Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

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Hikari

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 22352Post Hikari
Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:19 am

Oh nice! Glad you found the queen you wanted! TBH, I've never even seen a Camponotus castaneus before (they apparently do live in my state though)...all the Camponotus around here locally are black. I can see why you wanted one though, they are quite the lovely shade of red/orange. If you put the queen with the workers in the Atom C, you'll have to make sure to have the outworld available too unless you ordered the optional one to connect already. I'd say the C.castaneus would be a fun choice, but their colors might blend with the sand colors in that formacarium more than C. pennsylvanicus would. That IS a tough choice, lol.

I've never gone looking for ants in blacklight at night, though it sounds fun. We have raccoons and other critters that live in the small wooded area behind my house though, and I'd rather not run into them, so it's a small miracle I have any queens since I tend to hunt during the day. I've not found a single one while I actually look. Mine were just happy accidents near or in the house at night, lol.

And yeah, my queens are doing well. They were even left alone for the weekend while I was on vacation and were just fine. I'll have to try and take pics of them again at some point. I still don't have one of Maya in her Atom C. There hasn't been much to update on though...just waiting til larvae start to hatch.

Hikari

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 22403Post Hikari
Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:29 pm

- (6/5/27) I took some new pictures of Maya and Onyxia.

Here's Maya in her THA Atom C formicarium. I used the stopper intended for the main chamber to make a waterer with cotton out of tubing. I know this thing has a water chamber under it for humidity, but I was concerned about the lack of drinking water:

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And here's Onyxia, still being kinda bad at keeping all her eggs in a nice pile. At least they're all in the same general area:

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Now where things got crazy. I was taking out the dirt from all the flower pots from last year that I left overwinter on the porch because I was hoping my spearmint would regrow. It did not, and weeds were sprouting instead, so it was time to start over. I moved a large pot and found this Camponotus queen underneath, with eggs. She had chewed out a shallow founding chamber in my porch, with the pot as the roof! I immediately put the pot back down and went in to grab a test tube set-up. When I picked up the pot again, she BOLTED. Ran through a crack in the porch, so I chased her under and after a bit of a struggle, I managed to corral her into the tube (got mud all over my pants though. Worth it). I then carefully scooped up as many eggs as I could and put them in with her. I lost a couple to the cracks in the porch, but got the bulk of them. Good thing I captured her too, since we don't need any ants chewing up our porch.

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She was not a happy camper.

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Found an egg

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She moved the eggs together before deciding to ravage the cotton ball for a few hours (which got so bad I eventually had to replace it), then she finally settled down.

So, I was all happy to find a new queen, and then it hit me that I should be keeping capture containers while I worked on the pots. It was a good call.

I tipped over a small flower pot in the plastic bag I was dumping the soil into, cracked open a bit of packed dirt at the bottom, and THIS girl popped out! I was like "HOLY S***! What's a Camponotus doing in the dirt?!". Now granted, I know some DO like dirt, but I'm pretty sure she's another C. Pennsylvanicus, and they're supposed to like wood. My only guess is she found her way into the holes at the bottom of the pot and up into the dirt itself and was like 'Eh, good enough' or something...talk about lazy, lol.

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She's so cute in this pic, OMG.

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She was really into cleaning herself off once I got her out of the dirty capture container (aka, old pill bottle), and into a clean test tube.

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She's been wandering around her tube a lot tonight, but hasn't been pulling at the cotton. Guess she just needs to get comfy in glass instead of dirt.

And of course, I was super thrilled. Two more C. Pennsylvanicus queens, bringing my total up to four, and one already has eggs. Of course, there was one more surprise. I found a smaller lone ant while digging in another pot, and it looked like a queen, so into a test tube she went! She was so small though, I had to move her into one of my tiny tubes, lol. I'm not quite sure what kind she is (I have an ID request thread going on in the other forum), but here's pics.

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I'll update again once I know what kind of ant she is. Her species will be a big determining factor on if I keep her or not.

Oh, there was one other thing. The last pot had a WHOLE FREAKING COLONY...but yeah, I am totally not ready for anything like that, and who knows where the queen even was, so I just dumped that particular pot of dirt out towards our tree line. I hope they do okay out there. I probably should have just stuck the pot out there, in hindsight, but I kind of wanted it back. They were most likely Pavement ants anyways though, which are freaking everywhere as it is, so I don't feel AS bad (and we have ants everywhere in our yard as it is). I'm sure as tenacious as ants are, they'll probably have a whole new ant hill started where I dumped it soon enough anyways, or have found a new home.

At this point, I have my hands full, so I don't know how many more queens I plan on catching, even if I do find more. I don't want to overwhelm myself on my first year. I think four C. Pennsylvanicus should be enough to make sure I have at least one colony survive hibernation.

Anyways, it was a very eventful day on the ant front. I'm glad I was given links for where to buy test tubes, cause I need to invest in more now, lol.

Hikari

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 22461Post Hikari
Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:27 am

Quick update: Queen #5 was ID'd to be Lasius Umbratus. She's a social parasite type, which will present a rather interesting challenge, which I plan to accept. A host species for me to steal workers from has also already been found. Ironically, from the flowerpot colony I dumped out...ooops. Still, they're rebuilding and still around, so I'll go kidnap some workers tomorrow. At least this will give me something to do while my Camponotus take their sweet time doing their thing, lol.

Martialis
Posts: 1575
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 22483Post Martialis
Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:25 am

Nice photos! Just make sure the workers aren't foragers.
Keeper of

Selliing:

Hikari

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 22494Post Hikari
Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:40 pm

Martialis wrote:
Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:25 am
Nice photos! Just make sure the workers aren't foragers.
Eh, considering the state I found the colony site in today, I might not have a choice. Looks like the bulk of them have moved on. I collected up a bunch that stayed behind in and around the dirt pile, and am just gonna pray they last long enough to get me my first Umbratus nanitics. Really kicking myself for dumping that pot now, but I wasn't expecting the last queen I caught to be a social parasite either. Though, unless the workers take to the queen (or vice versa), I won't be getting a whole lot of anything anyways.

I introduced some of the workers to the queen. They immediately ran away from each other. They've been slowly checking each other out since, and there hasn't been any sign of them wanting to fight. Gonna just leave them together and see what happens. There appears to be one dead worker, but I think I did that accidentally while trying to get them into the queen's tube (dealing with such tiny ants is tricky!). Oh well, at the very least it gives her a target to steal scent from that won't run away. At this point, the queen is currently just hanging out on the damp cotton, and the workers are on the opposite end of the tube on the stopper cotton. But yeah, worker introduction went off easy enough...too easy actually. That in and of itself almost worries me. Either that, or with the colony in shambles, the kidnapped workers are just not sure what to do anymore and they're less aggressive because of that. There's around a dozen in with the queen so far with no issues.

Oh, should have mentioned that the host colony ants appear to be L. Neoniger. It was the best I could do.

Also, all calm on the Camponotus front except for Queen 3 being a bit naughty and pulling at her cotton again. I replaced her cotton ball. I need to think of names for the other queens.

Hikari

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 22599Post Hikari
Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:04 am

So, a sad update. Most of the workers I left with my L. umbratus queen have died, or are dying. Only one worker is actually capable of normal function. To make matters worse, even the queen is stumbling around. I'm not sure what exactly happened. Maybe chilling them all in the fridge for a bit took a bigger toll on them than I thought, or maybe too much stress from the whole ordeal and it finally caught up with them, or maybe they fought while I was away today. Pretty bummed. Everything was going so smoothly yesterday. :( I scooped all the dead/dying ants out of the tube and right now it's just the queen and her one remaining worker. I'll see if the queen recovers before thinking of the next course of action I want to take. Either way, it doesn't seem to be looking good.

At least the Camponotus are doing well. Queen 4 still doesn't have any eggs. In hindsight, I'm hoping she didn't have any with her when I found her, but in that dirt it would have been impossible to find them anyways. I suppose even if she did have some already, I would guess she could always lay more later, right? She's comfy and doing well in her tube and I guess that's all that matters right now.

JackPayne
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 2:28 am
Location: Australia,NSW

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 22600Post JackPayne
Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:52 am

Hikari wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 12:04 am
So, a sad update. Most of the workers I left with my L. umbratus queen have died, or are dying. Only one worker is actually capable of normal function. To make matters worse, even the queen is stumbling around. I'm not sure what exactly happened. Maybe chilling them all in the fridge for a bit took a bigger toll on them than I thought, or maybe too much stress from the whole ordeal and it finally caught up with them, or maybe they fought while I was away today. Pretty bummed. Everything was going so smoothly yesterday. :( I scooped all the dead/dying ants out of the tube and right now it's just the queen and her one remaining worker. I'll see if the queen recovers before thinking of the next course of action I want to take. Either way, it doesn't seem to be looking good.

At least the Camponotus are doing well. Queen 4 still doesn't have any eggs. In hindsight, I'm hoping she didn't have any with her when I found her, but in that dirt it would have been impossible to find them anyways. I suppose even if she did have some already, I would guess she could always lay more later, right? She's comfy and doing well in her tube and I guess that's all that matters right now.

Sucks about those workers, I'm not sure about those deaths but hopefully your camponotus keep going strong. :D :) :)
Hi I'm Jack, How are you?

AntzNaTube

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 22607Post AntzNaTube
Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:30 am

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Jealousy is overtaking me. I want 3 or 4 of these. :cry: But the wife has put the veto on this purchase.

Hikari

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 22609Post Hikari
Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:53 pm

AntzNaTube wrote:
Fri Jun 09, 2017 9:30 am
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Jealousy is overtaking me. I want 3 or 4 of these. :cry: But the wife has put the veto on this purchase.
They're okay. Not quite as cool as I was expecting. The sides didn't have any of the overhangs or nooks and crannies they were advertised with, it's hard to gauge the water level in the reservoir without bugging the ants, and there is no built in way to offer drinking water (luckily, I'm pretty crafty and planned in advance). Only bought this cause at the time I only had (and was planning on) one queen. Been looking into other starter formicarium options for my others I've collected since then, but they're all rather pricey. At this point, I've pretty much resigned myself to having to use test tubes.

xTNxANTMANx
Posts: 421
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:03 am
Location: Western Tennessee

Re: Hikari's C. Pennsylvanicus journal

Post: # 22666Post xTNxANTMANx
Fri Jun 09, 2017 11:44 pm

My Atom C founding formicarium should be here Monday or that's what they told me. I am also worried about not having the overhang as I can easily tell by yours that you don't. But then again they are all handmade to order. Did you by chance mention anything about putting a bigger species in it? Maybe that could be why there's not any overhangs. I'm just throwing that out there by the way. But as far as founding newly caught Queens go, so far the test tube method seems to be the best option for me. They are easily kept organized and also serve as a ready drinking source for your queen and new workers. Once mine arrives I'm probably gonna do some adjusting so that I may accommodate a spot for drinking water. I think I'm going to move one of my Camponotus pennsylvanicus Queens and workers into it. Both of my queens now have workers :-). One has 5 and the other has two as of yesterday. Once it arrives I will start a journal myself just for that item and let everyone know how good it is and what I do to alter it. If it doesn't fill my expectations that I want it to have for my Camponotus pennsylvanicus colony then I'm thinking of moving my Tapinoma sessile or C. subbarbatus colony into it and use it as a permanent home for a good while. I eventually want to try out the Mini Hearth they have.
Keeping:
Camponotus subbarbatus
Formica pallidefulva x2
Formica subsericea x4
Lasius sp
Tetramorium immigrans x2
Dorymyrmex bureni

Founding:
Formica pallidefulva
Unknown sp x2

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