Should I set my colony free?

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Whitelotus
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Location: San Joaquin County, California

Should I set my colony free?

Post: # 58619Post Whitelotus
Thu May 23, 2019 4:59 pm

I have had my Tetramorium queen for a year now and I have no idea why she has not been making any more eggs.
She has been leaving her nest from time to time, will not move into a new nest provided, her workers have been aggressive to her, and I have no idea why. This has been going on for weeks.
The nest she is in is kept in good conditions. (It's an AntsCanada hybrid nest).
Should I set the colony free into the wild, the species is native to where I live so it will not hurt.
If any of you guys have any ideas, please let me know.

Ant108
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Re: Should I set my colony free?

Post: # 58626Post Ant108
Thu May 23, 2019 7:25 pm

How many workers? Maybe there's too much space. Any other ideas out there?
Keeper of:
* Messor Barbarus
* 1 Crematogaster Scutellaris queen 1 worker.

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Whitelotus
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Location: San Joaquin County, California

Re: Should I set my colony free?

Post: # 58634Post Whitelotus
Fri May 24, 2019 2:17 am

The colony is roughly 200 at this point.

JoeHostile1
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Re: Should I set my colony free?

Post: # 58640Post JoeHostile1
Fri May 24, 2019 9:26 am

Sounds like she doesn’t like the conditions inside of the nest. Maybe it’s not humid enough. What do you mean the workers are aggressive towards her? They’re trying to drag her back inside the nest? Are you giving them enough food/seeds/sugar water?
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSfFtn6RegZ3F1NdS1g08NA

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Whitelotus
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Location: San Joaquin County, California

Re: Should I set my colony free?

Post: # 58651Post Whitelotus
Fri May 24, 2019 1:05 pm

The nest has been kept humid, and they have been getting plenty of honey and crickets for protein. There are points where I look inside the nest and the queen is acting as if she is trying to get away from all of her workers and the workers in turn will swarm but she does not seem to like it. This does not happen when I open the lid of the hybrid nest and expose light.

Helianthus
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Re: Should I set my colony free?

Post: # 58655Post Helianthus
Fri May 24, 2019 1:53 pm

That's very odd behavior that I haven't seen in any of my Tetramorium colonies. I would say that if it continues, you should freeze the colony and start over with a new queen since they are so easy to find. No matter what, DO NOT release an invasive ant species back into the wild.

JoeHostile1
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Re: Should I set my colony free?

Post: # 58657Post JoeHostile1
Fri May 24, 2019 3:34 pm

Whitelotus wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 1:05 pm
The nest has been kept humid, and they have been getting plenty of honey and crickets for protein. There are points where I look inside the nest and the queen is acting as if she is trying to get away from all of her workers and the workers in turn will swarm but she does not seem to like it. This does not happen when I open the lid of the hybrid nest and expose light.
Ok so no seeds? They are omnivorous and seeds are a big part of their diet. I’m not saying a lack of seeds would cause this behaviour. But when trying to determine whats happening to a colony it helps to have the basics covered first. The basics are correct temperature, correct humidity levels and varied diet. Also do they have access to water? My tetramorium drink a lot.

200 ants after 1 year I think is a lot. The colony did very well. Did you hibernate them? If she’s been laying eggs all winter without a rest it may explain why she stopped laying eggs now to take a break.

Coming out of the nest is usually either she wants food that her workers aren’t getting her, the nest is too hot, the nest is too humid, the nest is not humid enough, Something toxic in the nest or the air in the nest it’s self.

Since she leaves periodically and returns to the nest maybe it’s too humid after you water it for a couple days. Or not humid enough for a few days before you water it.
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSfFtn6RegZ3F1NdS1g08NA

Ant108
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Re: Should I set my colony free?

Post: # 58665Post Ant108
Fri May 24, 2019 6:52 pm

Do you have sand or dirt in nest, or just the plastic floor?
Keeper of:
* Messor Barbarus
* 1 Crematogaster Scutellaris queen 1 worker.

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Whitelotus
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Location: San Joaquin County, California

Re: Should I set my colony free?

Post: # 58694Post Whitelotus
Sat May 25, 2019 7:50 pm

So to answer a few questions:
-the queen did hibernate for a few months, she did not lay many eggs in the winter however.
-They have been getting a mixture of flax, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds every now and then.
-They have access to water, I have a water test tube attached to their hybrid nest
-The colony has brought in fake sand from an outworld I have attached, but they have had the sand in there since last August.

Side note: as I was typing this, my queen decided to go to the water test tube attached to the hybrid nest and began to attack one of the workers surrounding her, and I mean she was biting her thorax trying to get her away.
-I do not know if any of you guys have seen queens act like this before but this is just the strangest one I have kept.

JDSweetMeat
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Location: Centralia, Illinois

Re: Should I set my colony free?

Post: # 58700Post JDSweetMeat
Sat May 25, 2019 9:32 pm

Did your colony start with only one queen? I've had trouble while dealing with naturally occurring polygenous colonies I've found in the wild. Many Tetramorium queens start nests as a small group of 2-4, but once the colonies reach a critical size of 4-8 workers per queen or so, they start attacking each other.

I've had this "fight" phase delay by up to a year, however, and both queens had 100+ workers when the brawl randomly erupted. This sounds like a possible cause of your problem.

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