Formica social parasite journal

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AntsDakota
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Formica social parasite journal

Post: # 41221Post AntsDakota
Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:00 pm

I found a Formica social parasite queen, and gave her 20 or so pupae of the F. fusca group, and a newly eclosed worker. She kept getting caught in the cotton in the test tube, therefore stretching her legs until 4 out of 6 are paralyzed! She has trouble walking and if she falls on her back she can't right herself. I hope she makes it.
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

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Batspiderfish
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Re: Formica social parasite journal

Post: # 41233Post Batspiderfish
Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:20 pm

Formica social parasite queens are unfortunately not always good at properly removing strands of cocoon or pupal membrane. I've actually gone in and cut the strands myself before the callow's exoskeleton hardens (fusing with whatever mobility the worker was given when she was supposed to be stretched out.) It's an extremely delicate procedure, but you can often catch the offending strands of membrane on a sewing needle and very very carefully cut them by using a strong magnifying lens and rubbing a razor over the needle. Just make sure that only the silk is hung over the needle when you rub the razor against it (emphasis on rub, not saw/cut). You don't need to completely remove the membrane, but only ensure that the legs are not tied together. Once you have a worker that is at least partially mobile, they are a little better at eclosing new workers than the queen is.

I used to have photographs showing how to do it, but they sadly no longer exist. :(
If you enjoy my expertise and identifications, please do not put wild populations at risk of disease by releasing pet colonies. We are responsible to give our pets the best care we can manage for the rest of their lives.

AntsDakota
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Location: South Dakota

Re: Formica social parasite journal

Post: # 41385Post AntsDakota
Mon Jul 16, 2018 2:14 pm

She is Formica obscuripes, I believe. I found the worker dead and then added 10 more from a different colony. They accepted her, so I don't need to worry about the pupae being unwrapped. Her leggs healed overnight.
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

applepie
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:47 pm
Location: Chicago,IL

Re: Formica social parasite journal

Post: # 41399Post applepie
Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:44 pm

Okay, so I just caught Formica obscuripes and I have no clue what to do. I have her In a test tube set up right now.

https://imgur.com/ogIROXb

That's a photo of her.

AntsDakota
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Location: South Dakota

Re: Formica social parasite journal

Post: # 41484Post AntsDakota
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:48 am

I dug into the host nest and captured the majority of the colony, and killed their queen. :cry: I tried to move them into a hybrid nest, but the queen wedged herself underneath the glass. When I tried to free her, I accidentally punctured her thorax and most likely her heart, killing her. :cry: I felt so bad for killing the worker's mother and step-mother and dooming their colony. Or did I doom them? I felt so bad for the workers that I took one of my Formica queens and put them in with her. They fought, so I tried again with a different species. The workers started grooming her instantly. They have 25 workers.
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

AntsDakota
Posts: 849
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:22 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Formica social parasite journal

Post: # 41486Post AntsDakota
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:49 am

applepie wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:44 pm
Okay, so I just caught Formica obscuripes and I have no clue what to do. I have her In a test tube set up right now.

https://imgur.com/ogIROXb

That's a photo of her.
Give her Formica pupae and maybe even some workers (newly eclosed ones are best).
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

applepie
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Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:47 pm
Location: Chicago,IL

Re: Formica social parasite journal

Post: # 41676Post applepie
Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:01 pm

Thank You so much! I was able to find a nest of Formica Fusca in my backyard, and I dug up the top most layer and found some pupae. I was able to only get one though, but hopefully that should suffice. I placed the pupa in her test tube, and she instantly began to care care of it! after a few hours and did a quick check on her and it seem as though she is guarding it in a similar manner to how my other queens guard their brood. Can't thank you enough!

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antnest8
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Re: Formica social parasite journal

Post: # 41816Post antnest8
Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:43 pm

AntsDakota wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:48 am
I dug into the host nest and captured the majority of the colony, and killed their queen. :cry: I tried to move them into a hybrid nest, but the queen wedged herself underneath the glass. When I tried to free her, I accidentally punctured her thorax and most likely her heart, killing her. :cry: I felt so bad for killing the worker's mother and step-mother and dooming their colony. Or did I doom them? I felt so bad for the workers that I took one of my Formica queens and put them in with her. They fought, so I tried again with a different species. The workers started grooming her instantly. They have 25 workers.
actually i think the heart is in the abdomen of the ant
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AntsDakota
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Re: Formica social parasite journal

Post: # 46034Post AntsDakota
Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:13 pm

antnest8 wrote:
Fri Jul 20, 2018 2:43 pm
AntsDakota wrote:
Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:48 am
I dug into the host nest and captured the majority of the colony, and killed their queen. :cry: I tried to move them into a hybrid nest, but the queen wedged herself underneath the glass. When I tried to free her, I accidentally punctured her thorax and most likely her heart, killing her. :cry: I felt so bad for killing the worker's mother and step-mother and dooming their colony. Or did I doom them? I felt so bad for the workers that I took one of my Formica queens and put them in with her. They fought, so I tried again with a different species. The workers started grooming her instantly. They have 25 workers.
actually i think the heart is in the abdomen of the ant
I always thought the thorax was supposed to be the chest area in insects. But, then again, ant bodies are a lot different from ours. But it would be pretty weird if your heart is down by your stomach. :lol:
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

AntsDakota
Posts: 849
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:22 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Formica social parasite journal

Post: # 46035Post AntsDakota
Sun Jul 29, 2018 3:15 pm

applepie wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:01 pm
Thank You so much! I was able to find a nest of Formica Fusca in my backyard, and I dug up the top most layer and found some pupae. I was able to only get one though, but hopefully that should suffice. I placed the pupa in her test tube, and she instantly began to care care of it! after a few hours and did a quick check on her and it seem as though she is guarding it in a similar manner to how my other queens guard their brood. Can't thank you enough!
Formica oscuripes can grow past 100,000 workers, so be prepared! And they are polygynous, so if you find more queens of that species, feel free to put them together.
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

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