Russian ant lovers have long been familiar with representatives of the genus Camponotus. Naturally! After all, some of the most popular domestic ants, in addition to the Messor structor, are Camponotus parius and Camponotus nicobarensis. Those who have the opportunity to observe these ants living in acrylic and gypsum formicaria may even genuinely wonder why it is customary in Russia to call Kamponotus woodworms. What does woodworms have to do with it? They don't live in a tree!
However, the myrmekeepers who are seduced by tropical exoticism forget about our domestic kamponotus. For example, the standards of "kamponotus" are Camponotus herculeanus and Camponotus ligniperda. These northern giants gnaw nests in dry wood with powerful mandibles, which is why our taxonomy scientists call them "woodworms", that is, those who grind holes in the tree. Both ant species are similar in structure, size and behavior, but slightly differ in color - the base of the abdomen in Camponotus ligniperda is reddish, and in Camponotus herculeanus it is dark, matching the color of the body. In those regions where the former do not exist, the latter, as a rule, live and vice versa. These types of kamponotus do not differ from each other with the requirements for the conditions of detention.
Despite the fact that Camponotus herculeanus (aka the red-breasted carpenter ant) is the most noticeable and largest species of Camponotus in central Russia and the north, this species is unpopular in the Mirmekeper environment and is extremely rare in collections. And this is not at all due to the fact that in nature the kamponotus is poorly distributed. On the contrary, it is quite easy to find queens during the summer (April-June), and in the forest, Herculeanus is considered one of the dominant species along with the red forest ants of the genus Formica. The answer is simple: the complexity of the content is the reason why we have so few colonies of northern Kamponotus. And the "pitfalls" are not in the requirements for humidity / temperature, but in wintering.
But difficulties cannot frighten someone who has seriously and for a long time decided to get the largest ants of Russia and Europe into his Mirmekeeper collection.
- Growing from the uterus... This is the most common way to get a Camponotus herculeanus colony. The queens of this species are very large and massive, and their plump abdomen eloquently hints that they contain the reserves necessary for raising the first generation of workers.
In nature, the future queen of carpenter borers travels for a long time along tree trunks in search of shelter. However, in the old forest, such a shelter is easy to find - the course of a barbel beetle larva, for example, is suitable as it. The uterus makes its way to the very depths, gnaws out a chamber of the required size with powerful mandibles, and reliably seals the entrance with sawdust. In the future, only the workers who were born will open the cork from the chewed wood, because the uterus does not go anywhere during the founding of the family. In a similar way, she settles down at home in an incubator test tube. An important part of this incubator should be a tightly rolled cotton wool bordering on water. This is done in order to reduce the humidity and bring it closer to that required by woodworms.
And in order to increase the success of our enterprise, you can give the uterus a drop of syrup and a small killed insect (fly / mosquito). A little more than a month later, the first ants should appear, and then you need to feed more seriously.
- Feeding... Camponotus herculeanus' natural diet consists of the sweet secretions of aphids, tree sap, fruits and various insects, among which caterpillars predominate. These are, perhaps, the second ants after formic, which make a huge contribution to the protection of the forest.
By the way, they do not spoil commercial wood, occupying only trunks damaged by beetles for housing.At home, kamponotus drink honey and sugar syrup with pleasure, eat all types of live food items.
- Formicaria... Life in dry wood also implies low humidity in formicaria. Indeed, Herculeanuses do well in completely wooden formicaria, content to receive moisture only with a drinker. But the ideal for them, perhaps, would be a combined truss made of wood and plaster with an insulated plaster part that will be moistened. So the ants will choose where they are most comfortable.
If this is not possible, then campotus will live both in standard acrylic formicaria and in dry gypsum (only gypsum must be of high quality - woodworms are very fond of gnawing everything).
- Wintering... The hardest part of keeping a Camponotus herculeanus colony. It should be noted that summer diapause sometimes occurs in this species, when the ants are absolutely passive, they practically do not go out into the arena for food, the brood does not develop. This is normal - this is how the family rests. Herculeanuses are able to grow larvae in a short time, as they are used to doing this in the north, they adhere to the same rhythms at home. The real wintering begins in late autumn: the ants get drunk with syrup to the fullest, huddle together and lie.
Eggs and small larvae that have not had time to develop acquire a yellowish tint. At this time, you need to gradually reduce the temperature, and then place the colony together with the formicarium in a cool place (this can be either a cellar or your refrigerator - a compartment for vegetables). The ants will not eat, they will have a good rest.
Wintering, lasting from three to six months, is the key to the successful development of this species. If you are not afraid of the annual separation from wintering pets for a long time, start Camponotus herculeanus and, perhaps, you will become the owner of the largest colony of these severe northern ants in Russia.
|4. Weight of 1 piece.||100 g|
|5. Price for 1 kg||700 rubles|
Description of the fruit
The exotic fruit granadilla is the fruit of the treelike liana of passionflower, which belongs to the passionflower family. This plant prefers to be located in sunny areas and is fast growing. The large flowers of passionflower are so beautiful that many gardeners grow it exclusively for decorative purposes. In its natural environment, you can find it in Mexico and up to Bolivia; it is also grown in Jamaica, Haiti, Hawaii.
The fruits of the ribbon-like liana are ovoid and of various colors (from yellow to red), dense and slippery peel. The maturity of the fruit can be judged by the smoothness of the surface and the appearance of dark spots on it. The jelly-like flesh with black unsteady edible seeds has a sweet-sour taste, reminiscent of gooseberries.
Photo: Granadilla fruit
Granadilla, due to its rich taste and gelatinous consistency, is actively used in cooking. Desserts, various drinks, marmalades and jams are prepared from this fruit, used as fillings. It can also be used to naturally flavor yoghurts and a variety of sweet sauces. Granadilla is also consumed raw, cutting into two parts and using a spoon.
In addition, the fruit of passionflower has a number of other beneficial qualities. The minerals and vitamins contained in it contribute to the renewal of the body, in particular, nails and hair, accelerating their growth. Its strengthening effect is also known. This fruit is ideal for composing the diet of those who are losing weight and obese people, as it has a low calorie content.
For headaches, anemia, asthma, it is also recommended to regularly consume granadilla. In addition, the seeds contain a healthy oil, and a decoction based on them has a sedative effect. The peel of this plant is used to obtain pectin, and the leaves are used as anthelmintic agents.
This sweet exotic fruit has no harmful and dangerous properties as such. Granadilla can cause an allergic reaction in people who have an individual intolerance to such a product. Also, when overeating, like any other fruit, it can lead to some stomach problems.
Features of the
The granadilla plant has about two dozen edible species, but only 5 are widespread, among them the passion fruit. You can distinguish them by the color of the peel.