What is your queen catching methodology?

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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mallonje
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:55 pm
Location: Massachusetts

What is your queen catching methodology?

Post: # 35628Post mallonje
Fri May 04, 2018 11:45 am

Hi All,

I'm curious - what is your queen catching methodology?

I'd like to collect a wide range of processes to build out my skill set. So I’d like to know, how do you do it?

What steps do you take?
  • Do you bait or trap in anyway?
  • Leave no stone unturned?
  • Have any superstitions that seem to payoff?
What indicators do you look for?
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Sunny or Cloudy
  • Time of day
What tools do you prefer?
  • Collect in - tubes, bottles, or tubs?
  • Do you use a pooter?
  • Blacklighting or sheet lighting?
Where do you have the most success?
  • Sidewalks
  • Blacktops
  • Concrete
  • Near Water
  • In water
  • On trees
  • On man made objects (lawn furniture, homes, cars, etc.)
  • Etc.
I realize the season is just getting started, especially up here in Massachusetts, but I'd like to try and do away with some of the doubt A newbie such as myself might feel when out on their first "hunts".

Thanks,
-Jim
Founding:
1 P. Imparis queen caught 4/26/18
2 L. Umbratus caught 5/8/18
1 C. Pennsylvanicus queen caught 5/7/18 1st Eggs 5/17/18
1 C. Pennsylvanicus queen caught 5/17/18

averagebilly
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:10 am
Location: Canada

Re: What is your queen catching methodology?

Post: # 35636Post averagebilly
Sat May 05, 2018 2:20 pm

I started last year, and had no success for a while. Then, my brother found a really large ant, and caught it in a dog poop bag. when he showed me, it was a camponotus queen. Later, when I took my dog for a walk, I found about 6 or 7. The point being, if you're prepared, and, if you're vigilant, you'll find some queens. it's just a matter of time.

As for what to use, anything should be fine, just make sure to transfer them to a proper setup as soon as possible.

Good Luck :D
"Ant Love Forever" - Mikey Bustos

Idahoantguy
Posts: 138
Joined: Mon Jun 05, 2017 11:48 am
Location: Idaho

Re: What is your queen catching methodology?

Post: # 35668Post Idahoantguy
Sun May 06, 2018 5:57 pm

Good your asking this! A lot of people don’t do this too well so...
I usually go out any time of day. One major thing I watch out for is rain. When it starts to get humid or cloudy just watch out, and be prepared. I always try to keep a container of some kind with me as often as possible though just in case.
When I’m out looking I try to go to as natural a place as possible. You can find some species anywhere like in cities (I.e. tetramorium), but forests or rivers are generally good places to look. Luckily I happen to live real close to both. Just keep your eyes low and look out for any motion, it might just be a little movement out of the corner of your eye, but it could be a queen.
Generally when you find one queen, you can find a lot more, so keep an eye out for more.
Another point to look out for is time of year. Different species fly at different times of the year. Mikey has a good video of this in his channel with all of the times each (common) genus will fly. I keep a picture of the chart on my phone.

I think that’s about it for me! Good luck!
-Idahoantguy
Founding:
Tetramorium immigrans x1
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans x5

Anything but tetramorium please :cry:

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antnest8
Posts: 817
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:11 pm
Location: Detroit, MI

Re: What is your queen catching methodology?

Post: # 35695Post antnest8
Mon May 07, 2018 5:49 am

for me it is constant vigilance. i look all the time even if it is only for 5 minuets i look every day. (with some exceptions)
keeper of
3 tetremorium queens
2 C. pennsylvanicus
1 C novaeboracensis
1 tapinoma sessile colony

MaxGen
Posts: 70
Joined: Mon May 29, 2017 9:26 am
Location: Toronto

Re: What is your queen catching methodology?

Post: # 35696Post MaxGen
Mon May 07, 2018 7:16 am

For me, it's not so much where to look, but when.

Know the time of year different species of ants fly so that you know what to look for. Know what time of day that species usually flies, and know what temperature they start their flights in.

For Example, Tertamorium - beginning of July, 5:00am - 10:00am, Warm morning after rain the previous days..

You will always find queens outside the large flights and times... The mass flights tend to become predictable though.

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mallonje
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:55 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: What is your queen catching methodology?

Post: # 35698Post mallonje
Mon May 07, 2018 9:40 am

MaxGen wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 7:16 am
For Example, Tertamorium - beginning of July, 5:00am - 10:00am, Warm morning after rain the previous days..
ok - thank you. This is kind of what I'm looking for. Everything I have read so far is just generalities Where did you learn this? Can you provide more examples?
Founding:
1 P. Imparis queen caught 4/26/18
2 L. Umbratus caught 5/8/18
1 C. Pennsylvanicus queen caught 5/7/18 1st Eggs 5/17/18
1 C. Pennsylvanicus queen caught 5/17/18

averagebilly
Posts: 78
Joined: Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:10 am
Location: Canada

Re: What is your queen catching methodology?

Post: # 35702Post averagebilly
Mon May 07, 2018 1:35 pm

mallonje wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 9:40 am
MaxGen wrote:
Mon May 07, 2018 7:16 am
For Example, Tertamorium - beginning of July, 5:00am - 10:00am, Warm morning after rain the previous days..
ok - thank you. This is kind of what I'm looking for. Everything I have read so far is just generalities Where did you learn this? Can you provide more examples?
It's can also be a good idea to wait until after the nuptial flights so that the queens are all walking around (unless it's a late flight, because they could already nest by morning :lol: ). Lasius sp. usually flies around 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm, in my area.
"Ant Love Forever" - Mikey Bustos

User avatar
mallonje
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:55 pm
Location: Massachusetts

Re: What is your queen catching methodology?

Post: # 35709Post mallonje
Mon May 07, 2018 2:41 pm

So this is just years of localized personal experience?
Founding:
1 P. Imparis queen caught 4/26/18
2 L. Umbratus caught 5/8/18
1 C. Pennsylvanicus queen caught 5/7/18 1st Eggs 5/17/18
1 C. Pennsylvanicus queen caught 5/17/18

nuget102
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2016 1:15 am
Location: Roseville, CA

Re: What is your queen catching methodology?

Post: # 35715Post nuget102
Mon May 07, 2018 4:57 pm

I hear you can just leave a light on at night and ants (among other bugs!) Will fly to the light.
I live in Nevada and its all desert here, and during the hottest part of the day I don't see any ants, even at active nest. Only time they'll be out during the day is if they're in the shade. The sand just gets too hot, I can feel it through flip flops.

So if I look for ants I tend to do it early or late in the day. But I dont have any street lights or anything, so I'm going to try and attract some tonight.

User avatar
antnest8
Posts: 817
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:11 pm
Location: Detroit, MI

Re: What is your queen catching methodology?

Post: # 35719Post antnest8
Mon May 07, 2018 5:23 pm

sorry for my short morning report here is my updated one

What steps do you take?
- Do you bait or trap in anyway? never
- Leave no stone unturned? I never seem to find any but still look
-Have any superstitions that seem to payoff? i have a stretch of sidewalk near my house where i found my first queen. since then about half of my queens have been found their
What indicators do you look for?
-Temperature AROUND 70-90 BUT MOSTLY NEVER HOTTER THAN 90
-Humidity HUMID IS USUALLY THE BEST TIME FOR ME BECAUSE I THINK IF IT IS HUMID THE GROUND IS WETTER AND IS EASIER TO FOUND CHAMBERS IN (SAME WITH RAIN)
-Sunny or Cloudy N/A
-Time of day ALL TIMES BUT I HAVE HEARD NIGHT AND DUSK ARE THE BEST
What tools do you prefer?
-Collect in - tubes, bottles, or tubs? I COLLECT IN TUBES BUT I HAVE USED MANY ITEMS, EVEN A BEACH TOWEL :lol: :lol:
-Do you use a pooter? WHAT?
-Blacklighting or sheet lighting? I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO
Where do you have the most success?
-Sidewalks MOST ANTS I FIND ARE HERE BUT SOME SPECIES ARE SCARED OF SIDEWALKS AND BLACK TOPS.
-Blacktops HARDER TO SEE THE ANTS BUT CAN STILL FIND SOME THEIR
-Concrete SAME AS THE 2 BEFORE
-Near Water N/A
-In water NEVER FOUND ONE BEFORE BUT I HAVE HEARD THAT THEY LIKE WATER
-On trees HARD TO SEE THEM/ NEVER FOUND ONE BEFORE
-On man made objects (lawn furniture, homes, cars, etc.) N/A
-Etc. FIND A NEST AND WATCH THEM FLY OFF. SOME DON'T FLY FAR.
keeper of
3 tetremorium queens
2 C. pennsylvanicus
1 C novaeboracensis
1 tapinoma sessile colony

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