My queen ant won't lay eggs?

Discussions about the care and keeping of ants

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EerieEcho
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:34 am
Location: Cleveland, OH

My queen ant won't lay eggs?

Post: # 38689Post EerieEcho
Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:43 am

Hello everyone!

So recently at work I just so happened to find a carpenter ant queen! I got really excited because I had never had ants but after watching AntsCanada on Youtube for a while, I was wanting to start. I just never realized it would be this soon.

Anyways, so I got her home and a week has gone by now since her capture. I got her into a test tube setup a few days after capture as the plastic container I had just wasn't retaining water very well. But it has been a week now, and still no sign of eggs. I know you are not supposed to touch them for the first few weeks at least but I am a really curous person so I do tend to peek in to see if anything has changed, but nothing has. Part of me is thinking I jinxed it and now she will never lay, or maybe she was never fertilized! Is there anything I can do to make her feel more comfortable in her test tube? Should I try moving her to a new test tube since she may think this one is unsafe? It's my firt time trying to be an ant keeper and quite frankly I am really nervous. Any help is appreciated! Thank you!

EerieEcho
Current forming colonies:
x4 Tetramorium sp. E (Maybe more, but queens have yet to lay eggs)

Kaboom
Posts: 10
Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:29 am
Location: Finland

Re: My queen ant won't lay eggs?

Post: # 38690Post Kaboom
Sun Jun 24, 2018 5:01 am

I've had 2 ant queens for 2 weeks now and only 1 of them has laid eggs. It might take a little more time. Also do you keep your tube in the dark?

AntsLuxembourg
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:17 am
Location: Niederfeulen, Luxembourg
Contact:

Re: My queen ant won't lay eggs?

Post: # 38700Post AntsLuxembourg
Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:24 am

Hello EerieEcho,

I think you should try to place her carefully inside a new testtube with fresh water and perhaps a drop of honey. So she can eat something in case she is hungry. The honey can be placed inside the tube with a toothpick. Perhaps take closeup picture so someone here can identify the species so you can get some more specific tips. It might also be that the queen just isn't fertilized but I think some more days or weeks might do the trick.

After putting her inside her new home you should place her inside a dark cupboard and check perhaps once a week. I never had a fresh queen ant myself but I know at least some general tips. :D

Try to be patient so she can lay her first brute and do some online research as soon as you know what exact kind of ants it is. This might help you to prepare for the case she is fertilized and also to get yourself busy during the time she's in the dark cupboard.
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony. After the research you can still go and fetsh a colony from one of your local GAN-Farmers.

Founding colonies:
10 - Lasius Niger Colony
1 - Messor Barbarus

EerieEcho
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:34 am
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: My queen ant won't lay eggs?

Post: # 38714Post EerieEcho
Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:35 pm

Yes I do, I actually keep her in a closet with a piece of black foam over the test tub so when I open the door to grab something there is no light toughing her.

Also I will give this a try and post a picture! I know for sure that she is a carpenter ant, and my own best guess would be the species of Pennsylvania Carpenter, but that is just my own theory. It may also be that the test tube I have is simply too small for her, but I can't really tell since again first time and these were my only test tubes on hand ^^;

https://imgur.com/a/xYnLLhp

Edit: Since this post I have made adjustments to her setup in hopes it would help her feel more comfortable. I have lessened the water since carpenters hate moisture apparently, and have also given her access to sugar water (more like sugar syrup since I don't know where my honey went). I have also connected her test tube to a small container where this paste is (it's not terribly big but if she wants away from the water it works). I have also moved this into a drawer that I never grab anything from so she is less likely to be disturbed.
Current forming colonies:
x4 Tetramorium sp. E (Maybe more, but queens have yet to lay eggs)

AntsLuxembourg
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:17 am
Location: Niederfeulen, Luxembourg
Contact:

Re: My queen ant won't lay eggs?

Post: # 38716Post AntsLuxembourg
Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:46 pm

I would say that this is some kind of carpenter ant but I can't tell what type exactly. I guess someone from the Ant Identicitation team might be able to identify her straight away. She also looks like as if she still got her wings. :/
At least on the picture she does. If she still got her wings since the day you caught her I think she might not be fertilized but I don't know when you took the picture tho. So I can't make any better guess.
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony. After the research you can still go and fetsh a colony from one of your local GAN-Farmers.

Founding colonies:
10 - Lasius Niger Colony
1 - Messor Barbarus

EerieEcho
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:34 am
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: My queen ant won't lay eggs?

Post: # 38724Post EerieEcho
Sun Jun 24, 2018 1:44 pm

Having wings and not being fertile is a common misconception as quoted on the AntsCanada store website in the FAQ section, so I still have a little bit of hope. But just in case she actually isn't, I have been attempting to look around and find a male ant for her, but I know nuptial flights might be over for them, which is distressing in itself. So all I can really do is hope for the best now, I suppose.
Current forming colonies:
x4 Tetramorium sp. E (Maybe more, but queens have yet to lay eggs)

AntsLuxembourg
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:17 am
Location: Niederfeulen, Luxembourg
Contact:

Re: My queen ant won't lay eggs?

Post: # 38736Post AntsLuxembourg
Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:50 pm

Yeah it was just a guess. I mean usually they do break their wings off after they have mated because they serve no purpose anymore. But I guess some ants like to keep them as some kind of fashion thing. ;D

HAHAHA OMG. I just imagined like a hipster queen ant with sunglasses and dyed hairs like she put time and effort into dying every single hair on her body to be a diffrent colour and keeping her wings and showing them off like a peacock. XD
HAHAHA lol if some artist is here please make us all some drawing of that. Will see if I can get someone to actually draw that. XD
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony. After the research you can still go and fetsh a colony from one of your local GAN-Farmers.

Founding colonies:
10 - Lasius Niger Colony
1 - Messor Barbarus

EerieEcho
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:34 am
Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: My queen ant won't lay eggs?

Post: # 38782Post EerieEcho
Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:54 am

She'd be full-on "Hey boys, look at these FABULOUS wings of mine." XD

But yeah, maybe they are like Nemo and are lucky wings.
Current forming colonies:
x4 Tetramorium sp. E (Maybe more, but queens have yet to lay eggs)

AntsLuxembourg
Posts: 203
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:17 am
Location: Niederfeulen, Luxembourg
Contact:

Re: My queen ant won't lay eggs?

Post: # 38788Post AntsLuxembourg
Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:37 am

Yeah would be quite interesting if she is fertilized and still decides to keep her wings. That would be a proof that they are evolving or that some of them just keep their wings for fashion reasons. ;D

Like the devil wears prada. XD
Btw I've asked two guys if they would like to have a go on this idea. One told me he might have a go during lunchbreaks and the other one hasn't answered yet. Hopefully I get at least one funny drawing like I described. XD

Edit: Omg I just had another random stupid idea. She is a queen ant prostitude. XD
Like those are her virginity wings she just keeps to get more males to fertilize her. :lol:
Damn this escalated quickly with going 18+.
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony. After the research you can still go and fetsh a colony from one of your local GAN-Farmers.

Founding colonies:
10 - Lasius Niger Colony
1 - Messor Barbarus

JustCliff
Posts: 84
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 10:03 am
Location: Ohio

Re: My queen ant won't lay eggs?

Post: # 38822Post JustCliff
Mon Jun 25, 2018 9:13 am

Looks like the camponotus pennsylvanicus we have in the US, don't know if this species lives where you do but I'd at least guess you've got a camponotus sp. as well.

https://photos.smugmug.com/Ants/Natural-History/Queen-Ants/i-PRPXkB2/4/06272127/X2/CamponotusPennsylvanicus2-X2.jpg



I have a queen that ripped her wings off, it's been a week and a half with no eggs, there's still a chance for us both! She was pulling at the cotton so I very carefully gave her a drop of honey without her noticing I opened her test tube. She found it and ate a lot of it, since then he hasn't been pulling at the cotton. Hoping she'll lay eggs now, going to check on her in a few weeks.
Keeper of:
Temnothorax Curvispinosus x2
Camponotus Nearcticus
Brachymyrmex Depilis

Founding:
Camponotus Pennsylvanicus

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