Myrmecia pavida project.

Re: New gravid Myrmecia pavida queen!

Beitragvon AntsNational » 16. Dez 2012 23:50

This wingless male had slightly deformed wings when he eclosed in the parent colony. Upon his introduction into the breeding enclosure, a female has gently chewed off his wings. The reason is unknown, but it doesn't stop him from finding himself a girlfriend.
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Myrmecia pavida male mating with a female.
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Re: New gravid Myrmecia pavida queen!

Beitragvon AntsNational » 20. Dez 2012 23:48

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Re: New gravid Myrmecia pavida queen!

Beitragvon AntsNational » 6. Mai 2013 20:43

I've separated the queens now into groups of 2 and 3. One queen still retains her wings so I would presume that she isn't mated. New males will appear sometime soon again so I can give her another shot. The rest of the queens are doing well and are exhibiting nesting/colony founding behavior (the winged queen continues to pace around in the foraging area). Time will tell if this project succeeded & if the captive breeding of my Myrmecia was a success.
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Re: New gravid Myrmecia pavida queen!

Beitragvon AntsNational » 30. Mai 2013 18:23

The young queens have displayed some very interesting behavior changes. Now that there's eggs present, they're more frequently foraging out in the basin. The old queen's colony has been sadly reduced now to only two workers who are caring for two growing male larvae. I think that after this, it's over for the old queen's colony. Hopefully out of these young new queens (there's 5 of them) some have mated successfully. This project will be a success even if only one queen provides viable workers.
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1) I noticed that one of the queens (before they shed their wings) displayed her sting with a droplet on the end of it. I'm not sure what this is but it reminds me of a photo of an Amblyopone queen performing the same in a display to call a male to mate. (I can't find the link right now, I will search though).
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2) After many accounts of seeing the males mounting and attempted matings, I finally observed a possible sperm transfer from the male.
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3) I'm not able to observe the ants 24/7, so I may have missed certain opportunities and times for full copulation. On one occasion I did witness several males attempting to mate with the same queen. What I did begin to notice was that these males were beginning to die, as is a potential sign that they've mated and their lives have come full circle.
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4) More and more dead males.
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5) I've separated the 5 queens into a group of 2 and a group of 3. One of the queens (in the group of 3) still retains her wings. Their behavior has noticeably changed and they began to search for places to rest for long periods of time. Perhaps they were searching for small areas in which to start their own colony.
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6) Their desire for proteins has increased substantially since they mated, the queens in the group of 2 are sharing a freshly-caught (home grown) young cricket.
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7) Eggs have reappeared in both basins, closest to the heat sources. One can see the embryos developing within.
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Re: New gravid Myrmecia pavida queen!

Beitragvon AntsNational » 30. Mai 2013 18:28

Here is the reference:

"Stigmatomma oregonensis queen in mate-calling posture, in a laboratory nest. She extrudes her sting to release pheromones."

http://www.alexanderwild.com/Ants/Natur ... c&lb=1&s=A

Photo by Alexander Wild.
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Copyright Alexander Wild.
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Re: New gravid Myrmecia pavida queen!

Beitragvon AntsNational » 12. Jun 2013 19:56

The eggs look like they're about to hatch very soon. I noticed that keeping pairs of queens together may not be 100% beneficial. One queen will lay eggs and the other will (while the other queen is out) dump the old eggs into the outworld. Then she will proceed to lay her own eggs, doing all of this when she's alone. When I place the eggs back into the nest, the queens accept them and clean them. Weird. :|

They should hatch soon... here's some recent photos;
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The eggs only a day or two after they were laid.
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The last two male larvae tended to by the last two workers from the old queen's colony.
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The last two workers from the old queen's colony.
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The eggs with the embryos clearly developing within.
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Re: New gravid Myrmecia pavida queen!

Beitragvon AntsNational » 24. Jun 2013 18:47

Both groups of queens have one larva each now. These photos are from Group 1 (the group with 2 founding queens). This larva grows each day, and each day sooner towards the possible answer to this project!
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Re: New gravid Myrmecia pavida queen!

Beitragvon luciduci » 24. Jun 2013 20:57

I find this so fasinating! Keep it upated. :)
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Re: New gravid Myrmecia pavida queen!

Beitragvon AntsNational » 25. Aug 2013 20:48

Well to update, there has been quite a lot to update :D :

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The larva continues to grow


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The larva continues to grow


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The larva continues to grow


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Sadly, one of the queens died. My suspicion is that it was the most dominant queen who killed off a potential rival before the larvae cocooned.


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The day after she killed a rival queen, it's back to business as usual for the foundress queen. A hungry baby needs to be fed.


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The larva doesn't seem to be interested in food anymore. This is a sign that it is ready to spin a cocoon.


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Surely enough, the larva begins to spin itself a cocoon! The queen helped the larva by partially burying it in substrate.


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A day after, the cocoon is completed.


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A size comparison, I think it is a little too small to look like a male pupa. I am hopeful that this worker is the product of mine (and the ants') many months of hard work!


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Alas, the queen also has laid a new clutch of eggs.


& Just an hour ago,

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The winged queen has just died but she wasn't killed by the foundress queen. She has wandered around for a few days alone and eventually just kicked the bucket. I believe that her body clock timed out, she did not find a mate in time. This leaves three remaining Myrmecia queens. I sense that the three remaining queens have been the most dominant of the entire project and this may have to do with them being fertile. As of now they will be separated and each allowed to found their own offspring.
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Re: Myrmecia pavida project.

Beitragvon AntsNational » 21. Okt 2013 16:51

Sadly, the pupa was cast out into the foraging area where I did check on it and noticed that the queen had cut into it. Inside was a male reproductive, therefore concluding that the project has not proven successful as of yet. There are still three remaining queens, with two others which may prove to be fertile. I will continue working on this project!
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Re: Myrmecia pavida project.

Beitragvon AntsNational » 19. Mär 2014 06:08

Well it's been quite some time since I last updated this journal after a long time. There was no activity due to lower temperatures to induce a semi-hibernation state but now the remaining queens have begun to lay again after temperatures and humidity raised up a little at 24-25C & humidity 50%. This time hopefully a better result will come of it as I give it another go. Gotta love revivals!
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A hibernated queen now takes her first true feeding
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Eggs can be seen with developing embryos within
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Re: Myrmecia pavida project.

Beitragvon AntsNational » 1. Aug 2014 18:47

Well it's been since March... Two queens still remain. One has eggs, but this one has a larva now. I'm hoping that this larva will in fact turn into a worker. Let's keep our fingers crossed!
Dateianhänge
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This young queen is one of 2 remaining queens from my captive breeding project. She currently has one larva which feeds daily.
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The queen's large compound eyes (like the one in my Harpegnathos journal) allow her to perceive prey with exceptional clarity. She can pinpoint a cricket with her acute vision.
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Along with long serrated jaws and large compound eyes, she scans the foraging arena frequently with her antennae. They are extremely useful in detecting the carcass of a cricket or some sweet sugary/honey water.
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Upon detecting a cricket carcass, she proceeds almost immediately to return it to her only larva. She takes her time to make sure that the cricket is in fact dead.
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The larva is less picky than her mother and will feed happily on this cricket before the queen discards the remains. The queen is careful to keep her vigilance with this offered prey and ejects it immediately once the first signs of mold and decay occur. She can sense this with her antennae.
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Re: Myrmecia pavida project.

Beitragvon patyczak1000 » 30. Jan 2015 00:43

Any update ?
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Re: Myrmecia pavida project.

Beitragvon AntsNational » 12. Feb 2015 23:00

Hi ! Yes ! There are two queens remaining, one of which has been producing males, the other has produced a worker but it didn't mature properly within the cocoon and was discarded. I got my answer but I need to restart this project again!
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Re: Myrmecia pavida project.

Beitragvon AntsNational » 27. Mai 2015 18:57

Sadly, the project is put on hold. The experiment was promising, but unfortunately there has been no production of viable workers. The closest it came to was pupating, but the larva never properly formed. I would believe it to be male larva. I will continue to try as I find the breeding habits of these ants very interesting!
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