Categories
Messor barbarus

Strong man

Finally bought some niger seeds today and they love them. These seeds are not much bigger than dandelion seeds  and not much bulk wise for them to carry back to the nest, but they also love shelled sun flower seeds as you can see in the first pic. Variety is the spice of  life  and its always good to give another option to the diet.

Small worker carrying a sunflower seed
Categories
Camponotus singularis

Welcome addition

After 38 days as a pupae, the first new addition to the colony has finally hatched. The new arrival is a media and has a much larger head and is bigger  than the existing workers.

The pupae in the top left corner of the pic has been colouring up for about 4 days prior to hatching . I took this shot this morning only hours before the ant hatched.

And here’s my new girl 🙂 You can see the difference in head size. Also a new pupae yesterday.

 

Categories
Messor barbarus

One year old …ish

So just over a year old now since i first got this queen and as you have seen since coming out from hibernation the colony is doing very well. So just a couple of pics from inside the nest and a short video showing the progression. I’m considering changing their nest as i’m affraid the plaster inside the faunarium will slip causing a disaster. I have made another but i will need to persuade the ants that the alternative nest will be better for them, anyway that will be a few weeks away yet.

In the pics we see which i think is the larvae from the previously shown eggs laid after the winter break, and the next pic i think could be the pupated larvae from left over from last year. ( Not sure on that though )

Pupae

[youtube]fRHD3MX6-hE[/youtube]

Categories
Messor barbarus

All goes well

Today i was happy to see that there are already pupae inside the nest,  all goes well so far this year for the harvesters. I still have plenty of dandelion seeds left over from last summer and they are always eager to choose these over millets, another month and i will be able to collect more of these seeds. I still want to get some niger seeds to see how they compare.

 The night time activity in the arena is much busier than the day time and many more majors are seen after the lights go out.

Categories
Camponotus sp

Blocked entry

I decided to mix some soil with the sand in the arena to try and up the humidity slightly. It may just be want these ants are waiting for as there is still very little activity and virtually zero inside the nest. The first thing that happened was three of the ants immediately began to block up the entrance to the nest.

 

Categories
Cataglyphis desertorum

Spring cleaning

With the slightly higher temps in the nest, the ants have decided to do a spot of spring cleaning in two of the chambers that are totally crammed with rubbish. This is good to see as cleaning is defiantly not high on there priority normally.

All the larvae from last year have now dissapeared, they never pupated but i have no idea what happened to them all. Feeding has slowed right down now  and the ammount of ants in the arena  has also declined. Inside the nest everything seems fine and i am hoping that the colony is taking a later winter break as the queen still hasnt laid any eggs yet. The teperature within in the nest fluctuates between 19 and 21 c, i dont want to warm it up to fast.

 

Categories
Cataglyphis desertorum

Adding warmth

Still no eggs in the nest and only a few of last years larvae left. The temps in the nest where the queen resides is about 17.5 c so today i have began to add some warmth and have increased this to about 20.5 c which is the same as the rest of the nest. I wonder why the queen and the majority of the colony have prefered to stay in the lower temps.

Categories
Camponotus singularis

Blue bottles

Well after the last success of feeding a fly, i have been giving them daily but with little effect. I tried again today  and was pleased to see that another fly had indeed been accepted. We will see tomorrow just how much has been eaten. I suppose even for 5 ants, one fly is probably enough for a week, but the remaining larvae just don’t seem to be growing.