quinta-feira, 17 de janeiro de 2013

Office Nest/Formigário no Escritório

Hello all,
Olá a todos,

I will start writing posts in English and Brazilian Portuguese from now on. I will write each paragraph in English and repeat it in Portuguese so Brazilians who do not have such a good grasp of the English language can follow my posts more easily.
Vou começar a escrever em inglês e português de agora em diante. Vou escrever um parágrafo em inglês e depois repetir em português, pros brasileiros que não tem um domínio da língua inglesa poderem seguir o blog mais facilmente.

I have had a colony of Crematogaster cf. rudis in my office desk for about a year now, and I thought you might be interested in the setup of this nest as it is a bit different from the usual set up of my other nests. Here is a picture of the nest as it sits on my desk today:
Faz mais ou menos um ano que eu tenho uma colônia de Crematogaster cf. rudis na minha mesa de trabalho, e pensei que seria interessante mostrar a configuração dessa colônia, já que é um tanto diferente das minhas outras colônias. Aqui tem uma foto dela como está na minha mesa hoje:

In this setup, the ants are actually free to leave the plaster nest (the box with the red lid) at will and roam about, but not the queen. On the lid of the nest I made a small hole which is big enough for the workers to pass through, but not the queen herself.
Nesta configuração, as operárias estão livres pra sair do formigário de gesso (a caixa com a tampa vermelha) e passear o quanto quiserem, mas não a rainha. Na tampa do formigário eu fiz um buraco que é grande o suficiente pras operárias passarem mas pequeno demais pra rainha sair.

The idea of having an open nest started off as a wild experiment with my Camponotus cruentatus (one of the biggest european Camponotus species) colony at home. What is different from this Crematogaster nest to my other open Camponotus nest is that the Crematogaster have a foraging area which has many plants, and is more pleasing overall. Here are two more pictures of the setup:
A idéia de ter um formigário aberto surgiu como um experimento com uma colônia de Camponotus cruentatus (uma das maiores espécies de Camponotus da Europa) que eu tenho em casa. A diferença do formigário desta colônia de Crematogaster é que ele têm uma área maior com várias plantas em volta, o que o torna muito mais bonito de observar. Aqui vão duas fotos:

The colony consists of one queen and about 50 workers. The ants have made their first satellite nest about two months ago, and although I expected them to do it soon enough, I was quite pleased when I saw it. The picture is not that good, but you can see the entrance if you look closely enough on the rightmost hand side of the farthest yoghurt pot. Here is a closer picture, although not that good either:
A colônia consiste de uma rainha e umas 50 operárias, mais ou menos. Elas fizeram um ninho "satélite" há uns dois meses, e embora sabia que isso poderia acontecer e a espécie faria cedo ou tarde, eu fiquei bastante contente quando notei que haviam feito. A foto não tem boa qualidade, mas se você olhar o pote branco de iogurte, dá pra ver a entrada do lado direito, no canto. Aqui vai uma foto do ninho mas, novamente, de não muito boa qualidade:

I hope I don't take another 6 months to post something else here.
Espero voltar a postar novamente em menos de 6 meses. =c]

quinta-feira, 16 de agosto de 2012

Coming back soon

Hi all,

I will resume the postings next month (or earlier, if I can). :)

quarta-feira, 9 de maio de 2012

Blog Freeze

Due to personal problems, I will not be posting in this blog until at least August. Sorry :(

sexta-feira, 30 de março de 2012


The Acromyrmex octospinosus have made themselves a stronghold in the Tic-Tac box. They built a gate made of dried leaves and a moat out of old bread crumbs, which they are now using as a refuse pile:

Here is their forage box:

Next week I will add a new tupperware pot so they have another place to relocate to, should they wish to do so.

segunda-feira, 5 de março de 2012

House upgrade

My Acromyrmex have expanded a lot and thus I have added a foraging pot to their setup, as well as put them in a bigger pot. They have lots of room to expand for the next few months now.

This is their old setup:

The fungus was already coming out of the Tic Tac box.

This is their new setup:

Small Pheidole

The first other Pheidole workers are born. They are tiny and probably measure about 1mm. I will not be keeping this queen as I find ants which are too small boring.

Mess hall

The big Pheidole I have have made a mess out of their nest. They seem to be pretty happy, even though one of the two big soldiers has vanished without a trace.

Here's a short video of them:

The substitutes

The other colony I have has been finally identified. It is Camponotus substitutus. They are growing fast and I really need to speed up the plaster nest I am making for them.

Six becomes five

My Camponotus cruentatus are doing fine, albeit expanding slowly. There were six workers, but one died last week. In any case, there are a few pupae and more workers will be born very soon.

Adoption 2

My reddish Camponotus has adopted a soldier of a much bigger Camponotus species. I think this species (whatever it is) should be renamed to Camponotus adoptivus or somesuch =c]

Sadly it died less than a week after it was born. The other ants didn't kill it, it simply went to a corner and died. Since it comes from a big Camponotus species which lives in trees, I think it needed some sap which was not available. I can't tell, though.

I moved this colony to a bigger box, but I will give them away to a friend in Bahia next week. They expand very quickly.

Notice how the queen is full of food. Her gaster is almost bursting :)

New shack

The Camponotus rufipes like wood, so I gave them some wet toilet paper to chew. They started building a nest with it.

quinta-feira, 9 de fevereiro de 2012


I caught a small red Camponotus queen a while back, and she is having her first workers born. I put a pupae which was about to hatch from a black Camponotus queen, and the new callow ant was successfully adopted and has been welcomed in the colony.

segunda-feira, 30 de janeiro de 2012

Lasius flavus in their new home

I have moved my Lasius flavus this morning to their new home. I had to move them by force in an emergency situation because the cotton in the test tube they were in was showing signs of mold, and I found that this species is particularly sensitive to it. They settled down very quickly, though.

As you can see, they scattered at first, all workers started moving about except for the queen, which stayed very still next to some of her eggs.

After the workers found the underground tunnels and finished exploring, the eggs, larvae and pupae were quickly moved to the first and second rooms. Then two workers started dragging the queen for a bit until she got the message. :)

After about fifteen minutes, they moved lower down to a room on the left, but I did not take pictures by then as I thought they had had enough stress for the day.

Fusca boom

The Formica fusca, despite having only one queen (the other two queens having been killed by their bethren), are expanding very fast (faster than any other colony I have).

Second Callow

The second Camponotus cruentatus callow ant was born yesterday. I was able to watch it all happening, but only took pictures at the end. The queen and first worker carefully took it out of the cocoon and started to clean it. After a few minutes of being tended to by her mother and sister, she slowly started moving her legs... Very beautiful to watch.

sexta-feira, 27 de janeiro de 2012

The Pheidole Triad

The three Pheidole queens are doing well, and have layed a very big pile of eggs which has turned to larvae. They are so much smaller than their mothers, though. These queens are very docile and do not seem to be very concerned when I open the lid to their temporary home.

First callow

The Camponotus cruentatus queen has had her first callow ant born. It was, in fact, bigger than I expected. She is doing well and she seems to be very healthy and active, constantly tending to the other pupae.

Moving on up

The Camponotus ligniperdus have got a new home (The one which used to house the Camponotus festinatus). They have settled in, but they have also discarded their eggs. I believe this is because they were in hybernation and the eggs were dead, but I cannot be sure.

Coronatus, maybe?

I believe this Acromyrmex is in fact coronatus. She is beautiful and doing well, although I cannot see any pupae yet.

sábado, 7 de janeiro de 2012

Formica Fight, Formica Funeral

Well, there is only one queen left as the other queen was killed by the workers. I was hoping this would not happen, but alas - it did. Oh well. At least the colony is going strong with almost 20 workers now, and a lot of brood. I won't add another tupperware pot yet, though, as the one they are in will still be confortable for another two or three months at least. Hopefully :)

Here's a video of them feeding on some cake:

Rose petals

The Acromyrmex are doing fine. All 7 queens have fungus, and three queens already have workers. It is great to watch them go about their business. It is almost time to give them more space. They absolutely love rose petals and leaves.

The festinatus is dead

Unfortunately, my Camponotus festinatus queen is dead. I don't know how it happened, I just woke up one morning a few days ago and she was dead.

Big Pheidole

I found three big Pheidole queens which I plan on keeping together. They are very beautiful and calm. I started creating their nest yesterday.

And a short video: