Black Tyrant Ants, a new beginning

Hi guys! Welcome to a new journal !!

I have been wanting to publish this journal for quite some time now, but unfortunately have been busy, mainly with the updates on the other two journals and the YouTube videos, which seems you all have been enjoying by the increasing number of views, subscribers and watch time! Thank you so much for your time and support.

So I decided to run this journal in weekly alternation with the other two. This means, you will get updates on the colonies once every two weeks. This will also allow me to open yet another journal, which be awesome, as we are getting our first nuptial flights of the season, and gather enough updates during the 2 week period for a bigger and more exciting post update. As such, this week, there won’t be any fire ants or weaver ants updates! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Iridomyrmex anceps, are a black, small, and very fast ant species, which are also commonly known as Black Tyrant ant.

They can be found around South East Asia, Papua New Guinea, Australia and some Pacific Islands

They possess a silver metallic iridescence very characteristic of ants belonging to the Iridomyrmex Genus which are known as Rainbow Ants.

They only measure 3 to 5 mm. Their nests are located in the soil. Their colonies are usually very large since the species is polydomous, which means they can inhabit multiple nests.

The main chambers can be found about 20 cm below the soil surface.

The species is polygynous according to scientific references, although all my attempts to mix queens together have always failed, with one of the queens ending up dead. Nonetheless, I did manage to get some pretty awesome colonies before

The workers are extremely sensitive to vibrations and possess a mass recruitment form of defense.

This species prefers relatively open habitats where bare ground occurs like for example roadsides and other manmade structures.

This ant still appears to be spreading globally, according to the latest surveys, but it is unknown whether has increased its range with the help of humans or not. Iridomyrmex anceps is presented as a single species ranging from northern Australia through the Indo-Pacific region as far north as China, as one of only a few species of this highly diverse genus occurring outside Australia. There is currently no revision available of the Iridomyrmex anceps species group so it is unclear how many species are included in this group, if they are valid, and if Iridomyrmex anceps reported from Australia is the same as that reported from Asia.

These ants are moslty predators and scavengers. They may also tend aphids and coccids and will collect nectar when available. Foragers of Iridomyrmex anceps can form symbiotic relationships with caterpillars, protecting them against predators in exchange for food. The Iridomyrmex anceps species group is commonly associated with the lycaenid butterfly. Iridomyrmex foragers are often attracted to seeds with special lipid food bodies and carry them into their nests. Once the food bodies are taken from the seeds, the seeds are discarded.

Their main competition in Northeast region of Thailand is the infamous Solenopsis Geminata. Their extra speed, mass recruitment strategy and polydomy seem to give them the upper hand over the available resources.

I have raised many colonies from single queens. My recommendations for a successful foundation breakthrough are:

  • Test tube setup with a water reservoir as most of us do
  • Feed them immediately a drop of honey
  • And donโ€™t touch them for a month.

Normally after 28 days (depending on the temperatures), you should expect first workers.

This is a very fast growing species, especially if you always provide constant food. Soon they will outgrow anything you give them. I would recommend this species as a great beginner species for anyone located in Asia.

I have recently caught a few Iridomyrmex queens, but all except one ended up dying… not sure why.

But the one which survived seems to be doing well, and has been established now, just recently.

Initially, I was keeping her in the same types of nests as our lovely fire ant queens, but with all the mite problems, I also rehoused her to a test tube, and she seems to be doing much better in my opinion.

Looking good right? I think so! And I absolutely love this species. Grows fast, doesn’t sting or spray formic acid, super hungry little buggers and always dashing from side to side!

I don’t know if you noticed too, but Ant Keeping seems to be having a surge in popularity. And locally I have been contacted multiple times to do exhibitions, mini shows or event private family/friends showcases of my colonies.

I have been collecting and trying to grow as many as species as I can in order to be able to present those jaw dropping sights of ant colonies of thousands! Of course it takes time, but I am preparing everything to the best of my capabilities and financial capacity as well ๐Ÿ˜€

So yet another reason why doing these journals would be interesting… in one year or two year, I would be able to present and remember how that 1 million ant colony started ๐Ÿ˜€ syke!

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 weekโ€™s updates! Thank you for taking the time to read the posts, and leave me a comment if you want, and see you next week! With our Fire Ant and Weaver Ant colonies updates!


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