Trap Jaw Ant Setup

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BigBlueBlur
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:05 am
Location: Cancún

Trap Jaw Ant Setup

Post: # 50387Post BigBlueBlur
Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:10 am

Hi, This is my first time raising an ant colony and I'm not sure what is the best way to do it.
I caught a trap jaw ant queen 2 days ago, and now I have her in a little setup with dirt and plants and buried the syringe tube with a cotton ball with water behind it (which is my test tube because of my lack of having a real one) with the entrance sticking out.
I have been keeping her in a fairly dimly lit room that doesn't get a lot of wind.
She got pretty stressed out by the time that I got her into that setup. She kept hiding under the wax paper with her food on it and wouldn't go back into her test tube. I eventually took the wax paper away and corralled her towards the entrance of the 'test tube', where she seemed to accept the test tube as her new home, but now I haven't seen her at all! I got up and checked on her this morning to see if I could see her and all I saw was a little pit, what looked like the start of a whole that she had dug some time during the night.
I also haven't seen her eat yet. Only drink.

Any tips and advice would be gladly welcomed.

Ant Setup:ImageImageImage

BigBlueBlur
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:05 am
Location: Cancún

Re: Trap Jaw Ant Setup

Post: # 50851Post BigBlueBlur
Wed Sep 19, 2018 10:59 am

Ant setup update.

I've moved her into my room and made some adjustments to her container. She Likes the bit of wood that I put into her container, and I put some saran wrap over the top with some holes in it so that it can help keep the humidity more stable and stop a lot of the breeze from my fan from drying out the sandy substrate.
I finally know that she is eating! So that is a win.
I have also noticed that she keeps making the beginnings of holes, like the one in my first post, all around the container but then stops soon after. Does anyone know why she is doing that? Maybe the substrate is too dry and the tunnels keep collapsing? Please let me know.
I also don't think she is using the test tube either, even though it has water.

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StormDancer
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:57 am
Location: Southeastern New Mexico

Re: Trap Jaw Ant Setup

Post: # 51190Post StormDancer
Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:20 am

Does the substrate hold its form well when it's moist? That soil to me looks like it doesn't stay together well even when moist. It looks super soft and fluffy which is great for plants, not so much for ant tunnels.
Learn to dance in the rain, because after there are queens to find!

BigBlueBlur
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:05 am
Location: Cancún

Re: Trap Jaw Ant Setup

Post: # 51279Post BigBlueBlur
Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:53 pm

StormDancer wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:20 am
Does the substrate hold its form well when it's moist? That soil to me looks like it doesn't stay together well even when moist. It looks super soft and fluffy which is great for plants, not so much for ant tunnels.
Yes, it does, I try to make sure to keep it moist while not moist enough to start a mold outbreak. When I first made this setup I tilled up the sandy substrate so that it would be easy for her to start digging, but I've compacted it now to help support any future tunnels that she may dig.
Do you know what kind of substrate they prefer? I've looked it up and gotten conflicting answers.
I've added a little pill bug to help with mold and stuff.
I also put in some wood because I've read that trap jaw ants like to have it.

Here is what my setup looks like now:
Image

BigBlueBlur
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:05 am
Location: Cancún

Re: Trap Jaw Ant Setup

Post: # 51283Post BigBlueBlur
Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:37 pm

Another question.
Because the test tube is buried and I can't see inside to check on the queen or see if the cotton is getting moldy should I periodically remove the test tube, like once a month, in order to make sure that she won't get sick?
I wonder if I could even do that without overstressing her because I end up moving the container around a lot to take off the saran wrap to do maintenance and feed.
What would you recommend?

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StormDancer
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:57 am
Location: Southeastern New Mexico

Re: Trap Jaw Ant Setup

Post: # 51331Post StormDancer
Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:22 am

The setup looks good to me, I cannot advise to the type of soil they like. As long as it's chemical free, no pesticides or fertilizers, I believe she'll do fine. With the tube buried she will likely stay inside of it until it is no longer suitable. I would not remove the tube to look at it, provide a clean tube above ground close to the entrance she has created. She'll use it if she needs it. Continue to feed her and wait patiently. Hopefully you'll see workers in a few months. With ants, waiting is truly the hardest part. Don't forget she could also use a small sugar source. Keep us updated too, trap jaws are a more difficult species.
Learn to dance in the rain, because after there are queens to find!

BigBlueBlur
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:05 am
Location: Cancún

Re: Trap Jaw Ant Setup

Post: # 51429Post BigBlueBlur
Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:02 am

StormDancer wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:22 am
The setup looks good to me, I cannot advise to the type of soil they like. As long as it's chemical free, no pesticides or fertilizers, I believe she'll do fine. With the tube buried she will likely stay inside of it until it is no longer suitable. I would not remove the tube to look at it, provide a clean tube above ground close to the entrance she has created. She'll use it if she needs it. Continue to feed her and wait patiently. Hopefully you'll see workers in a few months. With ants, waiting is truly the hardest part. Don't forget she could also use a small sugar source. Keep us updated too, trap jaws are a more difficult species.
Talk about hit the ground running in terms of a first colony, lol.

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StormDancer
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Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:57 am
Location: Southeastern New Mexico

Re: Trap Jaw Ant Setup

Post: # 51430Post StormDancer
Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:08 am

Haha, yes. I caught two trap jaw queens last year and several other species. None of them survived. It was my first time with them. This year I've had very few deaths. Didn't find trap jaws again though. So you're doing very well.
Learn to dance in the rain, because after there are queens to find!

BigBlueBlur
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:05 am
Location: Cancún

Re: Trap Jaw Ant Setup

Post: # 51446Post BigBlueBlur
Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:38 pm

StormDancer wrote:
Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:08 am
Haha, yes. I caught two trap jaw queens last year and several other species. None of them survived. It was my first time with them. This year I've had very few deaths. Didn't find trap jaws again though. So you're doing very well.
Thanks.

BigBlueBlur
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2018 9:05 am
Location: Cancún

Re: Trap Jaw Ant Setup

Post: # 51594Post BigBlueBlur
Sat Sep 29, 2018 9:08 am

Update Week 2

I think she comes out mostly at night because I’ve seen her a couple times when I look into her container after the sun has gone down.
She has also started piling sand from what I’m pretty sure is her test tube at the entrance of it.


Pill bug not found

Image

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