My queen ant died and I don't know why

Discussions about the care and keeping of ants

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My queen ant died and I don't know why

Post: # 69949Post SpriggySprite
Thu May 14, 2020 10:22 pm

About a week ago, I found my very first queen - a Camponotus Modoc. I put her in a test tube setup in a little box in my room and left her alone until today. I just checked on her and she has died after laying four eggs. I'm not sure what happened, she had shed her wings before I found her and I didn't give her any food (just dechlorinated water). It's almost summer where I live so it's been pretty warm, but my bf had opened the window at night a couple nights in a row. I posted on the Facebook fan page and one person said she could be infertile. I read somewhere that they can drop their wings without having mated, but I didn't know they just die if they don't mate. Is this true? I can't seem to find anything online about it. I'm really hoping it wasn't because she got too cold, I feel horrible thinking it's something I did. Thanks in advance for any info.

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Joined: Fri May 15, 2020 7:32 am

Re: My queen ant died and I don't know why

Post: # 69956Post fskraum1
Fri May 15, 2020 8:39 am

Hi there.
Last summer I have caught three Lasius Niger queens and while the all have been wingless already when I have caught them and all three of them layd eggs. Only two of the "colonies" actually started to breed new workers.
One of the queen was in the test tube with her eggs for all the time and nothing happened till today. So it seems that she has not mated properly. However I have had not that heart to let her go at the beginning of the fall since that would just be death sentence so I am still keeping her and feeding her from time to time and she is just fine. So death after not mating seems to me not probable.
Also temperature should not be a problem since if you catch the queen in the same area where did you have opened your window now - that should be temperature she should be ready to.

However lot of things could happen - she could have been exposed to some insecticide before you have catched her. One friend of mine lost his queen because she had had very strong teeth at the time of the catch. Probably some genetic disorder ...

So do not mourn, and look for more queens for starting the colony. And even if you did something wrong (I doubt that in this case) chances for the winged queen to actually successfully start the colony are so low, that you can give it few tries and they will have better chances to survive your hypothetical faults then real natural threats.

Btw I plan to let go upper mentioned queen during Lasius niger nuptial flight this year, so she will at least have tiny chance to mate again. I know that this is very slim chance but still better then just killing her or keeping her closed till she die.

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