I think I caught a mature queen. Tips on collecting workers?

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BleedingRaindrops
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:33 am
Location: Okinawa

I think I caught a mature queen. Tips on collecting workers?

Post: # 15441Post BleedingRaindrops
Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:07 am

So I was on sentry post today, and there's a colony that lives in the wall of the outpost, and I like to watch them sometimes. Near the start of my post, I saw a much larger ant than the others walking very slowly. They seemed to be walking past and ignoring her, and I was curious. I bent over to examine her, and realized she was a queen! I dumped out my water bottle and used a coin to pick her up and place her gently in the bottle, then closed the cap. I hid her in the shade and out of the wind and covered her with my extra jacket.

Ten minutes later, I noticed the ants on the sidewalk moving in strange figure 8 patterns, concentrating on the area I'd just picked up the queen from, but not really doing anything. After 20 minutes of searching, they all went back to the main entrance to their nest, and soon after there were dozens of them rushing out, performing the same figure 8 patterns, and advancing outward. They spread out until they covered the whole 1 meter square of concrete, then came back. A few minutes later, well over a hundred ants, possibly two hundred, poured out of the main entrance one after another, moving at a speed I've never seen them move, frantically zipping about in wide figure 8 loops, spanning a width of about 6-10 inch sweeps for each ant, and overlapping a lot. They moved all the way to the end of the concrete, and onto the curb that surrounds the grass. They kept going until I could no longer make them out against the concrete of the curb, and they were still spread as a blanket across the entire concrete area just outside the outpost.

I have never seen them do this, and that they kept it up until the end of my post and were still doing it when I left leads me to believe I may have stolen their queen. I recognize the queen I caught as Pheidole sp. and her wing scars have healed, so perhaps these are a Pheidole sp. colony? They are brown and reddish in color, and are all about 2-3mm long, and often bring back small dead insects—mostly earwigs—and they live inside the wall of a small guard shack, in Okinawa Japan.

Does anyone have any other ideas for why this happened? Is it something ants would normally do, and just coincidence that it happened after I picked up a queen? If this was their queen, does anyone have any tips on collecting some of the workers, and reuniting them with their queen? I would love if that were an option. I could start a fresh colony with a jump-start.
Ants kept
Nylanderia sp.
Camponotus sp.
Paratrechina Longicornis
Pheidole sp.

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KingKyle26
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Location: Pennsylvania

Re: I think I caught a mature queen. Tips on collecting workers?

Post: # 15445Post KingKyle26
Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:30 am

If you are sure the colony is Pheidole, you may have picked up one of the the majors. If that actually was a fertile queen, she will die on her own and needs her workers in order to survive

Maybe place food to attract the ants on a piece of paper near the nest?
Raising:
-Tapinoma Sessile
Founding:
-Crematogaster Lineolata
-Solenopsis Molesta
-Lasius Neoniger

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BleedingRaindrops
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:33 am
Location: Okinawa

Re: I think I caught a mature queen. Tips on collecting workers?

Post: # 15459Post BleedingRaindrops
Sat Dec 17, 2016 12:00 am

alright well this was her yesterday after I caught her
Image
She was hanging out at the dry end of the tube, trying to escape.

I'm quite certain she's a queen, because she lacks the disproportionately large head most pheidole majors have.
I kept her in a drawer, wrapped in a black towel overnight. This is her now.

Image

She's at the wet end now, but she's not moving at all.

I'm going to run out with a test tube full of water and food and see if I can get some workers to hopefully take care of her but this is really concerning me. She may have died overnight.
Ants kept
Nylanderia sp.
Camponotus sp.
Paratrechina Longicornis
Pheidole sp.

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BleedingRaindrops
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:33 am
Location: Okinawa

Re: I think I caught a mature queen. Tips on collecting workers?

Post: # 15461Post BleedingRaindrops
Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:26 am

okay, moment of truth. these are the ants that live in the colony I think I stole her from. Just need a species ID and then I can decide whether to introduce them or let them go
Image
Ants kept
Nylanderia sp.
Camponotus sp.
Paratrechina Longicornis
Pheidole sp.

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BleedingRaindrops
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:33 am
Location: Okinawa

Re: I think I caught a mature queen. Tips on collecting workers?

Post: # 15478Post BleedingRaindrops
Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:51 pm

Turns out they aren't the same species. And they all stopped moving. :?
Ants kept
Nylanderia sp.
Camponotus sp.
Paratrechina Longicornis
Pheidole sp.

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Theantguy13
Posts: 237
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2016 5:51 pm
Location: Riverside county CA

Re: I think I caught a mature queen. Tips on collecting workers?

Post: # 15585Post Theantguy13
Mon Dec 26, 2016 7:46 pm

It definetly looks like a queen. I would keep her in the tube alone. Don't throw her out, she may just be hibernating. Don't trust me on this because I'm still new to this, but i think, I THINK, that she should be ok if you just leave her alone in a dark place. Once again, I could be wrong, but she looks to be fully claustral. If she stops moving and curls up, but doesn't grow mold on her, then she is most likely hibernating.
Proud owner of 3 beautiful cats, a loving Siberian husky, and a varying amount of ants.

My ant queens still founding a colony:
Solenopsis Molesta
My ant colonies:
Solenopsis Xyloni

SpeciesK
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:45 am
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Re: I think I caught a mature queen. Tips on collecting workers?

Post: # 16224Post SpeciesK
Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:13 am

Are they still alive??? The suspense is killing me... :?

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BleedingRaindrops
Posts: 109
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:33 am
Location: Okinawa

Re: I think I caught a mature queen. Tips on collecting workers?

Post: # 16255Post BleedingRaindrops
Sun Jan 22, 2017 6:09 pm

I would assume so. I released them back to their colony.
Ants kept
Nylanderia sp.
Camponotus sp.
Paratrechina Longicornis
Pheidole sp.

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