Dead or Hibernating?

Discussions about the care and keeping of ants

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Mcrummett
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:38 pm

Dead or Hibernating?

Post: # 53693Post Mcrummett
Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:38 am

Hi all

I've got a horrible feeling my queen is dead :(. just laying flat not moving. I had given them food for months and all was well. I then slowed down the feeding as they seemed to take less and less. Checking today she isn't moving at all. Hard to get a clear photo because of the testtube glass.

Do they lay or curl up in a certain way if hibernating?

Mcrummett
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:38 pm

Re: Dead or Hibernating?

Post: # 53694Post Mcrummett
Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:54 am

https://imgur.com/a/rkbSKb7

Mcrummett
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:38 pm

Re: Dead or Hibernating?

Post: # 53696Post Mcrummett
Thu Nov 15, 2018 8:35 am

I just looked again and had a light on them, she appeared to move her head and antenna a little. i guess that is a good sign

Spyneft
Posts: 13
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:48 am
Location: Greece

Re: Dead or Hibernating?

Post: # 53961Post Spyneft
Sun Nov 18, 2018 2:14 pm

she didnt have any eggs?

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UnrealSparks
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:45 pm
Location: Turin

Re: Dead or Hibernating?

Post: # 53963Post UnrealSparks
Sun Nov 18, 2018 4:45 pm

Usually when a queen is dead she lays on her back and curls up, at least that was my experience. And queens, being larger, require more time to recover from the cold so if you see the workers moving but the queen staying still just wait. Sometimes it has been reported that it can take even days before she wakes up (with bigger species)!

If you see her antennae moving she should be fine, but just for making sure what temperature are you keeping the colony?
Keeping the following species:

- Messor Barbarus
- Pheidole Pallidula
- Camponotus Barbaricus
- Lasius Niger
- Lasius Flavus
- Lasius Emarginatus

Mcrummett
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:38 pm

Re: Dead or Hibernating?

Post: # 54016Post Mcrummett
Tue Nov 20, 2018 5:27 pm

Thanks for the reply. She has since moved to different locations multiple times but stays motionless most of the time. So I think she’s just slowing for winter.

They’re in a cupboard in a spare room at the moment. I keep my place pretty cold (electric heating so we just warm the rooms we’re in). So I’d say she probably at about 17/18c.

I don’t think this is ideal for hibernation but I’m a little stuck for colder options

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UnrealSparks
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:45 pm
Location: Turin

Re: Dead or Hibernating?

Post: # 54017Post UnrealSparks
Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:36 am

Ok, 17/18 °C is indeed not enough for a proper hibernation unfortunately.

Do you have a fridge where you can store the test tube? They should stay from around 5 to 10 °C.

As for the little movement yes, she has definitely slowed down due to the colder temperatures.
Keeping the following species:

- Messor Barbarus
- Pheidole Pallidula
- Camponotus Barbaricus
- Lasius Niger
- Lasius Flavus
- Lasius Emarginatus

Mcrummett
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:38 pm

Re: Dead or Hibernating?

Post: # 54018Post Mcrummett
Wed Nov 21, 2018 8:12 am

I do but i think it'll be a bit TOO cold.

My other option is my parents garage. That would get pretty cold over winter but be protected from first etc. Would they be happy/not hurt by a 3 minute car journey round the corner?

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UnrealSparks
Posts: 108
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:45 pm
Location: Turin

Re: Dead or Hibernating?

Post: # 54019Post UnrealSparks
Thu Nov 22, 2018 2:33 am

As long as you don't shake the test tubes too much they should not be bothered by the quick move.

I'm currently keeping some of mine at 6°C in the fridge and they seem to be ok. I know going so low compared to the room temperature might be scary, but ants know how to deal with cold very well. They even produce antifreeze in their "blood" (the correct word would be "hemolymph"), so they don't freeze to death.
Keeping the following species:

- Messor Barbarus
- Pheidole Pallidula
- Camponotus Barbaricus
- Lasius Niger
- Lasius Flavus
- Lasius Emarginatus

Mcrummett
Posts: 19
Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2018 12:38 pm

Re: Dead or Hibernating?

Post: # 54096Post Mcrummett
Thu Nov 29, 2018 3:41 am

Awesome I’ll move them this weekend :).

Ants are friggin awesome little things!

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