My Messor Barbarus colony :D

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AntAnett
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:28 am
Location: Poland

My Messor Barbarus colony :D

Post: # 49870Post AntAnett
Sun Sep 09, 2018 12:56 pm

Hi! I have two colonies of ants, first I've bought Lasius niger colony, a Queen and her 6 workers, few eggs. Then I've also bought Messor Barbarus colony, Queen and her 25 workers. I think that it is about 25, but it's hard to count them, they are very active ants! :D Now my Lasius Niger colony has it's hard times, 2 workers died, and there isn't any new worker, only eggs, cocoons and larvae, I've had one white ant, but I can't find it now, I fear it's dead. You can read about problems of this colony here:

https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=11312&start=10


But with my Messor Barbarus colony it's completly differend. I don't have any problems with them. More of that, today the've had their important day... They've moved from the test tube to the 3d print nest! :D And it happend so quick, that I hardly belive it! It's like they were just waiting for new home and reacted immidiately after plugging it! :mrgreen: Next day after They've came to me Ive plugged their test tube into small out world. They were active there. This out world box has to exits, so I've used the other one to plug their nest using tubes. I've thought they will not be interested with it much, so I wasn't expecting they will move there so quick! First two small workers went there, then one a bit bigger. After that there was an army marching there to scout new terrain. After that almost everyone came back to their former duties, only 3 smal workers stayed in new nest. I thought that is all for today. I've left the room for about 2 hours. After I've came back, and uncovered new nest, I saw the queen and a lot of her workers inside new nest! Just like that! In the test tube there was only 3 workers, like they were inspecting the place if everything was taken away. :D But the brood was already in new nest only few seeds stayed in the test tube.

I must compare those two species, Lasius niger and Messor barbarus. I wonder why they are behaving so different... Is it because of their species? Or maybe it's because Messor barbarus is much bigger colony? 4 workers vs 25... Or maybe Messor barbarus simply liked new nest so much?

I was a bit worried if the Queen of Messors would be able to walk throught the tube 8mm wide (actually 6 mm, cause the outside size is 8 mm), I am sad I couldn't see their movement, I will not be abble to see her comming throught this tube any time soon. But I am happy to see that the colony likes theyre setup. And there will be more supprises, cause soon they will get bigger out World. Only I must wait what will happen to Lasius niger.

Btw, I have bigger out world ready to be plugged to the setup, but at this out world my Lassius niger have spent few days, only I've taken them out to make them change the test tube somehow (still nothing changed). Is it safe to give new colony the out world of the oler colony? I have plaster with sand there, and plastic plants. It looks OK but it's hard to sterilize.

My Messors second day, still in test tube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=woOwaF_nSMI
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmiM_PNwB9wuId1eRfE0WDA/videos

AntsLuxembourg
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:17 am
Location: Niederfeulen, Luxembourg
Contact:

Re: My Messor Barbarus colony :D

Post: # 49994Post AntsLuxembourg
Tue Sep 11, 2018 12:59 am

Looks like a good healthy colony. :D
I also got a colony of messor barbarus waiting to be moved and I still have to find a suitable place for them to stay. For hibernation. I will wait with their move until next year but check on them every week.

Btw how ofter do you check after your colonies? I mean it seems as if you are looking after them non stop which might stress them out a little too much. :/
Also what camera are you using? I'm rather curious about that because I'm doing antstreams myself from time to time and I'm always looking for the right equipment to use to show those little fellows :D

In case you are looking for new things to feed to your colony you could try seeds like sunflower seeds or wheat seeds. I gave my first colony a couple of those and they loved them. But don't feed them Peach Seeds or Cherry Seeds because those are poisonous to the ants due to the cyanide in there. You can offer them apples seeds but only very few because they also contain cyanide but not as much as cherry and peach seeds.

Also Messor Barbarus are very sensitiv to vibrations so don't stress them too much. :/
Oh and enjoy your colony. They hibernate from end of November to end of February at 15°C. You will have to find a suitable place for them during that period. Hope you got something ready for that. ;D
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony. After the research you can still go and fetsh a colony from one of your local GAN-Farmers.

Founding colonies:
10 - Lasius Niger Colony
1 - Messor Barbarus

AntAnett
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:28 am
Location: Poland

Re: My Messor Barbarus colony :D

Post: # 50011Post AntAnett
Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:38 am

I think I will keep them in garage, There isn't any warming system there, but my house has styrofoam around. So there will be cold, but not below zero.

I watch my colonies everyday, once a day for a short moment.

I've heard Messor Barbarus are able of cutting through gypsum and they also can cut through the tubes. I hope during a winter they are resting, and no wondering how to escape... I will not visit them everyday then...

For recording I use cheap microscope from Wish application. It says it's 1000x but it's really about 200x. It connects to smartphones and tablets via WiFi. It's OK, I've bought it cheap on Wish app, and I was going to use it for ants, it's OK for ants, so I like it. But If I really wanted to have 1000x then I would be very angry :D

One more thing, do I have to cut seeds for Messors? I mean they don't have a lot of workers, so maybe they need help with that..?
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmiM_PNwB9wuId1eRfE0WDA/videos

AntsLuxembourg
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:17 am
Location: Niederfeulen, Luxembourg
Contact:

Re: My Messor Barbarus colony :D

Post: # 50039Post AntsLuxembourg
Tue Sep 11, 2018 2:18 pm

You should try to keep them arround 15°C during the winter (the messor barbarus) and the lasius niger can be put inside the fridge at 6-7°C

I also got a camera like that now. It's running on my stream on twitch right now. It's able to do x200 too and I think yours is able too but you need to zoom it at max and find the right distance.
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony. After the research you can still go and fetsh a colony from one of your local GAN-Farmers.

Founding colonies:
10 - Lasius Niger Colony
1 - Messor Barbarus

AntAnett
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:28 am
Location: Poland

Re: My Messor Barbarus colony :D

Post: # 50103Post AntAnett
Wed Sep 12, 2018 5:15 am

I've came to the point, when I need one advice. This is my Messor barbarus'es nest:

https://i.imgur.com/Y9R5LSH.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/MfjC8YV.jpg

Now the case is, that the Queen lives there, but part of the workers and the brood is in the test tube. I have this test tube covered, cause I wanted them to feel comfortable. Now I was sure that they were moved to the nest, cause the Queen is there, and I wanted to get rid of the test tube. I've uncovered the tube and I've saw workers and brood! I'm confused... Are they moved or not..? I would like them to decide were they wanna live. Now I am worried, that the conditions inside the nest are not good enough for the brood, that is why I'm shoving you the nest.

As you can see, they keep seeds in the nest, but brood in the tube. That suggested me that there might be not enough moisture in there. I've added some more water to the cotton. The cotton in the nest is up, and there are holes in the wall, so the moisture comes through those holes.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmiM_PNwB9wuId1eRfE0WDA/videos

AntsLuxembourg
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:17 am
Location: Niederfeulen, Luxembourg
Contact:

Re: My Messor Barbarus colony :D

Post: # 50107Post AntsLuxembourg
Wed Sep 12, 2018 7:15 am

Yeah I would have sugguested that the moisture in the nest is too low for the brood. But I think it's not that bad to have the brood in the testtube. This way you can have a closer look at them. I am sure that they will do the same with my queen as soon as I'm moving them to their new home because I'm going to give them a nest which is on the bottom of a slap of stone (it's from a gem digging set) and I haven't planed to make it moist. So the ants will probably just store their food in there and then keep the brood and those who prefer in the testtube. Although I will have to see about that.
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony. After the research you can still go and fetsh a colony from one of your local GAN-Farmers.

Founding colonies:
10 - Lasius Niger Colony
1 - Messor Barbarus

AntAnett
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:28 am
Location: Poland

Re: My Messor Barbarus colony :D

Post: # 50113Post AntAnett
Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:29 am

So I think this nest isn't proper... And I would like them to be all i one place. I was going to disconnect the tube... Egh... Mayby I'll simply have to add water to the nest everyday...


And I have much to do, cause I've heard Messors are able of cutting through tubes and straws, and gypsum. I will have to buy better acrylic nest for them...
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmiM_PNwB9wuId1eRfE0WDA/videos

AntsLuxembourg
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:17 am
Location: Niederfeulen, Luxembourg
Contact:

Re: My Messor Barbarus colony :D

Post: # 50117Post AntsLuxembourg
Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:00 am

Where have you heard, that they can cut through tubes and straws? I do understand straws but tubes may take a lot of time. :/

I think it should be fine as long as they are small so don't worry to much. I would like to know that where you got that piece of information from in case it's a bad source of information but they could of course be right. In any case I would prefer to verify it myself just to be sure that we are not missinformed or missing out some crusial informations
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony. After the research you can still go and fetsh a colony from one of your local GAN-Farmers.

Founding colonies:
10 - Lasius Niger Colony
1 - Messor Barbarus

AntAnett
Posts: 45
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:28 am
Location: Poland

Re: My Messor Barbarus colony :D

Post: # 50127Post AntAnett
Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:59 pm

I'm also at my local Polish ants chat, and when I say "tubes", I don't mean test tubes but tubes for connecting areas in formicarium. There are few people that says they can cut the tube if they have access to the edges of the tube. That is why people with Messors should get metal tube/pipe and put normal tube on those metal tubes, so the ant can not access edges of the normal transparent tube. I've also heard I can not have them at gypsum/plaster nests, cause they can ewentually escape by cutting throught gypsum. I will have to save money for acrylic nests. They also say, that it's hard to influence moisture in gypsum nests, cause the gypsum gathers water from the air in the room. For me, I have also aquarium with fishes, so I rather have moisture in the room. The problem with tubes is, that I have 3 kinds of tubes for connecting, I put silicone tube into the nest/arena (the "biggest" diameter), and into that tube I put normal harder tube, that I've gotten from ant shops. Maybe those hard are difficult to cut, but, the silicone one is rather easy... I know that right now it's hard for them to do any of what I've just said, but I must be prepared properly for their growth, so they will not escape while I'm trying to "modernize" their paths. I've seen on AntsCanada channel on yt, this "simplifying connections" with fire ants (if my memory serves me), the guy had to use vacum cleanner to cath those little pests :P But I do not mean anything harmfull, "long live the Queen!" (all of them).

Anyway, I wonder how big can be a colony of Messor Barbarus and Lasius niger in captivity, and are there any safe for ant ways to slow down the growth of ants colonies, especialy Messor Barbarus and Lasius Niger. I will have two colonies of Lasius Niger, at the beginning, cause the ant-store I've bought some goods for ants, adds a Lasius Niger Queen to the order (for free). They say it's the Queen with eggs, but possibly she has some workers too, it depends when they have caught those Queens. But next year, after hibernation, I will probably sell one of the Lasius niger colony, or exchange it to Lasius flavus.


This is "almost" my current setup for Messors. "Almost", cause they've came back to the test tube. I've helped them a bit with this, by flashing light onto the nest. Now the little white nest is disconnected. I will wait with giving it back until there will be 40 or 50 workers. And this nest isn't the best. When I've added more water to the cotton, they have a flood and some seeds were wet. I thing I will use it for Lasius when they will reach the right point of growth. They may be less delicate in moisture matter.

https://i.imgur.com/8M45TBi.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/qhI1JLg.jpg
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmiM_PNwB9wuId1eRfE0WDA/videos

AntsLuxembourg
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:17 am
Location: Niederfeulen, Luxembourg
Contact:

Re: My Messor Barbarus colony :D

Post: # 50135Post AntsLuxembourg
Wed Sep 12, 2018 4:08 pm

I think they have used some thin and flexible (non hard) tubes to connect everything. But yeah it would be better to put a gypsum nest inside a glass container so they cannot escape.
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony. After the research you can still go and fetsh a colony from one of your local GAN-Farmers.

Founding colonies:
10 - Lasius Niger Colony
1 - Messor Barbarus

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