Messor Barbarus Queen funny behaviour

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AntsLuxembourg
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Messor Barbarus Queen funny behaviour

Post: # 75786Post AntsLuxembourg
Fri Mar 12, 2021 1:59 am

Hello everyone,

Recently I watered my colonies current outworld and I came to notice that the queen is also out there during the evenings / night roaming the outworld. I recorded two videos (Links below) of this behaviour and find it rather odd but also interesting to see.

In the second video you can see that she is clearly wandering around and that she even tries to carry some seeds around.

To add to this I would like to say that I did offer them some mealworms over this winter, since I could not properly hibernate them and I also threw in some seeds lately. Mostly honeymelon seeds and some grass seeds. Yesterday I also throw in some flax seeds as shown in the video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4GLUbl53Ss
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pjw7RRFnGIk

What are your thoughts on this and have any of you seen a similar behaviour with your own colony. Be it Messor Barbarus, Messor Species or another type. I would get if it was a queen or male alate but this is the queen ant.

Maybe it is a sign that the main nest is getting too small and I have already prepare a big outworld with enough soil to give them some nice and long digging time and material.

When I feel ready for it I will release them and stream the whole process of this but until then I will wait some more.
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony.

Colonies:
1 - Messor Barbarus
Founding colonies:
2 - Lasius Niger Colony
Need help or want to help? https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=18153#p70566

TalANTFlame
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Location: Honolulu

Re: Messor Barbarus Queen funny behaviour

Post: # 75788Post TalANTFlame
Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:08 am

Sadly, the links don't work or me, but I face the same situation. I have a tetramorium queen and caught her from a mature nest. (I only took a couple workers because the nest has 5+ queens.) There was a little soil in the AC portal they tried to nest in, and failed. The queen seems to wonder around a lot, not just around the soil. My setup is two test tubes in a T connector, and a portal. She switches spots a lot, but I've seen this behavior with the outside ants too. Do you have a moisture gradient in your nest? Perhaps she is looking for a different humidity level. Or maybe she feels more comfortable in the dirt. Also, what is the nest, and how large is your colony. (Number of ants, how old, etc.) What ever it is, I hope we both find out.

AntsLuxembourg
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Re: Messor Barbarus Queen funny behaviour

Post: # 75791Post AntsLuxembourg
Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:46 am

Well for you I suppose your queen is trying to hide or find a place to build a nest. Maybe try to throw in a bit of soil.
With my setup however, I know that first, the queen could have been chilling in the part of the nest where there is an undarkend water test tube. Which would be similar to the wet outworld since I watered the outworld a few days ago. She could also just be chilling underground in the outworld which got sand as soil in it. Of course it could cave in at some point due to not being humid enough but while moist, the sand would be sturdy enough for the ants. I will try to catch the queen and drop her around the entrance of the nest / the connector so I know that she can find her way in and make a choice. Will try to do it in a way tho where she doesn't get stressed.

The fact that she could have moved in a "well lighten" humid area before just baffles me. and is just running around outside. Btw it's not that there is a lot of sun shining onto the setup. Maybe I need to place a light over the outworld, so they know that it is supposed to be outside.

For the links now. I forgot to mark them as youtube links. However a copy paste of the links would also have worked. ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4GLUbl53Ss

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pjw7RRFnGIk
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony.

Colonies:
1 - Messor Barbarus
Founding colonies:
2 - Lasius Niger Colony
Need help or want to help? https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=18153#p70566

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AM1C39
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Re: Messor Barbarus Queen funny behaviour

Post: # 75800Post AM1C39
Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:06 am

Perhaps she can't or is out of eggs to lay for the moment so decided to help or maybe the workers made the queen help? Whatever it is it shouldn't last long.
My current colonies:
The miniature military(formica neogagates)
the power of war(camponotus novaeborecensis)
the black hearts(crematogaster cerasi
the blazing nation(Myrmica alaskensis)

TalANTFlame
Posts: 38
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Location: Honolulu

Re: Messor Barbarus Queen funny behaviour

Post: # 75809Post TalANTFlame
Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:07 pm

Yeah. weird. Though I've never heard o a queen running out of eggs. In the first video she was definitely attempting to nest. However this new activity just baffles me. Though when she grabbed the seed a second time, did you see her abdomen come up. This happens in two main cases, a sting, or a queen grabbing a newly layed egg. Also, she did appear to hold it in that position and they ALWAYS clean new eggs. This could support the "out of eggs idea" even if I've never heard of it. If so, she may just be attempting to do her job. But then again, why'd she go to the outworld to do it. I definitely suggest a lamp. And perhaps a new nest. I don't think its that the original nest is too small, but being upright, it's probably hard to keep brood together. So I suggest you keep your current setup, just add a lamp, then add a horizontal nest.

AntsLuxembourg
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Re: Messor Barbarus Queen funny behaviour

Post: # 75817Post AntsLuxembourg
Fri Mar 12, 2021 5:20 pm

TalANTFlame wrote:
Fri Mar 12, 2021 3:07 pm
Yeah. weird. Though I've never heard o a queen running out of eggs. In the first video she was definitely attempting to nest. However this new activity just baffles me. Though when she grabbed the seed a second time, did you see her abdomen come up. This happens in two main cases, a sting, or a queen grabbing a newly layed egg. Also, she did appear to hold it in that position and they ALWAYS clean new eggs. This could support the "out of eggs idea" even if I've never heard of it. If so, she may just be attempting to do her job. But then again, why'd she go to the outworld to do it. I definitely suggest a lamp. And perhaps a new nest. I don't think its that the original nest is too small, but being upright, it's probably hard to keep brood together. So I suggest you keep your current setup, just add a lamp, then add a horizontal nest.
Thx for the ideas.
A horizontal nest, is sadly out of question. I do not have the space for that, although I got an AC Testtube portal in which she could chill as it is covered by some old jeans. Cut out. So I did manage to get he back into the main nest. I used some cotton to get her closer and she ran inside, I closed it off lightly for a few seconds until she ran deeper in. I also without reading put up some LED lamps to light up the outworld. I did not stay the whole time tho cause it would just drive me more mad to wait and watch. Maybe I should start a stream and see if she keeps doing this. If so I would know for sure now that she is looking for something.
I will try to get the other outworld ready so they can move into it and start building. The only fear I got for this plan is that they may dig out so much, that the soil rises too high which I will combat by removing some of the lose top soil. It will be a clay nest and I know from their last two clay soil nests that those are really sturdy. ;)

When removing the modules / areas I had to completely destroy them to get all the workers and seeds out. ^^'
Sounds harsh but I needed to shrink the setup down to make space for the big tank.
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony.

Colonies:
1 - Messor Barbarus
Founding colonies:
2 - Lasius Niger Colony
Need help or want to help? https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=18153#p70566

TalANTFlame
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:37 pm
Location: Honolulu

Re: Messor Barbarus Queen funny behaviour

Post: # 75823Post TalANTFlame
Fri Mar 12, 2021 8:27 pm

Ok, keep me updated, and I'm subscribed so I'll be sure to watch new videos on this.

AntsLuxembourg
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Re: Messor Barbarus Queen funny behaviour

Post: # 75901Post AntsLuxembourg
Mon Mar 15, 2021 4:34 am

Here is an update for you all. I decided to open up the long awaited expansion for them and they have been busy digging. I have put up my youtube stream for you guys to watch and I first showed them moving and exploring the new setup, but now that they have discovered the new grounds, they are digging like crazy. They decided to start on one of the corners which is easily visible with the webcam. I also try to keep that in view.

I did rewater the nesting area a bit from time to time, as I don't know how deep the water has reached yet, without overflowing the tank. It may look as if I was trying to drown the ants, but I just try to keep the general digging area moist for them to dig and build. I mean if I was just digging in dry and lose sand or clay it would not keep it's shape but when it's wet or moist, it will work for them like a charm.

I also noticed that they are bringing some stuff to the darker corner of the setup, which is just where I placed on of those fish tank decorations which are mostly hollow. So I assume that the ants are trying to nest in there too or try to store some seeds in it.

Anyway I am so super excited to see the end of the migration for the ants to completely redo the rest of the setup. For example I would love to add a module through which they will have to run a long distance to get back but also to get to the reworked outworld. I would like to clean up their sandy foraging grounds and make sure that it will be easier to access. Maybe I even add some real plants in there to make it more decorative, however that may be a bit difficult since it is an area with not much sunlight.

Now without further ado I will link you my channel so you guys can check out the livestream if it is running and also to rewatch the previous ones. But be warned. There is a lot of video footage now that I was streaming 24hrs daily. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFm92dQZjY4_jGt_wIQvafg
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony.

Colonies:
1 - Messor Barbarus
Founding colonies:
2 - Lasius Niger Colony
Need help or want to help? https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=18153#p70566

AntsLuxembourg
Posts: 548
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:17 am
Location: Luxembourg
Contact:

Re: Messor Barbarus Queen funny behaviour

Post: # 75907Post AntsLuxembourg
Mon Mar 15, 2021 10:13 am

I think I forgot to mention, that the queen still shows that funny and peculiar behaviour. When I was checking this morning, she was lurking and searching on one longside half of an empty mealworm carcass. She keeps going out side of the nest. Hopefully the ants will have dugg out a nice big nest by the end of the week and that the queen and rest of workers have moved in. Can't wait to remove some of the modules. It's just basically annoying to have this whole area really messy for so long. Sadly the AC Testtube portal is not properly plugged in tightly because I couldn't fit any of the tubing of mine to fit properly so I do hope that I can get ride of that piece first. Not to throw it away, but to make the setup more secure.

I remember that I detached it by accident for a few minutes, maybe an hour or two and I was lucky that the ants didn't decide to move out too much. But I am glad on how far I've come with my colony. ;)
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony.

Colonies:
1 - Messor Barbarus
Founding colonies:
2 - Lasius Niger Colony
Need help or want to help? https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=25&t=18153#p70566

TalANTFlame
Posts: 38
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2021 10:37 pm
Location: Honolulu

Re: Messor Barbarus Queen funny behaviour

Post: # 76023Post TalANTFlame
Sat Mar 20, 2021 4:51 pm

Ok, at this point like you said, we wait. When the nest is finished, hopefully she stays in it. Good luck!

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