Captured a colony a little confused

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Acutus3399
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Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:54 pm
Location: Howard County, MD. USA

Captured a colony a little confused

Post: # 57443Post Acutus3399
Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:49 am

So I planned to get into antkeeping this year but it happened a little faster than I thought. I run a small Nature Center for a Girl Scout camp and I also manage the property. A friend and myself decided we were going to add ants to the center and we bought 2 kits from AntsCanada the Formica kit and the Camponotus kit in the Hope's of getting a couple queens during flights this year and eventually getting a colony started.
Well I had to clean up an area at camp which included a rotted section of tree and I hit the jackpot! A bunch of black ants burst out and then I spotted a Queen! Called my friend and we collected the whole colony!
Now if you're still reading this is where it gets confusing.
We've identified them originally as C. pennsylvannicus but now we think C. Herculaneum.(sorry if my Latin is wrong)
Confusing part is we found 2 queens! Ants were all contained in a 12inch x 12 inch x 5 inch section of the wood. We captured both queens with some workers in Test tubes after getting everybody in the setup we attached the queen test tubes to allow them to enter. The first Queen was welcomed by the ants and entered the colony. Now the story turns tragic as the second Queen was killed almost immeadiately!
Thoughts? Working on adding pics now
Billy

AntsDakota
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Re: Captured a colony a little confused

Post: # 57445Post AntsDakota
Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:07 pm

Acutus3399 wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:49 am
So I planned to get into antkeeping this year but it happened a little faster than I thought. I run a small Nature Center for a Girl Scout camp and I also manage the property. A friend and myself decided we were going to add ants to the center and we bought 2 kits from AntsCanada the Formica kit and the Camponotus kit in the Hope's of getting a couple queens during flights this year and eventually getting a colony started.
Well I had to clean up an area at camp which included a rotted section of tree and I hit the jackpot! A bunch of black ants burst out and then I spotted a Queen! Called my friend and we collected the whole colony!
Now if you're still reading this is where it gets confusing.
We've identified them originally as C. pennsylvannicus but now we think C. Herculaneum.(sorry if my Latin is wrong)
Confusing part is we found 2 queens! Ants were all contained in a 12inch x 12 inch x 5 inch section of the wood. We captured both queens with some workers in Test tubes after getting everybody in the setup we attached the queen test tubes to allow them to enter. The first Queen was welcomed by the ants and entered the colony. Now the story turns tragic as the second Queen was killed almost immeadiately!
Thoughts? Working on adding pics now
There are two possible scenarios you have witnessed:

1. The deceased queen was either from another colony, or a virgin elate.

2. She was a major worker from a different colony.
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

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Acutus3399
Posts: 18
Joined: Thu Apr 18, 2019 11:54 pm
Location: Howard County, MD. USA

Re: Captured a colony a little confused

Post: # 57453Post Acutus3399
Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:22 pm

Thank you for the reply. :) Was definitely another Queen that I am 100% sure of identical in every respect to the still live one. Even examined the remains up close after death.
we thought we may have hit 2 colonies that lived close together. That was the reason for mixing the workers all in the new Formicarium before introducing either queen. We wanted to see if the workers were going to start fighting first.
My ant knowledge is just beginning but would a Virgin Elate be hanging out? I don't think it's time yet for either specie to do nuptial flights.
I posted some pics although not great ones in the ID section.

thanks again! :D
Billy

JoeHostile1
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Re: Captured a colony a little confused

Post: # 57526Post JoeHostile1
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:03 am

Are these very small colonies? Most camponotus only have 1 queen per nest. It’s possible there was two nests side by side, so close that the workers tolerated the other workers. Camponotus aren’t that hostile to other camponotus workers. When they encounter each other they usually just both turn around and run instead of fighting. However the workers won’t be tolerant of other queens entering their nest and the queens will definitely not be tolerant of each other or other workers.

Another possibility and I think the most likely because you didn’t mention a pile of dead worker ants so I’m guessing all the workers got along. So if all the workers got along in a confined space that probably means they are from the same nest. The other queen was perhaps over wintering in the log and waiting for warmer weather to found her own colony.

Or maybe she tried to found a colony, wasn’t successful and she was just sitting there. The other colony was just ignoring her because they may have been encountering her 1 vs 1 and a single worker has no chance of taking down a camponotus queen. However when you forced the queen into the nest that gave the workers an advantage in numbers to attack her.
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

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

JoeHostile1
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Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:51 am
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Re: Captured a colony a little confused

Post: # 57531Post JoeHostile1
Mon Apr 22, 2019 11:08 am

Ok I saw a picture of your ant colony. That colony looks quite large. So I bet that other queen was a queen alate. She just didn’t leave her nest for whatever reason last summer. The ants put up with her inside the nest for a while and may have actually tried to drag her out of their wood nest a bunch of times and perhaps she just kept coming back in or maybe she was able to fight them off.

I know the workers will drag the males out of the nest if they don’t leave during the nuptial flight. Like I said though camponotus queens are quite large and strong so the workers really need to gang up on a queen to do some damage.
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

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

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