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Young Camponotus colony in test tube acting weird


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#1 Offline CoolColJ - Posted February 23 2018 - 2:57 AM

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I have a Camponotus Sp. colony in test tube.

 

This morning there were 5 workers and 1 half worker thing that stumbles around, not sure what it is, the workers keep picking it up and moving it around

Queen laid 2 eggs last night

 

Later in the day, I see they are down to 4 workers, and 1 half worker thing that doesn't move anymore, and they seem doing something to it, either sucking/eating it or just holding it between the queen and 2 workers

 

One of the workers is dead, and some limbs strewn around near the water side cotton

I just saw a worker pickup the remains of the dead worker and dump it under the foil where I put a ball of sugar water soaked cotton wool on the opening end.

Then it came back later and tugged at the dead body, and dragged it back to the water side....

 

 

Not sure what is going on...

But they are not touching my food and eating themselves :(


Edited by CoolColJ, February 23 2018 - 9:50 AM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes queen
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#2 Offline Hunter - Posted February 23 2018 - 4:44 AM

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the half worker thing may be a defected worker or it got damaged in its larva-pupa stage



#3 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted February 23 2018 - 5:00 AM

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When a worker dies, the other workers take it apart and feed on the remaining food within its crop/gaster. That one dead worker probably died of old age (nanitics live shorter lifespans). The half worker probably eclosed without/with a damaged gaster.'


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#4 Offline MegaMyrmex - Posted February 23 2018 - 9:35 AM

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Same happens with my C. Chromaoides colony, one of the workers begins to stumble around and eventually crumples up and dies.
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#5 Offline CoolColJ - Posted February 23 2018 - 2:49 PM

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thanks, I thought it was my bad ant keeping :)


edit - ants seem normal this monring

queen sitting in the middle of the test tube, alongside 2 larvae, and her 4 workers also sitting still beside her

I am a little worried about the 2 dead bodies sitting on the water cotton though

Edited by CoolColJ, February 23 2018 - 3:33 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes queen
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#6 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted February 23 2018 - 3:33 PM

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If your queen lay eggs, that is a sign that they are happy in your care :)

#7 Offline MegaMyrmex - Posted February 23 2018 - 7:01 PM

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The workers will eventually remove the dead workers in a day or two. I was the same with my camponotus colony. Also, what food did ypu give them? Do the other workers have plump gasters? How big are the larvae? If they relatively huge then they won't really need to eat since they'll be turning into the dormant pupal stage.
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#8 Offline CoolColJ - Posted February 23 2018 - 7:53 PM

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The workers will eventually remove the dead workers in a day or two. I was the same with my camponotus colony. Also, what food did ypu give them? Do the other workers have plump gasters? How big are the larvae? If they relatively huge then they won't really need to eat since they'll be turning into the dormant pupal stage.



Honey water mixture in a soaked cotton ball, then refined pure honey but I don't think they touched it.
Yesterday sugar water mixture in a soaked cotton ball, and a small piece egg omlet

I never see them eat, they most likely do it when I'm asleep,
since this morning I saw a piece of ant leg sitting on the sugar water cotton, and the egg omlet looks a bit eaten.

The workers do look kinda plump.

They seem to use sticky surfaces as rubbish dumps, I noticed the same thing when I had honey smeared on a foil,
a worker picked up a small round object (maybe a gastor shell from a dead worker) and put it on the foil.

So I'll try that in an outworld when the time comes, for easy cleaning.

The larvae are quite small, but getting bigger quite fast, they were more like eggs a day ago.
I can see a dark area inside them.

There is always a worker sitting on top of them


The queen/workers do not mind light at all, I have my test tube half covered, and the queen sits in the lit areas
But my room is dimly lit.

 

-----

I bought some raw pure honey and raw sugar today, so I'll see how much they enjoy it.

On the way back home I stopped off a local tennis court, that is the start of a local bush trail here in East Lindfield, Sydney
Walked about 100m to some ant nests on the side of the trail, dropped a bit of raw honey into a big ant nest opening, and straight away some fairly large reddish/orange ants inspected the honey and started eating it :)
Not sure on the species, I've never seen them before, but they really liked and about 15 more came out, as the honey soaked into the soil.

And to the left I saw a green headed ant, Rhytidoponera Metallica, the first time I have seen one in person!
It too enjoyed the raw honey, and it went back to it's nest, which is only 2 feet away from the above ants.
I put some honey in front of it, and only 2 ants came out, maybe a new colony. They seem to have good eye sight and are fairly timid and darty, jumping back into the nest whenever I get too close.

I've seen bull ants here before, near these nests, but none showed up today

There were a few other type of ants nearby as well, trails and workers foraging

I can imagine some ant fights in the future as these colonies get bigger :D


Edited by CoolColJ, February 23 2018 - 7:54 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes queen
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#9 Offline CoolColJ - Posted February 23 2018 - 9:13 PM

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man the raw honey smells so strong, and inviting, and it's more solid so the ants won't drown in it,

 

I put it on  concave shaped piece of foil that hugs the curves of the test tube, and also clamps down a ball of cotton wool soaked in raw sugar water mixture, and keep it secure.

 

After I put it in, all the ants come over to check out the new additions to the test tube, even the queen, but they are so shy and timid!

 

 

edit - I saw one worker sipping on the raw honey - hooray!


Edited by CoolColJ, February 23 2018 - 9:55 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes queen
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#10 Offline CoolColJ - Posted February 23 2018 - 11:21 PM

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So the water side cotton wool, where the dead ants are is turning red... should I be concerned?

 

I noticed the same red colour on the sugar water cotton ball, on the open end of the test tube, before I changed it


Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes queen
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#11 Offline CoolColJ - Posted February 24 2018 - 3:00 PM

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I think I will have to move the ants to a new test tube

The whole ant side surface of the cotton wool on the water side has turned pink red from the dead ant parts!

 

I also see a worker continue to eat off the dead ants, and feed it to another worker, it looks like.

 

I think it might be a bacterial reaction

It almost looks like the ants are actively cultivating it.....

 

 

----

 

It looks like the queen has a bunch of eggs stashed under her mid torso - interesting


Edited by CoolColJ, February 24 2018 - 3:22 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes queen
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#12 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted February 24 2018 - 10:29 PM

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Could be mold... I would try to get them away before it consumes brood.

#13 Offline CoolColJ - Posted February 24 2018 - 10:39 PM

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Could be mold... I would try to get them away before it consumes brood.

 

yeah it's spreading over the cotton quite quickly

 

 

Well I tried to move them today, put another test tube onto this one, but man they will not move!

 

Bright light right on the tube, the other shaded, etc

At first all the vibration and light and did upset them a little, the queen moved slightly inside the other tube, but the workers remained and the light did them bother them one bit

They still kept all the larvae and egg on the bad side

 

Even when I opened up the other side, the workers still seem scared to explore it...

 

These ants just do not seem to act like how other ants act in the wild %)

 

In the end I had to revert things back to normal.

I'll try again when my outworld gets here in a day's time, and put the test tube in it etc

 

If all else fails, I can smash the water end of the test tube and drag out the cotton and they will have no choice but to get out.

Test tubes are cheap.... and one advantage of long glass ones  :whistle:

 

I am starting to hate test tubes....


Edited by CoolColJ, February 24 2018 - 10:41 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes queen
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#14 Offline CoolColJ - Posted February 25 2018 - 2:42 AM

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I finally get them to move!

 

I made a test tube connector by sticking two test tube caps together, and poking a hole through them, they are mostly hollow, so it was easy

Then stuck the test tubes under a towel with a bright torch right up against it.

 

Took a look after 30mins and they're all gone!

 

So I unplugged the old tube, but DOH looks like they moved and stayed inside the test tube connector cavity.....

 

LOL,  ants 1, me zero...

 

Hopefully they will move closer to the water side during the night.

Right now I plugged the hole with a cotton wool.

 

Will get a lot easier when I can put them into an outworld, tomorrow


Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes queen
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#15 Offline Jadeninja9 - Posted February 25 2018 - 9:48 AM

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Haha them moving into the connected would be my worst nightmare

Keeper of:

x1 Camponotus hyatti 

x1 Lasius alienus

x2 Tetramorium immigrans

x1 Prenolepis imparis

 


#16 Offline CoolColJ - Posted February 25 2018 - 12:52 PM

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I pulled the connector out, and put it into a makeshift outworld, with a test tube setup in it and a cotton ball of honey water

A few workers came out to explore, and the queen a little later, but they still went back into the connector, and won't budge.... :facepalm:

I left them be, when I came back home after work, they are still in there

 

I can see why, it's a lot more secluded, smaller and comfy, but it has no hydration/moisture

 

Might just split the connector back open....


Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes queen
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#17 Offline CoolColJ - Posted February 26 2018 - 10:09 AM

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I took the connector thing, with the ants inside, out of my Chinese takeaway box "outworld" a day and a bit ago, and removed the tape to split it in half...
and the ants were still inside and remained there after I put it back into the outworld

Had a small test tube in the outworld with foil ontop covering it.
A worker or two did go inside to inspect, but still they remained in this half test tube cap that rolls around a bit whenever I move the box :)

I left a big ball of cotton wool soaked in honey water on a foil as both a food, water and hydration source, and another foil of random solid food.

Overnight, they still wouldn't budge.

Next day, I moved that test tube cap with ants inside to a different corner in front of my covered test tube setup.
Put cotton wool and a straw at the entrance of the test tube.
During the day I killed a small spider I found in my garage and left it near the test tube cap, and a worker did come out and check it out for a bit and the dragged it away to near the foil of solid food.
But still they just lay dormant inside that half test tube cap...

The next morning I take a peek and whoa the ants are gone, into the test tube setup!
And the spider is gone, no trace of it
Sneaky ants do everything behind my back when I'm asleep... ahh nocturnal ants  :rolleyes: 
 
I take a peak under the foil over the test tube and I see they dragged the spider into the test tube near the water side cotton wool... but no sign of the ants
until a worker walks out from the transparent straw and checks out the spider...
 
... ahh they moved into the straw under the cotton wool plugging the test tube entrance %)
 
Didn't think the queen would fit in there, but it looks like they really like small cramped spaces.... :/

Well she definitely can't turn around inside it.

 

I have a small founding formicarium coming, wonder if they will move again...

 

I could cut up a bunch of transparent straws and leave them in the outworld, and they would most likely use them as nests....!


Edited by CoolColJ, February 26 2018 - 10:13 AM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes queen
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#18 Offline CoolColJ - Posted February 26 2018 - 1:58 PM

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Came back from work and found the ants had moved back into the main test tube area in front of the water cotton, along with the 2 larvae and 1 egg, plus the dead spider ( for snacking I guess)

 

back to normal ... for now... (y)

I noticed the queen doesn't mind ambient light when I uncover the test tube, but if I have my room lights on at night, she will move into the transparent straw I stuck into the cotton wool to act as an entrance.

 

Will keep this lot (Camponotus Humilior?) in the ghetto test tube and takeaway container outworld for now

 

I have 2 Tarheel Ants Atom C I want to try on my Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant) queen and brood, and Camponotus Aeneopilosus (golden tail sugar ant) queen with brood and nanitics

See if things go better than a test tube setup

 

Might be hard moving them in though!


Edited by CoolColJ, February 26 2018 - 2:02 PM.

Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes queen
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/


#19 Offline Jadeninja9 - Posted February 26 2018 - 6:16 PM

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Your ant experience reminds me of mine with the struggle of moving the ants


Keeper of:

x1 Camponotus hyatti 

x1 Lasius alienus

x2 Tetramorium immigrans

x1 Prenolepis imparis

 


#20 Offline CoolColJ - Posted March 17 2018 - 3:58 PM

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from the above you can see I had issues moving these ants

 

Today I did the easiest moving method yet -

 

I blu tacked the fresh tube on the current one, leaving a tiny gap for air, put the good side in a pipe insulation foam to make it dark, stuck the other side in direct sunlight on my bed.

 

Boom, they moved within a few mins, in fact the the lead worker and queen moved to the other side pretty much at the same time carrying one cocoon.

And then the worker came back and got everyone else to move.

And they actually moved all the way to the other water side cotton

No fuss!


Current ant colonies -
1) Opisthopsis Rufithorax (strobe ant), Melophorus Sp1. (furnace ant) red and black, Melophorus sp2. black and orange
Lots of Pheidole colonies....  Polyrhachis rufifemur, Camponotus suffusus bendingesis, Myrmecia fulvipes queen
Journal = http://www.formicult...ra-iridomyrmex/

Heterotermes cf brevicatena termite pet/feeder journal = http://www.formicult...feeder-journal/





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