User avatar
By Dan
#3775
Please note: This is my first proper colony, so most of this is new to me.

I do doubt if Queen Myrcella of Ruginodis was a newly bedded princess when I captured her, or in fact had just left her kingdom for a walk in the gardens, but either way, she is certainly fertile.

I caught her pre-nuptial flights. She was wandering around the nest entrance of my garden's Myrmica ruginodis, with two worker servants accompanying her. This leads me to believe she was one of several queens in the polygynous colony, and is less than semi-claustral (still forages). I housed her and her two worker friends in a test tube connected to a small foraging area.

Moments after catching them:
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After a week or so, they were moved into a sectioned-off area of a plastic tank:Image

Myrcella went straight to the house fly:
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I quickly learned their personalities, and then realised how insane that was. But nevertheless: Myrcella is a tom boy (who's really an Arya), best mates with another tom boy worker (Mycah), and the third worker is a little Sansa. For those not familiar with GOT, Myrcella and Mycah would go out trying to escape and hunt, while Sansa stayed in the tube grooming herself.

Mycah and Sansa:
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A few days after moving into my semi-secure setup, Mycah escaped, leaving Arya-Myrcella without her Mycah (sound familiar?). This (Mum) prompted me to fully secure the setup.

A few days ago, I removed the test tube and connected it to the tank with a small bit of tubing. The hole in the tank was the right size for the tubing, but I had to use some creativity to fit the tube securely into the test tube. Also - no air bubbles. :D

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Moving into the new test tube:
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Three weeks after catching her, I thought I'd have a proper look at Myrcella in her chambers. Then, to my shock, I discover that the grains of sand are actually eggs. I wasn't expecting eggs until March, so this seems to prove my original theory.

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Last edited by Dan on Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Dan
#3784
An hour after posting that, a fifth egg appeared.

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However, tonight, I made another discovery... Because I hadn't been expecting eggs, I removed the old test tube as soon as Myrcella and Sansa had left. So it turned out there were actually ten or so eggs still in the old tube. I didn't know whether to destroy them or try and return them to Myrcella - they've been sitting for three days. Any suggestions?

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User avatar
By Dan
#3786
I got my hands on some mealworms today (not literally - ugh), so mealworm and sugar water was on the menu tonight.

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User avatar
By Dan
#3787
Okay, I'll set the bit of tube with eggs/larvae in near the test tube. Thought they might be larvae! Thanks!
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By jonthefish
#3788
Might be worth, freezing the mealworms and then snapping one in half, it might take alot of effort for a single worker to chew through the meal
User avatar
By Dan
#3790
I didn't freeze them because I thought you only had to do that with insects from the garden etc, but I will from now on, thanks. I did break it at the neck, and then later in the middle, but I'll see what they've managed in the morning.
User avatar
By jonthefish
#3791
Ah great, you were right to break it, to give the ants easier access. I freeze everything to not chance any mites and also thats alot of food for just a couple of ants.
User avatar
By Dan
#3830
So by the next morning (15:48), the eggs I'd left for them were all gone, and Myrcella's egg/larva pile was much bigger.

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I took another look just there now. She really doesn't seem to mind the light at all.

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User avatar
By Dan
#4092
Compared to other people's colonies, Myrcella has made virtually no progress, having only laid a few more eggs, but I find even 2 more eggs absolutely epic. I'm also bad at narrowing down photographs (which is why I'm pushing it with the Summer Comp deadline...), but I've narrowed these down to six pics. Yeah, six. Sorry.

As of 19/8: (digital microscope)
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Myrcella 21/8:
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As of 21/8: (digital microscope)
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As of 22/8: (phone's macro lens)
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As of 23/8 (digital microscope):
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As of 24/8 (phone's macro lens):
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User avatar
By Dan
#4095
On 23/8, House Myrmica had a great tragedy. I am sad to announce the untimely death of Lady Sansa of Myrmica. :cry:
I watched Myrcella carry her about, thinking - you know - she was finding it hard to part with her...and then I realised she was looking for a place to dump the corpse.

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User avatar
By Dan
#9085
Okay, so I suppose this update is quite late...I have a batch of photos and journalism from the past few months that I'm just gonna upload as much as I can of.

30th of August
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Using the microscope on Lady Sansa's corpse, I got a closer look at her spines.
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I then discovered, which many microscope users may find very helpful, that there are two levels of magnification. There is as seen above, and then if you zoom in, after a while you will regain focus on a closer image:
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6th of September
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User avatar
By Dan
#9088
It was around about this date (mid-October) then, that Queen Myrcella of House Ruginodis passed away. I continued to feed her, and she had plenty of water, so I assume her death may have been something out of my control. I did originally find her above ground with two workers, so maybe she was already an established queen and the loss of her two workers left her unable to fend for herself, not sure. I have learnt a lot from Myrcella and her cronies, but now this journal is at an end. :(

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