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Macro Photos - My Captive Ant Colonies


Aphaenogaster
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As far as I know, these could be the first photos of ants to be posted on this forum. Of course, this is a cockroach forum, so that makes sense. Anyway, I thought some of you might be interested in seeing the variety of ant species I have cultured over the years.

Pheidole ceres

(December 31, 2013) - Major worker (at center) and minor workers in their test tube nest.

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(March 1, 2014) - The colony, shortly after moving into their new hydrostone formicarium. The queen is the large blurry individual at right.

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Tetramorium caespitum (pavement ants)

(March 1, 2014) - Larvae and pupae in the hydrostone nest of another colony.

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(Click on the photos to enlarge them.)

I will continue add more photos in later posts...

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Copy the URL of the pic. On top of of this thing that you write posts on with the smiley faces, bold, italics, font, color there is an add image icon. It looks like a green picture of a tree. Click that button and It says "Image Properties" and it has an URL place to type an URL. Past your coppied URL there and click the "OK" button.

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Copy the URL of the pic. On top of of this thing that you write posts on with the smiley faces, bold, italics, font, color there is an add image icon. It looks like a green picture of a tree. Click that button and It says "Image Properties" and it has an URL place to type an URL. Past your coppied URL there and click the "OK" button.

Thanks for the help! I'll correct everything and add more this weekend.

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Beautiful colonies! I also had camponotus chromaiodes before, such a neat species.

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I don't have them any more since I've moved cross states...

Camponotus are very interesting ants. I haven't had much success with rearing them though. How large did that colony manage to grow before you left?

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Camponotus are very interesting ants. I haven't had much success with rearing them though. How large did that colony manage to grow before you left?

Camponotus chromaiodes grows like wild fire, I have around 200 workers at that time. But Camponotus castaneus are picky, they refuse to take food most of the time.

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Cool! How do you get queens to start a colony? I found a queen and crawling around on the sidewalk. It had already lost its wings. I placed it in a small container with about an inch of coconut fiber, and fed it catfood. She dug a burrow all the way to the bottom and died a week later. I know it was a queen, it was larger than normal and looked like a queen rather than a worker. She did not lay any eggs. Did I do somthing wrong? Thanks in advance! :)

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Cool! How do you get queens to start a colony? I found a queen and crawling around on the sidewalk. It had already lost its wings. I placed it in a small container with about an inch of coconut fiber, and fed it catfood. She dug a burrow all the way to the bottom and died a week later. I know it was a queen, it was larger than normal and looked like a queen rather than a worker. She did not lay any eggs. Did I do somthing wrong? Thanks in advance! :)

I would avoid using coconut fiber as a substrate, as many ant species cannot tolerate high moisture levels. Test tube nests are generally the most effective way of housing small ant colonies. To do this, fill a test tube halfway with filtered water and, while holding it vertically, push a piece of cotton downwards to form a blocked reservoir at the end of the tube. It is important to use organic cotton for this. Place the ant queen inside and plug the entrance with dry cotton. Darkening the interior of the test tube (with cloth, paper, etc.) will encourage egg laying. New queens of most ant species do not forage for food during the founding stage. They instead raise their first offspring to adulthood off of their own body reserves. The first workers are called nanitics, due to their stunted size. Of course, care requirements vary greatly depending on species and these rules do not always apply.

is a link to a tutorial on how to build a test tube nest.

Good luck! Let me know if you have any more questions.

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Here are some of my older photos.

(September 25, 2011) - A newly founded Tetramorium caespitum colony in their test tube nest. The queen is the large individual at far left.

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(July 31, 2011) - Camponotus vicinus queen with her first larvae and pupae. These were all raised without any access to food, except for a bit of honey I fed her after she was collected.

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(March 24, 2012) - The same queen, later on, with her first workers.

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(September 24, 2011) - Young Myrmica sp. colony in a test tube nest. The queen is the slightly larger individual at center.

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