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Setanta
Feb 6, 2010


Great thread, my 5yo daughter was talking about wanting an ant farm as they have one at school that died out last winter for some reason. I'm tempted to give this a go.

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Imapanda
Sep 12, 2008

Majoris Felidae Peditum


Finally hibernation is done and the egg-laying and pupae-developing has resumed.

A black swathe of mold seems grow on the wet cotton piece every shortly after I clean my ants test tubes. I have to do this like every 2 weeks and I'm beginning to question if it's even worth cleaning.

Their health doesn't seem to suffer with a little bit of mold. I'm just worried about mites arriving again.

Kharnifex
Sep 11, 2001
Probation
Can't post for 3 hours!


RIP the Queen,

you had a good run.

Trying to see if the colony will accept a new queen, so far the results are disastrous.

OneTwentySix
Nov 5, 2007

fun
FUN
FUN




Maybe you could try like they do with bees. Keep the queen in her own container in with the other bees, but screened off so they can't get at her. After a week or so, her scent takes over and the bees generally accept the new queen this way.

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






I found a fire ant queen (I think) a few weeks ago and threw it into a jar full of dirt. Within a few hours it disappeared somewhere underground.

In a few more weeks I guess I'll find out whether or not it died down there.

Kharnifex
Sep 11, 2001
Probation
Can't post for 3 hours!


OneTwentySix posted:

Maybe you could try like they do with bees. Keep the queen in her own container in with the other bees, but screened off so they can't get at her. After a week or so, her scent takes over and the bees generally accept the new queen this way.

so far the workers have taken all her eggs and pupae and are tending for them, she is hiding in a container by herself, unattended.

Iron Crowned
May 6, 2003


Fitzy Fitz posted:

I found a fire ant queen (I think) a few weeks ago and threw it into a jar full of dirt. Within a few hours it disappeared somewhere underground.

In a few more weeks I guess I'll find out whether or not it died down there.

fire ants are really fascinating. Did you know that they can survive flooding by essentially turning into a fabric?

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






My experience with fire ants and water was as a kid, getting a bunch of them stuck to a sticky hand from a 50cent machine and then trying to drown them in a fountain. None of them drowned, but they were pretty funny all stuck to that sticky hand.

bollig
Apr 7, 2006

Never Forget.


Is there a chart or something for when the flights are going to/expected to be year to year? I want to be prepared, this year. I'm in Europe, if that helps.

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






Does this look like a queen? I'm pretty sure it's a sugar ant. It was wandering around by itself and it's a lot bigger than any sugar ant I've ever seen, but I'm also not very good at this.

Only registered members can see post attachments!

OneTwentySix
Nov 5, 2007

fun
FUN
FUN




I don't know of any charts, unfortunately. I do know that early spring (now) is a great time to flip rocks and find the queen near the surface, though.

That is a queen - you can see the wing scars and everything. I think it's a fire ant queen, though - I could be wrong, but it looks about right and has the two petiole nodes.

Fitzy Fitz
May 14, 2005






Yeah I'm pretty sure you're right. I had thought the last one I found was a fire ant, but it was a good bit larger, more orange, and had a striped abdomen. That was the one I put in a jar of dirt. It's probably dead in there. This one I have in a little glass bottle about the size of a test tube, so at least I'll be able to watch it.

Imapanda
Sep 12, 2008

Majoris Felidae Peditum


2/3rds of my 9 ants died this week after I switched them into a Tarheel growth chamber from a test tube setup.

And this is the smallest amount of eggs I've seen her with. Cmon little fellas. I feed you guys your first meals of meat (waxworms) and give you a new home and this is how you react to me.

They didn't seem too crazy about the waxworms though. They maybe take a couple little sips from its guts and then go to sleep or something. If I feed them an apple they literally get so fat that their butts are basically transparent.

xilni
Feb 26, 2014






Does anyone know how to get your hands on an Atta cephalotes queen and starter fungus in the mid-Atlantic region? I can't seem to find anything on buying leaf cutter ants in this part of the world. The biggest resource I can find is a German online store.

Imapanda
Sep 12, 2008

Majoris Felidae Peditum


Seriously, your best bet is to just go outside on long walks on nice days, stare at the sidewalk, and grab the most suitable queen you can find. If you really want that species though just go to that Yuku ant farm forum and ask around.

Queens are actually everywhere when you become good at noticing the differences between the workers and the queen.

Anyways, the other day I was biking home from work and saw this ant battle. If you look closely you can probably see soldiers with the big heads chomping on some poor confused worker or something.

Lava Lamp Goddess
Feb 19, 2007



Caught myself a queen carpenter ant today running around on my back porch. Into a test tube she went, hoping for better luck than last year. The record stands at three workers eclosed before the whole operation up and died. She is super pissed right now and desperately trying to gnaw through the cotton on either end. Hopefully a few quiet, dark nights and she'll get the right idea and calm the gently caress down.

I really wish I could capture the queen of the citronella ant colony that lives under the rocks in my garden. Their output is HUGE. The keep their brood under one of the rocks I can turn over and there are just thousands of eggs and pupua, not counting the hundreds of workers. Sadly I've never seen a queen on the surface and I'm sure I'd just destroy their colony if I tried to dig around. Oh well, will just have to enjoy them stooped over in the garden.

Edit: Might not work out so hot for this little lady. She can't seem to right herself after getting onto her back and just acts rather clumsily. Don't know if this is due to the smooth surface of the test tube or not.

Lava Lamp Goddess fucked around with this message at 07:45 on May 28, 2014

skunkape.info
Apr 30, 2014


If you happen to live in Florida, now is the time for harvester ant nuptials (pogonomyrmex badius). Snagged three queens yesterday and set them up in test tubes w/ some substrate to dig around in. They're notoriously sensitive, so hopefully at least one will make it! The major workers are freakin majestic (for an ant).

Lava Lamp Goddess
Feb 19, 2007



The queen I thought might have been on the way out is actually doing really well. I had her in a test tube till today where she had laid 7 eggs, more than double what my last queen did in months. Sadly I lost three or four when I moved her over to this: http://www.tarheelants.com/products-page/ant-keeping-supplies/growth-chamber-g1 . Even with a super steady, light touch, some of them just ended up squished against my tweezers. Sorry little ants.

On the bright side, she has much nicer digs to grow her brood now. I put it on top of my cable box for warmth, which has worked surprisingly well for insects in the past. I had a dubia roach colony explode on just the heat from it. And now I don't have to worry about moving her and the rest around again. Just connect it to a formicarium when they outgrow this.

Tarheel ants seems like they make super nice products. My growth chamber is very nicely made and they're actually located in the US where all the other ant hobbyist websites seem to be located in Estonia or some other far off part of Europe.

itsjustdrew
May 13, 2014
The more you quote me, the worse I post
ASK ME ABOUT HOW I DON'T NEED TO READ TO PLAY LEAGUE OF LEGENDS

I have a question. Right now I want to build an ant farm. if I get bored of it, can 'tank bred' ants be released into the wild? I don't know much about the behaviour of ants, but I wouldn't want to kill 'em , could they all be released and mingle into other colonies? or would they be instadead?

OneTwentySix
Nov 5, 2007

fun
FUN
FUN




I don't think it would really hurt anything if they were a locally collected species, but they can't mingle with any other species, with a few exceptions (Argentine ant colonies don't compete, etc.). I think if you ditched them, they'd struggle to get set up again properly, but could pull it off.

itsjustdrew
May 13, 2014
The more you quote me, the worse I post
ASK ME ABOUT HOW I DON'T NEED TO READ TO PLAY LEAGUE OF LEGENDS

OneTwentySix posted:

I don't think it would really hurt anything if they were a locally collected species, but they can't mingle with any other species, with a few exceptions (Argentine ant colonies don't compete, etc.). I think if you ditched them, they'd struggle to get set up again properly, but could pull it off.

Great, thanks. I love bugs and little creatures, but I wouldn't want to harm them, watching them would be nice.

Imapanda
Sep 12, 2008

Majoris Felidae Peditum


Some of my ants have been going missing. This isn't too big of a deal to me because I have 8 other workers (2 went gone).

A friend wanted to see my colony after I told him I have my own farm. I took a picture for him and what do I see? Well, look around the top right:


See it?

decapitated ant head

I feed them a ton, they're full of cherry juice right now yet they still cannibalize on eachother. I'm a bad ant-parent arent I?

Lava Lamp Goddess
Feb 19, 2007



It looks like you and I have the same growth chamber. Does your collect a lot of moisture on the lid? I'm keeping mine lightly heated and the part over the water tower is always collecting a ton of moisture. I was watering the queen's space mildly, but it too was getting a ton of moisture build up and, since that doesn't have a vent for it to escape, stopped doing it. I didn't want mold growing. She seemed to keep her eggs on the drier side when I was watering it anyway. I just wish the substrait was a different color, as it makes IDing and counting eggs/pupa difficult since they blend in.

Are Camponotus pennsylvanicus okay with a humid environment?

Imapanda
Sep 12, 2008

Majoris Felidae Peditum


I got the growth chamber with a small screened opening on the top. I dont heat them though. Also, I only water their water tower thing once it gets dry, nothing else.

I should try adding moisture though like you to see how they react. You though should try using less water if yours isn't very ventilated, I'm assuming the condensation is only building up because of the heating and nowhere else for the water to evaporate to.

bollig
Apr 7, 2006

Never Forget.


I picked up three queens just a few moments ago. They're everywhere, so I might go back on the hunt. What a rush! I picked up a couple a few weeks ago, but they were almost definitely unfertilized females, which was probably my fault because I just plucked them from the mouth of their nest.

But these buggers were everywhere, two different species. Got 'em each in glass tubes with some wet cotton balls. My wife, who is devoid of spacial reasoning skills, put all my test tubes in such a way so they got broken. So right now I have them in some PVC and (no joke) an old bong slide. We'll see how this works out.

OneTwentySix
Nov 5, 2007

fun
FUN
FUN




Awesome! I was taking my dog for a walk the other day and happened to find two fire ant queens, just walking across the road. I scrambled to find some trash to keep them in until I got home (kinda depressing that it didn't take long at all) and now they're both in the same container with a mess of eggs. I really need to get them into something a bit more permanent, because fire ants are not going to be fun to mess with!

Lava Lamp Goddess
Feb 19, 2007



My queen is still chuggin' along, doing well. She seems like she cannibalized most of her eggs, but there are a couple of larva still.

I did have something odd happen though. One of my ant larva didn't spin a cocoon. He was just a white "baby" ant. I thought he was dead, but a few days later he turned black and had some movement. He never did develop really well though and died in the next few days. Very odd.

Imapanda
Sep 12, 2008

Majoris Felidae Peditum


My queen from a year back is down to 2 workers and around 8 eggs. She hasn't laid any new eggs in months.

I might consider moving her back into a test tube setup again so she can get back on her feet. I'm really nervous the 2 workers will die and the queen herself will die after she has nobody to feed her. I hope she isn't that lazy.

FooGoo
Oct 21, 2008


bollig posted:

Is there a chart or something for when the flights are going to/expected to be year to year? I want to be prepared, this year. I'm in Europe, if that helps.

Better late than never!

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Huge Lady Pleaser
Jun 17, 2005

hello how r u doing im just looking for ppl 2 chill wit relax go out n have funn if ur looking for da same thing hit me up


Nap Ghost

This is a cool thread. Post more ant pictures someone.

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