Crematogaster digging into blue sponge

Discussion and information relating to the AntsCanada Omni Nest Series.

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Crematogaster digging into blue sponge

Post: # 33596Post omally
Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:22 pm

I have a Crematogaster colony of about 50 workers in a Large Omni Nest and I've noticed that they've gotten into the right sponge chamber and have begun digging it out. There's a little pile of blue sponge bits in one of the adjacent chambers and I can see workers hanging out on the sponge. Is there some sort of barrier that they are breaching? The workers are very, very small and they are only digging out from the lowest entrance to the sponge chamber.

I was just wondering if this is normal, and if not, if it's fixable, or at least safe to leave as it is. My apologies if this is the incorrect subforum to post in.

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Re: Crematogaster digging into blue sponge

Post: # 33598Post ooper01
Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:25 pm

Hi omally,
There is a small piece of stainless steel mesh that is supposed to prevent ants from getting into the hydration chambers. With very small species, it has been known to not work as well as they can sometimes find ways around the mesh. The mesh is not a perfect fit sometimes.

You may want to try adjusting the mesh to prevent this behavior. It's not dangerous per se for them to be in that chamber with the possible exception of them escaping if they are small enough to squeeze out of the little holes in the top of the lid.
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Re: Crematogaster digging into blue sponge

Post: # 33612Post omally
Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:46 pm

Thank you very much for the information, ooper. Very early on in the colony's setup, I had their test tube open in the outworld, and would notice escapees every so often with no immediately apparent exit point. This was before they moved out of the test tube and into the colony proper. I assumed they must have been going out through the holes in the hydration chamber lid somehow, since the workers are small enough to easily get through them, so I blocked them off with clay. Haven't seen any escapees since then.

The breached chamber does have quite a lot of ants inside it now, they really like the humidity, so I think I'll just stop hydrating that side before attempting to adjust the mesh. I can't really even take the lid of of that chamber as it is without one or two escaping.

Thank you very much for the info, I never noticed the steel mesh before, once it's all dried out I'll try fixing it.

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