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2 carpenter ants paired together... problems occured.

Posted: Sat May 11, 2019 11:43 am
by Asylumental
I recently started to try and propagate a carpenter ant colony..

I found a wings carpenter and, as well as another carpenter ant that was the same size without wings...
I thought maybe 1 was a queen and 1 was a worker so I paired them together which is something that antsaustralia recommended..

Well after the first night, the queen with the wings had no more wings...
I didnt know if maybe she dropped her wings because she was comfortable or if the other ant ripped them off...

For the next 2 nights after the first night, they seemed to get along fine...they would touch mouths and antennae for several minutes with eachother and it seemed like they liked eachother...

However after the 3rd night, when I checked on them.. 1 of the ants had all but 2 legs ripped off and the other ant had 1 leg and 1 antennae ripped off..

Anyone with experience keeping carpenter ants? Or maybe mikey do you have any helpful info for me?

Would it be safe to assume I accidentally paired 2 queens together?
Is there a reason that they started out fine and then decided later that they didnt like eachother?
Is the living ant becoming territorial because it will lay its eggs soon?

Re: 2 carpenter ants paired together... problems occured.

Posted: Sat May 11, 2019 3:08 pm
by harvesterant
The lost wings are not a problem. Queens usually drop their own wings off after flying, because they are inefficient and do not work anymore. That means that there are not any problems with this behaviour, and if a queen decides to found a colony without dropping off its wings, then the workers will do that for her when the first nanitics appear. Therefore, there are no problems with lost wings.

I do not know much about carpenter ants, but other species of ants can have queens fight in the way you described, but in most species of ants, workers will also not accept queens from other colonies. This sounds like queens, but again, I do not know a lot about carpenter ants (I have never kept any).

I hope this helps.

Re: 2 carpenter ants paired together... problems occured.

Posted: Sun May 12, 2019 9:03 pm
by Asylumental
Well as an update... it's been 2 more nights and now both carpenter ants are dead...

I'm pretty disappointed and also upset...i suppose if I was a more experienced ant keeper I would have recognized them both as queens and should have had them seperated as a potential 2 colonies.
Problem is when I found them 1 had wings and 1 did not so I mistakenly thought that I could pair them...

Details of what happened...
after i made this post, i watered the ants and put more nectar in their container and put them away for the day/night..
The injured ant was stuck in the same spot and was unable to move, just I just left her..
However the next morning/afternoon when I checked on them the badly injured ant had the other ant by the mandibles.. i guess in the night it made a last desperate attempt when the dominant one got close.
And it had its mandibles locked in a death grip...I used a toothpick to jab it and make it let go... I then used the toothpick to kill it because I didnt want that to happen again...
I swear I thought the thing was dead, and these carpenter ants are large and move super fast so instead of taking the dead one out..I left it in there...assuming it was dead..

But that was a mistake...apparently it wasnt dead... I left them for another night and when I checked on them the next day, the one I thought was dead had the live one in another death grip, this time by the leg. Additionally, sadly somehow the live ant was dead.. as I looked into the container they both rolled around lifelessly with the one queen being held by the leg by the other queen..
It seems odd that it died in just 1 night of being held in a lock jaw...but maybe it was uncomfortable in the environment and wasnt hydrating.. I dont know.

I feel bad for being such an amateur in this situation...
Also sucks because it's late in the season and I dont know if I will find another queen..

Re: 2 carpenter ants paired together... problems occured.

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 9:38 am
by JoeHostile1
Oh gee where to begin? First off it’s literally the beginning of the season, so you have the entire summer and fall to find more queens.

You can’t make ants mate inside a test tube, it doesn’t work like that. They mate in the air. This is true for like 99% of ant species. Also even if you could you would need a female and a male from a different nest. The males are not workers, they’re tiny little ants that only live for a couple weeks. All the ants in a nest besides these little guys are females.

Since you live in Canada I’m assuming you found camponotus pensilvanicus or novaeboracensis. The Camponotus in Canada only have 1 queen per colony. They will fight anything that comes into their nest. So even if you found a queen and a worker and tried to give the worker to the queen she would kill it.

Also Mikey doesn’t post here.

Re: 2 carpenter ants paired together... problems occured.

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 11:01 am
by harvesterant
Probably a much better explanation than the one I gave :D :lol: .

Re: 2 carpenter ants paired together... problems occured.

Posted: Tue May 14, 2019 12:30 pm
by Asylumental
Thank you Joe... I appreciate the input.

I wasnt trying to mate them, I only paired them because of information from an antsaustralia video that I must have mistakenly understood wrong.. which said that queens would feel comfortable to have workers in the tube with them..
I assume though from this instance and from what you say, that not all ant species would feel comfortable with workers with them if the workers arent of their own brood. It makes sense..

Thank you for confirming that ant males are a lot smaller and I was a dumb ass and should have kept them seperate and propagated 2 colonies..

Im happy I didnt miss my opportunity, I will keep an eye out for more queens, I thought their neptual cycle was only like a month or few weeks at the beginning of summer.
I was enjoying watching these 2 when I had them and was excited for a colony...they were quite aggressive and curious.. and they were so big that I could hear them walking.

I dont recall mentioning mikey at all...I'm not sure why you said that part at the end..

Re: 2 carpenter ants paired together... problems occured.

Posted: Tue May 14, 2019 12:31 pm
by Asylumental
Oh crap!

Yes I see it now, and I remember...
It's because I copy and pasted this whole thing from a question I asked on YouTube.

I was aware that Mikey didnt use these forums..
I guess I forgot to proof read it and get rid of any unnecessary parts like that..

Re: 2 carpenter ants paired together... problems occured.

Posted: Wed May 15, 2019 7:18 am
by JoeHostile1
Ok when you said propergate I assumed you meant trying to get them to mate. I see now you just meant for them to lay eggs.

You may or may not know that Australia has some of the strangest animals and plants on earth. They also have a lot of species that don’t exist anywhere else on earth. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if there’s an ant species there that needs to be eaten by a rare frog and then mate inside the frogs belly with ants that were already eaten and then the frog poops out the queen and the queen starts a colony in the frog poop. Pretty far fetched I’m sure, but that’s how unique some of Australia’s species are.

So I’m not sure what species ants Australia was referring to. Or if they were referring to catching new queens after their nuptial flights or digging up a small colony. If you’re digging up a colony then yes you should also take the workers. However new queens do not take workers with them on their nuptial flights.

Camponotus do fly in April/May in Canada. They may have already all flown in BC because it’s warmer there, but it’s still not that warm yet so they may still be flying. But what I meant by you still have time is there are dozens of species that fly at all different times up to October.

If you’re set on camponotus you could always buy a small colony. You can check the GAN project which is offered by AntsCanada or Kijiji.