Help with Messor Barbarus colony

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KingRic
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:35 pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Help with Messor Barbarus colony

Post: # 64761Post KingRic
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:20 am

Hi there, I’ve recently been given a colony of Messor Barbarus about 10 workers strong, they were from a friend who couldn’t keep them and admittedly I live in the UK but it was a catch 22!

I set them up a large terrarium made up of ytong nest blocks and a big sand nest area at the big, I heated the nests with a heat mat and a cable to provide a heat gradient and water the nest every couple of days. But I’ve noticed they’re very lethargic and with no brood, 2 workers have died and there doesn’t seem to be an explanation for why they aren’t doing so well! I do occasionally see a worker wandering about but apart from that they are just cowering in the corner of the nest! Here’s some pictures, maybe you can help me!

https://imgur.com/a/yFb55S4

Vincex
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:22 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Help with Messor Barbarus colony

Post: # 64762Post Vincex
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:45 am

Could be the the nest is too big for them the test tube would be big enough ! Small colony's don't do well in big set up s and they might be in shock after been moved around so much ! There s always a good chance that a few would die
Keeper of
1 lasius niger
1 pheidole pallidula
1 myrmica rubra
1 camponotus ligniperda

Vincex
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:22 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Help with Messor Barbarus colony

Post: # 64764Post Vincex
Sun Oct 13, 2019 10:50 am

Id leave seeds and a water supply and cover if possible and leave them for a few weeks at least and remember Messer b are from a dry climate so they don't need a lot of water and maybe keep the heat Matt away from nest proper so your not hurting queen accidently with too much heat
Keeper of
1 lasius niger
1 pheidole pallidula
1 myrmica rubra
1 camponotus ligniperda

LasiusSapien
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:37 pm
Location: Bristol

Re: Help with Messor Barbarus colony

Post: # 64765Post LasiusSapien
Sun Oct 13, 2019 11:04 am

yep messor are lazy they don't do much until they are in the hundreds, i'm more concerned about the lack of brood mine are about 20ish strong but have loads of brood

here's a pic of mine, same as you described there all just huddled around the queen in the middle every now and then they decide to move some ware else in the nest and now and then i see then fetching seeds or putting out some trash lol

Image
1x Lasius Niger - early forging stage - 60-100 workers
1x Messor Barbarus - founding stage - <20 workers
1x Camponotus Turkestanus - claustral stage - 1 nanitic + brood
1x Odontoponera Transversa - semi-claustral stage - no eggs

Vincex
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:22 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Help with Messor Barbarus colony

Post: # 64767Post Vincex
Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:29 pm

Do you leave your colony out like that or put them into a dark area cos I've my colony for three months and have no brood so I've stored them away and gonna leave the queen alone for a month and hope for the best ,also are you heating the nest?
Keeper of
1 lasius niger
1 pheidole pallidula
1 myrmica rubra
1 camponotus ligniperda

KingRic
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 25, 2019 2:35 pm
Location: North Yorkshire

Re: Help with Messor Barbarus colony

Post: # 64769Post KingRic
Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:10 pm

Thanks guys! It is very concerning about no brood, I don’t know if she’s just stressed or what or if it coming up to hibernation time makes a difference! Vincex: I do keep them in the dark, they have a cover I put over and I have a heat mat under about 1/4 of the nest :)

Something I was wondering about was whether they could actually get out, I saw a worker struggling to get footing so maybe they’re stuck in there? They do have plenty of other places to nest that’s open too them that are dark and humid, they just seem to be acting so weird!

Vincex
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:22 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Help with Messor Barbarus colony

Post: # 64771Post Vincex
Sun Oct 13, 2019 1:27 pm

It may be stress from moving ! As for hibernating I've read conflicting information some people say you should other s say because there from a warmer climate they don't really need to hibernate especially the first winter so it's up to yourself See what happensfor a week
Keeper of
1 lasius niger
1 pheidole pallidula
1 myrmica rubra
1 camponotus ligniperda

LasiusSapien
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:37 pm
Location: Bristol

Re: Help with Messor Barbarus colony

Post: # 64773Post LasiusSapien
Sun Oct 13, 2019 2:56 pm

Vincex wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 12:29 pm
Do you leave your colony out like that or put them into a dark area cos I've my colony for three months and have no brood so I've stored them away and gonna leave the queen alone for a month and hope for the best ,also are you heating the nest?
indeed i do, they where on a heat matt @ 25c/77f till about a week ago now there at room temp getting them ready for there first hibernation
1x Lasius Niger - early forging stage - 60-100 workers
1x Messor Barbarus - founding stage - <20 workers
1x Camponotus Turkestanus - claustral stage - 1 nanitic + brood
1x Odontoponera Transversa - semi-claustral stage - no eggs

Vincex
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:22 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Help with Messor Barbarus colony

Post: # 64774Post Vincex
Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:46 pm

Was looking online for a mat and thermostat system but there's a lot of choice ! What type did ya but do ya mind me asking?
Keeper of
1 lasius niger
1 pheidole pallidula
1 myrmica rubra
1 camponotus ligniperda

LasiusSapien
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:37 pm
Location: Bristol

Re: Help with Messor Barbarus colony

Post: # 64776Post LasiusSapien
Sun Oct 13, 2019 5:59 pm

Vincex wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 3:46 pm
Was looking online for a mat and thermostat system but there's a lot of choice ! What type did ya but do ya mind me asking?
sure np i went with

https://tinyurl.com/yyn8doww
https://tinyurl.com/y6mvgwz8
1x Lasius Niger - early forging stage - 60-100 workers
1x Messor Barbarus - founding stage - <20 workers
1x Camponotus Turkestanus - claustral stage - 1 nanitic + brood
1x Odontoponera Transversa - semi-claustral stage - no eggs

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