Make my ants feel more at home?

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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QueenArachnia
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:43 am

Make my ants feel more at home?

Post: # 60666Post QueenArachnia
Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:25 am

I have a colony that is about 80 workers, lots of eggs. Now what makes me wonder is that I happened to find these two queens together in the wild with about 20 workers some eggs. I identified them as tetramorium immigrans. Which I have read they are not polygynous? Why would they be sideby side? I kept them together thinking if they were together in the wild keep them together? Is this wrong of me? Anyone else have seen them in the wild like this?

Also my other question is, when should I be housing them in a semi bigger nest? They are in a glass bottle with a cheese cloth between the lid with plenty of ventilation holes. I’d like to get them in a proper enclosure. Which I have put together with an outworld and nesting area.
Any advice would be nice because these guys are so tiny and wouldn’t want any escapees. Thanks :D

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Whitelotus
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue May 29, 2018 5:50 pm
Location: San Joaquin County, California

Re: Make my ants feel more at home?

Post: # 60848Post Whitelotus
Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:29 am

I have heard Tetramorium can be polygynous but it is rare. The workers may end up attacking one of the queens later depending on how they view them. If you end up with a polygynous colony, you are one lucky fellow.

As far as advice goes, you can move them to a semi larger nest if they are at 80 workers. I have moved a few Tetramorium at 20-40 workers, depending on what I had available. They are easy to keep, just be sure to have a good barrier for your outworld to prevent escapes. When you are going to transfer them to their new enclosure, be sure to have cotton balls or cotton swabs available to pick up any escapees when connecting or disconnecting parts of their nest or outworld. If you really want to be safe with escapes, I would advise using an acrylic outworld as they seem to have a difficult time climbing the material. One more thing, and I cannot stress this enough, do not feed them any wild insects. One of my earliest attempts with Tetramorium did not go so well when I though a cricket from my yard would do well.

Feeding them is also easy. They are not picky eaters. Crickets, mealworms, almonds, walnuts (my colony loves these), pumkin seed, honey, cooked meat, you name it. Just be sure that if you are going to feed them any meats like chicken, deli meats or something similar, check on it often as once it loses moisture, they seem to not be as interested. If you can purchase crickets from a local pet store, you can put them in a freezer for 10 minutes ands you have an excellent protein source for them.

Good luck.
Keeping
1 x Tetramorium caespitum
1 x Formica Sp.

AntChuck
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:32 pm

Re: Make my ants feel more at home?

Post: # 60899Post AntChuck
Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:05 am

Whitelotus wrote:
Sat Jul 13, 2019 2:29 am
I have heard Tetramorium can be polygynous but it is rare. The workers may end up attacking one of the queens later depending on how they view them. If you end up with a polygynous colony, you are one lucky fellow.

As far as advice goes, you can move them to a semi larger nest if they are at 80 workers. I have moved a few Tetramorium at 20-40 workers, depending on what I had available. They are easy to keep, just be sure to have a good barrier for your outworld to prevent escapes. When you are going to transfer them to their new enclosure, be sure to have cotton balls or cotton swabs available to pick up any escapees when connecting or disconnecting parts of their nest or outworld. If you really want to be safe with escapes, I would advise using an acrylic outworld as they seem to have a difficult time climbing the material. One more thing, and I cannot stress this enough, do not feed them any wild insects. One of my earliest attempts with Tetramorium did not go so well when I though a cricket from my yard would do well.

Feeding them is also easy. They are not picky eaters. Crickets, mealworms, almonds, walnuts (my colony loves these), pumkin seed, honey, cooked meat, you name it. Just be sure that if you are going to feed them any meats like chicken, deli meats or something similar, check on it often as once it loses moisture, they seem to not be as interested. If you can purchase crickets from a local pet store, you can put them in a freezer for 10 minutes ands you have an excellent protein source for them.

Good luck.
In my experience with feeding a wild tetramorium colony you are right... once a food loses moisture the ants tend to slow down or quit harvesting but i noticed via rain or added moisture with a water dropper they will start pulling it apart again... I used this on both chicken and left over mozzarella sticks
Keeper of:
1 x Lasius Flavus
1 x L. Humile
5 x Tetramorium Immigrans

AntChuck
Posts: 91
Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2019 7:32 pm

Re: Make my ants feel more at home?

Post: # 60900Post AntChuck
Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:11 am

QueenArachnia wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:25 am
I have a colony that is about 80 workers, lots of eggs. Now what makes me wonder is that I happened to find these two queens together in the wild with about 20 workers some eggs. I identified them as tetramorium immigrans. Which I have read they are not polygynous? Why would they be sideby side? I kept them together thinking if they were together in the wild keep them together? Is this wrong of me? Anyone else have seen them in the wild like this?

Also my other question is, when should I be housing them in a semi bigger nest? They are in a glass bottle with a cheese cloth between the lid with plenty of ventilation holes. I’d like to get them in a proper enclosure. Which I have put together with an outworld and nesting area.
Any advice would be nice because these guys are so tiny and wouldn’t want any escapees. Thanks :D
I created an enclosure with 3 mini outworlds and a extra tube for further expansion on a tetramorium colony... Be careful on the material you use. I've found that Tetramorium can tunnel through caulk, gorilla glue and press board commonly used in flooring. Also they are very crafty in finding any gaps to escape from so fortifying connecting tubes with solid barriers before they have a chance to escape is a great idea.
Keeper of:
1 x Lasius Flavus
1 x L. Humile
5 x Tetramorium Immigrans

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