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Messor Barbarus - Suiko

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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by laziusniger on Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:04 pm

Whew, those Pheidologeton are incredible. Maybe once I've got a few years of experience under my belt, settled down and can build a specialised setup for them...

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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by dermy on Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:11 pm

Yeah they are really quite incredible. Too bad I can't have them haha!
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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by formica123 on Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:53 pm

Im getting my own personal colony when I get the polyrhachis Smile

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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by dermy on Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:58 pm

Cool! Man this forum is going to have too many Ant Keepers Razz
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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by Salt on Fri Aug 28, 2015 2:33 am

Hey Lazius, any updates on these and your other colonies?

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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by laziusniger on Fri Aug 28, 2015 4:12 am

Hi Salt,
Sorry, I've had a busy few weeks - working 7.30am to 11.00pm at a kids' residential holiday centre and my brother's wedding at the weekend. I've not had time to do much. The only development I can really say is that the Messors have moved homes. I couldn't keep their moisture levels regulated in the temporary setup I had and, after finding two dead and dried up, let them move into a tiny Tupperware container with a sand/soil mix as my second cement-mix formicarium was nowhere near completion. They moved in within about ten minutes, so clearly they weren't happy where they were.

I'll have a bit more time after they go home on the 31st, so expect full updates in early September. Smile

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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by Salt on Fri Aug 28, 2015 5:20 am

Sorry to hear about the two dead workers, it's a good thing that you sorted out the issue in time. Hope they continue to do well, will look out for your updates in September!

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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by dermy on Fri Aug 28, 2015 9:50 am

That's good. I will also look forward to the September updates.
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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by Salt on Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:22 am

Any updates on these or are you still busy?

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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by laziusniger on Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:37 am

Hi folks,

Well, I got back from 10 days' holiday yesterday and am getting really concerned about my ants in general. I can't seem to get any of them to eat, whether it's honey water, jelly pots, insects or anything. Perhaps it's getting too cold and they think it's time to hibernate? The thermometer is still showing 19 degrees in the box they live in, though.

Neither of my new Lasius queens seem to have laid anything yet, my first Camponotus colony is down to five workers (and their nest is looking so untidy and mouldy that I've attached a red acetate-wrapped test tube in an attempt to move them out, even though that seems a huge step backwards), the second Camponotus colony don't seem to be exploring above the surface (where all the food is), and the Messors I haven't even seen since I got back. They may be hidden in the middle of the tub, as there seems to be a bit of soil disturbance, but I don't want to go digging around to check that they're still alive.

In fact, the only colony I'm seeing progress in is the original Lasius niger one I started with back in June, as they seem to be building up a few little chambers in the container I'd hoped to move them out of. Even they don't seem to be eating, though.

Honestly, at thos point I'm seriously wondering whether I'll have any alive come spring, which would be pretty gutting. Any advice would be gratefully appreciated. :/

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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by formica123 on Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:06 am

They're probably going into hibernation. Messor Barbarus don't take honey water Wink

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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by dermy on Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:44 pm

Really, Are Messor barbarus picky?
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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by dermy on Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:47 pm

laziusniger wrote:Hi folks,

Well, I got back from 10 days' holiday yesterday and am getting really concerned about my ants in general. I can't seem to get any of them to eat, whether it's honey water, jelly pots, insects or anything. Perhaps it's getting too cold and they think it's time to hibernate? The thermometer is still showing 19 degrees in the box they live in, though.

Neither of my new Lasius queens seem to have laid anything yet, my first Camponotus colony is down to five workers (and their nest is looking so untidy and mouldy that I've attached a red acetate-wrapped test tube in an attempt to move them out, even though that seems a huge step backwards), the second Camponotus colony don't seem to be exploring above the surface (where all the food is), and the Messors I haven't even seen since I got back. They may be hidden in the middle of the tub, as there seems to be a bit of soil disturbance, but I don't want to go digging around to check that they're still alive.

In fact, the only colony I'm seeing progress in is the original Lasius niger one I started with back in June, as they seem to be building up a few little chambers in the container I'd hoped to move them out of. Even they don't seem to be eating, though.

Honestly, at thos point I'm seriously wondering whether I'll have any alive come spring, which would be pretty gutting. Any advice would be gratefully appreciated. :/
I'm no expert but I don't think Ants use Temps. to determine when it's time for hibernation, so no matter what the temperature is they will still go "semi-dormant". This is why some people who keep ants down south still have levels of inactivity.

My guess for most if not all the above issues is they are just slowing down for hibernation, I'd still leave in just a little food in case they decide to go out for some, and of course keep a good supply of water around Smile


The new Lasius queens, if they were caught in a flight this late will need a period of Hibernation before laying any eggs.

Sorry to hear about the Camponatus, messy guys from what I've heard. Hopefully they move out for you!
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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by laziusniger on Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:24 am

Argh, wrote a long post on my tablet and lost it, so here goes on the desktop...

Arsinoe's colony may have failed but, happily, Suiko and her daughters have survived the move and are going strong! Yes!

I resisted the urge to dig and find them, and a couple of weeks ago I began to see a couple of tunnels on the sides of the Tupperware container they're in - they're mostly obscured, as they've left a bit of sand stuck to the sides, but you can just about see in if you keep changing your viewing angle. They've built a nice large chamber at the bottom for Suiko herself, and last night I finally hit a milestone - workers foraging on the surface again! Woo!

Of all the colonies i have, this is the one I most want to succeed (not that I don't care about the others, but... super-majors!), so I was really excited to see that'd bounced back.

I'll be checking regularly to see that they have enough food and the soil has some moisture, and I'm slowly reducing the ambient temperature in the box to induce hibernation. It seems like 10-15 degrees is ideal and they're down to 15 now, so they should be starting to hibernate soon. Here's hoping Suiko will wake up nice and ready to start laying in earnest!

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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by dermy on Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:33 am

Yeah it's almost Hibernation time for me too [I've already got a Colony slowing down at the moment in my basement!]

I wish you luck with Hibernation! It can sometimes be tricky your first year, but by the sounds of it your on the right track!
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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by laziusniger on Sun Oct 25, 2015 5:03 am

Some pics:

Not very visbible from the sides...


...but you can see the chamber from below.

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Re: Messor Barbarus - Suiko

Post by dermy on Sun Oct 25, 2015 1:41 pm

See that's the thing with dirt farms, they seem to be very good for the ants but not too good for viewing and such.

I've done both and prefer to use dirt setups for colonies that either don't do good in other setups or just for a fun little change.
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