Carpenter Queen Waterlogging?

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SkeleAnt
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:51 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Carpenter Queen Waterlogging?

Post: # 70869Post SkeleAnt
Wed Jun 03, 2020 12:38 am

I’m not really sure how else to describe this situation, but I will do the best I can.

My dad found a black carpenter ant queen moseying around on the carpet in one of the rooms of our house. Fortunately, he called me in to identify it, and I carefully picked her up and proceeded to give her a test tube set up to store with the rest of my newly caught ants Queens. She was incredibly docile, crawled right onto my hand, and I assumed it was because she’d been stuck in the house for a period of time where she couldn’t find any digging material or moisture, so she was probably very weak. The other carpenter ant queens I’ve caught were far more active, and were way more upset about being caught at first before they finally settle down. Not this lady.

As soon as I had her in the set up and blocked it with cotton, she immediately went to the cotton ball with the water reserve and started drinking. I watched her for almost a half an hour and she would not stop. I continued to assume this was because she was probably very dehydrated, so I put her in the dark and decided to check on her one more time in a few hours. When I checked on her again, after about 2 1/2 hours of her being in the test tube, she is still drinking water. She’s drinking enough water to the point that occasionally a droplet of water will form around her mouth as if she’s spitting it back out. She is also doing a strange behavior where she spreads her legs out and kind of flattens her self to the ground for a bit and tapping her legs and antennae around, before standing back up, turning around, and guzzling more water from the cotton ball. It’s regular water, there’s no honey or sugar in it.

My next assumption was that she thought there was too much water so she was trying to drink some of it to make it dryer, so I made a new set up with a cotton ball that I made sure was only slightly damp on the top, and moved her to that test tube. And again, the first thing she did when she got in there was to start drinking more water. I checked the cotton ball in the original tube, and it was nowhere near soaking wet, so at this point I’m at a complete loss. I’ve never heard of this before, none of the other queens I’ve caught have done this, and I’m a little bit concerned that she’s going to water log her body and die. Does anyone have any insight on this matter?
First time ant keeper with 2 formica subsericea queens!

QJH2023
Posts: 196
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2020 2:54 pm
Location: MN

Re: Carpenter Queen Waterlogging?

Post: # 70888Post QJH2023
Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:18 am

your queen ant is probably fine is she still drinking the water? as for the flattening of herself ive noticed that 1 out of 16 queens show this trait
keeper of: 41xCamponotus novaeboracensis, Crematogaster spp. and unidentified species and tapinoma sessile

SkeleAnt
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:51 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Carpenter Queen Waterlogging?

Post: # 70898Post SkeleAnt
Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:56 am

QJH2023 wrote:
Wed Jun 03, 2020 8:18 am
your queen ant is probably fine is she still drinking the water? as for the flattening of herself ive noticed that 1 out of 16 queens show this trait
As of this morning she seems to have finally quenched her thirst, no more excessive drinking. I check the queens once a week and my next check for the whole lot is in a few days, so I’ll leave her be and see how she does. Interesting to hear that some but not all ant queens do that flattening thing!
First time ant keeper with 2 formica subsericea queens!

SkeleAnt
Posts: 62
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2019 2:51 pm
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Carpenter Queen Waterlogging?

Post: # 72041Post SkeleAnt
Fri Jul 03, 2020 10:58 am

It’s been a little while since I replied to this, but an update on that carpenter queen, after about two weeks she finally started laying some eggs, but she stopped water logging her self after the first days so fingers crossed that things go well.
First time ant keeper with 2 formica subsericea queens!

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