New and obsessed! :-D

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Jimmydave937911
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:59 pm
Location: West Midlands

New and obsessed! :-D

Post: # 69490Post Jimmydave937911
Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:38 pm

Hi guys. New today on the AntsCanada forum! Kind of fell in love with ants a few weeks ago by mistake upon finding a nest of Red Ants (Myrmica Rubra?) under a paving slab! Didn’t find (or even look for) a queen at the time, but dug a few out and a few eggs and popped them in an an old lemonade bottle with a load of soil! That’s when the wonder began... literally couldn’t stop watching them! Unfortunately made my first mistake when I found another nest and put more workers in the same bottle! Needless to say when I checked back the next day there was the debris of battle everywhere, felt awful! However since then have literally been reading and watching videos every single day with the intention of becoming a full on keeper! So if any gets a minute would they mind answering a couple of questions, not necessarily about one topic in general but just a few questions I’ve come up with the last few weeks?
1) The red ants I have in the garden, are they likely to be Myrmica Rubra? I know without pictures this would be almost impossible to say but I live in the UK and it seems they are quite common?
2) Since I found the first nest in the garden, i then found 3 or 4 more and attempted to find a queen. No matter how much diffing I did, and in some cases I dug REALLY deep, I couldn’t seem to find a queen anywhere, is this just bad luck or am I doing something wrong?
3) With regards to Myrmica Rubra queens, I have seen conflicting information about this but how much bigger are the queens to the average worker? I’ve read that workers can vary a lot in size but should I see a noticeable difference in the Queen?
4) The workers that are in my lemonade bottle are still going pretty strong, yesterday I put in a grape just see what would happen. I went to the bottle a few hours later and they had gone mad for the grape, probably about 20 workers all over it. However checked this morning and literally not a single ant round it? Why would this be?

I’ll be honest I have loads of questions but for now this will keep me going :-D Thanks in advance to anyone that replies!

Jimmy

Jimmydave937911
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Apr 27, 2020 6:59 pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: New and obsessed! :-D

Post: # 69909Post Jimmydave937911
Tue May 12, 2020 4:11 pm

Hi guys was wondering if someone could pop a response to this when you get a minute.
Thanks all

NKantsalberta
Posts: 93
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 6:48 pm
Location: Sherwood Park, Alberta

Re: New and obsessed! :-D

Post: # 69926Post NKantsalberta
Wed May 13, 2020 10:28 pm

Jimmydave937911 wrote:
Mon Apr 27, 2020 7:38 pm
Hi guys. New today on the AntsCanada forum! Kind of fell in love with ants a few weeks ago by mistake upon finding a nest of Red Ants (Myrmica Rubra?) under a paving slab! Didn’t find (or even look for) a queen at the time, but dug a few out and a few eggs and popped them in an an old lemonade bottle with a load of soil! That’s when the wonder began... literally couldn’t stop watching them! Unfortunately made my first mistake when I found another nest and put more workers in the same bottle! Needless to say when I checked back the next day there was the debris of battle everywhere, felt awful! However since then have literally been reading and watching videos every single day with the intention of becoming a full on keeper! So if any gets a minute would they mind answering a couple of questions, not necessarily about one topic in general but just a few questions I’ve come up with the last few weeks?
1) The red ants I have in the garden, are they likely to be Myrmica Rubra? I know without pictures this would be almost impossible to say but I live in the UK and it seems they are quite common?
2) Since I found the first nest in the garden, i then found 3 or 4 more and attempted to find a queen. No matter how much diffing I did, and in some cases I dug REALLY deep, I couldn’t seem to find a queen anywhere, is this just bad luck or am I doing something wrong?
3) With regards to Myrmica Rubra queens, I have seen conflicting information about this but how much bigger are the queens to the average worker? I’ve read that workers can vary a lot in size but should I see a noticeable difference in the Queen?
4) The workers that are in my lemonade bottle are still going pretty strong, yesterday I put in a grape just see what would happen. I went to the bottle a few hours later and they had gone mad for the grape, probably about 20 workers all over it. However checked this morning and literally not a single ant round it? Why would this be?

I’ll be honest I have loads of questions but for now this will keep me going :-D Thanks in advance to anyone that replies!

Jimmy
Hi Jimmy,

I am from Canada so I cannot answer your first question without pictures.

#2 you would most likely have to dig at least 1 meter down to find a queen, and tear up most of your garden. I would suggest leaving your wild established colonies alone, and waiting to find a new queen fresh from her nuptial flight, or check the GAN for any listings of established captive colonies for purchase.

#3 Myrmica queens will be about the size of their largest workers, save a larger Gaster. Most ant species besides lasius have varying sizes of workers without being classified as polymorphic

#4 The workers will only consume what sugars they need and store the rest in their social stomachs. The brood will need protein if there are any larvae present. With no queen to support, you will find the workers will eat less.
Raising 3x Camponotus novaeboracensis, 2x Formica sp, 2x Lasius sp.

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