Good afternoon everyone.
After a 15 year break from ant keeping and forgetting pretty much everything I've known regarding it, though to be fair much has changed in that time anyways, I'm wanting to get back into the hobby. I live in Australia and am going to be getting a Pheidoli sp. and possibly a Camponotus (think it was banded sugar ant? It was only mentioned briefly) queen with some eggs from someone nice and local (literally around the corner, kind of shocking...anyways). Now as a beginner I'm told these are a good starting ant to cut my teeth on even though they are of the smaller variety. I've always loved these ants even though I had no idea what they where called when I was younger and remember them because of the big heads of what I called the soldiers, now I know they are called majors but hey, I was 7 or 8 when I started and now 25 years later, I learned something. I also found out they can have multiple queens which is pretty cool as this was the first time I found out about that and have done some research regarding it, it's pretty fascinating.
now anyways I have some questions that I have been unable to find answers to or that I would just like some more experienced ant keepers to give me their opinions and past experience, so here goes:
As a beginner, do I need to be concerned with my Pheidoli sp. having multiple queens? I'm only wanting to start with 1 queen to get the hang of it all, but besides more rapid growth, what else would happen with a multiple queen colony from a more practical point of view? Should the colony develop, will there be a chance of more queens joining the colony from the inside that I should be aware of or is it only possible at founding? Do Pheidoli 'accept' new/additional queens later in development or are they mostly killed off as they are seen as rivals/intruders?
Starting out I'm going to do what I've been told and keep in a test tube until a good number of workers are present, after that, owing to Pheidoli being so small, what sort of Formicarium should I look into getting them into? I've been reading stuff about 'good' and 'bad' Formicariums in design and material and want to get the 'better' one with the least amount of issues. I've been told the AC ones are good as are the byFormica and Ants Australia. To be honest with all the options out there, I'm confused and would like some guidance as to where to spend my money.
Finally I'm curious if the Australian Pheidoli sp. hibernate or go through bimutation (sp?)? This is something I can't find any information on and I've looked on Wikipedia and AntWiki and if it's there, I've missed it. Anyone from Australia know? I'm assuming yes but clarification would be great. I have seen people saying yes they do but they where always located in US/Canada/Europe/UK where they all havethe large temperature swings from sunny and nice, to snowing, which we don't have here.
Thanks for your help with this and sorry it's a long post with loads of questions. I just want to get onto a good footing for a good start. I'm really looking forward to this and picking up my queen in a week, it's going to be a fun adventure.
EDIT: forgot to mention also getting a Banded Sugar Ant queen with apparently 2 workers and a load of brood, so that's going to be good. I have 'fond' memories of these girls ruining many of my lunch breaks at primary school because I loved how they looked and wanted to poke sticks down their holes. Fun times...fun times
Edited by Abadayos, January 8 2019 - 4:12 AM.