very sad. I wanted to try and warm up the set ups since the nights started getting cold. So I used a heating pad made for sore muscles on the lowest setting. Luckily no ants died but one of the Queens(who was placed directly on the pad) her fungus disappeared. I am still beating myself up over this tragedy.

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That small black spec was all that remained. This is the queen that had fixed her fungus and I managed to ruin all her hard work in one night. :(

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On the other side this queen whose setup was placed next to the pad but not on it saw her fungus just blossom

Kalidas
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:15 am
Location: Santa Ana

Re: Acromyrmex Versicolor Journal

Post: # 53973Post Kalidas
Sun Nov 18, 2018 11:57 pm

Post number 6
I have bought reptile heating pads, and have them set up to a timer. I also got some temp/humidity guages to keep track of the temp and humidity levels better.

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I started adding oatmeal to the food stuffs. Now it is hard to spot but in the center bottom of the fungus you can see eggs

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In these pictures you can see I added quinua to the food stock. And it looks like the eggs hatched and there are now two larvae, you can kind of see them on the left hand side of the fungus.

Kalidas
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 11:15 am
Location: Santa Ana

Re: Acromyrmex Versicolor Journal

Post: # 53974Post Kalidas
Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:21 am

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So at first the orange really concerned me because I thought the fungus was dying. But then...

Good news everyone(any of you ever watch Futurama?), The fungus is looking a lot healthier. Most of the orange is covered in white hairs and I even see new white fluff balls.

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Close up, as you can see the fungus is looking much better.

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She's very curious.

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I like big butts and I can not lie.

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Backend of the fungus. Seriously no matter what position I took the pictures she was there to stare at me.

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And here is the REALLY good news. More eggs! I count six!

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Yup still eggs.

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Her close up.

So yeah fungus is looking much better, there's new eggs, and she looks busy and healthy as ever. Only issue is now I can't find those two larvae she had anymore. I'm hoping they are just some place on the fungus that I can't see, she liked to move them around a lot.

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