On March 31st 2014, I found six Veromessor pergandei dealates digging their founding chambers along the side of a dirt road in Phelan, California. Dwdrummer90 lives very close to this area, and was the one who first discovered the founding chambers, but says he never witnessed any nuptial flights. The dealates all over this area had been out every night for the past couple weeks digging founding chambers while temperatures were in the high 40's to low 50's.
Since they supposedly can be polygyne, I placed two of the dealates together in one test tube, while all the rest are alone. The two dealates put together showed no aggression toward each other. All six dealates started laying eggs the night I found them.
A month later, some of these started to get some larvae.
Their first workers.
After giving away and selling a couple of these, and having a few die, I was down to just two main colonies. When one of them had their queen die, I moved all of their brood and what looked like two new nanitic
majors into the test tube of the remaining healthy colony. At first the
two majors were putting up a little bit of a fight as the workers were
steeling their brood, but after a while, they started getting along just
fine, helping with the cleaning and organizing. I moved this colony's
test tube into a foraging container, and dropped a bunch of grass seed
into it. They seemed to really like this seed, and collected every
single one of them, piling them all in their test tube. I introduced
two workers from the doomed colony to this colony each day, and even though
they would fight a little bit for a little while, they eventually started
getting a long. Eventually I got both colonies for the most part joined
Grass seed I found that they seem to like. It's an Anthoxanthum sp., possibly Anthoxanthum occidentale.
By the middle of August, the colony had over a hundred workers, and by now they are probably up to at least 300.
One thing I noticed about these, is they seem to be very clean and organized. They keep their trash, seeds and brood all in perfect little piles.
Here are some pictures from when they had around 100 workers.
Full journal can be found here.