Big-headed Ant Colony (Part 3)

Hi, this is Jordan updating you on my Pheidole sp. colony. It’s been several months since my last update video. Since then the colony hasn’t grown too much. We’ve just come out of winter here in Australia, so the ants have
been in a state of hibernation the last couple of months. It’s starting to heat up
again though, and they’re becoming more active and demanding of food. Last summer this colony grew quite rapidly so hopefully this coming summer will be the
same and I end up with a fairly sizable colony. You can see there’s plenty of brood around. See this
massive pile of larvae here and plenty of eggs and pupae too. You can see there’s quite a lot of soldier ants walking around here. There’s around 40 of them in the colony now. The soldiers just tend to hang around the
nest and hardly ever venture off into the outworld. I think it’s because I normally provide this colony with soft cut up foods, which doesn’t need the
power of a soldier ant to slice up or haul back to the nest. They’re mostly just used
as a sort of living walking food/water reservoir. I can often see the workers
feeding from them or filling them up through the process of trophallaxis. You can
see their gasters are really swollen here. Sometimes even as big as their heads. A couple of months ago I went on a trip
overseas. I spent just over a month in Canada, and if you remember from my last
update, the colony had raised up quite a number of female alates. They ended up
producing around 15 to 20 and total. Anyway, when I returned from my trip all
the alates had gone. So what I suspect happened was they flew of for their nuptial flights. So they would have made their way into the outworld and flown out through the lid which has these little
ventilation gaps. Before I left for my trip I left this window open which is right next to
the outworld. So hopefully the alates made it outside and they underwent
their nuptial flights and started founding new colonies of their own. I’ve never had a colony undergo their nuptial flights like this before. Unfortunately I was away miss out on
witnessing the process, but it’s still really cool nonetheless. So that’s it for the update.
I’ll probably do another one for my Iridomyrmex bicknelli colony next. So look look forward to that and thanks for watching.

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