Decapitated enemy Ant Head Clamped to queen antenna, Help!

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JediJDS
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:28 pm
Location: Hagerstown, MD

Decapitated enemy Ant Head Clamped to queen antenna, Help!

Post: # 78537Post JediJDS
Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:24 pm

So two days ago (June 12, 2021) in west Hagerstown, MD. I opened my garage door to find the most unusual 4 segmented black carpenter ant. She was in quite a hurry so after finally catching her, I got a better look. It looks like she was attacked and lost her front right foot (I don’t know the proper name, ant keeping newbie) and has the head of a dead ant clamped to her left antenna. It looks like it attacked her and clamped on and then she or one of her workers killed it and has basically nibbled away at the rest of the body she could get to. It’s bothering her something terrible and she is constantly making motions like she is trying to clean that antenna and get it off her. So here are the questions…

1 Is it possible to remove the dead ant from her antenna? If so, any good ideas or methods?
2 If not or if she pulls that antenna clean off, can she survive and still grow a new colony like that?
3 The dead ant’s antenna kept flinching/twitching and moving around like it was still slightly alive, how long can an ant live after losing its gaster? Will it eventually let go?
4 As a newbie to ant keeping, could I get a quick ID on if I’m correct in calling her a Camptonotus novaeboracensis or C. pennsylvanicus? Not that it really helps anything right now, just wondering. (FYI she is about 17-18mm long, the second head makes it a bit hard to measure her.) (Note, white specks on her in some of the pics are just cornstarch from the walls of the container to keep her from climbing out.)
Here is a link to some pictures of her:
https://photos.app.goo.gl/o9bpQyGzGiazBcRA9

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JediJDS
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Re: Decapitated enemy Ant Head Clamped to queen antenna, Help!

Post: # 78540Post JediJDS
Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:16 pm

Trying to get a picture up on the post so people won't have to use the link:
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Did it work?
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SYUTEO
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Re: Decapitated enemy Ant Head Clamped to queen antenna, Help!

Post: # 78541Post SYUTEO
Mon Jun 14, 2021 10:59 pm

You can wait a few days and see if the head comes off, the queen would usually remove it by herself. Removing it by yourself is too risky as you might accidently rip of the queen's antenna.
Keeping:
1 Camponotus parius colony 1 Pheidole parva colony
1 Lepisiota sp colony 1 Odontoponera sp queen
1 Meranoplus cf bicolor colony 1 Colobopsis sp colony
1 Odontomachus simillimus queen 1 Anochetus sp queen
1 Camponotus irritans colony

AntsLuxembourg
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Re: Decapitated enemy Ant Head Clamped to queen antenna, Help!

Post: # 78543Post AntsLuxembourg
Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:09 am

Hey,

I had something similar once with a queen ant. She had an anthead stuck to her leg. Since it was a leg I proceeded in doing the surgery or trying to get the head off. When I got the head with some pointy tweezers I basically crushed the head a bit so it would release the jaw. However the antennae is a whole other thing. A leg would not be too bad since the queen still got 5 legs but an antenna would be more of a handicap since that is how she smells. I would say just leave it and wait for it to fall off.

Btw, what camera did you use to take the pictures? The pictures look super clear to me. :)
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony.

Colonies:
1 - Messor Barbarus
Founding colonies:
2 - Lasius Niger Colony
Need help or want to help? https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=18153#p70566

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JediJDS
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Re: Decapitated enemy Ant Head Clamped to queen antenna, Help!

Post: # 78559Post JediJDS
Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:44 am

AntsLuxembourg wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:09 am
When I got the head with some pointy tweezers I basically crushed the head a bit so it would release the jaw.
Did that release the jaw without doing much harm to her leg?
However the antennae is a whole other thing.A leg would not be too bad since the queen still got 5 legs but an antenna would be more of a handicap since that is how she smells.
I have read of workers living with 5 or 4 legs and doing well and in a few cases missing one antenna, just wondering if a queen could start a colony like that, ever heard of anything like that?
I would say just leave it and wait for it to fall off.
How long would you say it might take? Its been three days now and it's still clinging on. She seems quite distressed by it and keeps curling into a ball to clean her gaster over and over but bumping that extra head on things in doing so.
Btw, what camera did you use to take the pictures? The pictures look super clear to me. :)
Nikon D5600, I have a nack for photography and videography. :geek:
P.S. and ADHD :lol: sorry for the scattered replies. ;)

Antloverhuman
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Location: Delhi, India

Re: Decapitated enemy Ant Head Clamped to queen antenna, Help!

Post: # 78562Post Antloverhuman
Tue Jun 15, 2021 12:46 pm

I think the head would come off in a few weeks. what I think is that in that time the muscles in the head will decay and weaken the grip so queen will be able to take it off easily. either that or the workers she will have may try to help her get it off
New ant keeper. Ants I have-
camponotus compressus colony- the shadow warriors

4804344350
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Location: florida usa

Re: Decapitated enemy Ant Head Clamped to queen antenna, Help!

Post: # 78568Post 4804344350
Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:38 pm

That looks like a Camponotes pencilvanicis Queen

4804344350
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Location: florida usa

Re: Decapitated enemy Ant Head Clamped to queen antenna, Help!

Post: # 78569Post 4804344350
Tue Jun 15, 2021 2:41 pm

That happened to me with a tetramorium queen and I had to wait till she had workers they were the ones who pulled the head of her Gaster yes the ant was biting the queens gaster but she survived

AntsLuxembourg
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Re: Decapitated enemy Ant Head Clamped to queen antenna, Help!

Post: # 78596Post AntsLuxembourg
Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:32 am

JediJDS wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:44 am
Did that release the jaw without doing much harm to her leg?
I think it did.
JediJDS wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:44 am
I have read of workers living with 5 or 4 legs and doing well and in a few cases missing one antenna, just wondering if a queen could start a colony like that, ever heard of anything like that?
I'm sure she would survive it but it's perhaps best she keeps both antennae.
JediJDS wrote:
Tue Jun 15, 2021 10:44 am
How long would you say it might take? Its been three days now and it's still clinging on. She seems quite distressed by it and keeps curling into a ball to clean her gaster over and over but bumping that extra head on things in doing so.
Good question. It depend on how long it takes for the head to come lose due to decay. Usually it takes 3 days until a dead ant's exoskeleton starts to decay and "smell" so the ants will bring out the dead after they realize that. You can try crushing the heat but you need very pointy tweezers and a moment where the queen is not moving much. I would just wait a bit.


For the camera what kind of camera would you recommend if I would like to stream my ants nice and crisp for 24/7?
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony.

Colonies:
1 - Messor Barbarus
Founding colonies:
2 - Lasius Niger Colony
Need help or want to help? https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=18153#p70566

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JediJDS
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:28 pm
Location: Hagerstown, MD

Update: Decapitated enemy Ant Head Clamped to queen antenna, Help!

Post: # 79237Post JediJDS
Sat Jul 03, 2021 7:38 pm

Update: a few days ago I noticed the head came loose and the queen looked OK and antenna intact, even looked like she started laying eggs. I was not planning on her laying eggs so soon and had that head stuck to her so I didn’t put her in a test tube earlier. I tried to attach a shaded test tube to the film canister she was in and expected her to move the eggs in to it with her, but she kinda just forgot about the eggs and moved to the test tube. Is this normal? Should I have tried to move the eggs into the tube with her? Since then she has laid more eggs and seems to be doing fine so I’m not to worried.

Ignore the rest of this post if your only hear for the ants, its some mild tech talk.
AntsLuxembourg wrote:
Thu Jun 17, 2021 1:32 am
For the camera what kind of camera would you recommend if I would like to stream my ants nice and crisp for 24/7?

As much as I would love to help with that. There are way to many options and prices and setups to just throw some names or brands out to you. I would suggest going to a video or tech forum and asking a few questions there, this is not the forum for that discussion. With that said I‘ll throw in my 2 cents. I will say do not think about a still image camera for video, its just a NO. Get a video camera for video. My pictures are crisp because I took them with a camera designed for high quality ‘Still’ images. Second, your lighting will make even a low quality camera better to an extent, and you need a lens that will fit what your trying to do. If that means close up video of ants, go with a macro lens designed for close up video. Again do some research and ask on a different forum that is more focused on camera and tech questions. Best of luck to you.

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