Lasius Niger - failing colony?

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kiannashadow
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:08 am

Lasius Niger - failing colony?

Post: # 56466Post kiannashadow
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:21 am

Hi guys, I'm a new ant keeper and purchased a Lasius Niger queen I'm october. I thought I was having great success with her. I fed her some honey, she got really fat, laid a nice brood and hatched a colony of 18 workers while continuing to lay more eggs. That however is the best it got. I uncapped there tube and left them to forage for honey and peanut butter I left for them, gave them a new source of water as there tube was now running low and provided them with new tubes to move into. However they never moved. I never witnesed any ants out side the original test tube. I gave them time but at this point their original tube is bone dry and dirty. I placed some honey inside the end of their tube and a small water test tube hoping that they will eat but the water just made the honey into a mess so I had to remove it. All this while there has been a brood that seems to be at various stages of development but no more have hatched. I haven't intentionally put them into hibernation and I keep my house very warm at 23 + and I try not to disturb them to often but do check everyday for movement and brood. I would appreciate all help and advice to help my colony thrive. Thank you in advance and sorry for the long post.

JoeHostile1
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:51 am
Location: Canada
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Re: Lasius Niger - failing colony?

Post: # 56468Post JoeHostile1
Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:16 pm

kiannashadow wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:21 am
I haven't intentionally put them into hibernation and I keep my house very warm at 23 +
This is your problem. You took ants that hibernate and then didn’t hibernate them. They went Dormant during the winter, even though you kept them at 23C. The queens aren’t designed to lay eggs for 12 months of the year.

It’s better to just hibernate your ants so they can have their proper life cycle which includes diapause. Instead of just confusing them with high temperatures during their hibernation period. This also most likely has detrimental effects to the health/longevity of the colony.

They will probably start laying again and developing properly by summertime. Also are you feeding them bugs? Because that’s what they eat. Peanut butter is ok in a pinch I guess, but their main food source should be protein from bugs or meat. I also find sugar water to be more accepted than honey with all the colonies I’ve ever had. You may want to see if your workers are more interested in sugar water than honey.
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

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

kiannashadow
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:08 am

Re: Lasius Niger - failing colony?

Post: # 56469Post kiannashadow
Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:24 pm

Thank you for the help. Do you suggest I lower their temp now? Or just leave them as is until they naturally wake up. And I do intent to give bugs but was going to wait until I had more ants to reduce waste but I can start now. Or shall I wait until they have woken up more at start to forage?

JoeHostile1
Posts: 269
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:51 am
Location: Canada
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Re: Lasius Niger - failing colony?

Post: # 56471Post JoeHostile1
Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:01 pm

I wouldn’t lower their temperature at this point since hibernation is already over or nearly over depending on where you live.

I would try feeding them bugs and sugar water immediately. Since only feeding them peanut butter could potentially be exacerbating their development problems. I’m not sure if a diet consisting of only peanut butter is bad for them long term.

It’s difficult to narrow down the specific problem of not developing normally when you are both not hibernating them and not providing a natural diet.
I would say that if you acquired the queen in October and she made 18 workers before hibernation than that is normal development. But now it is hard to say whether the larvae stopped developing due to natural hibernation or lack of suitable food sources or a combination of both.
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

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

akuminari
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:05 am

Re: Lasius Niger - failing colony?

Post: # 56524Post akuminari
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:04 am

JoeHostile1 wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 1:01 pm
...
I would try feeding them bugs and sugar water immediately. Since only feeding them peanut butter could potentially be exacerbating their development problems. I’m not sure if a diet consisting of only peanut butter is bad for them long term.
...
Adding onto this, not only is it bad that you're feeding them just peanut butter (something that insects like ants never eat unless someone litters and leaves it out, but who would just put peanut butter on the ground?! :lol:), but the fact that you're feeding them the same foods over and over is not good. Ants need a mostly varied diet, ranging from different types of proteins and sugars, and it's best if you feed them what they find in the wild. Every once in a while, it's totally okay to give them unnatural stuff, but most of the time, you should be aiming for natural foods.

Have you ever considered going to a pet store to get some crickets or other small insects to feed them? I find that most ants enjoy this the most.

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