Newbe alert! Need some help:)

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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TheSpawn
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 25, 2019 1:31 pm
Location: Norway

Newbe alert! Need some help:)

Post: # 58681Post TheSpawn
Sat May 25, 2019 1:44 pm

Hi,

I have some Lasius niger ants in my house :lol:
I will try to get a queen from them. If I see a ant whit wings that has left the colony, is it possibly it can be a queen and i can use it to start a new colony? :)

Another question, how long do a colony live?

harvesterant
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Re: Newbe alert! Need some help:)

Post: # 58682Post harvesterant
Sat May 25, 2019 2:37 pm

Queens only crawl out of mature (large) colonies, and even if you see one come out, catching it would be pointless because the queen would not be mated, and therefore fail to start a colony.

So, in short, a winged ant crawling out of a nest could be a queen, but it would not be of any use to you.

Different ant species have different queen lifespans, a Lasius niger queen survive 10 years in captivity, longer if you are lucky. Other species have queens that live a shorter life, sometimes as short as 4 years.

I hope this helps.

TheSpawn
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 25, 2019 1:31 pm
Location: Norway

Re: Newbe alert! Need some help:)

Post: # 58716Post TheSpawn
Sun May 26, 2019 1:02 pm

Ty harvesterant

I understand that they are most mated, and they will not be mated when they leave the colony.
I can find a wing moth that 7 m from the colony entrance (inside my house), are they perhaps mated? (How far away from the colony they mate)

I was looking for queens out to day with my kids, and we find a lot of Formica Rufa and maybe a queen or a big worker.
When we got home I realize that the ant might be a Campontus Ligniperda I am so excited! Of course, we didn't take it with us, and we don't yet have the equipment to raise a queen and a colony. I just started collecting info about the hobby.

Ant Canada recommends Campontus Ligniperda and Lasius Niger for beginners but don't know which one to choose.

Campontus Ligniperda is big so it is easier to see details and easier to prevent escaping ants.
But it bite.

Lasius Niger is smal so it is more difficult to see details and more difficult to prevent escaping ants.
And they don't bite.

TheSpawn
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 25, 2019 1:31 pm
Location: Norway

Re: Newbe alert! Need some help:)

Post: # 58717Post TheSpawn
Sun May 26, 2019 1:21 pm

Ty harvesterant

Sorry for my spelling, my time for editing has ended...

I understand that they most be mated, and they are not mated when they leave the colony.
I can find a wing ant that is 7 m from the colony entrance (inside my house), are they perhaps mated? (How far away from the colony are they mating)

I was looking for queens out to day with my kids, and we find a lot of Formica Rufa and maybe a queen or a major worker.
When we got home I realize that the ant might be a Campontus Ligniperda I am so excited! Of course, we didn't take it with us, and we don't yet have the equipment to raise a queen and a colony. I just started collecting info about the hobby.

Ant Canada recommends Campontus Ligniperda and Lasius Niger for beginners but don't know which one to choose.

Campontus Ligniperda is big so it is easier to see details and easier to prevent escaping ants.
But it bites.

Lasius Niger is small so it is more difficult to see details and more difficult to prevent escaping ants.
And they don't bite.

harvesterant
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Re: Newbe alert! Need some help:)

Post: # 58718Post harvesterant
Sun May 26, 2019 2:47 pm

You will be unlikely to find a mated queen in your house because there would probably be no Lasius niger males there, they will most likely have to go to a specific field or place to mate.

I have never experienced problems with visibility when keeping Lasius niger ants, even though they are small. I have however experienced escapee problems, as Lasius niger ants always find a way to leave their setup. Another easy choice is Messor barbarus, a harvester ant recommended for beginners. I would recommend Lasius niger if you can stop them from escaping.

AntsDakota
Posts: 1297
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:22 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Newbe alert! Need some help:)

Post: # 58719Post AntsDakota
Sun May 26, 2019 2:48 pm

TheSpawn wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 1:02 pm
Ty harvesterant

I understand that they are most mated, and they will not be mated when they leave the colony.
I can find a wing moth that 7 m from the colony entrance (inside my house), are they perhaps mated? (How far away from the colony they mate)

I was looking for queens out to day with my kids, and we find a lot of Formica Rufa and maybe a queen or a big worker.
When we got home I realize that the ant might be a Campontus Ligniperda I am so excited! Of course, we didn't take it with us, and we don't yet have the equipment to raise a queen and a colony. I just started collecting info about the hobby.

Ant Canada recommends Campontus Ligniperda and Lasius Niger for beginners but don't know which one to choose.

Campontus Ligniperda is big so it is easier to see details and easier to prevent escaping ants.
But it bite.

Lasius Niger is smal so it is more difficult to see details and more difficult to prevent escaping ants.
And they don't bite.
Here are some more benefits to each species-

Lasius grow at a much quicker rate, while Camponotus grow very slowly at the start (not good if you don't have a lot of patience).

However being so large, Camponotus are easy to observe and study, while Lasius can be somewhat hard to view to the untrained eye (I got used to it eventually, though).
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

TheSpawn
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat May 25, 2019 1:31 pm
Location: Norway

Re: Newbe alert! Need some help:)

Post: # 58729Post TheSpawn
Sun May 26, 2019 3:56 pm

harvesterant wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 2:47 pm
You will be unlikely to find a mated queen in your house because there would probably be no Lasius niger males there, they will most likely have to go to a specific field or place to mate.
I vas afraid of that :P Ty
harvesterant wrote:
Sun May 26, 2019 2:47 pm
I have never experienced problems with visibility when keeping Lasius niger ants, even though they are small. I have however experienced escapee problems, as Lasius niger ants always find a way to leave their setup. Another easy choice is Messor barbarus, a harvester ant recommended for beginners. I would recommend Lasius niger if you can stop them from escaping.
I am not sure if i can find Messor barbarus her i live (Norway)
If i use https://www.AntsCanada.com/shop/new-all-you-need-lasius-hybrid-2-0-gear-pack/ Will it be a lot of problem whit escapee?

harvesterant
Posts: 106
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:14 pm
Location: UK

Re: Newbe alert! Need some help:)

Post: # 58752Post harvesterant
Mon May 27, 2019 1:46 am

I have never used this setup before, but it seems that it is designed to keep Lasius ants, and is then probably mostly escape proof. Nearly all ant-keepers have escapees, and you can always leave the lids closed to prevent them, but I would still recommend using certain barriers, such as baby powder, to prevent ants from climbing on the roof, so that you can open the outworld.

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