Tetraponera rufonigra

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Tetraponera rufonigra

Beitragvon armyoforigin » 19. Apr 2012 16:58

Hey everyone just thought I would share a few pictures of my new Tetraponera rufonigra colony, they arrived yesterday and the were quite a handful!

Unfortunately they ran over both my talc barrier and my huge PTFE barrier, as did the Camponotus nicobarensis that arrived at the same time! Also apparently they love electricals, judging by the fact they all flocked to the digital thermometer they had in the tank, so I had to de-construct it and get some workers and brood out of it... :roll:

Luckily a very quick dash to a garage down the road managed to net me some Axel grease which has worked it's magic, the ants won't go anywhere near it!

Anyway, here are some pictures, I hope they are OK:

Close up.
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The test tube they came in, full to the brim with brood! (The queen was hiding under it all, at first I thought she was missing).
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The tube after they moved in.
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Some brood and the top of the heat mat...
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Lots and lots of larvae eggs and pupa! :D (The queen is behind it but I couldn't get a snap of her)
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Well that is all for now I hope you like the pictures, this is my first time back on the forum (And back keeping ants) in quite a while, so bear with me if I do something wrong :lol:

Does anyone have any ideas why my barriers didn't work this time? They have always worked for me before with Myrmica, Lasius, Messor... Lots of different types of ants! At first I thought it was the silicone sealant they were running up at the tank corners, but I saw them dash right up the side of the tank, over the 2 barriers! =(
Perhaps the PTFE was out of date? That still doesn't explain the talc #-o
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Re: Tetraponera rufonigra

Beitragvon baumarkthammer » 19. Apr 2012 17:39

You, like most people using talkum, made the biggest mistake you can do when using it; you mixed it with water as said in some sources to function. Talkum ist best used dry when it is only a white dust that makes a thin nearly invisible layer on the glass. When ants try to run over it, it falls from the glass with them. When you mix it with water first than it won´t work because it will in most cases just be a hard layer of talkum.

Another reason is that the fast and very handy ants that Tetraponera spp. all are, Tetraponera rufonigra has amazing skills in climbing anything.
Also those ants are quite stubboren and will probably do anything to climb up the glass.

By the way as far as I know Tetraponera rufonigra live in very dry wood which gets quite hot, or at least a friend who observed them quite a bit told me so. That might be the reason why they moved into your digital thermometer.

Really a lovley ant with a very interesting behaviour.
However the sting is as painful as the ant is beautiful.
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Re: Tetraponera rufonigra

Beitragvon armyoforigin » 19. Apr 2012 17:51

I have heard that you can also use talk mixed with alcohol!

But you are spot on I did mix it with water, but in the past ants have still stayed away from this barrier! =(

How would I apply a dry layer of talc, would it stick to the side if I just... Wiped it on?

As for the climactic conditions the plan is to keep them at 25c - 28c if I can, and as for humidity I have a deep well on the right hand side I am filling that is creating a humidity gradient and they have chosen to live in the closest chamber to the water so I reckon they know what is best and like the humidity!

I am not saying your friend was wrong at all, all ants vary and there are subspecies of rufonigra that may like different conditions, even colonies from the same species sometimes act quite differently, in my experience I like to create heat and humidity gradients as I doubt I could ever get things exactly right so I let the ants choose as they know what's best :0)

I think they are very beautiful ants, I love twig ants and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to have a colony, luckily so far I have managed to escape their stings, though when they got a hold of the tweezers they tried to bite and sting it to death, they are very aggressive!

Thanks for your response and input baumarkthammer!
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Re: Tetraponera rufonigra

Beitragvon armyoforigin » 20. Apr 2012 16:23

Just some more pictures, they so far have not really went for sugar water, but they do seem to love crickets! They have had quite a few...

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Enjoy :)
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Re: Tetraponera rufonigra

Beitragvon armyoforigin » 24. Nov 2012 04:28

The T. rufonigra have proven to be very very active and robust ants.

They drink lots of sugar water and water and eat tons of protein. The only downside being that they tend to poo on the side of the tank which means I need to clean the glass off quite regularly!

Here are some older pictures of them.


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As you can see in many of the pictures the queen was physogastric and she has remained like that ever since the colony settled down, that accounts for the prodigious rate which she is laying eggs at.

The colony has several hundred workers now and so there is never a shortage of activity, I hope you enjoy the pictures :0)
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Re: Tetraponera rufonigra

Beitragvon phira » 24. Nov 2012 19:12

Wonderful colony bro! Nicely taken photos too :)
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Re: Tetraponera rufonigra

Beitragvon baumarkthammer » 24. Nov 2012 20:10

Simply glorious ants.
I need to get some, too, in the future.^^

Very nice photos!

Regards
Kaj
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Re: Tetraponera rufonigra

Beitragvon AntsNational » 24. Nov 2012 22:24

Fantastic photos, you took quite the time to post them all in. A real treat for us all :)

Cheers,
Vas
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