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18 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted July 1 2017 - 3:45 PM

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So I was out anting today and while turning over a few rocks, I found a Tetramorium claustral chamber. It was a very small colony, probably around 5-10 workers and no brood that I could see. I quickly caught the queen (but no workers, a bad move in retrospect) and brought her home to move into a test tube setup. Minutes after I moved her in, she started to clean the tip of her gaster, even while I was still holding it and looking at her, so I have high hopes for her. Anyway, because she had already begun a colony, she won't be able to fast for a month or so while founding her colony like a Tetramorium dealate normally would, so I will have to treat her like a semi-claustral queen. So how often should I feed her and what foods? Would just honey and protein jelly be good enough for now? Also, would disturbing her frequently have a serious effect on her laying eggs and starting a colony? I know this is a weird question seeing as Tetramorium are a fully claustral species, but if you have any suggestions or ideas please tell me. It would also be helpful if any of you have kept Tetramorium before and have any tips on these ants and what I should do once I get them past this difficult and strange founding process. Thank you in advance.


Currently Keeping:

  • 1 Brachymyrmex Depilis (Rover Ant)
  • 1 Camponotus nearcticus (Carpenter Ant)
  • 4 Formica subsericea
  • 1 Unidentified Formica species
  • 1 Unidentified semi-claustral Myrmicine genus
  • 1 Unidentified Lasius species
  • 4 Tetramorium sp.E (Pavement Ant)
  • 1 Aphaenogaster fulva
  • 1 Ponera pennsylvanica
  • Various Fish
  • Clea helena (Assassin Snail)
  • 2 Phodopus roborovskii (Roborovski Dwarf Hamster)
  • 5 Felis catus (Domestic Cat)
  • 2 Younger Brothers

#2 Offline Kevin - Posted July 1 2017 - 3:54 PM

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You must go capture more workers. These workers have jobs, and replaced the queens work. In most cases, your queen will not begin the founding state again because she has moved to the workers "controlling the operation".


Still developing formicaria, we shall see what I create.


#3 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted July 1 2017 - 4:19 PM

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Is brood boosting an option?


Edited by Mettcollsuss, July 1 2017 - 4:25 PM.

Currently Keeping:

  • 1 Brachymyrmex Depilis (Rover Ant)
  • 1 Camponotus nearcticus (Carpenter Ant)
  • 4 Formica subsericea
  • 1 Unidentified Formica species
  • 1 Unidentified semi-claustral Myrmicine genus
  • 1 Unidentified Lasius species
  • 4 Tetramorium sp.E (Pavement Ant)
  • 1 Aphaenogaster fulva
  • 1 Ponera pennsylvanica
  • Various Fish
  • Clea helena (Assassin Snail)
  • 2 Phodopus roborovskii (Roborovski Dwarf Hamster)
  • 5 Felis catus (Domestic Cat)
  • 2 Younger Brothers

#4 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted July 1 2017 - 4:21 PM

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You must go capture more workers. These workers have jobs, and replaced the queens work. In most cases, your queen will not begin the founding state again because she has moved to the workers "controlling the operation".

 

Kevin would brood boosting her work? I know where a wild colony's brood room is.


Currently Keeping:

  • 1 Brachymyrmex Depilis (Rover Ant)
  • 1 Camponotus nearcticus (Carpenter Ant)
  • 4 Formica subsericea
  • 1 Unidentified Formica species
  • 1 Unidentified semi-claustral Myrmicine genus
  • 1 Unidentified Lasius species
  • 4 Tetramorium sp.E (Pavement Ant)
  • 1 Aphaenogaster fulva
  • 1 Ponera pennsylvanica
  • Various Fish
  • Clea helena (Assassin Snail)
  • 2 Phodopus roborovskii (Roborovski Dwarf Hamster)
  • 5 Felis catus (Domestic Cat)
  • 2 Younger Brothers

#5 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted July 1 2017 - 4:25 PM

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You must go capture more workers. These workers have jobs, and replaced the queens work. In most cases, your queen will not begin the founding state again because she has moved to the workers "controlling the operation".

I don't mean having her forage, I mean that I would place food directly into the test tube.


Currently Keeping:

  • 1 Brachymyrmex Depilis (Rover Ant)
  • 1 Camponotus nearcticus (Carpenter Ant)
  • 4 Formica subsericea
  • 1 Unidentified Formica species
  • 1 Unidentified semi-claustral Myrmicine genus
  • 1 Unidentified Lasius species
  • 4 Tetramorium sp.E (Pavement Ant)
  • 1 Aphaenogaster fulva
  • 1 Ponera pennsylvanica
  • Various Fish
  • Clea helena (Assassin Snail)
  • 2 Phodopus roborovskii (Roborovski Dwarf Hamster)
  • 5 Felis catus (Domestic Cat)
  • 2 Younger Brothers

#6 Offline Kevin - Posted July 1 2017 - 7:39 PM

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No, because now she is relying for the nonexistent workers to take care of the brood and she will likely not make it. I recommend catching a new queen fresh from flight.

Still developing formicaria, we shall see what I create.


#7 Offline Antsinmycloset - Posted July 1 2017 - 8:23 PM

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Even if you get only pupae, it's possible the queen won't help them eclose. Maybe collecting some callows and brood from the brood chamber you mentioned would work. It's a bit of a gamble, but probably the best bet for your queen.



#8 Offline Cameron C. Thomas - Posted July 1 2017 - 9:02 PM

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I've had varying degrees of success feeding and "resetting" queens of different species when I've had to do so, but it does work sometimes. I work with Tetramorium often because they're so readily available, and I've actually had to start over with Tetramorium queens on multiple occasions in the lab. They're not only robust to mistakes and colony busts, but take very well to brood boosting.

 

If you know where to get some pupae, just add them to her founding chamber, and it should work out just fine.

 

I recommend the following:

1. Find Tetramorium pupae, and collect around 10-15. Go for darker ones if possible; they will eclose sooner. Since the workers aren't in cocoons, they'll eclose just fine on their own.

2. Put the queen in a small container on a cotton ball or paper towel dampened with sucrose solution and leave her for an hour or two. She'll likely just hang out there the whole time.

3. Move her into a new founding setup with the pupae, and let her do her thing.

 

If you put that rock back in place, go back to where you found her. You may still be able to pick up her colony. Otherwise, she should be just fine with the aforementioned steps. I've never had a Tetramorium queen die on me after boosting.



#9 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted July 2 2017 - 5:24 AM

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No, because now she is relying for the nonexistent workers to take care of the brood and she will likely not make it. I recommend catching a new queen fresh from flight.

I'm thinking that there's a fifty-fifty chance that the workers were hers, because the few workers that were there weren't that close to her or trying to protect her. The closest worker was a few inches away and they weren't acting like most ants would when their queen is in danger.

 

I've had varying degrees of success feeding and "resetting" queens of different species when I've had to do so, but it does work sometimes. I work with Tetramorium often because they're so readily available, and I've actually had to start over with Tetramorium queens on multiple occasions in the lab. They're not only robust to mistakes and colony busts, but take very well to brood boosting.

 

If you know where to get some pupae, just add them to her founding chamber, and it should work out just fine.

 

I recommend the following:

1. Find Tetramorium pupae, and collect around 10-15. Go for darker ones if possible; they will eclose sooner. Since the workers aren't in cocoons, they'll eclose just fine on their own.

2. Put the queen in a small container on a cotton ball or paper towel dampened with sucrose solution and leave her for an hour or two. She'll likely just hang out there the whole time.

3. Move her into a new founding setup with the pupae, and let her do her thing.

 

If you put that rock back in place, go back to where you found her. You may still be able to pick up her colony. Otherwise, she should be just fine with the aforementioned steps. I've never had a Tetramorium queen die on me after boosting.

Thank you so much! this will be a great help. I'm really hoping that she starts a colony as this will be my first colony (I have a C. nearcticus queen, but she hasn't laid any eggs) and I've heard that Tetramorium are a great beginner species. Also, sorry if my posts on this topic are scattered weirdly. I've only been using this forum for a week or so.


Currently Keeping:

  • 1 Brachymyrmex Depilis (Rover Ant)
  • 1 Camponotus nearcticus (Carpenter Ant)
  • 4 Formica subsericea
  • 1 Unidentified Formica species
  • 1 Unidentified semi-claustral Myrmicine genus
  • 1 Unidentified Lasius species
  • 4 Tetramorium sp.E (Pavement Ant)
  • 1 Aphaenogaster fulva
  • 1 Ponera pennsylvanica
  • Various Fish
  • Clea helena (Assassin Snail)
  • 2 Phodopus roborovskii (Roborovski Dwarf Hamster)
  • 5 Felis catus (Domestic Cat)
  • 2 Younger Brothers

#10 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted July 2 2017 - 5:26 AM

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I put a small smear of honey in her test tube setup with her, although I can't tell if she's been eating it.


Currently Keeping:

  • 1 Brachymyrmex Depilis (Rover Ant)
  • 1 Camponotus nearcticus (Carpenter Ant)
  • 4 Formica subsericea
  • 1 Unidentified Formica species
  • 1 Unidentified semi-claustral Myrmicine genus
  • 1 Unidentified Lasius species
  • 4 Tetramorium sp.E (Pavement Ant)
  • 1 Aphaenogaster fulva
  • 1 Ponera pennsylvanica
  • Various Fish
  • Clea helena (Assassin Snail)
  • 2 Phodopus roborovskii (Roborovski Dwarf Hamster)
  • 5 Felis catus (Domestic Cat)
  • 2 Younger Brothers

#11 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted July 2 2017 - 5:29 AM

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No, because now she is relying for the nonexistent workers to take care of the brood and she will likely not make it. I recommend catching a new queen fresh from flight.

So I know it's tetramorium season for the rest of the month, but where are the best places to find newly mated Tetramorium dealates?


Currently Keeping:

  • 1 Brachymyrmex Depilis (Rover Ant)
  • 1 Camponotus nearcticus (Carpenter Ant)
  • 4 Formica subsericea
  • 1 Unidentified Formica species
  • 1 Unidentified semi-claustral Myrmicine genus
  • 1 Unidentified Lasius species
  • 4 Tetramorium sp.E (Pavement Ant)
  • 1 Aphaenogaster fulva
  • 1 Ponera pennsylvanica
  • Various Fish
  • Clea helena (Assassin Snail)
  • 2 Phodopus roborovskii (Roborovski Dwarf Hamster)
  • 5 Felis catus (Domestic Cat)
  • 2 Younger Brothers

#12 Offline BMM - Posted July 2 2017 - 9:27 AM

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No, because now she is relying for the nonexistent workers to take care of the brood and she will likely not make it. I recommend catching a new queen fresh from flight.

So I know it's tetramorium season for the rest of the month, but where are the best places to find newly mated Tetramorium dealates?

 

Pools are considered a pretty simple and easy method of finding these queens. Just scoop them out and drop them on a paper towel. They should revive in seconds. I don't have a pool myself, but I left out an open cooler with some water in the bottom and snagged three queens that way. Any fishless body of water will probably do.

 

You can also just hunt for them. The best times seem to be right around or after sunrise. Check the sidewalks and streets. I tend to find them in the cracks of sidewalks and roads. I've also noticed that workers tend to be attacking them, so watch for small clumps of Tetramorium workers and there's a good chance a queen's at the center of it.



#13 Offline Mdrogun - Posted July 2 2017 - 9:58 AM

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No, because now she is relying for the nonexistent workers to take care of the brood and she will likely not make it. I recommend catching a new queen fresh from flight.

I'm thinking that there's a fifty-fifty chance that the workers were hers, because the few workers that were there weren't that close to her or trying to protect her. The closest worker was a few inches away and they weren't acting like most ants would when their queen is in danger.

 

The workers were hers. Tetramorium are extremely territorial, so if the workers weren't hers, they would've been attacking her.


Ready for Nuptial flights!


#14 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted July 3 2017 - 1:29 PM

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Update: I just checked on her and she has about 5-6 eggs in a small clump and was drinking from the smear of honey I put in there.


Currently Keeping:

  • 1 Brachymyrmex Depilis (Rover Ant)
  • 1 Camponotus nearcticus (Carpenter Ant)
  • 4 Formica subsericea
  • 1 Unidentified Formica species
  • 1 Unidentified semi-claustral Myrmicine genus
  • 1 Unidentified Lasius species
  • 4 Tetramorium sp.E (Pavement Ant)
  • 1 Aphaenogaster fulva
  • 1 Ponera pennsylvanica
  • Various Fish
  • Clea helena (Assassin Snail)
  • 2 Phodopus roborovskii (Roborovski Dwarf Hamster)
  • 5 Felis catus (Domestic Cat)
  • 2 Younger Brothers

#15 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted July 3 2017 - 1:30 PM

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No, because now she is relying for the nonexistent workers to take care of the brood and she will likely not make it. I recommend catching a new queen fresh from flight.

I'm thinking that there's a fifty-fifty chance that the workers were hers, because the few workers that were there weren't that close to her or trying to protect her. The closest worker was a few inches away and they weren't acting like most ants would when their queen is in danger.

 

The workers were hers. Tetramorium are extremely territorial, so if the workers weren't hers, they would've been attacking her.

 

the workers were on the very edge of the rock; I think they were just beginning to explore that rock and hadn't found her yet.


Currently Keeping:

  • 1 Brachymyrmex Depilis (Rover Ant)
  • 1 Camponotus nearcticus (Carpenter Ant)
  • 4 Formica subsericea
  • 1 Unidentified Formica species
  • 1 Unidentified semi-claustral Myrmicine genus
  • 1 Unidentified Lasius species
  • 4 Tetramorium sp.E (Pavement Ant)
  • 1 Aphaenogaster fulva
  • 1 Ponera pennsylvanica
  • Various Fish
  • Clea helena (Assassin Snail)
  • 2 Phodopus roborovskii (Roborovski Dwarf Hamster)
  • 5 Felis catus (Domestic Cat)
  • 2 Younger Brothers

#16 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted July 4 2017 - 3:34 AM

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No, because now she is relying for the nonexistent workers to take care of the brood and she will likely not make it. I recommend catching a new queen fresh from flight.

So I know it's tetramorium season for the rest of the month, but where are the best places to find newly mated Tetramorium dealates?

 

Pools are considered a pretty simple and easy method of finding these queens. Just scoop them out and drop them on a paper towel. They should revive in seconds. I don't have a pool myself, but I left out an open cooler with some water in the bottom and snagged three queens that way. Any fishless body of water will probably do.

 

You can also just hunt for them. The best times seem to be right around or after sunrise. Check the sidewalks and streets. I tend to find them in the cracks of sidewalks and roads. I've also noticed that workers tend to be attacking them, so watch for small clumps of Tetramorium workers and there's a good chance a queen's at the center of it.

 

How long can the queens survive in water? Should I put out some water and come back in a day, or should I just sit out there for half an hour with a book?


Currently Keeping:

  • 1 Brachymyrmex Depilis (Rover Ant)
  • 1 Camponotus nearcticus (Carpenter Ant)
  • 4 Formica subsericea
  • 1 Unidentified Formica species
  • 1 Unidentified semi-claustral Myrmicine genus
  • 1 Unidentified Lasius species
  • 4 Tetramorium sp.E (Pavement Ant)
  • 1 Aphaenogaster fulva
  • 1 Ponera pennsylvanica
  • Various Fish
  • Clea helena (Assassin Snail)
  • 2 Phodopus roborovskii (Roborovski Dwarf Hamster)
  • 5 Felis catus (Domestic Cat)
  • 2 Younger Brothers

#17 Offline Mdrogun - Posted July 4 2017 - 12:09 PM

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No, because now she is relying for the nonexistent workers to take care of the brood and she will likely not make it. I recommend catching a new queen fresh from flight.

So I know it's tetramorium season for the rest of the month, but where are the best places to find newly mated Tetramorium dealates?

 

Pools are considered a pretty simple and easy method of finding these queens. Just scoop them out and drop them on a paper towel. They should revive in seconds. I don't have a pool myself, but I left out an open cooler with some water in the bottom and snagged three queens that way. Any fishless body of water will probably do.

 

You can also just hunt for them. The best times seem to be right around or after sunrise. Check the sidewalks and streets. I tend to find them in the cracks of sidewalks and roads. I've also noticed that workers tend to be attacking them, so watch for small clumps of Tetramorium workers and there's a good chance a queen's at the center of it.

 

How long can the queens survive in water? Should I put out some water and come back in a day, or should I just sit out there for half an hour with a book?

 

I went outside as soon as it was getting light out yesterday, and ended up collecting 44 queens, I could've gotten loads more. I find this is the best method. I have seen them walking around for days too, when I'm just outside. Sometimes it feels like you have to purposely not be looking if you can't find these queens  :lol:


Edited by Mdrogun, July 4 2017 - 1:54 PM.

Ready for Nuptial flights!


#18 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted July 5 2017 - 4:41 AM

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Update: caught a second Tetramorium queen. I lifted up a brick and found two queens sharing the same claustral cell (probably through pleometrosis). The There were no workers or brood. One of them disappeared into the leaf litter but I managed to catch the other.

Edited by Mettcollsuss, July 9 2017 - 3:21 AM.

Currently Keeping:

  • 1 Brachymyrmex Depilis (Rover Ant)
  • 1 Camponotus nearcticus (Carpenter Ant)
  • 4 Formica subsericea
  • 1 Unidentified Formica species
  • 1 Unidentified semi-claustral Myrmicine genus
  • 1 Unidentified Lasius species
  • 4 Tetramorium sp.E (Pavement Ant)
  • 1 Aphaenogaster fulva
  • 1 Ponera pennsylvanica
  • Various Fish
  • Clea helena (Assassin Snail)
  • 2 Phodopus roborovskii (Roborovski Dwarf Hamster)
  • 5 Felis catus (Domestic Cat)
  • 2 Younger Brothers

#19 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted August 12 2017 - 3:02 PM

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I just checked on her and my queen has a pile of brood (all stages) and three nanitics. The two of the workers were still whitish, meaning that they eclosed recently.


Currently Keeping:

  • 1 Brachymyrmex Depilis (Rover Ant)
  • 1 Camponotus nearcticus (Carpenter Ant)
  • 4 Formica subsericea
  • 1 Unidentified Formica species
  • 1 Unidentified semi-claustral Myrmicine genus
  • 1 Unidentified Lasius species
  • 4 Tetramorium sp.E (Pavement Ant)
  • 1 Aphaenogaster fulva
  • 1 Ponera pennsylvanica
  • Various Fish
  • Clea helena (Assassin Snail)
  • 2 Phodopus roborovskii (Roborovski Dwarf Hamster)
  • 5 Felis catus (Domestic Cat)
  • 2 Younger Brothers





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: tetramorium, tetramorium sp.e, tetramorium caespitum, t. caespitum, queen, claustral, semi-claustral, food, diet, nutrition, tetramorium colony, tetramorium queen, anting, question, help, claustral chamber, claustral chambers

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