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New formicaria - some ants dying


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Offline sweetgrass - Posted November 8 2018 - 4:24 PM

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I attached my test tube to the nice new Tar Heels formicaria yesterday afternoon, and set the portal inside the second and attached outworld.  Some ants ran around non stop.  2 were dead by this morning.  2 more have died.  One is hurt and dying.  Today I moved the portal into the same area as the taped on test tube.  I think some ran themselves to death.  This lastest hurt one seems to have a bent antennae and one hurt leg.  They climb and fall.  I'm at a loss of what to do.  



#2 Offline sweetgrass - Posted November 8 2018 - 8:58 PM

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2 more dead. I don’t understand what’s happening. 6 total now

#3 Offline Miles - Posted November 8 2018 - 9:22 PM

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What species is this and how large is the colony?


Hi, I'm Miles! I study ants, environmental science, political science, and science communication at Montana State University in Bozeman. I've been keeping ants for nearly a decade and I'm passionate about conservation and public service.

 

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#4 Offline Scrixx - Posted November 8 2018 - 9:33 PM

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There was an issue with THA formicariums and poisoning but I thought it was resolved.

http://www.formicult...+ant#entry86733

 

The first step would be to remove your ants from the nest. Assuming that's the only thing you've changed then you should disconnect it. Try using a different setup or even a cheap tupperware container instead.


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Keeping: Camponotus sansabeanus - C. vicinus - Formica francoeuri - Liometopum occidentale -  Pogonomyrmex californicus - P. rugosus - P. subnitidus - Solenopsis molesta - S. xyloni - Tapinoma sessile - Temnothorax sp.

Journals: Camponotus sansabeanus & C. vicinus | Pogonomyrmex californicus & P. rugosus | Solenopsis molesta & S. xyloni

Discontinued: Pogonomyrmex subnitidus


#5 Offline sweetgrass - Posted November 8 2018 - 10:27 PM

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Thank you

This is a Camponotus vicinus colony I painstakingly removed from a log. Larvae and all
I don’t know how many. 100?? A queen. Many larvae

Took an hour but I have them all back in the test tubes and portal. Thank goodness only had to capture 15 or so. Lost count. Hard to do and not hurt them. Sealed up formicarium just in case some are hiding where I couldn’t see them.

I had decided to do that before I read your replies.

#6 Offline Antz - Posted November 9 2018 - 10:39 AM

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I didn't know ants would run themselves to death

#7 Offline sweetgrass - Posted November 9 2018 - 11:28 AM

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There is no issue with the Tar Heels formicarium as far as I know.

 

I was advised that wild Camponotus colonies are very fragile and often don't do well once captured.

 

I will get them hibernating now in the test tube set up and keep  my fingers crossed that I can meet the challenge of keeping them alive and healthy



#8 Offline Miles - Posted November 9 2018 - 11:36 AM

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I was advised that wild Camponotus colonies are very fragile and often don't do well once captured.

This is entirely consistent with my observations as well. Make sure the colony has a reliable water source and I'd recommend keeping apple slices dusted with sugar available for them to drink from.


Hi, I'm Miles! I study ants, environmental science, political science, and science communication at Montana State University in Bozeman. I've been keeping ants for nearly a decade and I'm passionate about conservation and public service.

 

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#9 Offline nurbs - Posted November 9 2018 - 5:38 PM

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There was an issue early last year with THA nests, but if you purchased it anytime this year there shouldn't be any problems as that has been resolved. I have dozens of THA nests and dozens more on the way and they work great.

 

One of the things I always do with any new nests, regardless of the vendor, is to give it a "sniff test" and to also let it "air out" for a week before dropping ants in. THA ships their nests in very well padded peanuts with wrapping. The wrapping does seal in anything that may not be 100% cured, so I always open up the glass and just let it sit for a week. Always setup a nestmate with water as well.

 

With that said, however, most mature colonies found in the wild once contained will always have dead workers and a minor die off. That's most likely what you are seeing.

 

 

UA5RA0ol.jpg

 


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#10 Offline DaveJay - Posted November 10 2018 - 9:42 PM

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I never really trust that anything I receive in the mail hasn't been exposed to insecticide to some degree so a rinse or a soak before use seems wise to me. Factories usually will have some type of pest control regime as will most places along the shipping route, maybe even including the van that brings it to your door.
With most packages exposure would be limited due the packing but if I had the problem you have and I hadn't washed it well before using I'd never quite know if that wasn't the problem and it would drive me nuts!

Another thing I thought of is that if the block was very dry when you acquired it it may desiccate the air before the water from the reservoir is fully distributed through the nest. It might have been a big shock to their system.

Best of luck finding out what went wrong, I hate not knowing what went wrong, you can't learn from that.




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