Caring for Neoponera Villosa

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Atro9887
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:18 pm
Location: Texas

Caring for Neoponera Villosa

Post: # 31639Post Atro9887
Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:14 pm

I found a queen Neoponera Villosa about two weeks ago and had her in a test tube setup. I happened to stumble across her (she had wings which she broke off in the test tube the first night) and was super excited once I finally got the ID on her. I figured she was semi-claustral just by her looks, and have fed her some sugar water (which she drank) and offered protein (which I dont think she ate, but did move around.) I got her a pretty large outworld today with some aquarium sand and a few pieces of wood, and picked up some small superworms while i was there. She didn't seem too interested when I placed in her test tube (this is before I introduced the outworld) and is still ignoring it in the outworld, but she did explore and was just kinda standing in the sand. She hasn't laid eggs yet..I tried leaving her alone as much as I could, but I was taking pics, feeding her and just generally checking to see if she was eating and what not so she is probably still spooked. I placed the test tube in the outworld and covered it with some old torn palm tree fiber/bark. The sand if pretty large grain and only about a 1/2 in deep. Ive never kept ants before and this is my first attempt. I'm diving in the deep end with this stinging semi-claustral monster, and I have loads of questions.

Here's some pics.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXhWkdRxPufVlVVbE4tc1lkdGs
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXhWkdRxPufS0xQSEpUX05kNk0
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXhWkdRxPufbFpoX0s5djR0czA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXhWkdRxPufQWpwMFlnYzJWWWc
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXhWkdRxPufVGF0TGhlMDFsNzQ


1. Will she naturally choose the test tube that is placed in the outworld to lay her eggs?

2. Should I keep her in the dark still, or can I leave her on the counter?

3. Should I moisten the sand and if so how often?

4. Will she hunt super worms if they dig in the sand or should I just kill them first?

4.Is this setup ok? In one pic you can see her hiding under the palm bark. Is that ok?

5. In another pic you can see I placed a small punch out pill container full of sugar water in her setup as well. Is this ok? or should I soak a cottonball and place it in there instead? I know they carry droplets in their mandibles so I thought this would be better.

6. If I have to move her...how the hell do I do that? with tweezers? just coax her around with a pokey stick?? The sting is supposed to be worse than a wasp or scorpion from what I've heard and I don't want to find out. But I also don't want to hurt her obviously. (I accidentally squashed a queen acrobat ant last week trying to get her a test tube...I felt so bad.)

7. What should I feed her? are Superworms okay, or should I feed her crickets or something else? I know they like termites but..I cant find any around here that arn't exposed to pesticide.

I work in pest control and I'm fairly new to it, but I have always loved ants...Actually pretty great because I have access to neat things, like entomologists and specimen catalogs and Im really encouraged and motivated to learn more about entomology, but people at work don't seem to know much about caring for ants, specially not stinging, rare, giant semi-claustral species like this one.

idahoantgirl
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:52 am
Location: Idaho, USA

Re: Caring for Neoponera Villosa

Post: # 32249Post idahoantgirl
Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:34 pm

Atro9887 wrote:
Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:14 pm
I found a queen Neoponera Villosa about two weeks ago and had her in a test tube setup. I happened to stumble across her (she had wings which she broke off in the test tube the first night) and was super excited once I finally got the ID on her. I figured she was semi-claustral just by her looks, and have fed her some sugar water (which she drank) and offered protein (which I dont think she ate, but did move around.) I got her a pretty large outworld today with some aquarium sand and a few pieces of wood, and picked up some small superworms while i was there. She didn't seem too interested when I placed in her test tube (this is before I introduced the outworld) and is still ignoring it in the outworld, but she did explore and was just kinda standing in the sand. She hasn't laid eggs yet..I tried leaving her alone as much as I could, but I was taking pics, feeding her and just generally checking to see if she was eating and what not so she is probably still spooked. I placed the test tube in the outworld and covered it with some old torn palm tree fiber/bark. The sand if pretty large grain and only about a 1/2 in deep. Ive never kept ants before and this is my first attempt. I'm diving in the deep end with this stinging semi-claustral monster, and I have loads of questions.

Here's some pics.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXhWkdRxPufVlVVbE4tc1lkdGs
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXhWkdRxPufS0xQSEpUX05kNk0
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXhWkdRxPufbFpoX0s5djR0czA
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXhWkdRxPufQWpwMFlnYzJWWWc
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXhWkdRxPufVGF0TGhlMDFsNzQ


1. Will she naturally choose the test tube that is placed in the outworld to lay her eggs?

2. Should I keep her in the dark still, or can I leave her on the counter?

3. Should I moisten the sand and if so how often?

4. Will she hunt super worms if they dig in the sand or should I just kill them first?

4.Is this setup ok? In one pic you can see her hiding under the palm bark. Is that ok?

5. In another pic you can see I placed a small punch out pill container full of sugar water in her setup as well. Is this ok? or should I soak a cottonball and place it in there instead? I know they carry droplets in their mandibles so I thought this would be better.

6. If I have to move her...how the hell do I do that? with tweezers? just coax her around with a pokey stick?? The sting is supposed to be worse than a wasp or scorpion from what I've heard and I don't want to find out. But I also don't want to hurt her obviously. (I accidentally squashed a queen acrobat ant last week trying to get her a test tube...I felt so bad.)

7. What should I feed her? are Superworms okay, or should I feed her crickets or something else? I know they like termites but..I cant find any around here that arn't exposed to pesticide.

I work in pest control and I'm fairly new to it, but I have always loved ants...Actually pretty great because I have access to neat things, like entomologists and specimen catalogs and Im really encouraged and motivated to learn more about entomology, but people at work don't seem to know much about caring for ants, specially not stinging, rare, giant semi-claustral species like this one.
1. She will chose the tube to lay her eggs since the tube is humid and the sand is dry.

2.yes, keep her in the dark. her colony will develop faster and also if your colony is used to darkness, you can use light as a tool to move them into nests later.

3. Do not moisten the sand unless you want her to lay her eggs in the sand and not the tube. which you do not want.

4.. No, she will not be able to hunt and kill a super worm. definitely kill them first and cut them up so she can get to the goodies. you dont need to give her a whole superworm. a small section would be fine and wouldn't waist as much.

4. yes the setup looks fine.

(continued)
Proverbs 6:6-11

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

Keeper of Tetramorium Sp. E, Lasius Neoniger

idahoantgirl
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:52 am
Location: Idaho, USA

Re: Caring for Neoponera Villosa

Post: # 32250Post idahoantgirl
Tue Oct 10, 2017 9:35 pm

(continued)

5. It is probably better to soak a cotton ball in sugar water. she could fall in. She will still be able to drink just fine from cotton. But, even if she does fall in, do not throw her away, Because it is ridiculously hard to drown ants. just rinse her off in some regular water and place her back in the outworld. she will dry off and be fine, even if she was submerged for hours or even days.

6. Never forcefully move your queen. Like I said earlier, You can use light to help move your colony if she is accustomed to darkness. for instance, if you are moving her into a nest (which you should only do after you have 25 +workers), attach the tube to the nest , cover the nest to make it dark, and shine a light on the tube. It may take several hours or even a day, but she will move. If light doesn't work tho, you can introduce heat. CAREFULLY! It is easy to fry them. I have a bendy lamp that has a hot bulb that I use. Make sure that the tube is only warm to the touch and not hot, and watch them carefully to make sure they aren't getting fried. just shine the light onto the tube and the warmth will coax them out.

7. The most nutritious protein is cockroaches, but superworms, crickets, fruit flies, mealworms all work fine.

Wow! great questions! I hope all is going well with this colony!

Idahoantgirl
Proverbs 6:6-11

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

Keeper of Tetramorium Sp. E, Lasius Neoniger

Atro87
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:50 am
Location: Texas

Re: Caring for Neoponera Villosa

Post: # 32432Post Atro87
Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:33 pm

Thanks for the detailed responses. I actually found another queen also, Its been three weeks or so and the first one I caught still has not laid eggs. I'm actually thinking about releasing her. The other queen I have now is making me doubt the other is even a queen, its a tiny bit bigger, more active and Ive only had her for a few days and she already layed an egg! So...All this info turned out to be super helpful. I also found a Camponotus colony and think I found the queen, but Im not sure, need to get an ID on her. I also have a Solenoposis colony starting up. I included a some pics.

Image

Image

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzXhWkdRxPufZ1hWVEE5a1NmTHc/view?usp=sharing

Image

Atro87
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:50 am
Location: Texas

Re: Caring for Neoponera Villosa

Post: # 32433Post Atro87
Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:50 pm

Another try on the other images. Im just gonna do it this way I know its a pain to copy paste the ling in your browser but I tried posting so you can just see the pics in the post but yea...I gave up.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXhWkdRxPufYXpZbGctLWxlMUk

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXhWkdRxPufOGR1NE5WdkdvaGs

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0BzXhWkdRxPufOW01dE0ta1FtWWc

Atro87
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:50 am
Location: Texas

Re: Caring for Neoponera Villosa

Post: # 32434Post Atro87
Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:21 pm

Also I had a few more questions.

Should I just release the one I caught almost a month ago that never laid an egg? She had wings when I found her, but maybe she isn't fertile?

Oh...and about the cotton ball soaked with sugar water. I understand they carry droplets in there mandibles...so can she gather a droplet from the cotton, or does she need a small pool? I wasn't sure that's why I did It that way, I saw one of them carrying a drop of honey in her mandibles just the other day from a larger drop I placed in the test tube, funny enough what she didn't drink or move, she covered with strands of cotton she picked from the dry side...Not sure why

I had the other one in a test tube with a drop of honey and a killed superworm and she laid that egg. Does she need an outworld already or can I keep her in the test tube?

idahoantgirl
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:52 am
Location: Idaho, USA

Re: Caring for Neoponera Villosa

Post: # 32435Post idahoantgirl
Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:33 pm

Atro87 wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:21 pm
Also I had a few more questions.

Should I just release the one I caught almost a month ago that never laid an egg? She had wings when I found her, but maybe she isn't fertile?

Oh...and about the cotton ball soaked with sugar water. I understand they carry droplets in there mandibles...so can she gather a droplet from the cotton, or does she need a small pool? I wasn't sure that's why I did It that way, I saw one of them carrying a drop of honey in her mandibles just the other day from a larger drop I placed in the test tube, funny enough what she didn't drink or move, she covered with strands of cotton she picked from the dry side...Not sure why

I had the other one in a test tube with a drop of honey and a killed superworm and she laid that egg. Does she need an outworld already or can I keep her in the test tube?
Can you specify which ants you are talking about? IS the one you caught almost a month ago the Neoponera Villosa? and the "other one"? Sorry I'm confused. ;) She will be able to drink from a cotton ball just fine. Mikey uses cotton soaked sugar water all the time for his ants.
Proverbs 6:6-11

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

Keeper of Tetramorium Sp. E, Lasius Neoniger

Atro87
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:50 am
Location: Texas

Re: Caring for Neoponera Villosa

Post: # 32473Post Atro87
Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:24 am

Yes, the one I caught a month ago is a N. Villosa, and the one I caught last week, which has laid 2 eggs now, is also a N. Villosa. She seems content in the test tube, but these ants are so large, no way I could wait until this newly caught queen has 20-30 workers before I move them, they wouldnt fit in the test tube, they would be crammed together lol. So should I provide an outworld already, or wait a bit until she has at least a few workers?

idahoantgirl
Posts: 851
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:52 am
Location: Idaho, USA

Re: Caring for Neoponera Villosa

Post: # 32477Post idahoantgirl
Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:01 pm

Atro87 wrote:
Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:24 am
Yes, the one I caught a month ago is a N. Villosa, and the one I caught last week, which has laid 2 eggs now, is also a N. Villosa. She seems content in the test tube, but these ants are so large, no way I could wait until this newly caught queen has 20-30 workers before I move them, they wouldnt fit in the test tube, they would be crammed together lol. So should I provide an outworld already, or wait a bit until she has at least a few workers?
Yes larger species of ants can be moved into nests earlier since they take up more space. IT cant hurt to give her an outworld, Use the drinking straw technique to create a small tunnel instead of a large opening and then place it in n outworld.
Proverbs 6:6-11

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

Keeper of Tetramorium Sp. E, Lasius Neoniger

Atro87
Posts: 5
Joined: Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:50 am
Location: Texas

Re: Caring for Neoponera Villosa

Post: # 32494Post Atro87
Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:39 pm

For now I just attached the Test Tube portal I got from AntsCanada. I'm hoping that will give her a little space to forage and make it easier to clean up after her rather than placing her in the larger outworld I have, and this way I can keep her in the dark and easily check up on her every now and then. I plugged one end of the test tube portal with a cotton ball soaked in honey water. Thanks again for your replies!

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