Post by TenebrousNova on Mar 23, 2019 17:15:14 GMT
Today, my new colony of my favourite tiny acorn ants arrived from Mierwinkel.nl. They arrived in a rather unconventional set up, but it clearly works: a syringe containing an acorn! This does mean that I cannot see the queen who's undoubtedly ensconced cosily in her little nest, but I did glimpse larvae within it. There's quite a lot of workers, definitely over 50 wandering outside of the acorn.
The only trouble is that to feed them I have to remove the plunger of the syringe and those workers are visibly eager to dash out of there as soon as they get the chance!
I'm unsure whether or not I'll keep them in their syringe or move their acorn into a small, more natural looking set up. As always, comments are welcome!
Post by TenebrousNova on Mar 26, 2019 16:40:52 GMT
The colony is still tricky to feed since there's usually a gaggle of workers waiting at the plunger at any given time and should you pick up the syringe, lots more come running expectantly out of the acorn. I waited for a lull and gave them some sugar water but not before seven workers escaped, but luckily I was able to return them safely. They've also taken apart a cricket I gave them on the second day. I wonder how Ricardo managed to feed them without them all getting out?
I shall probably have to move them out since although the syringe is probably ideal for small colonies, this one is actually quite big. It'll be easier to feed them that way, plus the plastic of the syringe isn't conducive for taking clear photos.
I have successfully moved the colony into their new home, which arrived today! I decorated this tiny tank with a layer of soil, some live moss, dead leaves, twigs and a food bowl (Which has a somewhat naturalistic wooden look). I also added a group of springtails to help keep it clean. Finally, I placed the colony's acorn in a corner and swept the stragglers inside, where they're now exploring.
The Acorn Fortress is on full alert!
I'm very pleased with this set up. I think it deserves a place of honour on my desk where I can watch the Temnothorax's shenanigans!
The evening after I moved the colony, to my surprise I caught them carrying brood under the moss in a corner where they've set up a brood chamber. Maybe the dampness of the moss appeals to them? The number of workers and the absence of the queen suggests that most of the colony remains inside the acorn, however.