Queens trying to escape

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warhawk373
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Queens trying to escape

Post: # 35736Post warhawk373
Mon May 07, 2018 11:41 pm

Any ideas for keeping a camponotus pennsylvanicus queen from chewing through her cotton stopper? I have 3 queens and they are all doing the exact same thing. I don't want to pick the test tubes up to move them to a closed container because from what I've read, it could be just because its a new environment and they need time to calm down. I had 4 queens but one chewed all the way through in only a day.

averagebilly
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Location: Canada

Re: Queens trying to escape

Post: # 35752Post averagebilly
Tue May 08, 2018 12:17 pm

How are the test tubes set up? Do they have a lot of space in them? For now, i would recommend just adding more cotton, as they could just be trying to get comfortable.keep and eye on them to make sure they don't escape.
"Ant Love Forever" - Mikey Bustos

warhawk373
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Re: Queens trying to escape

Post: # 35765Post warhawk373
Tue May 08, 2018 1:41 pm

averagebilly wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 12:17 pm
How are the test tubes set up? Do they have a lot of space in them? For now, i would recommend just adding more cotton, as they could just be trying to get comfortable.keep and eye on them to make sure they don't escape.
They are the typical setup, about 3/4 water, cotton stopper, small space, then another cotton stopper.

They don't have a lot of space, but that is how I see everyone else's tubes set up. Mind you, by not a lot of space, I mean like 1-1.5 inches or about 3-4 cm, so enough room to turn around and stuff but not enough room to go for a jog or anything. I really hope they relax so I don't have to replace the cotton. That will only disturb them more and lead to them digging more. I was thinking about making a small founding chamber out of cork, since they are carpenter ants I was wondering if they would feel more at home there. But I wasn't sure if they could chew threw that or not.

averagebilly
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Location: Canada

Re: Queens trying to escape

Post: # 35771Post averagebilly
Tue May 08, 2018 2:45 pm

warhawk373 wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 1:41 pm
averagebilly wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 12:17 pm
How are the test tubes set up? Do they have a lot of space in them? For now, i would recommend just adding more cotton, as they could just be trying to get comfortable.keep and eye on them to make sure they don't escape.
They are the typical setup, about 3/4 water, cotton stopper, small space, then another cotton stopper.

They don't have a lot of space, but that is how I see everyone else's tubes set up. Mind you, by not a lot of space, I mean like 1-1.5 inches or about 3-4 cm, so enough room to turn around and stuff but not enough room to go for a jog or anything. I really hope they relax so I don't have to replace the cotton. That will only disturb them more and lead to them digging more. I was thinking about making a small founding chamber out of cork, since they are carpenter ants I was wondering if they would feel more at home there. But I wasn't sure if they could chew threw that or not.
Although that is the recommended stup, I've found more success in giving larger (as well as more active) colonies more space. For camponotus (carpenter) queens, try using 1/2 - 3/5 water, as she probably doesn't have enough space to maneuver around her chamber.
"Ant Love Forever" - Mikey Bustos

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antnest8
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Re: Queens trying to escape

Post: # 35779Post antnest8
Tue May 08, 2018 3:15 pm

i would just put steel wool in if you have it that is what i did
keeper of
2 lasius umbratus/neoniger colony
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1 Myrmica queen
1 tapinoma sessile colony

warhawk373
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Re: Queens trying to escape

Post: # 35806Post warhawk373
Tue May 08, 2018 8:38 pm

averagebilly wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 2:45 pm
Although that is the recommended stup, I've found more success in giving larger (as well as more active) colonies more space. For camponotus (carpenter) queens, try using 1/2 - 3/5 water, as she probably doesn't have enough space to maneuver around her chamber.
I think one was a little too cramped because she was clinging sideways to her damp cotton ball just sitting there with not much room to rest flat. So I offered her a little honey in a different test tube with more room and after a few minutes she moved in. She now has about 5cm instead of the 3 that the others have. I'm just going to observe her the next few days and if she seems to be doing better then the other 2 then I'll move them into a large space also.
antnest8 wrote:
Tue May 08, 2018 3:15 pm
i would just put steel wool in if you have it that is what i did
If they persist after a couple days I might try that. Is there any chance it could harm them if they try to bite it though?

WNCAnt
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Re: Queens trying to escape

Post: # 35807Post WNCAnt
Tue May 08, 2018 11:42 pm

I had the same problem, I moved them to a test tube with a few inches of room placed new cotton, they dug for a few min placed them in the dark came back gave them a check, 24hrs later, just a glance they had stopped. If all else fails get a test tube that is threaded at the end and a metal cap poke small holes in it place cotton in cap screw on.
Founding Camponotus Pennsylvanicus X 2.
Founding Camponotus Subbarbatus X1.

warhawk373
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Re: Queens trying to escape

Post: # 35810Post warhawk373
Wed May 09, 2018 1:51 am

Well, tonight they have only been chewing and biting at the kind of loose cotton instead of actually trying to burrow between the cotton and glass. Hopefully they are just instinctively trying to nest. Like a dog going around in circles before it lays down. It doesn't accomplish anything, it just gives the creature peace of mind. I might boil some substrate tomorrow and try adding it to one of the test tubes. I'm not sure what to use though. I was thinking saw dust but I read that Camponotus prefer dryer nests and I feel like saw dust would soak up a lot of water.

I guess if I'm going to disturb them and test what they like I should do it now instead of in a week when they could be close to relaxing. Has anyone else had great success from adding substrate to their test tubes?

warhawk373
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Re: Queens trying to escape

Post: # 35836Post warhawk373
Thu May 10, 2018 1:27 am

So I got a 4th queen and added some sterile dirt to the test tube. She isn't digging in either the cotton or the dirt though so she may be an outlier. Though tonight only one of the ants is digging at the cotton, another is just docile and sitting there and one has laid eggs!!!! This is the first queen I've owned that has laid eggs. I'm so excited. I really hope she pulls through. By this time next year I may be moving them into a formicarium :D. Though in all honesty, I feel as though watching and caring for the first generation of workers will be the most enjoyable and memorable phases in owning an ant colony.

Varanid
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Location: Alabama

Re: Queens trying to escape

Post: # 36114Post Varanid
Sat May 19, 2018 6:08 pm

Congratulations on the eggs, hope all is still going well. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the egg laying, then the larvae developing and pupating. And was really excited over the first nanitics. Unfortunately the colonies crashed shortly after. It was still an exciting and enjoyable experience for those few months. Even if I had known none would make it, I still would not have traded that experience for anything. The part I enjoy most though, is hunting queens. It is so exciting, especially when you find one you have never found before.

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