Megabob's Monomorium Minimum Journal

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megabob
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Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 10:46 pm

Megabob's Monomorium Minimum Journal

Post: # 58586Post megabob
Wed May 22, 2019 10:50 pm

I captured some small black ants in mid April 2019 in central Texas. Currently, I think they are Monomorium minimum, but I'm not sure. Here is the identification thread: https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?p=57930#p57930

I captured them while they were migrating nests. I got 4 queens and 20+ workers.

At first I kept them in a pickle jar:
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About a week later, I decided to try to move them to an outworld/hybrid nest combo:
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It looked like they had produced one pupae, which this worker is trying to move out of the jar and into the outworld!
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Unfortunately, one of the 4 queens died in the pickle jar, so I was down to 3 queens. I also lost some workers during the move.

I transferred them directly to the outworld, with tubes leading to the hybrid nest. I thought they would go straight for the dark, humid hybrid nest, but after several hours they had only explored the tubes and decided to stay in the outworld. I thought I would add a small piece of tree bark that I found to add some aesthetic. Naturally, they ALL moved into the tree bark! This was unexpected and a little frustrating. After about 1 week in this setup, the ants had still not moved to the hybrid nest. Also, I was losing workers in my Vaseline barrier. I decided they were not ready for such a large space. I moved them into a test tube setup. I put one of the queens by herself in a test tube and the other 2 along with the remaining workers in a test tube + test tube portal. This move was on 5/4/2019.

After another week went by, I saw that they had still not laid any eggs. I thought for sure with 3 queens, I would have a lot of eggs by now. After some research, I decided my office might be too cold. I bought a heating cable online. While I waited for the heating cable I didn't check on the ants for 2-3 days in a row. When I finally checked on them, I found they had laid a few eggs! Now I am thinking that I was just disturbing them too often and keeping them too stressed out to lay eggs. I have installed the heating cable anyway to try to speed up the colony growth.

Today, when I checked on these ants, I saw that their cotton in their test tube seemed to be growing some mold!
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Does anyone know what might cause this? Is it dangerous? Is it common?

I am currently trying to get them to move to a clean test tube.
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But they are taking their sweet time :D

Let me know what you think. What could I be doing better? I will update you all on the progress.

JoeHostile1
Posts: 409
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Location: Canada
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Re: Megabob's Monomorium Minimum Journal

Post: # 58597Post JoeHostile1
Thu May 23, 2019 7:05 am

All test tube set ups will mold eventually. A little bit is fine but a lot can kill the colony. Usually the mold doesn’t seem to cause any problems, but best to move them when it gets bad just in case.
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSfFtn6RegZ3F1NdS1g08NA

megabob
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 10:46 pm

Re: Megabob's Monomorium Minimum Journal

Post: # 58625Post megabob
Thu May 23, 2019 7:16 pm

Thanks Joe! They're still not moving to the clean tube so I'm glad to know that a little mold is OK.

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antnest8
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Location: Detroit, MI

Re: Megabob's Monomorium Minimum Journal

Post: # 62545Post antnest8
Thu Aug 15, 2019 3:30 pm

how big is the colony? if your using a hybrid nest then they should be decent size, if not that might explain them not moving because they might be to small for now.

megabob
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 10:46 pm

Re: Megabob's Monomorium Minimum Journal

Post: # 65835Post megabob
Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:31 am

Ok, so it has been a while, but here is what happened to this colony:

Soon after my last post, they started dwindling in numbers. They got down to 4 workers and 2 queens with a decent number of eggs. I started feeding them more sugar and gave them time to themselves. At this point, I basically expected to find them dead. HOWEVER, they managed to survive. I have had them 7 months now and they are back up to ~20 workers and still have 2 queens. I have not been able to get them to grow beyond about 20 workers. I wonder if anybody has any advice? I wanted to get them to around 100 workers before I moved them to a larger setup but I'm getting impatient. I try to feed them sugar and crushed bugs from around the house. the bugs are very sporadic. Do I need to feed them bugs more often to get the colony to grow? It is winter now, should I expect to have to wait until after winter is over for them to grow in numbers again?

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