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Quizzie's Formica polyctena - dead (June 14th, 2019)

formica polyctena pratensis rufa parasitic parasite founding

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#1 Offline Quizzie - Posted June 9 2019 - 2:21 PM

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This is the sad story of my Formica polyctena queen. Maybe it will help somebody.

 

_________________________________________________

June 4th 2019

I was sitting in the grass, talking with my husband about catching our first queen. At that moment we looked down and saw a queen sitting on his shoe. She chose us!

We put her in a test tube not knowing her species yet.

 

xNlJe7h.jpg

 

_________________________________________________

June 6th 2019

We found out she's a Formica polyctena queen (or possibly rufa or pratensis) which means she's a social parasite. This was both exciting and worrying (because we're still beginners). In the end we realized we were already attached and decided to keep her.

I gave her some maple syrup, but don't know if she ate any.

I studied a lot of guides on raising parasitic ants.

 

_________________________________________________

June 7th 2019

I gathered 9 workers from a nearby nest that I assume is her species (possibly even her birth nest).

OUA2G5G.jpg

 

_________________________________________________

June 8th 2019

I made a small founding nest out of Ytong, red plexiglass and a food storage container.

ID7hbhf.png

 

_________________________________________________

June 9th 2019

The queen was moved into the new nest. She settled right in.

RefZ3gB.jpg

 

 

I threw one half-dead worker into her nest entrance. The queen freaked out and evacuated the nest. She still hasn't come near the worker and spends her time hidden in the nest entrance. Isn't she supposed to be a conqueror?

_________________________________________________
June 10th 2019
The injured worker turned out to still be alive and she attacked the queen. After a very long battle the worker died.
_________________________________________________
June 11th 2019
I chilled the queen and two more workers in the fridge and then introduced them.
They began hiding from each other and then chasing around.
_________________________________________________
June 12th 2019
I found both workers dead.
I chilled the queen and the remaining 5 workers in the fridge. Then I added the workers to the queen. Then they all went back in the fridge overnight.
_________________________________________________
June 13th 2019
I found several workers dead and one live worker biting the queen's leg.
I separated the queen from the workers because she seemed tired, leaving only the attached one. But it was too late. I found her dead in a couple of hours. :-(
Three workers survived and will be released back into their home.
_______________________________________________

Edited by Quizzie, June 14 2019 - 11:33 AM.

Lasius niger (queen of 2018)

Formica cinerea (queen of 2018)


#2 Offline rbarreto - Posted June 9 2019 - 2:31 PM

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Give her brood not live workers.

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My other journal featuring Formica Bradleyi.

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#3 Offline Quizzie - Posted June 9 2019 - 10:30 PM

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Give her brood not live workers.

 

 

I don't want to damage a nest to find brood.

I have a Formica cinerea colony, but they don't have any pupae at the moment. And the queen isn't capable to raise larvae alone, right?


Lasius niger (queen of 2018)

Formica cinerea (queen of 2018)


#4 Offline CatsnAnts - Posted June 10 2019 - 4:52 AM

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Actually, with Formica parasitic species, the queens are ABLE to open the pupae. It is different with Lasius species though where the Lasius social parasites CAN’T open the pupae. This is where with Formica it is okay to not have any workers, but with Lasius, the pupae will just die because the signals do not match and the queen doesn’t know how to open them, so it’s neccessary to have workers for them. Even though it would greatly increase your chance of success if you gave her Formica brood (mainly pupae) due to the fact that the workers will instantly recognize her as their queen, but it is not neccessary and it can be done with just workers (just do it slowly and carefully, but you seem to be doing a good job so far!). Anyways, cool queen, and good luck! :D
  • Ant_Dude2908 likes this
5 queen Temnothorax ambiguus (founding)
11 queen Temnothorax curvispinosus (founding)
1 queen Colobopsis mississippiensis (founding)
1 queen Colobopsis impressa (founding)
1 queen Lasius interjectus (with 30 host workers)
x3 1 queen Camponotus subbarbatus (founding)
1 queen Strumigebys pilinasis (colony of about 30 workers)
1 queen Ponera pennsylvanica (founding)
x2 1 queen Pheidole bicarinata (founding)
1 queen Temnothorax curvispinosus (~170 workers) ... also have 2 termite colonies.

#5 Offline Quizzie - Posted June 10 2019 - 11:21 AM

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Thank you.

Like I said I don't feel like looting (and thus damaging) a wild colony. And I probably don't want to steal from my Formica cinerea either since they're still in a test tube and don't seem to have brood to spare.

I'll try the workers and see how it goes.

 

I know Formica can open pupae, but can the queen also feed larvae? Probably not, right? I'm not sure she can even feed herself. I haven't seen her eat yet.

 

Anyway, our queen is pretty cowardly. :-P The worker turned out to be still alive (though in bad shape, poor little one) and the queen is terrified of her, running away from her if she moves. This doesn't really bode well for her conquest of the workers.


Lasius niger (queen of 2018)

Formica cinerea (queen of 2018)


#6 Offline Manitobant - Posted June 10 2019 - 11:46 AM

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Thank you.
Like I said I don't feel like looting (and thus damaging) a wild colony. And I probably don't want to steal from my Formica cinerea either since they're still in a test tube and don't seem to have brood to spare.
I'll try the workers and see how it goes.

I know Formica can open pupae, but can the queen also feed larvae? Probably not, right? I'm not sure she can even feed herself. I haven't seen her eat yet.

Anyway, our queen is pretty cowardly. :-P The worker turned out to be still alive (though in bad shape, poor little one) and the queen is terrified of her, running away from her if she moves. This doesn't really bode well for her conquest of the workers.

there are a few European ant shops that sell formica pupae I think.

Edited by Manitobant, June 10 2019 - 12:05 PM.


#7 Offline Quizzie - Posted June 10 2019 - 11:58 AM

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there are a few European ant shops that sell formica pupae I think

 

 

Really?

I tried googling and didn't find any...


Lasius niger (queen of 2018)

Formica cinerea (queen of 2018)


#8 Offline Manitobant - Posted June 10 2019 - 12:04 PM

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If you want to do it with fully developed workers however, I would advise you to read the guide on raising parasitic lasius. Skip the callow method as that involves pupae. Even though the queen isn't lasius, I expect it to be the same with formica. Here is a link to that page: http://www.formicult...cial-parasites/

Edited by Manitobant, June 10 2019 - 12:06 PM.


#9 Offline Quizzie - Posted June 10 2019 - 10:42 PM

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If you want to do it with fully developed workers however, I would advise you to read the guide on raising parasitic lasius. Skip the callow method as that involves pupae. Even though the queen isn't lasius, I expect it to be the same with formica. Here is a link to that page: http://www.formicult...cial-parasites/

Yes, thank you, I already read that, it's a very useful guide.


Lasius niger (queen of 2018)

Formica cinerea (queen of 2018)


#10 Offline Leo - Posted June 10 2019 - 11:07 PM

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Haha lucky. I've kept ants for 4 years and never seen lasius or formica XD


  • Ant_Dude2908 likes this

#11 Offline Quizzie - Posted June 14 2019 - 11:35 AM

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So the queen died. :(

I updated the story...


Lasius niger (queen of 2018)

Formica cinerea (queen of 2018)


#12 Offline CatsnAnts - Posted June 14 2019 - 12:09 PM

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Aww, sorry to hear that :(
5 queen Temnothorax ambiguus (founding)
11 queen Temnothorax curvispinosus (founding)
1 queen Colobopsis mississippiensis (founding)
1 queen Colobopsis impressa (founding)
1 queen Lasius interjectus (with 30 host workers)
x3 1 queen Camponotus subbarbatus (founding)
1 queen Strumigebys pilinasis (colony of about 30 workers)
1 queen Ponera pennsylvanica (founding)
x2 1 queen Pheidole bicarinata (founding)
1 queen Temnothorax curvispinosus (~170 workers) ... also have 2 termite colonies.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: formica, polyctena, pratensis, rufa, parasitic, parasite, founding

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