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Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970



Well yeah, but honestly..



lmao welcome to heaven, you'll be overrun in a month

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Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Goons Are Garlic posted:

lmao welcome to heaven, you'll be overrun in a month

Hahaha I'm in danger.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Since they're small do I need a special formicarium or would most work?

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970



Well yeah, but honestly..



A small one should work fine, make sure there's not too much open space from their perspective, else they might feel in danger. In general anything goes, but those fuckers are able to chew through a ton of things, including concrete, so you might have a bad time keeping them anywhere else but glass of sorts. Concrete would also work though if you make sure they have no reason to start digging, like keep the atmosphere nice and have some soil around so they rather use that to build stuff. You can create pre-made chambers for them or just let them do it, depends on how much control you want to have over the conditions. Usually too small is better than too big for ants though, as they have no problems stacking 100 ants on a centimeter of space, but will panic if they feel like they don't know what might be sitting above their heads.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

My main supplier is here: https://www.antscanada.com/product-category/equipment/

secondary here: https://canada-ant-colony.com/collections/formicaria (problem is the shipper they use tends to keep losing my packages )

OGS-Remix
Sep 4, 2007

Totally surviving on my own. On LAND!

I wish I found this thread yesterday instead of today.

I just got a new place and I found a few scout ants running around. I immediately went to Home Depot to get some ant traps but after seeing there are better options, I feel bad for putting them out.

Since I haven't moved in yet and there's pretty much nothing they would want except water, would it have been possible for the problem to solve itself? I guess if I cleaned off all the trails and made sure there's no food around, would the ants just lose interest?

I tracked the trail to a starting point in the garage so if I cleaned them out and dumped dichotomous earth around, would that have stopped them from coming inside?

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

I feel like you don't need to sweat it too much when it comes to like house ants and whatever, the priority there is your own health and safety and your other pets, so you should just balance out those concerns with the time and effort more humane options might take. It's entirely possible your house ants are invasives like Argentine ants and exterminating them might help other more local ant species that are being outcompeting by their numbers.

If you wanna try it more humanely I think typically using vinnegar to disrupt their trails, keep your surfaces clean without any crumbs or loose foods, keep sugary things like honey in like a bowl/container with a moat of water and so on and altogether should minimize their presence.

I think in general specifically in the case of ant keepers with captive ants bait traps are a bad idea because the wild ants might bring it into the setups of the captured ones.

Depends more on your time available and energy.

Lima
Jun 17, 2012



This showed up in my recommended:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cME_aMVUEVU

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice


Curious that they moved the brood to the top part; and I'm also curious how they keep the sand moist.

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970



Well yeah, but honestly..



My guess is that they carried in water that got stuck on the glass, overdid it a little and thus moved the brood, who prefers stuff a bit dry, in the right spot to hit the humidity.

My ants did the same now that they entered the winter slumber by carrying in water when the temperatures dropped. What they didn't know is that the falling temperature would lead to water going back to liquid and the humidity is how at a whooping 99% and I have to keep the external arena opened up to avoid mist showing up in there.
Humidity is definitely the biggest problem when sleeping in the fridge, but luckily usually too humid is not a bad thing, while too dry always is.

OGS-Remix
Sep 4, 2007

Totally surviving on my own. On LAND!

Raenir Salazar posted:

Depends more on your time available and energy.

Well I guess I do have Argentinian ants because the baits were not enough to kill all the queens.

I'm going to buy some more bait and after their numbers die down, I'll seal up any holes I see with baking soda and silicone caulk.

For cleaning off ant trails, will steam cleaners wipe them out? I didn't want to use vinegar because the trails are on tile that I don't want to damage. I guess a baking soda mixture might work and be tile safe?

Bug Squash
Mar 18, 2009


YOU CAN STOMP US!

YOU CAN SQUASH US!

BUT YOU'LL NEVER EVER STOP US!


OGS-Remix posted:

Well I guess I do have Argentinian ants because the baits were not enough to kill all the queens.

I'm going to buy some more bait and after their numbers die down, I'll seal up any holes I see with baking soda and silicone caulk.

For cleaning off ant trails, will steam cleaners wipe them out? I didn't want to use vinegar because the trails are on tile that I don't want to damage. I guess a baking soda mixture might work and be tile safe?

Soapy water should do the job just fine. Pheromone trails are by design fragile and temporary, and need constant reapplication by the ants. If they weren't, ants would be constantly following old trails.

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970



Well yeah, but honestly..



Ya exactly, vinegar only works so well because it removes old pheromones and also stinks like hell to them, which repels them. Even just water should remove most of them, as ants regularly have to rebuild ant tracks after or during rain (although there are some water resistant chemicals they use occasionally), but soap water or just any kind of cleaning agent you want to use will do the trick just fine. Maybe add some force by scrubbing or wiping to be sure, if possible.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

I've been trying but it seems like I'm going to have to declare defeat in my war to keep the pharaoh's away. I've cleaned/mopped my bathroom and applied vinegar multiple times and only seems to keep them away a few days before they gradually make their way back.

So I think I need to get my building management to send in an exterminator to place down the gel and whatever. Now's the time since I've fridged all my other hands including my myrmica and the moat seems to be working to keep the pharaohs away from the ones I'm holding captive on Antcatraz.

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970



Well yeah, but honestly..



Goonspeed, pharaoh ants are pretty much uncontrollable once they're in invasion mode

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Updates on Antcatraz.




I hope that mini-hearth I ordered arrives soon.

e, my setup:

Raenir Salazar fucked around with this message at 01:16 on Nov 27, 2020

mycelia
Apr 28, 2013

just a big doofus fightin pokemons





I too have now binged this whole thread and am super fascinated by ants My main experiences with them are getting bitten by various Australian species as a kid and swelling up like a balloon, but the biology stuff is incredible.

I'm curious about the ant graveyard thing you mentioned before. Is that just for war casualties? Is there a known reason for it? (I know they sometime eat their dead if necessary, so I kind of assumed they wouldn't let good food go to waste, but then again you were saying about them poisoning their water supply...)

Bug Squash
Mar 18, 2009


YOU CAN STOMP US!

YOU CAN SQUASH US!

BUT YOU'LL NEVER EVER STOP US!


A dead ant is a potential threat to the colony. Mites, nemotoads, bacteria and fungus will transfer from a dead host to a live one. Transfering the body away from the colony is a good approach to minimise this risk.

Why they designate a graveyard/waste-tip rather than just carrying it a certain distance away from the colony, I don't know. My guess is that it's safer to have a single spot to put all your trash rather than everyone doing their own thing.

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970



Well yeah, but honestly..



Ya exactly, one specific spot is safer than spreading it out. Ants produce a lot of corpses and keeping it concentrated to minimize the risk of infestation or infection.

Ants rarely eat their dead sisters unless in need, as they assume that if one of them dies it's for a reason, like a disease, and thus potentially dangerous. So they always need some sort of graveyard to get rid of the corpses in a safe but controllable distance to the nest.
They do not let food go to waste though and if they kill each other on purpose, like when they kill their own larvae in autumn in preparation for winter, they will eat them instead. They also always eat the corpses of slain hostile ants and won't bury them, so the graveyard is exclusive for their own kind and mainly serves the purposes of cleaning and controlling potential hazard risks.

mycelia
Apr 28, 2013

just a big doofus fightin pokemons





Admittedly that makes more sense than my burgeoning "ants have a concept of the afterlife" theory, if slightly less intriguing. Still very cool though. Thanks y'all

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970



Well yeah, but honestly..



I mean, I can't speak about what they believe, can I

Bug Squash
Mar 18, 2009


YOU CAN STOMP US!

YOU CAN SQUASH US!

BUT YOU'LL NEVER EVER STOP US!


My colonies tend to throw their dead onto the nearest piece of stale food, so my guess is all they're doing is bee-lining to the smelliest place nearby but not too close to chuck their dead and other garbage. Wouldn't be surprised to hear that there's some clever decision making going on regarding rubbish dumping.

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Solenopsis Geminata dumping their dead into the river, potentially polluting their drinking water, has a certain human like irony to it.

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970



Well yeah, but honestly..



They way ants choose their garbage pile and graveyard is indeed not trivial, as given the exact same setup they choose the same location multiple times as long as conditions remain the same. There's a lot of difference between subfamilies and genera there, some prefer their trash wet others dry, some bury their deceased others throw them on the trash. The reason the garbage dumping happened in the river of Ants Canada's setup, for example, happened because they figured that the trash would flow away, which it would have done if it wasn't in an enclosed terrarium.

We experimented with that a bit a while ago and there's several factors they appear to factor in: humidity and temperature, probably in conjunction with the likelihood of mold, speed of garbage decaying, presence of other animals and fungi that can process it, distance to the nest and presence of rivaling ants nearby.
The likelihood of mold is obvious, as various species react differently to mold and can tolerate it better or worse than others. The speed of it disappearing is vital obviously, other animals like springtails and mites determine the speed to a huge degree, distance to the nest matters as it has to be safe to not cause backwards infections while remaining control over it in their territory, because the presence of rivaling ants matters as they could plunder the garbage or corpses to feed or, even worse, bury them up and dump them in the originating nest's front yard, causing problems. Ants are happy to use Bio weapons like this.

The reason why ants in enclosed situations seem to just dump their trash wherever is because we humans keep taking it out. We have to do it because the limited space doesn't allow natural decaying to take place undisturbed or safely, they assume that because it disappears they are doing everything right. That's why AC's ants kept throwing trash into the river continuously, too. There's no reason to out effort behind getting rid of trash and corpses if they just despawn and can't hurt anyone anymore.

As ant keepers we can use this technique to teach them what spots work and which are annoying, as they will change the place if we stop taking out the trash. Once they found a spot we can reach nicely and remove it again, they'll know that this one is better and will stick with it.

Stoner Sloth
Apr 2, 2019



That's fascinating. Sounds like the ants are better at disposing of garbage than people even if they're quite happy to accept the 'magically disappears' thing on a pragmatic level.

aphid_licker
Jan 7, 2009

eyebrowse


Pillbug

"Keep trying different things until there's no longer fuckin trash everywhere" is p elegant as a problem-solving approach

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970



Well yeah, but honestly..



It's emblematic for everything ants do, really. Just try stuff until you find the best possible solution, the entire hive mind is based on endless strings of trial and error

Kanine
Aug 5, 2014

by Nyc_Tattoo


im confused about something relating to ants and evolution

(correct me if im wrong here but) if natural selection is basically: animal gets born with random new trait -> trait is either advantageous/harmful/neutral -> if trait is harmful animal most likely dies before it can reproduce and pass on the genes, or if the trait is advantageous/neutral the animal has a higher likelihood of surviving and then passing said trait on

how do eusocial animals evolve into various specialized castes, etc?

if the queen has a single genetic sequence, how did she evolve to give birth to a bunch of different caste variations that themselves dont ever breed and pass on their genes?

edit: is there any known example of a transitional eusocial species?

Kanine fucked around with this message at 15:13 on Dec 22, 2020

VictualSquid
Feb 29, 2012

Gently enveloping the target with indiscriminate love.


Kanine posted:

im confused about something relating to ants and evolution

(correct me if im wrong here but) if natural selection is basically: animal gets born with random new trait -> trait is either advantageous/harmful/neutral -> if trait is harmful animal most likely dies before it can reproduce and pass on the genes, or if the trait is advantageous/neutral the animal has a higher likelihood of surviving and then passing said trait on

how do eusocial animals evolve into various specialized castes, etc?

if the queen has a single genetic sequence, how did she evolve to give birth to a bunch of different caste variations that themselves dont ever breed and pass on their genes?
Ants themselves (or rather the larger order) do genetics slightly differently to most other animals. Due to the different ways the genes combine you have more genetically in common with your sisters then with your children, which encourages the hymenoptera to be eusocial.
With termites and naked mole rats you have special patterns of inbreeding leading to similar genetic outcomes.

Also, basic ant are queen, worker, drone. Effectively 3 sexes and in some situations a worker can transform into a queen. More complex stuff came later.

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970



Well yeah, but honestly..



It's important to note that it seems very likely that eusociality in ants, wasps, a few bumblebees and a few bee species is the result of the ground work being done in their common ancestor species, of which we know basically nothing of. They evolved away from that one between 250 to 300 million years ago and ever since every single ant species, alive or not, even fossils, has shown to be eusocial. This makes it extremely unlikely that ants developed it, but perfected it to its current state, whereas the original groundwork was done a lot earlier.

The primal ants, many of which still exist today, show a different behavior that likely is similar to this unknown ancestor, where they do not yet differentiate through castes but only males and females. These workers are called Gamergates (Greek, "gametes" for "spouse" and "ergatos" for "worker", no relation to any other meaning of the word) and are all reproductive, but one or a few selected individuals will fight for supremacy in the nest by forcing themselves to power via violence (and thus biological advantageous traits) and forming factions, where the closest relative ant to a rebelling ant will support it, as it has a higher chance of winning the game of thrones and thus spreading a part of their genes, rather than fighting on its own to spread all of them. As soon as one queen was successful in establishing power, it will (in more evolved forms) excrete a sexual pheromone that hinders reproduction in other workers, or (in the most primal form) through sheer violence by killing pregnant mothers and their eggs and babies.
The resulting new family this queen ant can create will be similar to its mother, thus having an advantage over those ants that just start fighting for power, until it evolved towards different castes entirely, where the non-reproductive workers ended up evolving their ovaries into stingers or (the most modern form) venom spraying devices.

You might have noticed, we started sort of in the middle of this process with a nest and male/female distinction and caste already existing, that is because the very beginning, the first ants to evolve into cooperating in the first place, is entirely unknown. It seems likely that, as we know from various termite species, they simply gathered by coincidence and formed nests, but stayed sexually active until a much later form, where the nest is basically just a form of extreme cooperation, but they share no real relation or care for each other. From this point on, these cooperating ants probably did a better job at reproducing, until solitary ant ancestors were extinct and they could go down this path even further.

Once it's established, limiting the sexual reproduction to one or a few individuals maintained itself up until the workers lost the biological ability to be reproductive entirely. Additionally, as mentioned above, ants have a very specific genetic setup called Haplodiploidy, where the ant siblings share more genes with each other (75% of genes in a mathematically perfect setup) than with their own mother (50%), leading to a huge incentive to maintain this setup permanently for improved gene reproduction (helping a sibling leads to three quarters of your genes existing than reproducing sexually yourself, where only half of them can be carried over) and maintaining this intense cooperation.

Stoner Sloth
Apr 2, 2019



Glutes Are Great posted:

You might have noticed, we started sort of in the middle of this process with a nest and male/female distinction and caste already existing, that is because the very beginning, the first ants to evolve into cooperating in the first place, is entirely unknown. It seems likely that, as we know from various termite species, they simply gathered by coincidence and formed nests, but stayed sexually active until a much later form, where the nest is basically just a form of extreme cooperation, but they share no real relation or care for each other. From this point on, these cooperating ants probably did a better job at reproducing, until solitary ant ancestors were extinct and they could go down this path even further.

I liked E.O. Wilson's take on eusociality both cause it touched on what you mentioned about ancestor species having preadaptions or groundwork already laid for the species to become eusocial under the right environmental/evolutionary pressures.

That and the idea that nests are the most vital element in a species becoming eusocial since it then takes a relatively small change to ensure that the offspring produced don't disperse and instead remain with the nest to build up the sort of environment where eusociality is heavily selected for. Think this particularly makes sense with termites where they don't have the haplodiploidy thing going that scientists used to assume was necessary for eusociality to evolve.

He'd also include humans as a eusocial species and wrote that the human 'nest' was the campfire.

Bug Squash
Mar 18, 2009


YOU CAN STOMP US!

YOU CAN SQUASH US!

BUT YOU'LL NEVER EVER STOP US!


Kanine posted:

im confused about something relating to ants and evolution

(correct me if im wrong here but) if natural selection is basically: animal gets born with random new trait -> trait is either advantageous/harmful/neutral -> if trait is harmful animal most likely dies before it can reproduce and pass on the genes, or if the trait is advantageous/neutral the animal has a higher likelihood of surviving and then passing said trait on

how do eusocial animals evolve into various specialized castes, etc?

if the queen has a single genetic sequence, how did she evolve to give birth to a bunch of different caste variations that themselves dont ever breed and pass on their genes?

edit: is there any known example of a transitional eusocial species?

So every ant contains the genetic sequence to create all of the castes in the colony, but only the queen and drones breed. So how do worker genes pass down through the generations? Quite simply, because they improve the chances of a queen reproducing and passing on those worker genes. A mutation in the queen that leads to her producing workers that are "better" in some way will go on to have more queens and drones, and so the gene becomes more common in the species.

You might like to think of it as a similar way to how your body is specialised into different organs. No liver or heart cell has ever created a new human being, but your germ cells (the lineage of cells that are set aside for reproduction) contain all the information to produce them. Better liver or heart cells lead to a better support system for the germ cells, so any mutation in the germ cells that has that effect goes on to make more humans.

There are indeed lots of semi-social animals, that you could think of as being "transitional". Some of my favourite examples are gall aphids, which produce specialised soldier aphids to defend their homes from rival aphids. Some species of parasitic wasp which lay their eggs inside insects actually have some of their young remain as larvae and grow larger mandibles to kill off the young of other wasps trying to inject into the same caterpillar.

Bug Squash fucked around with this message at 15:58 on Dec 22, 2020

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

I have moved my pharaohs to a mini-hearth:



Normally I wouldn't dump a colony, but pharaohs seem to give absolutely no fucks about anything.

JacquelineDempsey
Aug 6, 2008


I am a huge fan of Ze Frank's "True Facts" videos (they are all great, check them out), and when the latest one just popped up in my YT recommendations, well, of course I thought about y'all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p16g5IVCdeE

That poo poo's wild, yo

edit: "Booty Caches" would make a great username

JacquelineDempsey fucked around with this message at 19:07 on Jan 11, 2021

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice



I think I need to connect the second mini-hearth now... That's literally a big pile of brood in the back of the chamber. And that's all brood lining the surface of the glass!

e: I've stumbled across some MAD SCIENCE. The Experimental Process of creating multispecies ant colonies

Raenir Salazar fucked around with this message at 22:33 on Jan 11, 2021

Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

THEY ESCAPED AGAIN.

One of the plugs tarheel ants gave me didnt fit the back hole snug (letting them escape) so I plugged it with modeling clay because by my past experience they weren't too keen on picking at it.

WELL I WAS WRONG. They tunneled a 1mm diameter tunnel and used it to escape and were all over the setup.

Luckily the hearth was perched ontop of a stand which was placed in a plastic container with fluon applied so they couldn't go all over the desk.

But I was up until like 4 am investigating the issue and relocating them, i discovered I could put the container where I was temporarily storing them outside on my balcony for them to curl up and "freeze" which made it easy to tap them back into their outworld; they seem cold resistant as when I checked up on them a half hour later the "pile" of pharaoh bodies were gone, either their sisters ate them or they revived once they warmed up.

They're a goddamned SCP.

I think in the spring I'm trading them away for a different interesting species. They're too much effort and stress, I have a buyer basically.

Goons Are Great
Jan 1, 1970



Well yeah, but honestly..



Goddamn, the ants are already up and running! In the fridge! Had to refresh water and food today, they're just restless. Gonna take them out of winter sleep soon, there's no sense in keeping them in the cold when they're already awake and fighting my hand.

I'm excited, this year's ant adventures are about to start!

Stoner Sloth
Apr 2, 2019



Glutes Are Great posted:

Goddamn, the ants are already up and running! In the fridge! Had to refresh water and food today, they're just restless. Gonna take them out of winter sleep soon, there's no sense in keeping them in the cold when they're already awake and fighting my hand.

I'm excited, this year's ant adventures are about to start!

Bug Squash
Mar 18, 2009


YOU CAN STOMP US!

YOU CAN SQUASH US!

BUT YOU'LL NEVER EVER STOP US!


A ruin storm has hit the UK, so I've brought my colonies in from the shed. They can tank a normal UK winter in there, but probably not -20 C crazy town winters.

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Raenir Salazar
Nov 5, 2010

USNews: Biden approves $735M weapons sale to Israel


College Slice

Glutes Are Great posted:

Goddamn, the ants are already up and running! In the fridge! Had to refresh water and food today, they're just restless. Gonna take them out of winter sleep soon, there's no sense in keeping them in the cold when they're already awake and fighting my hand.

I'm excited, this year's ant adventures are about to start!

Yeah!

I got some hearths, hoping my ants switch to them soon. I got one for the currently most active campo. penn. colony, and the smaller hearth for my campo novae's.









Most of the workers for my novae's have moved into the hearth, I'm hoping the queen moves soon.

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