New Queen Messor Barbarus help

Discussions about the care and keeping of ants

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GGUUNN
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: New Queen Messor Barbarus help

Post: # 58224Post GGUUNN
Mon May 13, 2019 4:00 pm

Thanks for the relies, could you tell me which of those nests would be good to use (I have both of them), and when I should transfer them?

Kind regards

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UnrealSparks
Posts: 162
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:45 pm
Location: Turin

Re: New Queen Messor Barbarus help

Post: # 58246Post UnrealSparks
Tue May 14, 2019 6:05 am

Personally I would go for the smaller one, since ants don't need much space at first. Then when the colony will grow some more you could add the bigger one as an expansion if you'd want.

I transferred mine when there were about 30 workers back a year ago (they moved from a test tube to a sand formicarium), but for yours, considering the smaller module size, I'd say wait for 10+ workers. Oh, and while they were in the test tube I started providing seeds already.

I used to feed them grass seeds when workers were still pretty tiny, then I "upgraded" to canary seeds when I started noticing bigger workers, and now (after 1 year) I just test seeds of any kind considering they have no problem cutting open anything I give them.
Keeping the following colonies:
  • [2x] Camponotus Barbaricus
  • [2x] Lasius Flavus

GGUUNN
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: New Queen Messor Barbarus help

Post: # 58254Post GGUUNN
Tue May 14, 2019 4:38 pm

Thanks for your reply. If I leave them in the test tube how can I change or add water without moving them into the smaller module?

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UnrealSparks
Posts: 162
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:45 pm
Location: Turin

Re: New Queen Messor Barbarus help

Post: # 58274Post UnrealSparks
Wed May 15, 2019 3:19 am

GGUUNN wrote:
Tue May 14, 2019 4:38 pm
Thanks for your reply. If I leave them in the test tube how can I change or add water without moving them into the smaller module?
Avoid adding water to the current test tube, it will just flood. The best thing is to prepare a new test tube and attach it to the old one. Then cover the new one making it darker and more suitable for the colony while shining a bright light on the other one, where the colony is located. This will encourage them to move to the new test tube. And don't worry if it won't happen right away, some colonies take even more than a week to move.

Hope I've been clear enough. If you still have doubts just ask. ;)
Keeping the following colonies:
  • [2x] Camponotus Barbaricus
  • [2x] Lasius Flavus

GGUUNN
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: New Queen Messor Barbarus help

Post: # 58442Post GGUUNN
Sun May 19, 2019 4:07 pm

So I attached the test tube to a fresh one. I put some honey in the new one and covered it to make it dark while the current one is exposed to light. The queen is going "mad" and is pulling on the cotton of the current tube like crazy. Now what?

Kind regards

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UnrealSparks
Posts: 162
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:45 pm
Location: Turin

Re: New Queen Messor Barbarus help

Post: # 58461Post UnrealSparks
Mon May 20, 2019 10:30 am

GGUUNN wrote:
Sun May 19, 2019 4:07 pm
So I attached the test tube to a fresh one. I put some honey in the new one and covered it to make it dark while the current one is exposed to light. The queen is going "mad" and is pulling on the cotton of the current tube like crazy. Now what?

Kind regards
How did you attached the two? (Keep in mind that a bit of oxygen needs to get through).

What I would personally recommend is to never put food in the new test tube while transferring. That's because they'll tend to cover it with trash and use that area as a garbage site. Also, I never feed Messor with sugary foods (since they're often reluctant towards them), seeds are more than enough.

Other than that it all comes down to a waiting game unfortunately. An additional thing you could do would be to expose the old test tube to direct sun light. It has always worked for me.

Good luck! :)
Keeping the following colonies:
  • [2x] Camponotus Barbaricus
  • [2x] Lasius Flavus

GGUUNN
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2018 5:45 pm

Re: New Queen Messor Barbarus help

Post: # 58463Post GGUUNN
Mon May 20, 2019 12:44 pm

Thanks for your replies, to clarify, connected test tubes wer placed about 1.5 feet under a regular night table light. New tube covered with foil and had a piece of tinfoil with some honey on it as well as a few small seeds. After a few hours, queen started pulling the cotton over herself and the eggs and literally curled up as if dead. I took this as a bad sign so covered both in foil and have decided to wait until she decides to move herself to the second tube.

kind regards

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WillWithAnts
Posts: 264
Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 4:22 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: New Queen Messor Barbarus help

Post: # 58469Post WillWithAnts
Mon May 20, 2019 3:58 pm

Oxygen doesn't seem to be an issue for ants. They can be kept in airtight containers for weeks at a time, according to the experiences of other antkeepers on the forum. Now do I know personally? No. . . :lol:
Love the updates, btw. Keep them coming!

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UnrealSparks
Posts: 162
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:45 pm
Location: Turin

Re: New Queen Messor Barbarus help

Post: # 58511Post UnrealSparks
Tue May 21, 2019 12:56 am

GGUUNN wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 12:44 pm
Thanks for your replies, to clarify, connected test tubes wer placed about 1.5 feet under a regular night table light. New tube covered with foil and had a piece of tinfoil with some honey on it as well as a few small seeds. After a few hours, queen started pulling the cotton over herself and the eggs and literally curled up as if dead. I took this as a bad sign so covered both in foil and have decided to wait until she decides to move herself to the second tube.

kind regards
I see, she must have been bothered by the light. I don't think it's anything serious about her curling up. Maybe she was just trying to hide.
Anyway, if it makes you feel more relieved give her as much time as she needs.

Also, I usually place the uncovered test tube closer to the light source, almost by touching it. But be careful about the lamp heat. Just a day ago I moved a Lasius Flavus colony placing my phone directly against the test tube and by shining its light on them. They moved within a couple of hours. :)
Keeping the following colonies:
  • [2x] Camponotus Barbaricus
  • [2x] Lasius Flavus

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UnrealSparks
Posts: 162
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:45 pm
Location: Turin

Re: New Queen Messor Barbarus help

Post: # 58512Post UnrealSparks
Tue May 21, 2019 1:05 am

WillWithAnts wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 3:58 pm
Oxygen doesn't seem to be an issue for ants. They can be kept in airtight containers for weeks at a time, according to the experiences of other antkeepers on the forum. Now do I know personally? No. . . :lol:
Love the updates, btw. Keep them coming!
They actually need a very little amount. That's why airtight containers can be used but not for extremely long periods.
Moving a colony could be done with the absence of oxygen, sure, but it's always uncertain how much time they'll require for the move. This is why I'd rather be cautious and provide a small gap between the test tubes other than completely sealing them together.
Keeping the following colonies:
  • [2x] Camponotus Barbaricus
  • [2x] Lasius Flavus

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