Camponotus Queen just laid eggs!!!

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MarketTree
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Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 10:26 pm
Location: Columbus, OH

Camponotus Queen just laid eggs!!!

Post: # 58827Post MarketTree
Tue May 28, 2019 11:34 pm

About 2 weeks ago, my son and I caught our first queen! She was a camponotus pennsylvanicus and even though she still had her wings, we thought that she had been fertilized by the fact that we found her trying to crawl under a large rock at our local park.

We wanted to give her as much privacy as possible, so we've only peaked at her twice in these two weeks. Well, today, we noticed that she's laid several eggs!!!

We have a couple of questions though:
  1. She seems pretty agitated each time we’ve tried to look at her, so it was only for maybe, less than a minute each time. We really don’t want to stress her out and cause her to eat her eggs or anything. Is it safe to view her in this condition for more than a minute at a time? We’d love to get some good quality pics!
  2. Since she seems to be high-energy, she’s pulled and frayed a lot of cotton in her test tube. Will this be a problem? And if so, at what point should I offer her a new tube?
  3. Judging by the picture attached, does it look like she has enough room? Since she still has her wings and she’s frayed a lot of cotton, some cotton seems to be sticking to the end of her wings. Could this be a cause of her agitation?
Thanks so much for your help and advice!

Image

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DonBao
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Re: Camponotus Queen just laid eggs!!!

Post: # 58830Post DonBao
Wed May 29, 2019 12:39 am

1. I wouldn't look at her for more than a minute, maybe even less than a minute. I only just look at my queen for a few seconds before pulling back her cover, but for more important check-ups, I'd look at her for almost a minute, to make sure I've taken note of her progress.

2. I'm not exactly sure why Queen's like to pull at and take cotton, but my guess is that they're trying to get some material to use (Hide eggs or such). I'd offer her a new test tube when her old one becomes very moldy/dirty.

3. I think it'd be best to give her more room.
Such small creatures they are... yet so organised!

Housing and caring for a Calomyrmex Albertisi Species

MarketTree
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 10:26 pm
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: Camponotus Queen just laid eggs!!!

Post: # 58831Post MarketTree
Wed May 29, 2019 1:43 am

Great to know! Thanks a lot for the feedback.

I really don't want to stress her out, so when I check her next week, I'll try pull out the cotton a bit to give her more room.

Assuming this is way too soon to offer her a more roomy tube, does this one look adequate until she has a couple of workers? (Or until it becomes too moldy and she has to move anyway...)

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DonBao
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Re: Camponotus Queen just laid eggs!!!

Post: # 58858Post DonBao
Wed May 29, 2019 5:29 pm

Yes. I'd say around 5 or more workers before she might move to a small Ytong or Acrylic (or whatever nest design you want) nest. From what I know, the Camponotus species around my area have quite large workers and big queens, so I'd move them out of a test tube once 5 workers have hatched, but it seems this queen might be just smaller but big enough to take up most of the test tube's space, assuming the one you posted in that image is 16cm-100cm.
Such small creatures they are... yet so organised!

Housing and caring for a Calomyrmex Albertisi Species

Helianthus
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Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 12:12 pm

Re: Camponotus Queen just laid eggs!!!

Post: # 58950Post Helianthus
Fri May 31, 2019 12:23 pm

I think she is fine in that tube for the founding period. Definitely don't try to move tubes until she has a few workers. She will calm down a lot once her workers arrive.

MarketTree
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Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 10:26 pm
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: Camponotus Queen just laid eggs!!!

Post: # 59112Post MarketTree
Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:28 pm

DonBao wrote:
Wed May 29, 2019 5:29 pm
...assuming the one you posted in that image is 16cm-100cm.
Thanks a lot for the advice, DonBao! She's in a basic AC test Tube, so it is 15cm long x 1.7cm in diameter. I'll definitely consider giving her a little more room once she has 5 or more workers.
Helianthus wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 12:23 pm
Definitely don't try to move tubes until she has a few workers. She will calm down a lot once her workers arrive.
Great advice, Helianthus. I definitely don't want to risk her eggs!

Here are a few more pics. She still definitely doesn't like any attention. Almost as soon as I brought her into the light, she started rearranging her eggs (which have grown a little since last week).
  • Considering how agitated she gets, is it appropriate to take her out once a week for updated pictures or should I wait longer between inspections?
  • Her eggs seem to be randomly scattered, rather than in a pile or arranged in any way. Is this normal?
Here are a few updated pics. Sorry for the blurriness, I'll have to get a good macro lens soon!

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DonBao
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Re: Camponotus Queen just laid eggs!!!

Post: # 59114Post DonBao
Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:38 pm

1. Since this species is fully claustral, I'd say check up on her every month. Checking up on her every week or two (Did I suggest every week? Apologise if I did, I have a semi-claustral queen so I check up on her every week so I might have gotten things mixed up) could potentially stress her out to the point she may eat her eggs and or eventually die. Because of this, I request you just disregard my last statement about time/minutes on checking up on her, 5 minutes at max, and every month. I'd just put my Fully Claustral queen in the closet and forget about her for a month, but I'm not going to be strict on all of this, just advice and suggestions.

2. I'm not entirely sure on this. My queen puts everything close by, so I can't really tell. Perhaps it's to do with her relaxing or stressing? Or maybe she's just having a hard time trying to collect the eggs and group them?

She looks like a really nice queen.
Such small creatures they are... yet so organised!

Housing and caring for a Calomyrmex Albertisi Species

MarketTree
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 10:26 pm
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: Camponotus Queen just laid eggs!!!

Post: # 59144Post MarketTree
Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:54 pm

Thanks again for the great info, DonBao. I'll give her more privacy moving forward and post an update in a month. Thanks again!

MarketTree
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 10:26 pm
Location: Columbus, OH

Update: Camponotus Queen just laid eggs!!!

Post: # 60762Post MarketTree
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:01 am

Here is an update :

As you can see in the pic below, my original Camponotus Queen seems to be doing well and has gathered up her eggs into a single bundle since last month. Here are a couple of questions/concerns.
  1. The eggs don't seem to have grown or developed since last month. I know that this species is fairly slow to develop but is this slow level of egg development normal? Can anyone point me to a growth chart of Camponotus eggs?
  2. I know it's not too abnormal for her to still have her wings at this point but there seems to be a white fuzz on them. I can't tell if this is just fragments of the cotton that she has been shredding or mold. I don't think there is much that I can do but is this something that should be a concern?
  3. I'm a little worried that the cotton holding back the water reservoir may be a little tight and may not be letting enough moisture through to her chamber. Should this be a concern and if so, is there anything that I can do?
Here are the updated pics:
Image
Image

MarketTree
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue May 28, 2019 10:26 pm
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: Camponotus Queen just laid eggs!!!

Post: # 60763Post MarketTree
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:02 am

New Camponotus Queen update!

My son and I actually caught a 2nd Camponotus. As you can see, she has broken off her wings and has already laid a nice bundle of eggs. She loves tearing at her cotton though...

Image
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