Queen caught in Barcelona, Spain 12mm November-ish

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prancingAnt
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:15 pm
Location: Barcelona

Queen caught in Barcelona, Spain 12mm November-ish

Post: # 67455Post prancingAnt
Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:13 pm

Hi guys and girls,

I caught a queen late last year, I think around November. After having watched a fair bit of AntsCanada on Youtube, and seeing the size of her, I kept her. She showed up on the tiled floor in the back garden, suburban area, in between the sea and mountains.

I initially put her in a plastic container with some dry dirt, a wet cotton wad and a a tube made of packing paper, closed on end, since i really didn't have any test tubes at hand, and put her in a cool room. Looks like she mostly just hibernated all this time. She did chew out a lot of the packing paper and threw it outside the tube, seems like she was trying to dig deeper? The end of the paper tube was wet too.

Tonight I moved her to a test tube setup. she was pretty inactive, I did not spot any eggs.

I tried to take a few pictures, I managed to get her straight into the test tube from the paper tube and didn't want to mess her around too much. The pictures through the test tube are not great, but I hope to get a general identification maybe?

Her total length is 12 mm (test tube OD is 16mm)

Image

Good2Know15
Posts: 102
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 11:13 am
Location: Netherlands

Re: Queen caught in Barcelona, Spain 12mm November-ish

Post: # 67650Post Good2Know15
Sat Feb 22, 2020 8:37 am

prancingAnt wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 4:13 pm
Hi guys and girls,

I caught a queen late last year, I think around November. After having watched a fair bit of AntsCanada on Youtube, and seeing the size of her, I kept her. She showed up on the tiled floor in the back garden, suburban area, in between the sea and mountains.

I initially put her in a plastic container with some dry dirt, a wet cotton wad and a a tube made of packing paper, closed on end, since i really didn't have any test tubes at hand, and put her in a cool room. Looks like she mostly just hibernated all this time. She did chew out a lot of the packing paper and threw it outside the tube, seems like she was trying to dig deeper? The end of the paper tube was wet too.

Tonight I moved her to a test tube setup. she was pretty inactive, I did not spot any eggs.

I tried to take a few pictures, I managed to get her straight into the test tube from the paper tube and didn't want to mess her around too much. The pictures through the test tube are not great, but I hope to get a general identification maybe?

Her total length is 12 mm (test tube OD is 16mm)

Image
Wow, such an amazing find! This is some kind of Messor sp queen and as far as I can tell, it might be Messor bouvieri :?:
I found that it is difficult to raise a Messor colony from a single queen, especially in the beginning stages. The best way would be to leave her in a warm dark environment for atleast 3 weeks and then check up on her. Messor queens get eaily stressed from light and tend to eat their eggs sometimes (atleast, in my experience). Good luck!
Also known as Ants_Netherlands16

Keeper of:
Lasius niger, flavus, lasioides
Myrmica sp.
Messor barbarus & Messor sp.
Crematogaster scutellaris
Camponotus aethiops, ligniperdus
Solenopsis fugax
Temnothorax nylanderi :D

prancingAnt
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:15 pm
Location: Barcelona

Re: Queen caught in Barcelona, Spain 12mm November-ish

Post: # 69696Post prancingAnt
Mon May 04, 2020 10:29 am

Hey thanks for your reply!

I've kept her in a relatively cool spot so far, up until a few weeks ago 15º celcius, now that weather is warming up here probably about 20º
She laid a small cluster of eggs a little while after posting the first message. I have been checking up on her every week or so, keeping exposure to light and movement under a minute or so. The eggs appear to have been enlarging, not much else going on yet...

What would be a good temperature to keep her at?

prancingAnt
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:15 pm
Location: Barcelona

Re: Queen caught in Barcelona, Spain 12mm November-ish

Post: # 69697Post prancingAnt
Mon May 04, 2020 10:44 am

I had a little look around now that I have an approximate id and after reading this message https://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?p=67320#p67320 decided to check up and try to offer her a sliver of almond. She went straight for it after sliding it past the cotton stopper!

prancingAnt
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:15 pm
Location: Barcelona

Re: Queen caught in Barcelona, Spain 12mm November-ish

Post: # 71490Post prancingAnt
Sun Jun 14, 2020 3:29 pm

Update, in case anyone is interested:

The queen is alive and well, I have since about a week or so moved her to a warmer spot 24-27 degrees.
The brood has grown a lot since doing that. I added some slightly crushed birdseed to the tube, she seem to have eaten a sunflower pip

Here is a video of her grooming her brood. Adding a spare night vision ipcam to the box has been a lot of fun (if you do, turn it off after use, since it really heats things up..)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpX5KJenauc

still have not confirmed id, so if you know, let me know :)

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