A camponotus Queen found me!

Discussions about the care and keeping of ants

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OkyAnts
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Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:33 am
Location: Oklahoma City

A camponotus Queen found me!

Post: # 38141Post OkyAnts
Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:21 pm

So Mikeys YouTube channel is what got me into ants. I live in Central Oklahoma, but we are on vacation in Bull Shoals Arkansas. I have been looking for queens ever since nuptials started. And today as we were fishing off a boat on the river, a queen camponotus ant dropped right in our boat!!!!!
I almost lost my mind and completely unmanned the motor just to get her, almost sending my brother in law over the front on the boat (lol), but I got her, unharmed. My problem now is, I don't have a test tube, all I have her in is a waterproof, clear box. I have a drop of honey in there as well, as I haven't been able to watch the Camponotus video yet until I am home and have wifi, so I don't know if they eat while they are raising their first workers. But, she also has yet to rip her wings off. We are on the White River, and I have noticed tons of different micro climates. I was wondering if it was possible for a micro climate to effect one colony of ants, and send them into nuptial flight, while other colonies whom aren't in the same micro climate haven't got the message? (These "microclimates" can literally be 10 feet. You walk 10 feet and it's a 15° difference in temp) Is it possible she may have landed without being fertilized? How can I tell? She did accept the honey I offered her, so I don't know if that tells us anything?

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Rocko3016
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:27 pm
Location: United States

Re: A camponotus Queen found me!

Post: # 38298Post Rocko3016
Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:24 pm

It is possible she has landed without being fertilized. A little snippet from AntCanada's video about what to do when you find a Queen, "So if the queen ant you catch gives birth,
To an egg which becomes a pupa with girth,
And out comes a male alate as her very first,
Then it's impossible to make any colony work.
If you find a queen alate with wings still attached
Doesn't mean she's unfertilized. She's still a good catch!
She may still have mated and just hadn't detached
the pair of wings used when she was romantically matched.
Also make sure you indeed have a queen
Males look more like wasps with big eyes for the seeing
smaller jaws and sometimes gaster shaped like a bean." Camponotus ants are fully claustural, which means they don't need food till the workers eggs hatch. Since her wings are on still she could still be hungry because she didn't rip of her wings so she isn't done using her wing muscles to give nutrients to the first set of workers.
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8

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Rocko3016
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Joined: Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:27 pm
Location: United States

Re: A camponotus Queen found me!

Post: # 38303Post Rocko3016
Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:46 pm

One last thing about queens with wings from AntsCanada. I caught a queen and she hasn’t broken off her wings. Does that mean she hasn’t had a chance to mate and isn’t fertilized?
No, that’s a common misconception. If queen ants don’t break their wings off it does not mean they haven’t mated with a male(s). On the same token, if a queen has broken off her wings it also doesn’t guarantee that your queen has mated. We have had queens with wings give birth to workers (but the wings were removed eventually), and had queens that did break off their wings never lay eggs, so wing breakage isn’t a good indicator of previous mating. So, be sure to keep all the queen ants that you catch even if they have their wings on, as they will likely be broken off later or once the queen’s first workers arrive. You will find out if your queen has mated during the nuptial flight once the first pupa hatches into an adult worker ant. If a male alate (with wings) comes out of the pupa you know she hasn’t mated and unfortunately won’t be of any use to you if you’re looking to start an ant colony. Unfertilized queens also tend to have brood that seem to never develop or scattered eggs within the test tube setup that they seem to not care for.
Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8

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