Offline 123Lord Of Ants123.antfarm

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    User Infostatus offline101 Points


    Lord of Ants - I noticed in your signature that you have kept Pseudomyrmex gracilis.  Mind sharing your founding setup?  Normal test tube or otherwise?  I just picked up a Cephalotes varians queen in Key West this weekend, and seeing as how the two species have identical habits in their overlapping range I figure what works one for one probably works for the other.  Thanks in advance!


    Reply from 123Lord Of Ants123:

    Very nice find! I've researched the species and have imagined what a captive colony would take to raise. There are a few studies of the species in captivity, and they seem to fare well on the typical ant diet, but with a dry nest. I'd simply opt for a bare test tube, similar to how I'd keep my Pseudomyrmx. Assuming this is a somewhat more delicate species, I'd stick with smaller diameter tubes, say 5mm-10mm, to keep things as comfortable for the ants as possible.

    Something like this should work quite well -

    Here's a post I made a little while ago dealing with how I've kept my Psuedomyrmex -

    I have a lot more experience with Psuedomyrmex gracilis, a much larger species very common here in the south. I've found them extremely easy to raise. (I've actually bored of them!) Colonies (small or large) are easily located, with a nest inhabiting pretty much any dead vine or twig belonging to a species with a lot of pith. I've typically only bothered keeping mature colonies I've found. I simply break the twigs open little by little, collecting workers as they jump ship, all while knocking brood into a test tube.

    As for housing, I've kept them within rather large (bare) diameter test tubes with good success, from 10mm to as large as 20mm. I'd roll some cotton around a length of small diameter plastic tubing and plug the end with that, allowing them access to an out world. Often, when not feeding, the queen would reside in this piece of tubing. I'd weekly wet the cotton allowing the workers to collect water, but I'm sure I could have simply provided some in their out world. If I forgot to water them, workers were quick to cannibalize brood. Captured, mature colonies usually rebelled during their first week or so, often eating brood and ignoring offered food. After that, I've fed them nothing but honey water and wingless fruit flies with nothing but success. They're voracious predators with good eyesight able to take down adult crickets with less than half a dozen workers. The queen would gorge on honey water provided by the workers and would 'milk' larvae by biting them.

    Unfortunately, these two photos are the only ones I currently have, I deleted the others as they were rather poor, I was still figuring out my new camera. This was a mature colony collected in February this year, consisting of about 20 workers, a queen, and 80+ brood. I only managed to collect about 10 workers. By the time I released them in June, they numbered at about 40 workers, 20 alate males and princesses, and of course the queen.



  2. avatar


    User Infostatus offline103 Points


    heyy lord of the ants, um, just wondering, do you have any pictures of your pheidole megacephala colony that i can see??

    because i've only tried raising this species once, and it was a complete failure, so i just wanted to know and see how you kept your colony alive and running =]



    Reply from 123Lord Of Ants123:

    No, sorry.
    I don't have a good enough camera, or macro lens.