I'm concerned for the health of one of my new queens, please help

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Dr0ctagonapus5
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Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:28 pm
Location: Yreka, CA

I'm concerned for the health of one of my new queens, please help

Post: # 59588Post Dr0ctagonapus5
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:06 pm

So I'm just getting into antkeeping this year, and I have some concerns about one of my captured queens, which looks like she may be injured, or possibly malnourished.

I have 4 queens in test tube setups right now. I caught my first ever queen, which I believe to be a camponotus pennsilvanicus, right on my front porch! She is doing well with around 10 eggs laid, and at least one looks like it has hatched into a larvae. (I might have to move her into a new test tube soon, though, will she move her brood through a test tube portal by herself?) I believe my second queen to also be of the genus camponotus, based on her size, but she is definitely a different species. Her head is not nearly as large as that of my first queen, and I suspect it might be because she is a ground-dwelling species that does not need to burrow into wood. This is just my own speculation, though. She is also producing eggs and taking care of then nicely. My third and fourth queens are both of the same species, I think, much smaller than my two beautiful camponotus girls. I'll have to make a post about identifying them at some point. I don't know what genus they're a part of, but from what I've read online, I suspect formica. They are producing eggs lightning fast, with over a dozen in only a couple of days. They seem very jumpy, however, so I try not to disturb them too much.

The one that concerns me is my second queen, the unknown camponotus species. When I first captured her, I noticed a sort of dent on top of her gaster. (Which appeared quite plump, otherwise) Did she get attacked or almost squished at some point? Is she starving from not finding a place to set up shop quick enough? Should I give her a drop of honey or something?

I'm hoping that someone with more experience might know what's going on and if I should be worried about it. I'm really hoping she's okay because I caught her on some land that I recently purchased, and she'll be the first queen that I've caught directly on my future home.

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DonBao
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Joined: Thu May 23, 2019 6:09 pm

Re: I'm concerned for the health of one of my new queens, please help

Post: # 59590Post DonBao
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:54 pm

Dr0ctagonapus5 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:06 pm
(I might have to move her into a new test tube soon, though, will she move her brood through a test tube portal by herself?)
Queens will only grab a batch of eggs and will leave the rest, it's their natural behaviour, as queens moving nests in the wild will rely on her workers to grab most of the eggs. My queen moved test tubes but she was almost blind to the batch of eggs beneath her as she ventured into her old test tube. I disconnected both test tubes and tried recovering the eggs and returning them to the new test tube, but all of them broke except one which was most likely badly damaged and won't be growing into a larva any time soon. It's better to wait until the eggs become larvae, then you can grab them out with a toothpick and have a better chance of not breaking them (My queen replaced those broken eggs though, she's got at least 15+ now).
Such small creatures they are... yet so organised!

Housing and caring for a Calomyrmex Albertisi Species

Dr0ctagonapus5
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2019 8:28 pm
Location: Yreka, CA

Re: I'm concerned for the health of one of my new queens, please help

Post: # 59661Post Dr0ctagonapus5
Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:48 pm

DonBao wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:54 pm
Dr0ctagonapus5 wrote:
Tue Jun 18, 2019 10:06 pm
(I might have to move her into a new test tube soon, though, will she move her brood through a test tube portal by herself?)
Queens will only grab a batch of eggs and will leave the rest, it's their natural behaviour, as queens moving nests in the wild will rely on her workers to grab most of the eggs. My queen moved test tubes but she was almost blind to the batch of eggs beneath her as she ventured into her old test tube. I disconnected both test tubes and tried recovering the eggs and returning them to the new test tube, but all of them broke except one which was most likely badly damaged and won't be growing into a larva any time soon. It's better to wait until the eggs become larvae, then you can grab them out with a toothpick and have a better chance of not breaking them (My queen replaced those broken eggs though, she's got at least 15+ now).
Thanks! I'll take that into account.

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BleedingRaindrops
Posts: 153
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2016 11:33 am
Location: California

Re: I'm concerned for the health of one of my new queens, please help

Post: # 59708Post BleedingRaindrops
Sat Jun 22, 2019 11:44 pm

if you're unsure about the species of your queen, you can always post clear pics of her on the ant species identification center. If you do, make sure she's on a decent contrasting background, and get some good back lighting for her as well.
Ants kept
Nylanderia sp.
Camponotus sp.
Paratrechina Longicornis
Pheidole sp.

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