User avatar
By nortorn
#10560
Sure.
Image

I messed up a little cutting the glass into the right size, but since it is just optical, I used it anyway.
I applied a layer of soil mixed with water onto the surface of the chambers to prevent dust from the plaster and have a more natural looking setup.
Serafine liked this
User avatar
By nortorn
#10569
The colony separated a larva from the others. I thought they may be doing that because the larva will soon pupate. It turns out I was wrong. They separated the larva to feed it. Here's a picture of 2 workers chewing on a greenbottle fly to feed the larva with.

uploadfromtaptalk1458222282732.jpg
uploadfromtaptalk1458222282732.jpg (100.39 KiB) Viewed 1711 times



I also made a short video of the colony today.
Attachments
uploadfromtaptalk1458222257493.jpg
uploadfromtaptalk1458222257493.jpg (59.37 KiB) Viewed 1711 times
Serafine liked this
User avatar
By nortorn
#11005
Time for an update.
The colony is going through the roof lately. They now have 22 workers and a large amount of larvae and pupae. The bigger larva has pupated a while ago and is close to eclosion as it is slowly getting darker. This will probably be the first media worker. I will post some photos tomorrow.
User avatar
By nortorn
#11009
3 or 4 greenbottle flies per day and 1 medium sized cricket every other day.
User avatar
By nortorn
#11048
Almost 2 Weeks have passed since the last update. I chose this period of time on purpose to have a little bit more to write about.
The colony is developing very nice and doesn't leave anything to be desired.
The queen is continuing to lay eggs, even though I read that the european camponotus queens lay eggs only 2 times a year over the course of 2 weeks. ("Summer brood" and "Winter brood") Either this information is wrong, these phases are much longer (the queen is continuously laying eggs with a maximum pause of 4 days for 2 months now), or this queen is just very motivated. Either way I am satisfied with the development.

As I already wrote, the big larva has pupated a while ago and is close to eclosion again. If this is the first media or just a big minor worker, we'll see.

Here is a photo of the bigger pupa in comparison to the other pupae.

Image

I am still heating the nest, even though the temperatures outside are rising.
3 chambers are constantly 27 degrees warm while the 2 other chambers are a bit cooler. During the day they sometimes put the brood into one of the cooler chambers, in the night they always move them back into the warm chambers.
I may keep on heating 1 or more chambers even if the temperatures outside rise to 25 degrees or above, I did not make a decision yet.

The colony now has 25 workers, my first milestone has been reached.
Unfortunately I can't count the brood properly, there are always some eggs, larvae and pupae underneath the rest of the brood.

The following numbers represent the amount of brood the colony has for sure. There is most likely more brood, but these are the numbers I did count.

Eggs: 60
Larvae: 27
Pupae: 35



2 Photos of the 2 chambers currently in use.

Image

Image
Serafine liked this
User avatar
By nortorn
#11397
I would like to share a photo of the colony.

Image

One young worker is carrying 1 of the bigger cocoons in the middle of the picture, there is 1 more such pupa below it.
On the right side is the biggest larva as of yet. This larva is slightly bigger than the 2 biggest pupae.

Near the upper edge of the picture are some eggs.
If you look at the picture you can probably understand that I didn't even try to count the brood this time. There are exactly 32 workers though. I fed them 2 flies today, but 3 workers still came out, clearly searching for something. I gave them 2 big crickets in addition to the flies. They dragged them into their nest aswell. I have to increase the amount of food it seems.
Serafine liked this
User avatar
By nortorn
#12362
A long overdue update.
There is not much happening in the last few weeks. I noticed a significant stagnation of eggs. I have been on vacation again for a week and I stopped heating my colonies to avoid dehydration. I am now heating again and I will closely check if this affects the laying of new eggs.

There are 50+ workers in this colony so far, but no media yet. The 2 biggest cocoons are slowly getting darker.
I am currently working on a cork/wood nest combo for this colony, it will take a few more weeks to finish though.
Next update when the media have eclosed.
User avatar
By nortorn
#12956
We have the first media worker!
She is not significantly bigger than the minor workers, but her overall appearance reveals that she is a media (bigger thorax and head).

The queen is slowly increasing the interval again in which she lays eggs.

2 photos of the colony and the media.

Image

Image
User avatar
By nortorn
#13438
Wow, a whole month has passed..
Time for an update.

The colony is not doing anything at the moment, literally!
They only have one pupa and a batch of about 50-70 larvae stuck in the 2nd instar. This usually happens right before the winter period, those are the larvae which stay at this stage the whole winter and quickly start developing in the spring.
As this colony was taken out of hibernation in January already, this may be the end for this year already.
I am pretty sure that i read somewhere that the european Camponotus tend to have 2 brood cycles per year. If I'm not wrong, they've only gone through 1 yet.
An active phase of just 4 months seem a bit short, maybe they'll come up with a surprise.

In this picture you can see 1 pupa and the pile of larvae. There are about 75 workers now.

Image

Also, we have the first "real" media.

Image
At first i thought it might be a major worker, but no, the shape of the head is not at all how it has to be for a major worker.
Instead, this is a full grown media worker, they dont get much bigger.
Also in the picture: 2 smaller media workers in the upper section of the picture and one of the 3 workers that were already there at the beginning of the year (most left ant).

So far i have not lost a single worker, even the 3 nanitics are still alive.
If this was it for this year, i am not disappointed at all. The colony was very active in the last few months and effectively grew more than 20 times bigger during that time. They still take proteins, so my hopes are high that they give us another few weeks of activity, the may just be regaining some energy.
Serafine liked this
User avatar
By nortorn
#13781
Nothing happens! The colony is still doing nothing. The larvae didn't develop even a bit. I am pausing this journal until I see any development.
I might cool the colony down for a month or two and bring them back to normal temperature after that. Maybe i can press two cycles out of the colony in one year. As far as I know, nobody attempted this as of yet. Research time :)
User avatar
By nortorn
#19382
I ended up not heating the colony back up after 2 months of cooling.
Instead, i kept the colony cool for 6 months until about 1 week ago.
The result is clearly visible, many new eggs and fat larvae.

Everybody keeps saying that Camponotus ligniperdus has an endogenic cycle which can not be altered, but this is wrong.
You can in fact reverse the cycle so that the ants are active when all the other ants outside are hibernating.
If Camponotus ligniperdus can complete 2 cycles in 1 year, well, thats one of this year's experiments.
I am sure i could have started heating them again from November on, but i wanted them to regain as much energy as possible for this year's experiment.

Im uploading pictures of the colony tomorrow.

Gesendet von meinem SM-G925F mit Tapatalk
User avatar
By nortorn
#20205
Oops, I forgot to upload the pictures :/

Anyway, some time has passed and i made new photos.

Image

Image

Image

Te colony is developing fine. There are many larvae in all stages, pupae and eggs.

I feed them 2 roaches every 2 days.
Serafine liked this
User avatar
By Squimbles
#23055
Ooh, I have this species, can't wait to see how they turn out. I have one pupae that's a couple days away from hatching!
Hi

@Hyperion found one

Odontomachus monticola journal

I caught a beautiful dealate on the stairs at my s[…]

Myrmica Rubra Hibernation

1. How do i get them all into the nest for hibern[…]

Hibernation questions

Lasius niger needs 15°C or colder. They have an ex[…]