First time ant keeper worried about his queens

Discussions about the care and keeping of ants

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feasible
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:37 pm

First time ant keeper worried about his queens

Post: # 30802Post feasible
Sun Sep 03, 2017 5:10 am

Hi All

First time posting here. I've been watching AC on youtube for about a year now, and had been toying with the idea i starting an ant colony. Then the ants started their nuptial flights en masse in July and I figured i might as well give it a go.

So I caught 3 queens, all Lasius Niger, on the 6th of July, and immediately put them into test tube setups. I've been keeping them in a shoe box in the back of a cupboard. I've been checking on them at maximum once a week.

At 2 weeks i found one of the queens dead. It had a small light blue/green patch on the top of it's thorax.

At 4 weeks they hadn't started laying yet, so i got a bit worried they might not be fertile. I also noticed some mould in one of the test tubes, but the internet told me not to worry until there was a lot of mould.

at 6 weeks I don't remember exactly, I noticed they'd both started laying (I'm very excited).

Today (8 weeks), one has maybe 12 eggs the other about 8. In this album are photos I took yesterday: https://imgur.com/a/B2MV0

Queen A; (The one with 12) Is the one who's test tube is a bit mouldy, the mould hasn't increased much since i first noticed it. But i have noticed a small patch of light blue/green something on the top of it's thorax, which has me worried as it's similar to the one that died. Is this something i need to be concerned about? Also how do i know when the mould is considerable enough to change test tubes. And how do i go about doing that.

Queen B; (the one with less eggs) has no visible mould in the test tube and it generally unremarkable.

I'm also worried about A and B in general because they seem like they're quite behind the sort of timescales the internet told me to expect. Having not laid until 5 or 6 weeks. Will i need to feed them soon? When will the queens food stores run out?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as you can probably tell I'm being a worried ant dad. But I really want them to survive and start colonies.

Thanks :)

feasible
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:37 pm

Re: First time ant keeper worried about his queens

Post: # 30813Post feasible
Sun Sep 03, 2017 8:53 am

Did I do something wrong? I've only had 7 views in 6 hours (4 or so being mine) whereas more recent posts have dozens of views and mutiple replies. :/

FolloweroftheWay
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2017 4:07 pm
Location: Mississippi

Re: First time ant keeper worried about his queens

Post: # 30815Post FolloweroftheWay
Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:12 am

Some people, like myself, only browse the forum. I don't know enough to give advice. I just caught my first queens too. 5 Solenopsis richteri or BIFA.

Good luck.
Solenopsis Richteri x 2
Lasius Neoniger x 2

Wish List:

Monomorium pharaonis

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Phoenix
Posts: 611
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:17 pm
Location: Malaysia

Re: Inquiry

Post: # 30816Post Phoenix
Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:21 am

I Would Give Them A Sugar Droplet To Boost Back Their Strength.
As For The Blue / Green Mold On Your Queen, There's Not Much You Could Do Honestly Except Letting Nature Take Its Course.
'Have Fun.' - Gabe Newell

feasible
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:37 pm

Re: Inquiry

Post: # 30825Post feasible
Sun Sep 03, 2017 10:39 am

Phoenix wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2017 9:21 am
I Would Give Them A Sugar Droplet To Boost Back Their Strength.
As For The Blue / Green Mold On Your Queen, There's Not Much You Could Do Honestly Except Letting Nature Take Its Course.
Uh-huh ok. And is there a procedure to doing that or do I just open the test tube and pop it in there? The queen won't make a break for it will she?

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Phoenix
Posts: 611
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:17 pm
Location: Malaysia

Re: Inquiry

Post: # 30830Post Phoenix
Sun Sep 03, 2017 11:11 am

They Might, Or Not - Should They Do Escape, Simply Catch Them & Put Them Back Inside.
As For The Drop, Just Apply A Small Amount On A Piece Of Tin-Foil Paper & Insert It Inside The Test-Tube.
'Have Fun.' - Gabe Newell

feasible
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:37 pm

Re: First time ant keeper worried about his queens

Post: # 30848Post feasible
Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:02 pm

Alright, I'll give it a go.

Thanks Pheonix :)

martinnate
Posts: 178
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:57 pm
Location: Abilene Tx

Re: First time ant keeper worried about his queens

Post: # 30852Post martinnate
Sun Sep 03, 2017 3:46 pm

Or u can put them in an out world. Thats the easy way to do it. Then u dont have to worry about escapes just make sure u put some sort of barrier along the top.

hiitsmeiambored
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jul 23, 2017 6:53 am
Location: Southampton

Re: First time ant keeper worried about his queens

Post: # 30894Post hiitsmeiambored
Mon Sep 04, 2017 4:13 am

I've had issues with lasius niger before (I had 4 dead last year with no survivors and 1 dead this year with 4 survivors) the first 1 I suffocated, the second I stressed and the other 2 I kept to cold and starved. The one this year had a red mold on her but the others are fine. I would say keep them at around 20c and give them a bit of food. This website has loads of information including how long each stage lasts with a lasius niger ant http://www.antnest.co.uk/
Trying to start lasius niger colony. Hoping to keep myrmica rubra and lasius flavus in the future and considering mealworms. Current keeper of 3 evil monsters aka rabbits

feasible
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:37 pm

Re: First time ant keeper worried about his queens

Post: # 31004Post feasible
Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:33 am

I just went to check on them and the first workers have hatched (is that the right word? :P ). YAY!

I gave both colonies a tiny drop of sugar water too.

New question I'm going away for possibly 3 weeks on Friday. Are they going to be ok on there own for that long?

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