Tropical Fire Ants and the Rule of Two

Before you start reading this post, make sure you have checked the most recent post on this colony https://ants853.com/2020/02/21/tropical-fire-ants-2-species-1-colony/

Let’s start with the immediate bad news… I couldn’t get rid of the mites! No matter how hard I tried and re-housed them, I didn’t work. I think the mites actually layed eggs near the fire ants egg clutches, seems to me to be the only possible reason.

Well, I froze all colonies with mites. That means Colony A, B and D are no more. I hope you can understand, I could have been risking contamination with other colonies and after so much effort and time, some compromises are necessary.

Remaining are Colony C with 4 queens and the invicta workers, and Colony E with 4 queens as well and geminata workers.

Colony C: in these past 2 weeks, I decided to introduce more dark colored pupae from the same invicta nest. And once again they all got accepted!

I have been feeding them exclusively on honey and water, but this week, I will introduce some protein, most probably by giving a cut up mealworm, and I will give them their own outworld as well. Its time for these girls to start expanding their empire!

Regarding how their brood looks, I managed to take a look on the underside.

Meeehhhhh…. sigh… Give me more!!!!!!!!! I need moooooorrrrrreeeeeee!!! 😀

Not sure if this lack of productivity is related to potential microgyny or all the accumulated problems that they have been going through… No matter what, I will give them my best, in hopes that they will succeed!!

And now Colony E :

A couple of workers are visible, roaming around, drinking water, honey or munching up on a freshly killed mealworm or baby roach.

Taking a peak inside their nest

The brood clutch seems more developed than before, but the number of workers remains the same.

Again the production and evolution leaves much to desire.

I know its not the same period of the year, but take a look at these two photos.

How a single queen from May or June is capable of so much, while these December queens have been lagging so much behind.

Macau is warming up fast. I have been noticing S.invicta nests entrances getting uncovered by workers, soil being carried out… there is clearly movement! Lets hope it can also give a boost to my colonies as well.

What do you think of all of this? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section!! And I would truly appreciate if you could follow the blog if you enjoy the content and the weekly posts!

Well, this is all for this week’s updates! Thank you for taking the time to read the posts and see you two weeks!

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