Categories
Messor barbarus

New eggs

All the ants moved into the new nest within the day and spent another 2 days moving their seeds. I didnt noticed that i hadn’t put the plaster back into the faunarium properly, and it wasn’t quite sitting on the bottom so the ants were able to get underneath. Ill have to be very carefully when handling it otherwise a slight slip and ill end up squashing 100’s šŸ™ This is a worry so i will probably make them another.

The breeding seasons has began again with this nice clump of eggs, although there are some larger larvae in the nest i think they must have been left over from last years before hibernation. Looks like they are content with the new nest though.

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Categories
Camponotus singularis

Hatching flies

I recently hatched a batch of Blue bottle (Calliphora vomitoria) casters, so last night i placed a freshly killed fly just inside the entrance to the test tube. The ants quickly took it right inside and could be seen nibbling on the carcass. This is the first time these ants have physically taken protein inside the nest and by the following morning the remains of the fly were dumped outside the nest and most had been eaten.

Categories
Cataglyphis desertorum

Dormant nest

All quiet still with just the occasional forage by 2 – 3 ants taking a few sips from the honey water and ignoring protein altogether. The nest is still dormant . There has been a few deaths too but the existing larvae still seem to be cared for although they too seem to be dormant.

Categories
Camponotus singularis

First pupae

The first larvae has eventually made it to pupae, so taking about 23 days to develop. I have been giving them small locusts and they have been showing an interst in these but not as much as i would have liked. They also nibble on apple when it has turned slightly brown and has begun to ferment. I also think they are using their eggs and any small larvae that have hatched, as a food source in an effort to keep the one large larvae alive.

Categories
Cataglyphis desertorum

test tube for water

12 Feb 2012

There hasn’t been any cocoons present now for at least 3 weeks and although there are larvae present, they are also disappearing. I can’t see any eggs either and the appetite of the ants has also decreased. Perhaps they are feeding on the larvae, they are going somewhere ? The queen is still active and so are the ants with only a few deaths in the colony.

I have changed the water facility as they bridge the milk bottle top with sand causing the water to leak out. I am now using a water filled test tube and this works much better.

Categories
Messor barbarus

New nest

I have finally made my ants their new nest and decided to use Crystacast Plaster as it sets like concrete, hopefully it wont be so easy for the ants to chew their way out. It better not as this stuff is expensive. I used a small faunarium and made the negative impessions for the tunnels from play dough that i had made from flour and salt earlier. That bit was fun.Ā  I then coated the sides of the faunarium with vedgeatable oil so the plaster would come out easier and then went to mix the plaster. Right, ready to pour the plaster in and ….BUGGER!!!!, the oil had caused the play dough to slide down into a heap to the bottom.Ā  I had to quickly chuck it all out and start again but the plaster was already setting, i added some more water twice, formed the tunnels and in a panic, poured in the plaster. Well it didnt look to good but useable. Crystacast Plaster sets like rock in about half an hour and is very heavy, infact it was setting as i was pouring it and had to make a bit more to finish it off. Anyway, next time ill know .

I wanted to use the whole box for the nest , the first part was to put in the water reserve. Also at the back the entrance and air vent.
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The playdough forming the tunnels.
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After the plasters been poured and cleaned.
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Entrance and vent
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Connected to original arena.
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I took the cover of the RG’s and the ants very quickly began moving their seed stores to the new nest. I don’t think the queen has moved yet but all seems good.

Categories
Camponotus singularis

Larvae growth

The largest larvae is still growing and in the next pic it is laying besides a media, its getting quite big now and iā€™m hoping it is going to be a major. I could only see one other larvae even though there are signs of eggs hatching which concerns me.

Categories
Camponotus singularis

Slowly does it

There are a few very small larvae now and the largest is growing slowly.

Categories
Messor barbarus

Raising the temps

This morning i have taken my two colonies out from their winter break and raised the temps quite dramatically up to about 18 c. I’m not sure if the break has been altogether successful because the temps have fluctuate between 8c and 15c. There are no eggs or larvae to be seen so the queen had stopped laying and i am happy that i haven’t found any dead ants in either colony. The ants have eagerly accepted prey items so hopefully they will resume with a happy 2012…

I still haven’t got around to building their new nests yet and i will have to loose one of my colony’s šŸ™ I’ll just wait a while so i can confirm both queens have made it through the rest.