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Beginner here! Tetramorium eggs not hatching! So frustrated :(

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:46 am
by Redhotwaffles
Hi I’m getting really sad and afraid that my queen won’t ever lay eggs that hatch. It’s been a nearly a month and not even a larvae has emerged. It’s about 71 degrees in my house, I regularly adjust the humidity, and have fed her here and there only because I learned that the queens already have all the food they need within their bodies. She is in a test tube connected to the Formica hybrid nest but she has never left the test tube. I’m desperate, please help me!

Re: Beginner here! Tetramorium eggs not hatching! So frustrated :(

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:11 am
by sartwell90
Hey Redhotwaffles,

My first note is that in my experience 71 degrees is a bit chilly for Tetramorium, they normally nest close to the surface under rocks or pavement which absorb heat from the sun and radiate it into their nest. Their choice of nesting habits and my personal experience shows them as a mildly thermophilic (warmth loving) species.

71 degrees would be chilly enough to slow down my carpenter ants, even. Personally I keep my ants in a study with heat mats and a monster of a computer that runs that room up to 80+ degrees.

Cold temperatures will definitely slow development, especially pupation. It is also worth noting that Tetramorium eggs, larva and initial pupa (especially the first pupa) are extremely small and they don't make cocoons. So the whole development cycle can be missed without visual aid, ie. Magnifying glass or macro lense.

First thing, give them a warmer spot to live, room temperature is cold for small cold blooded creatures. That should speed development. Also, if you can manage putting a small single droplet of sugar water carefully in with the queen (super small droplet, use a pin or something) it will give her some energy, fully claustral queens in my experience will enjoy snacks that their biggest worker (you) can provide, just don't overfeed which will yield to food waste being left over.

Then leave her in a dark spot, my Tetramorium colonies are by far the most photophobic that I have.

Re: Beginner here! Tetramorium eggs not hatching! So frustrated :(

Posted: Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:25 pm
by Redhotwaffles
Thank you! I will get her a heating cable and I’ve already committed to not checking on her for two weeks so she can be in the dark.

Re: Beginner here! Tetramorium eggs not hatching! So frustrated :(

Posted: Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:44 am
by sartwell90
Redhotwaffles wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:25 pm
Thank you! I will get her a heating cable and I’ve already committed to not checking on her for two weeks so she can be in the dark.
Sounds like a plan, best of luck! I'll keep a look out for the results of your labor :)

Re: Beginner here! Tetramorium eggs not hatching! So frustrated :(

Posted: Sun Sep 01, 2019 8:46 am
by Hawkeye
Here's my 2ct other than agreeing with sartwel, if I am not mistaken that species is also very susceptible to stress because of vibrations, so a warm, dark undisturbed spot would be best.