Categories
Polyrhachis dives

Salmon paste

Tonight i thought i would try out some chicken and some salmon paste. As soon as i put a small blob of each inside the arena the ants suddenly swarmed out of the nest,,,100’s of them running frantically. Oddily they paid little attention to the samples i had given them but there are a few tasting the chicken .

 

Categories
Camponotus singularis

First larvae

At last the fisrt visible sight of a larvae. Although i think the eggs are hatching i’m not sure if they are just really slow to develop or that they are being eaten . The first pic shows an empty egg case which was taken on the 14th jan and the second of the larvae. Again i’m not sure if the larvae is from the same clutch of eggs.

I decided to put the RG in a smaller arena consisting of just fine white reptile sand and a piece of ceramic tile. The tile just gives a surface for food dishes but can also hold water if humidity is needed as its very pourus. The humidity inside the arena is only about 60 RH

The ants don’t seem happy with temps in the RG being over 78 f and will leave the nest bringing out the eggs, which was proabably why the queen was leaving the y-tong nest earlier . I am presently keeping the temps between 72f-75f and they seem content. Still only really feeding on the acacia honey/water as far as i can tell and will quickly discard any dead live food that i have offered them in the entrance to their RG.

Categories
Cataglyphis desertorum

Pupae decline

For the last few weeks i have noticed a huge decline of pupae but there are still eggs and plenty of larvae in all sizes. Maybe the larvae have slowed down for their winter break or there was perhaps a short period when there were no eggs present ?
The ants continue as normal and are consuming more food than ever.

Categories
Cataglyphis desertorum

Out in pairs

A little bit more activity in the arena now with just 2 or 3 ants hunting around, they do seem to prefer going out in pairs at the moment. Inside the nest however is still very still, and last years larvae show no signs of growth. As far as food is concerned they are only taking honey water and nibbling on roaches and crickets but they seem reluctant.

Categories
Camponotus sp

Test tube

I decided to put a test tube in the arena on top of the Y-tong nest and that evening they all moved into it and have remained there for 3 days so far. The tube is covered in red cellophane so i can’t see how the eggs are doing, i’m not going to disturb them anyway so now i will just wait and see.

Categories
Cataglyphis desertorum

Get the baby in

Today i noticed quite a few ants standing around the arena and on top of the nest doing nothing, perhaps this is the first signs that the nest is already to small. I am going to have to start planning for larger accomodation as there are piles of cocoons waiting to hatch.

These ants should be having a winter rest at the moment and i had asked for an opinion on this so below is an extract from Frank Mattheis. (German translation via google)

It is safe for it, come from the region from which the animals. On the coasts it is warmer in the winter months than in inland areas. There is no winter rest in the sense it does not, but certainly a breeding pause in the cooler months. In Djerba, the Tunisian coast, the breeding season ends in these species in October and November, the new breeding season begins in Djerba (where these animals originate presumably) by the end of January and February. Also in November, December and January, the colonies are active, albeit less. It is collected and recorded diet of some workers, while the majority of the colony crammed into deeper areas of the nest and staying cool. A short, two-month rest period is thus quite fashionable, at temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees. But now there should be a day-night rhythm, constantly offered food and there must be a bit warmer during the day also apologize in discharge of the animals. The rest period should occur gradually, so that the colony has time to adjust to their brood rearing on the coming cool period. So do not suddenly “cool” a colony that is located in the breeding business and has masses of eggs and larvae. Then it’s probably better to let the animals durchbrüten or just lower the temperature and gradually shut down the heating of the nest.”

Because of how active and probably to late to begin their break i have decided to let the ants continue as they are. I just hope this doesn’t damage the colony.

I also noticed today a young bright orange ant running about the arena. This is the first time i had seen a youngster out and some of the other ants seem to be showing concern. It eventually returned home.

Categories
Camponotus sp

Resting

Still very little activity in the nest with the occasional one or two ants making short excursions into the arena to feed on the honey water and nothing else. The temps are the same and i’m adding water to the nest once or twice a week.

Categories
Messor barbarus

Still resting

Temps are fluctuating between 9c – 15c and the ants of both colonies seem pretty quiet with just a few ants ambling about the arena. I’m adding a few drops of water for them on some cotton wool but nothing else. I have noticed a slight smell coming from both colonies, not sure what this is so i have put the small pc fans running to try and freshen up the air a bit for them.