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Lasius niger worker attacking the queen?!

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 10:44 am
by Adam09
Hello everybody. I just started to keep ants as my new hobby, and I was lucky to catch two ant queen after their flight, and both started to lay eggs.

I also found a small lasius niger nest when I was changing things in the garden, and I picked a few pupas to use it to boost one of my queen, and I also picked up to three queens with wings. I wanted to put the queens in different test tubes, but that time I didn't know that they probably not fertile yet becouse they didn't leave the nest. After I finished the gardening, I was tired and I forgot to separate them. Next morning I had to go to work, and when I could check on them afternoon, two queen was dead, and the third was wingles. Some pupas also hatched, so I left them together as a family. I still not sure if the queen is fertile or not, becouse I kept them in the small box that I used to store them after i catched them, and I cannot see into it properly.

But the problem is: Last night I could not fall asleep, so I checked on my ants. The thing I saw was horrible, it was like one worker was attacking the queen. The worker was rocking back and forth, and I heard clicking voices. Maybe the voices of knocking each other? Is anybody were aware anything similar? Is it an attack, or normal behavior?

I don't know what to do now. A day ago I attached a pipe to this box that is housing them now, and I waiting for them to move to their new, properly moistured and dark place, and I hope they move the eggs if there is any.

What do you think? Should I wait what happens? Or should I put the queen to a test tube alone, and hope it will start laying eggs?

Re: Lasius niger worker attacking the queen?!

Posted: Thu Jul 26, 2018 12:09 pm
by idahoantgirl
Definitetly put the queen on her own. Like you said, she probably isn't fertile, so she may die with or without the worker, but she has a better chance on her own. Note that even if she does lay eggs, you will still not know if she is fertile until after the eggs hatch. infertile eggs will turn into male alates.

Re: Lasius niger worker attacking the queen?!

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:44 am
by Brice15
nice to hear you are new to ant keeping I might be a bit late but I recommend keeping her in a test tube for a few days in the dark undisturbed.

Re: Lasius niger worker attacking the queen?!

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 11:19 am
by AntsLuxembourg
Alright. I might be able to explain this behaviour but I am no expert. The queen is wingless, because she lost them during the fight with the other queens. The workers might have looked like they were attacking the queen because they already had a queen so the queen was introduced to enemy worker. About boosting the colonie. I don't think that that will work. It will only work with slavemaker ants. Those usually overthrow a colony and they will steal the eggs and make them slaves.

If you really want to boost your new lasius niger colony, then just put them in the back of your wardrobe or any dark spot. Keep the colony on a temperatur of arround 25°C until octorber, during which the queens will start hybernation. But until then you will be able to have a small colony with some workers. From late october until late march it would be a good idea to put the colony inside the fridge or a place with a temperature arround 5-8°C. You could of course not hibernate them but that could stress the queen and shorten her life by a lot. The winterbreak gives her time to relax so she can start producing eggs like crazy. Btw to hibernate the colony just lower the temperatur step by step. That will make it easier for the colony to get used to the colder temperatur. You don't need to provide the colony with any food until the first workers have hatched. Feeding them will just stress them out so just try to be patient with the queens. Keep them in the dark and try to check on them less than once a day. If you can manage once a week that would be great.

Btw how do you know she is a lasius niger queen?

Re: Lasius niger worker attacking the queen?!

Posted: Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:11 pm
by Adam09
Thanks for the answers. Actualy after the first answer, I separated the queen. Since that, she didn't lay any eggs like the other lasius niger that I have.
I wasn't sure about lasius niger until an another hungarian ant keeper told me that is a lasius niger. In the last few weeks I studied the ants, I already able to recognize a few, I also found a big lasius niger nest in my garden, I was thinking about giving them a little treat, like honey.