Broken up and dead ants in setup

Frequently Asked Questions About Ants

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Broken up and dead ants in setup

Post: # 68640Post AntLoverSLO
Thu Apr 02, 2020 1:07 pm

Hello everyone!
I'm posting here because in the last few days I've started seeing a small pile of dead ants and what I think are pieces of dismembered ants (but I am not 100% sure on this one tho, since I do feed my ants other small insects and it could be parts of them). I know that ants will carry their dead onto a single pile, but I didn't know they would dismember them.

Some important information:
  • I am keeping a two year-old colony of Lasius Niger.
  • I keep them in an open-top clear-plastic container, half-filled with dirt, so that they can create their own burrows.
  • I feed them 1-2 a week, usually with honey, fruit or small insects, as well as water their setup when I see the dirt is dry.
  • I don't know how many workers there are in the colony, but there always seem to be at least 10 workers running about, with higher numbers when I feed them.
  • I think that the queen is still alive, asI haven't seen her dead body (or pieces of her) beeing dumped anywhere.
These are my questions/concerns:
  1. I have read that the life expectancy of Lasius Niger workers is about 4 years, so why are there already piles of dead ants popping up just after 2 years? (One thing of note here is that their numbers don't seem to be falling, but instead rising, as I am seeing more and more workers outside.)
  2. Why are most of the ants dismembered into small pieces? As I stated at the beginnig, these could be pieces of insects that I feed them, but I doubt it, as there are too many, they are all black and most of the eaten insects are usually dumped in large pieces.
I might just be overreacting and this could just be normal ant behaviour, but I have an odd feeling about all this.

I'd appreciate any help that you guys can give me, as I am still quite new to ant keeping.
Thank you all for reading and hopefully helping me with this issue!

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