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Ant Keepers?

Ant Keepers?

Postby Zophos » Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:45 pm

Hi

I recently found a Camponotus maculatus queen and a couple of Pheidole capensis queens after their nuptial flights.

I have them in test tube setups and they have all hatched out some nanites (First workers). I have made some outworlds for them and they are all doing great and feeding on honey and small crickets.

My question: Does anyone else on these forums keep our native ants as pets (willingly, not when they invade your home :D )? If so, what species?

Ps: I will post some pics as soon as I can take a decent pic of these small beasts.
"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."
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Re: Ant Keepers?

Postby Zophos » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:44 am

The Camponotus maculatus Queen have alot of cocoons that should hatch any day now.

Camp2.jpg

Camp1.jpg

Camp.jpg
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"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."
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Re: Ant Keepers?

Postby Zophos » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:48 am

I tried to take pictures of my Pheidole capensis queens, but they are so tiny that my cell camera just isn't up to the task.

This is my Messor barbarus Queen with her nanites

Messor2.jpg


Messor.jpg
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Re: Ant Keepers?

Postby Sico » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:48 am

Interesting post. Thanks.
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Re: Ant Keepers?

Postby Zophos » Thu Feb 09, 2017 12:19 pm

Thank you.

I will keep this thread updated on the progress of these colonies as they expand. Unfortunately, the first year of these colonies is slow with little progress.

I will only be moving them into a formicarium (ant farm) once they have more than 20 workers, to ensure maximum survivability.

I never realized that the sugar ant queens are so big, until a saw for myself. She is 20mm in length, a big ant.

Regards
"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."
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Re: Ant Keepers?

Postby Westley Price » Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:02 am

Very interesting. Thanx for sharing.

For us laymen, how do you maintain the colony in a test tube? Do they defecate to the extent where you need to clean the tube or do they maintain themselves?

And how did yo start these colonies? Do you need to harvest a queen from a wild nest?

Cheers
"I am dying by inches from not having anybody to talk to about insects." - Charles Darwin
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Re: Ant Keepers?

Postby Zophos » Sat Feb 11, 2017 11:09 pm

Hi.

They only stay in the test tube for the first year. During this time the colony only grows to about 20 workers, thus waste is low. They do keep their waste separate from the larvae and food, so it is easy to clean, but it is not a lot.

I start my colonies in Spring, after the first rain, when queens fly in the late afternoons and early mornings. These queens are easy to spot as they are usually bigger than normal ants, and are wandering about alone on sidewalks and pavements.

Digging out a colony in the wild is risky, as it is difficult to find the queen, and when you do find her, she might be injured, so I would not recommend this.

Regards
"Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."
Mae West
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