I need help

Discussions about the care and keeping of ants

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loupgaroupgris
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:04 pm
Location: Ontario

I need help

Post: # 53873Post loupgaroupgris
Fri Nov 16, 2018 2:57 pm

So I have a queen in a test tube but its moldy I want to move her but i have a couple problems.
She's does not want to move.
Her colony is not big she only has what i can imagine being 5 workers at most.
And its starting to snow outside so I'm wondering if I should not just hibernate her.

I want to move her but I'm afraid that she might be too weak to survive the move, same with hibernation i'm afraid that she will not survive the winter.
What do I do?

PS: Iive in southern Ontario if that can help.
Will provide pictures if ask.

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

Re: I need help

Post: # 53979Post UnrealSparks
Mon Nov 19, 2018 8:39 am

Hello loupgaroupgris! :)

I'd like some more informations before giving a full answer, like:
1. How have you already tried to move her?
2. What species is she?
3. Do you only see larvae in her brood pile?
4. Have you been feeding the colony often lately? If yes what have you fed them with?
Keeping the following species:

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

loupgaroupgris
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:04 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: I need help

Post: # 53982Post loupgaroupgris
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:23 am

I tried moving her via light but she does not move she just stays on the moldy coton.

She's either a Tetramorium immigrans or a Formica fusca. Shes might also be a Lasius neoniger she as a similar gaster but she's black instead of the orange/brown color.

She as workers and as had some eggs but now I dont see anything. Unless its hidden in the mold.

I have not been feeding them a lot because i was unsure when to do it but recently i did start giving her honey and just the other week a small piece of fish. Because I had no other source of protein.

She is the last queen remaining from the 3 I caught I really dont want to lose her.

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

Re: I need help

Post: # 53983Post UnrealSparks
Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:40 am

Ok, only 2 more things, please.
Can you post a picture of the setup (including the mold)?
And did you lose the other two queens also because of mold, or different factors?
Keeping the following species:

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

loupgaroupgris
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:04 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: I need help

Post: # 53984Post loupgaroupgris
Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:01 am

Alright give me a moment I will get some pictures in.
For the other two I'm not sure I assume one died normally while the other died because she was force to remake her brood. I tried to force her out of a moldy test tube but I did not see any eggs or workers with her. Or she might have died because the honey drowned her, I did find her stuck to the honey I gave.

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

Re: I need help

Post: # 53985Post UnrealSparks
Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:18 am

loupgaroupgris wrote:
Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:01 am
Or she might have died because the honey drowned her, I did find her stuck to the honey I gave.
That sucks :(

A nice alternative to honey can be sugar water because it's less sticky (depending on the sugar:water ratio) but still very appreciated by ants.
Keeping the following species:

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

loupgaroupgris
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:04 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: I need help

Post: # 53986Post loupgaroupgris
Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:31 am

Here you go feel free to tell me if you need more or if you have any problems with the images.
https://postimg.cc/bZnF0fQz
https://postimg.cc/CZS5SY75

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

Re: I need help

Post: # 53987Post UnrealSparks
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:42 am

Yes, that's quite a lot of mold...
When you already tried, for how long did you expose her to the direct light?
It happened to me that a queen took more than a week to move so be patient. Some people even use heat under the old test tube to make her move.

What I did with mine was:
1. I prepared a new test tube setup (one quick tip, if you don't want bubbles to form, once the cotton is about to touch the water, push it down quickly so the air won't have time to get through it).
2. I taped the two test tubes together (without putting the tape all around the opening, just half or so, in order to let some air in, but keeping them together at the same time).
3. I placed the setup on a solid surface and covered the new test tube with a cloth/napkin.
4. I shined a bright light (a lamp) close to the queen and just waited (I used to turn off the light during night time because I keep them in the same room where I sleep)

She won't waste many resources in the move so don't worry, she'll survive that.

Some other tips I can give you are the following:
1. Don't place food too close to the end of the test tube because if the ants won't fully consume it, mold can generate quickly.
2. If your colony doesn't have too many workers just feed them like once a week with a drop of sugar water/honey and a little amount of proteins (fruit flies or cricket legs work best for smaller colonies, but also spiders. It's usually safer to freeze them first to remove any parasites).
3. If you see the colony very inactive or no more workers have been hatching in quite some time and you can only see larvae, that means they're ready for hibernation. During hibernation the only thing they'll need is moisture. But for now just focus on the mold problem first, that will be the next step.

If anything else comes to my mind I'll add it in other replies and if you still have some questions feel free to ask! :D
Keeping the following species:

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

loupgaroupgris
Posts: 36
Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:04 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: I need help

Post: # 53988Post loupgaroupgris
Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:09 pm

Alright I will try that thank you very much.
for the light how long do you keep it on? My first attempts I tried to keep it on for the entire day.
Also from what you saw are they still ok? They are not dying I hope?

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

Re: I need help

Post: # 53989Post UnrealSparks
Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:32 pm

I used to keep the light on the entire day and off just during the night. Then the day after the same thing and so on.
If they weren't moving I'd change the light position, moving it closer (up to 10 away from the test tube but not any closer than that).

Sometimes the ants would move straight away, but other times, as I said before, it could take a lot more... patience is key. :?

Don't worry, they'll be fine. Mine are doing great now... no mold and lots of workers ready for hibernation! :D
An example is my Lasius Niger colony which went from 0 workers (August 2018) to about 40 (November 2018) and plenty of larvae, or my Pheidole Pallidula from 0 (July 2018) to 75+ (November 2018) very quickly! :D
Keeping the following species:

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

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