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Stoner Sloth


Poor worker ant but glad the colony is showing signs of being healthy so at least she didn't die in vain!

Sounds like those crazy heatwaves are really difficult for them, glad they mostly managed to get through it okay at least.

Really hard to see how a lot of wild animals are going to adapt to those sort of extreme changes and makes me wonder how bad it'll get here next time we get a very hot summer



sigs by the awesome Manifisto, Vanisher, City of Glompton, and Pot Smoke Phoenix - ty friends!

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Hugh Malone posted:

that's sad, I'm sad about an ant.

I'm a softy.


but it's really fascinating that ants will do first aid and rescue ops! I figured they would just keep going...

that's super neat!

Oh, absolutely, there are doctor ants, they separate sick ants from the rest of the colony by sending them out to do outside work, they take care of the injured, treat wounds by licking them clean with anti-septic saliva and bury the dead in a specified place, they even visit the deceased every now and then as part of their patrols.

Stoner Sloth posted:

Poor worker ant but glad the colony is showing signs of being healthy so at least she didn't die in vain!

Sounds like those crazy heatwaves are really difficult for them, glad they mostly managed to get through it okay at least.

Really hard to see how a lot of wild animals are going to adapt to those sort of extreme changes and makes me wonder how bad it'll get here next time we get a very hot summer

So far I hoped ice packs would do it, but when the outside temperature exceeded 42°C it wasn't enough and I noticed too late, later I added a wet towel above the ice packs to keep them cool, which worked well so far. If this continues to happen, which I guess it will, I'll have to get an AC unit for them, else I don't think they can make it given the nature of how I have to keep them. In nature they can at least panic move out quickly if it gets too hot and return later, but at home I don't have that kind of space to make a difference for them.


Stoner Sloth


Goons Are Great posted:

Oh, absolutely, there are doctor ants, they separate sick ants from the rest of the colony by sending them out to do outside work, they take care of the injured, treat wounds by licking them clean with anti-septic saliva and bury the dead in a specified place, they even visit the deceased every now and then as part of their patrols.


So far I hoped ice packs would do it, but when the outside temperature exceeded 42°C it wasn't enough and I noticed too late, later I added a wet towel above the ice packs to keep them cool, which worked well so far. If this continues to happen, which I guess it will, I'll have to get an AC unit for them, else I don't think they can make it given the nature of how I have to keep them. In nature they can at least panic move out quickly if it gets too hot and return later, but at home I don't have that kind of space to make a difference for them.

Headline: Ants ahead of the US in health care

well hope the ant frens stay safe and chill! sounds like you did a good job of keeping them going despite crazy high temps for the region.

our native ants at least seem to cope well with that kinda heat so may even be somewhat beneficial to them in the short term if invasive species aren't able to adapt as well. certainly it hitting 47 C last summer didn't seem to slow them down to any great degree - still got a lot of active nests around that didn't seem phased much at all by it.



sigs by the awesome Manifisto, Vanisher, City of Glompton, and Pot Smoke Phoenix - ty friends!

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It's a really all about their nest. Currently they live in a small tube made of glass, that heats up quickly even though it got water inside. In the concrete nest the temperatures are always a bit higher in totsl but also raise and fall way slower, so I can counter with water and ice. In nature, this species is not used to the necessity of building any ventilation in the nest, which spares them a ton of work and enables them to live almost everywhere, like, beyond rocks, inside twigs, whatever goes.

In Australia where it gets this hot more often, they usually build earth nest, dig deep, include ventilation and air tunneling, bring in water nearby before it gets too hot etc. So that works out for them.

Here it just gets too warm too fast, so they can hardly adapt to something this extreme in the matter of a few years.


Stoner Sloth


That makes sense!

Hopefully at least some species in areas where it's warming that fast are able to adapt but clearly very hard to do over such a short time scale - I saw some research that suggested that even here ants are having to adapt and are doing so by foraging more at dusk/dawn and at night - they can withstand the brutal air temps for short periods at least (many of our species are fine with 42 C but much above 46 gets harder for them) but ground temperature during the day gets too hot for them.

Unfortunately this makes them more vulnerable to predators and less efficient which combined with needing deeper nests seems to put a lot of stress on the workers... but at least seems possible for them to better adapt to it from there.



sigs by the awesome Manifisto, Vanisher, City of Glompton, and Pot Smoke Phoenix - ty friends!

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Yeah, that stuff is solvable. Ants live on numbers and they are always overproducing several times over their needs, so more stress means more deaths, but that they can handle. Same goes for tactics, like going out at night and focusing then, they are smart enough to make that work. It only becomes a problem if they have to stomp out entirely new concepts out of nothing against something that is abstract and hard to grasp as a threat. Ants feel great up to 28°C and can work with anything up to 33 to 35, beyond that it gets hard.

However, even that kinda works. Ant species even in Europe are spreading and growing, not even remotely endangered despite recent summers. Not even the numbers dropped, they stagnated or even rose. So no real idea what magic they are pulling there but it does work. I only have to make that work at home, too. Numbers will definitely help there, too.


Stoner Sloth


Glad to hear that European ant frens are doing okay for now at least!

Amazing critters, we're lucky to have them and that they're so adaptable - be bloody nice if we stopped forcing them to have to adapt so hard of course.

also

Jack-Off Lantern posted:

Thank you, Ant Person for making us smarter about cum and Ants.

TV Show Pitch: 'Strictly Cum Antsing'



sigs by the awesome Manifisto, Vanisher, City of Glompton, and Pot Smoke Phoenix - ty friends!

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Speaking of sperm, a small to-go ant fact for you guys:
You probably read or heard about male ants and other hymenoptera like bees, hornets, bumblebees and wasps dying after they "fulfilled their purpose" of impregnating a future queen. In fact, male ants have their semen stored on the lower end inside their abdomen, sealed away behind a number of muscles that spread across their body, sealing of the only hole the semen could go to, basically like a cork on a bottle of champaign.
When they mate with queens, they rub their abdomen against the female's, contract their entire belly and boom, eject all of the semen violently, blowing their entire lower body apart, covering the queens spermatheca - basically an internal backpack for semen - with it. Then they leave the queen that proceeds to mate with 15 more males, while they die quickly due to the deadly injury and devastating blood loss.

The things we do for love.


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BABY TIME!!!!

I noticed that the ants had trouble climbing over a lot of stuff this morning, so I went in and checked it out and look what I found



Check out all these babies! The big white beans are pupae, in it baby ants in their last step towards adulthood, the small white balls below those are eggs, hard to see on the left below the big mama's butt (the big black one) are the larvae. They grow by far faster than I anticipated, the queen is in full babby mode currently.
Just two days ago, they ate a ridiculous number of 32 fruit flies in one day. Given that each fly is about half the size of an ant and there are like 12 ants eating from them, imagine how much fly per ant that is. That's like eating so many crabby patties like the amount Squidward ate in that one Spongebob episode.

Can't wait to see all of them roaming around, because I am quite certain that will convince them to look for a new nest, which is what I wanted them to do this year. Exciting!


Stoner Sloth


heck yeah, go ant mama!

really great to see them doing so well, can't wait to see their house hunting adventures!



sigs by the awesome Manifisto, Vanisher, City of Glompton, and Pot Smoke Phoenix - ty friends!

LoreOfSerpents

No.


baby ants! ty for the update!

Heather Papps


hello internet friend





did you know i take care of bees and we are like cousins i guess?


thanks everyone for posting, but six and vanisher especially!!!

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I just figured reading in work crew and it makes me very happy and I hope you will post some bees and send me some honey because that's what my ants eat, so it's a super magical synergy!!


nut


it was that humid summer on byob where i finally learned about the ants and the bees

Heather Papps


hello internet friend




bee eater posted:

it was that humid summer on byob where i finally learned about the ants and the bees


thanks everyone for posting, but six and vanisher especially!!!

karms

by Nyc_Tattoo

ants are really cool. i wanna be a ant when i grow up!!

----------------
This thread brought to you by a tremendous dickhead!

nut


Goons Are Great posted:

big mama's butt (the big black one)

finally a sequel to big mama's house

slowm

live slow, die whenevs

i played simant (maxis) when i was a kid, can i be this crew?

slowm

live slow, die whenevs

karms posted:

ants are really cool. i wanna be a ant when i grow up!!

do you know how strong just one ant is?

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slowm posted:

i played simant (maxis) when i was a kid, can i be this crew?

Yes!


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slowm posted:

do you know how strong just one ant is?

Not to spoil the fun, but this thread does!


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MORE BABIES!!

From my other two queens. Check these cuties out



This is the first queen, Lasius Niger, the larvae (the maggot-like worms that have very well visibly segments on them) you see are perfectly on time, they hatched yesterday and I estimated August 16th or 17th for that to happen, so it's good to see that my numbers add up. As you can see, there are a lot of more eggs around, but it is likely that the queen will feed those to the larvae, as there is no other nourishment available at this stage and it would boost their growth. For ants, the few sometimes have to sacrifice themselves for the many.



This is the second queen, Lasius Plathythorax. Here it is a bit strange, because the eggs also hatched yesterday and the day before that, but as you can see, six of them already have woven their cocoons and are now pupae. but one or two days in larva stage is very very short for this species - normally it's 7 to 12 days. I suspect that they were hungry and the queen didn't feed them with existing eggs, probably because she didn't lay as many as the first queen and wasn't ready to sacrifice her kids. In hunger, the larvae can enter emergency mode, immediately turn into pupae to dramatically speed up growth and turn into adults asap to find food. This however results in extremely small workers, even for the usual reduced pygmy size, and usually way shorter lives.
I suspect this is the effect of the queen being not as well nourished as the first queen was when she left her home nest, so she couldn't burn as much of her body for them. Anyways, this is just a fascinating phenomenon, nothing to worry about, it happens in nature all the time for fresh mommies.

I feel like we need names for both these two queens as well as my main one in the big colony - any ideas?

Goons Are Great fucked around with this message at 15:39 on Aug 17, 2019


Heather Papps


hello internet friend




Goons Are Great posted:

MORE BABIES!!

I feel like we need names for both these two queens as well as my main one in the big colony - any ideas?

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH


okay for queen names i think you need a whole new thread, but:
Boudica
Brunhilde
Rosemary
Mercy
Queen Butt-for-a-Butt


thanks everyone for posting, but six and vanisher especially!!!

Jack-Off Lantern


Name one Antalanta, so one day she might hunt the Calydonian Bee.

I'll also allow Antphrodite, Anthena or Cassantra, cursed to tell the future with no one listening.

Jack-Off Lantern fucked around with this message at 16:06 on Aug 17, 2019

Manifisto





thanks to kaiser schnitzel for the sig

Manifisto




cleopantra


thanks to kaiser schnitzel for the sig

Goons Are Great

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Alright that's some good names already, Cassantra is already a favorite of mine.


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Alright I thought about it a lot more than I should have and I decided to go with Queen Brunhilde because that name means strength for my main colony.
Queen Cassantra is the Lasius Niger one I found, Queen Cleopantra is Lasius Platythorax.

Rolls a lot faster from the tongue than their Latin names.
Also I will post an update later, if I don't forget about it, which is likely, in which case later is a relative term.

Queen Brunhilde is being quite monarchist lately, I can leak you that.


Heather Papps


hello internet friend




Goons Are Great posted:

Queen Brunhilde is being quite monarchist lately, I can leak you that.

brunhilde was my strongest and biggest rat. she could jump so far! i bet her pups would have been mighty indeed.


thanks everyone for posting, but six and vanisher especially!!!

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I hope her majesty will be a worthy representation of Brunhilde then!


Heather Papps


hello internet friend




Goons Are Great posted:

I hope her majesty will be a worthy representation of Brunhilde then!

is crying cool in ant crew? i don't want to get kicked out.


thanks everyone for posting, but six and vanisher especially!!!

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Of course it is, ants are emotional friends and they support you at all times!!


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Alright, let's take a quick update!

Queen Cassantra is staying tight on schedule, she definitely wants to get her babbies out of the cooker long before the cold hits.

Almost all larvae have pupated and are now safely inside their cocoon, transforming into adult ants. The number of eggs is considerably lower, just as expected she did feed about half of her brood to her growing larvae to support their growth. However, she also laid even more eggs and kept some more secure, so she has both a good number of eggs, some fresh larvae and a really solid number of 11 pupae in the making - absolutely fantastic numbers.
For comparison, when she was in her stage, my main Queen Brunhilde got 4 ants out before winter hit - although she had a big disadvantage, as she was impregnated much later in the year than Cassantra was. Either way, this is going absolutely great and given her health, size and ability to produce and take care of her babbies, I am quite sure that I wouldn't have taken her into my home, she would have found one herself and would be one of the few very successful queens that make it through their first year. She shows great abilities and is perfectly on track with her plan.


Queen Cleopantra is a bit of a messy one here. For some reason she separates her larvae, I don't think this is on purpose, as I've seen her walking around, kicking them back and forth with her legs by, I assume, accident. She might be really hungry and this leads to her lack of concentration. If you check the last update, she already had pupae, which was weird, well she lost a bunch of eggs anyways despite not having any growing larvae (ants can't eat while in the pupa stage), which means she probably ate her own eggs. That sounds dire, but does happen.
I could feed her a tiny drop of honey and if she continues to show this rather odd behavior and lack of focus, I will do so, too, but it is extremely unnatural and it might cause even more confusion for her, because in this stage queens do not eat anything at all, they never leave the nest even once, they live with what they have and have to make it through until her babbies hatch and can look for food. If she now finds some magical honey appearing, she might just not take it, or get stuck on it, or think something has entered her nest and it's not safe anymore. Or she might take it, eat up and get her kids in order - hard to tell. In nature she would probably be one that doesn't make it through.

Meanwhile in my main colony, I found this in their garbage disposal:


That's one out of three I found. It's a freshly opened cocoon, carefully slit up by the teeth of one of the workers, so that the inhabitant, a freshly born adult ant, can leave it easily.
The first workers from the oldest batch of eggs is arriving on the world, which is super exciting because all of these eggs were produced very close to each other, so I can expect a plethora of workers hatching now. Inside the nest (tried to take a picture, but they saw the light and immediately panicked, also the reflection made it terrible, so I didn't take one), the workers are now climbing on a mountain of pupae, which Queen Brunhilde oversees carefully. Right behind her butt with a safe distance from the ever hungry (and thus accidentally egg-eating) larvae, she has her freshest batch of eggs, I'd say around 15 in total. I could only see about three larvae, which isn't surprising, as most of them pupated by now and that's even a relief, because that means I can lower their food a bit, as the larvae consume by far the most insects.

In fact, my latest offering ended up being dumped along with the husks of the cocoons:

It appears they are trying to tell me to finally clean up the mess they are causing, which I think they are. Several workers have carefully inspected me removing the eaten and not eaten flies from their dump and since they realized that I do this, they are responding with the literally lowest effort possible by dumping it right on the drat entrance of their nest, making my job hard. Queen Brunhilde might be a kind queen to her kids, but she definitely likes to mock me.


Stoner Sloth


yay!! ant crew updates!

glad to see the queens are mostly doing well, hopefully Cleopantra is able to sort things out but sounds like Brunhilde and Cassantra are kicking rear end!

ty for the pics and info GaG!



sigs by the awesome Manifisto, Vanisher, City of Glompton, and Pot Smoke Phoenix - ty friends!

Heather Papps


hello internet friend




Goons Are Great posted:

Queen Brunhilde might be a kind queen to her kids, but she definitely likes to mock me.

that my girl


thanks everyone for posting, but six and vanisher especially!!!

Jack-Off Lantern


Yesss,Cassantra! Keep going,gurl!

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Now live: Brunhilde's crew taking over a fly.



That's actually fun, because I just placed these two flies into their nest, that worker came out before I even entered their territory. She watched me place the first fly in, immediately got there and when I placed the second one in, she instantly started attacking my tweezers, spraying formic acid (I could smell it) on it and trying to bite it. Then I released the fly, she immediately took her loot and brought it into the nest.
That's special because it's the very first time I ever got attacked by them, which is a super good sign. Usually when a steel object of the size of a plane enters your world, you probably run away, which they did until now. However, they must feel so confident about their territory, that they are willing to take the risk just to protect their lands, even though they are not really hungry (as I removed the posted leftover flies just yesterday, so they are definitely well-fed). That means this was a matter of principle, not desperation and that does make me proud.

Gonna need an ambassador next time to ask for a permit before entering. Also a better camera because jesus, my phone is not good at small fast moving ants.

Goons Are Great fucked around with this message at 12:37 on Aug 26, 2019


nut


my fav episode of Lost was where Hurley hissed and peed on the other plane half

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Time for another update and this time it is also time to say goodbye. Not a sad one though, a good one.

Queen Cassantra made it! She won the lottery of bringing her babies to adulthood, check them out:


A beautiful collection of 7 healthy workers hatched and are finally taking care of her. She just fulfilled the hardest job imaginable in ant life. She was born probably in May as a small, white and very hungry larvae in her home nest and rose up to become a healthy young lady until June. In July she had to fly the first, only and most important flight of her life, mating with a lot of males and getting pregnant. Then I found her and picked her up to offer her a new home, which she accepted. She laid her first baby eggs in the end of June and now, right on time on September 6th, she opened up their cocoons and her proud and loyal kids emerged to finally conquer the world. What a story!

However, she has to share the glory with Queen Cleopantra, who managed to do the same thing:


A total of 6 healthy workers also hatched today. As you can see, she never really made the change to clean up before their arrival, her brood still is all over the place, but the workers will now take care of that.

With both queens now being successful mommies, it is time for them to leave the Ant Crew. Queen Cassantra will go to a friend of mine who I finally convinced to check out ant keeping, for Queen Cleopantra I chose a specific place in a local forest not too far away, where I will bury her birthing tube, open up the entrance carefully. They will be with the nature they came from and I hope I was able to help her start a new colony. I probably will check back on her later, both species are known to be incredibly lazy when it comes to moving out, so she will most likely stay in her tube over winter, which gives me the chance to see how well they make it. Of course, nature is big, scary and dangerous, so I will wish them best luck in fulfilling their sacred duty.

I hope you guys somewhat enjoyed this super nerdy ride with my two additional queens!
Queen Brunhilde by the way will of course stay here with me and will then once again be the sole Emperor of this realm. By the way, her latest batch of babies also finally hatched, it is getting crowded in there! I estimate roughly 20 workers is the current total, they are by now curious, aggressive and active and they eat a lot, so it's going great there, too. I wonder how many more babies we can get out of the cooker before the long sleep begins in winter.


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Goons Are Great posted:

However, she has to share the glory with Queen Cleopantra, who managed to do the same thing:


A total of 6 healthy workers also hatched today. As you can see, she never really made the change to clean up before their arrival, her brood still is all over the place, but the workers will now take care of that.

queen cleo is a messy bitch and i love her and i wish her luck in her future endeavours


woooooo tiny shout out to deaf sex woooooooo it is spooky and i should have slept more posting up a storm this night wooooooooooooo i say. tiny shout out to mocking quantum also that guy rules. whoooooooooooo

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