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How to move a wild colony


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#1 Offline GijsSmulders - Posted June 29 2019 - 4:28 AM

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Hi all,

A friend showed me his carpenter ant set up which intrigued me. I started looking up how to keep ants, set up, husbandry etc. when I remembered that I have a colony living in the control panel of my pool cleaner. That friend thinks they are Polyrhachis species.

Now I am totally new to this and any suggestions would be helpfull.

I'd like to move this colony into my own set up. And eventually I'd like to set up a 120ltr octagon tank as a habitat for them with live plants etc.

I don't know the size of the colony, if I tap the box about 20 ants pop out generally. I don't see them coming out at all at the moment, does that mean they are hibernating? And if so, should I forget about moving them now? I live in North-east Australia, in the tropics.

My first thought was to put the whole control panel in the small tank (it does fit), get them to set up shop in there and then later connect the octagon to it. I probably run into a few issues like how will the colony move out of the panel. In the small tank using light or temp might be difficult. Should I just set up straight in the octagon?

Then lastly, is this a good species to start with. Compared to other species I believe there is not as much known about Polyrhachis sp. so any input would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Gijs

#2 Offline AntsDakota - Posted June 29 2019 - 1:54 PM

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Hi all,

A friend showed me his carpenter ant set up which intrigued me. I started looking up how to keep ants, set up, husbandry etc. when I remembered that I have a colony living in the control panel of my pool cleaner. That friend thinks they are Polyrhachis species.

Now I am totally new to this and any suggestions would be helpfull.

I'd like to move this colony into my own set up. And eventually I'd like to set up a 120ltr octagon tank as a habitat for them with live plants etc.

I don't know the size of the colony, if I tap the box about 20 ants pop out generally. I don't see them coming out at all at the moment, does that mean they are hibernating? And if so, should I forget about moving them now? I live in North-east Australia, in the tropics.

My first thought was to put the whole control panel in the small tank (it does fit), get them to set up shop in there and then later connect the octagon to it. I probably run into a few issues like how will the colony move out of the panel. In the small tank using light or temp might be difficult. Should I just set up straight in the octagon?

Then lastly, is this a good species to start with. Compared to other species I believe there is not as much known about Polyrhachis sp. so any input would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers,
Gijs

It is best to start an ant colony from a single virgin queen. She will raise a colony for you, and attempting to catch a wild colony can be extremely difficult without digging the whole colony up (and besides- they might not even move into the setup you've prepared for them). Just walk around on a flat surface (such as a sidewalk or driveway) on a sunny day after a rainstorm. This is when new queens have nuptial (mating) flights, and when ant keepers find them. And as a beginner, I would start with a different species.


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#3 Offline GijsSmulders - Posted June 29 2019 - 4:37 PM

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Thanks for the feedback, I might start my own colony with a new queen.

#4 Offline ponerinecat - Posted July 21 2019 - 5:39 PM

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polyrachis can be rather difficult






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