Messor Barbarus workers behaving oddly. Any ideas? Should I be concerned?

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SkippingBaboon
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:46 am
Location: London

Messor Barbarus workers behaving oddly. Any ideas? Should I be concerned?

Post: # 36808Post SkippingBaboon
Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:16 am

Hello Ant lovers!

I have recently decided to start keeping ants, and as I live in europe I thought what better beginner ant than a Harvester ant!

I was sent the Queen with 5 Workers and a few brood (Messor Barbarus). Within a week this had reduced to 4 workers, but a few days later was back to 6, then 9... and I am now all the way up to around 26 after having the colony for around 2 and a half months with lots of brood and what looks like my first Major larvae.

Everything seems to be going fine... I keep them in a founding chamber set up, with a test tube attached between their outworld and nest using a T junction, they take as many seeds as they can and seem to only accept chicken I offer them for protein. I give them sugar water but am sure they dont use it.

My ONE concern though and something that I hope some of you guys might be able to enlighten me on, is some mornings when I check to see what they are up to, they seem to have transported all the brood (accept what looks like the only Major lavae) into the test tube provided for them for water. The Queen seems to remain with 1 or 2 workers in the nest with the large larvae which I guess they struggle to move... whilst the workers spend many hours in the test tube before deciding to move back to the nest.

To begin with I thought it was a nest hydration problem. I keep the colony in a ytong founding chamber. I add moisture every 3 days.... but there doesnt seem to be a pattern correlating to dryness or humidity that causes them to move the brood from the nest.

Any ideas Ant Lovers?! Should I be concerned?!

Many thanks.

Baboon.

Cerbenix
Posts: 8
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:06 pm
Location: Latvia

Re: Messor Barbarus workers behaving oddly. Any ideas? Should I be concerned?

Post: # 36973Post Cerbenix
Tue Jun 05, 2018 4:33 pm

Pretty sure that's a hydration problem. I don't know what kind of a setup you have but my ytong nests dry out in a day maybe even quicker. I have to add water daily if not twice a day.

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