- April 1, 2016 at 11:52 am #946
Yesterday I got my third Tetraponera species (being the other two Rufonigra and Nigra). Tetraponera Allaborans. In order of size, rufonigra is the biggest, its smaller workers matches nigra queen size, afterwards comes nigra (unsure of workers sizes) and finally allaborans (very small 6 mm workers). This species is super active, and this caused me some troubles immediately. Being so small it is impossible to handle them even with small pincers, you would crush the workers immediately, also they are super fast and in panic mode its impossible to control them.
Their transition to their formicarium was hell! I had just a few seconds to drop the wood branch inside the formc and close it. Afterwards, all remaining workers had to be trapped inside a small test tube and placed near the entrance and wait for them to enter, it took hours!
This colony has one queen, around 15 workers and a lot of brood. Yesterday I fed them rock sugar and water, I immediately could spot a worker drinking water and another on the sugar.
Through out last night, I saw workers and queen roam around a lot, I was guessing that the amount of brood was not leaving any space for them to feel enclosure since the original branch was broken.
So today I prepared half a section of bamboo, covered with some plastic sheet, and placed it inside to see if they sooner or later will occupy it.
The queen is not moving anymore like yesterday and seems settled. Workers continue to roam.
I am not sure about sensitiveness to vibrations, being this small, but on the other hand, it is a tetraponera trademark feeling their host vibrations (trees and bushes) for signs of danger.
I am excited with this small species, but very apprehensive, I am not sure how to maintain them yet. Access is not easy, and every time i open the lid, its panic mode and another hour or two capturing workers and waiting for them to find their way inside.April 3, 2016 at 11:44 am #960April 5, 2016 at 1:54 pm #968
Two days have passed since last nest transition and the results are great.
I have never seen the queen again; workers also don’t come out in large numbers like before, now it is just one or two foraging, and this is very good because I am able to open the nest and do my feeding/maintenance without problems.
I have to consider the future though, and with the amount of brood this colony has, it will be a matter of time before they start flooding the outworld in search of food. The outworld needs to be tight sealed like this one.
Lets see what my imagination comes up with!
I will keep you posted in developments!
CheersApril 5, 2016 at 3:14 pm #969linusKeymaster
Interesting species, I guess they are great climbers? Looking forward to more updates 🙂April 6, 2016 at 1:16 pm #973
Indeed great climbers. Ever far greater than their larger cousins Rufonigra. Since they are small, it is impossible to shake them from where ever they are holding, and forget trying to handle them, too small and fast.
Solenopsis Invicta was one of a kind challenge colony, mainly due to their colony, but this one is a whole new level 🙂April 8, 2016 at 3:39 pm #1014
7 days into the colony and I found a protein source they love! Drosophila melanogaster – the flightless fruit flies (just got a new batch from my local supplier).
Ideal size and they go crazy over it. It is the third fly I have given them and each following day, the fly is no longer there, only wings remain 🙂
Note: Sorry about the shaking and focusing. I will get a tripod to improve the quality of these videos!May 9, 2016 at 5:50 pm #1053svenssonParticipant
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