Help... Not an antkeeper, trying to save a Queen

Questions from those who are just starting or considering getting into the ant keeping hobby. If you’re intimidated or confused by the in-depth posts of the other sections of this forum, feel free to post here, and we'll start from square one!

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Tetellix
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:27 am
Location: Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

Help... Not an antkeeper, trying to save a Queen

Post: # 59407Post Tetellix
Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:38 am

Hello everyone,

New to this kind of forums, i've never kept ants or have any experience with insects but I desperately need your help.

While destroying an old wooden dog house, I found what seems to be a Queen ant (carpenter black ant maybe, I have no idea).
She was alone in a small hole of rotten wood with a few larvae (around 6) and despite waiting for about 30 mins no other ants came, i only found another big ant dead body nearby.

I didn't feel like leaving her on the ground, so I took her and the larvae i could grab (around 4) and put her in a test tube following antkeepers tutorials (water, cotton etc) and put her in a shoe box so she's in the dark at room temperature. She kept her larvae in her mouth for a while while i transferred her and now (a day later) seems to be either very calm or dying ?

My goal is not to start a colony, but since the house had to be destroyed i didn't know what to do with her... Should i wait, if it happens, for her larvae to grow and then release her somewhere in nature ? should i release her now ?

I live in Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, France, a french cold island next to Newfoundland, Canada. I really hope some of you will be kind enough to help me.

Attatexana
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:55 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Help... Not an antkeeper, trying to save a Queen

Post: # 59412Post Attatexana
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:33 am

The first thing to do would be to identify the queen; these are some of the common Camponotus ants in France: Camponotus ligniperdus, aethiops, cruentatus, fallax, lateralis, ligniperda, piceus, pilicornis, sylvaticus, universitatis, and vagus. Sorry if I missed a few I live in Texas.

Tetellix
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:27 am
Location: Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

Re: Help... Not an antkeeper, trying to save a Queen

Post: # 59415Post Tetellix
Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:10 am

Attatexana wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:33 am
The first thing to do would be to identify the queen; these are some of the common Camponotus ants in France: Camponotus ligniperdus, aethiops, cruentatus, fallax, lateralis, ligniperda, piceus, pilicornis, sylvaticus, universitatis, and vagus. Sorry if I missed a few I live in Texas.
I just want to mention that Saint-Pierre and Miquelon is french but it's not located near France at all, so the ants are probably different from those you'd find in France. We're really close to Canada.
As for identifying the Ant, I really have no experience in that.
Would identifying her help decide if I should let her out somewhere or keep her for a while ?

Attatexana
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:55 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Help... Not an antkeeper, trying to save a Queen

Post: # 59418Post Attatexana
Wed Jun 12, 2019 2:58 pm

Maybe, however the web is not giving me answers on to which species live in Canada it just brings up AntsCanada related stuff.

Attatexana
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:55 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Help... Not an antkeeper, trying to save a Queen

Post: # 59419Post Attatexana
Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:02 pm

Sorry about that it is cool you live on a island. Any exotic ants there (Like in Australia)?

Attatexana
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:55 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Help... Not an antkeeper, trying to save a Queen

Post: # 59420Post Attatexana
Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:09 pm

I would say that this point go with your gut and resource areas good for her release and maybe you should keep her for the first year because only a very slim percent of Camponotus survive the first year. Also you might as well take this opportunity to give yourself the great chance of raising your very own Camponotus colony it is a great and unforgettable experience.

Tetellix
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:27 am
Location: Saint-Pierre and Miquelon

Re: Help... Not an antkeeper, trying to save a Queen

Post: # 59422Post Tetellix
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:39 pm

Thank you for your quick answers, I appreciate it a lot.
I don't think we have any really exotic ants here, as it's quite cold year long, but again I don't know much about any of this.

Here are two pictures, the first one where I found her, the second one in her test tube. Maybe this will help ?

I can't say I haven't considered keeping her, it's truly amazing, but I feel i lack the knowledge and confidence to raise a colony (always been a little scared of insects, heh). She seems to have settled down and stopped pulling on the cotton, her eggs/larvae are still there. Does it mean her test tube set up is "okay" ?

Image

Image

Attatexana
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:55 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Help... Not an antkeeper, trying to save a Queen

Post: # 59457Post Attatexana
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:22 am

Looks all good and don't worry you will do fine I can't find her species anywhere and I have look at many sources so I would keep her she must be rare. Do you have any similar ants nearby? If so do not leave anything out.

Attatexana
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:55 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Help... Not an antkeeper, trying to save a Queen

Post: # 59458Post Attatexana
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:25 am

Also I appreciate that like most people you did not just kill her. Are you an AntsCanada fan.

Attatexana
Posts: 54
Joined: Thu May 30, 2019 6:55 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Help... Not an antkeeper, trying to save a Queen

Post: # 59459Post Attatexana
Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:46 am

Thank you for sharing this it seems it is a pretty rare ant there are no web documents about it. So maybe it is exotic to the Canadian region.

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