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Carpenter Colony Population Question


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Offline CampoKing - Posted August 8 2018 - 8:33 PM

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Hey. So I collected several Carpenter Queens this summer, all of them at roughly the same claustral stage of colony development. Later on, I decided to use one of my Queens in a test run of a larger habitat.

Flash forward to today, I have an interesting situation: my test queen now has a thriving colony of 40+ workers, while all my other Queens kept in acceptable but smaller claustral habitats are still at 6-9 workers each.

What on Earth did I do? Was habitat size alone the reason for my one queen to get so far ahead, given that the feeding resources have been the same for all Queens?

The ONLY other thing I can think of is "psychological": my test queen gets to enjoy total seclusion in the deepest part of her habitat. My other Queens are more exposed, and maybe they are slightly stressed by that (thus refusing to focus on egg laying). Thoughts on that?

Edited by CampoKing, August 8 2018 - 8:35 PM.

Keeper of:
Camponotus (10x C. pennsylvanicus & 2x C. nearcticus)

#2 Offline sirjordanncurtis - Posted August 8 2018 - 8:52 PM

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I'm assuming those all the same species? I would say the latter, since queens can easily scare, and often eat their eggs if they are bothered too much. Maybe that queen just happens to have a larger supply of eggs or something. I think she might also feel more comfortable to lay eggs and care for the brood in the dark, and may have just had brood more early. 40+ workers for Camponotus in a few months is pretty insane. Did you have some sort of substrate in your setup? Sand or fine particles are used to help Camponotus cocoons



#3 Offline CampoKing - Posted August 8 2018 - 9:02 PM

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All Queens are the same species, and all habitats are made with wood material.
It's really just a poor man's simulation of a log environment. Nothing fancy at all. I imagine more seasoned ant enthusiasts might even call my setup ill advised (some say wood = bad).

Here's a glimpse of their habitat and brood:

20180805_152615.jpg


Edited by CampoKing, August 16 2018 - 8:20 PM.

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Keeper of:
Camponotus (10x C. pennsylvanicus & 2x C. nearcticus)

#4 Offline Russell - Posted August 8 2018 - 10:21 PM

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Hi I have noticed similar results but also some queens seem to lay way faster then other.

1,My queens in formicarium I mess with way less as no moldy cotton, no cleaning out honey that fell on tinfoil, no moving to new test tubes or lost eggs to leaky botton balls. This should lead to more eggs.

2, My queens actually have more heat gradients and humidity chambers to choose from and even move eggs from spot to spot during the day and another spot at night I believe based on the best option for temp for the eggs. 

3, I read a study on Camponotus that showed that the eggs develop faster when exposed to more light as the workers and queens feed them differently. I don't know if your formicarium does that but mine does compared to test tubes left mainly in the dart 24/7. 

4, Some queens are just egg layers. I have a queen from this summer that has as many workers as another I have from last summer. 


Camponotus Pennsylvanicus/Modus

Tetramorium sp. E

Formica Podzolica

Lasius Alienus

Lasius Niger

Formica Ravida 


#5 Offline Scrixx - Posted August 8 2018 - 11:39 PM

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Hi I have noticed similar results but also some queens seem to lay way faster then other.

1,My queens in formicarium I mess with way less as no moldy cotton, no cleaning out honey that fell on tinfoil, no moving to new test tubes or lost eggs to leaky botton balls. This should lead to more eggs.

2, My queens actually have more heat gradients and humidity chambers to choose from and even move eggs from spot to spot during the day and another spot at night I believe based on the best option for temp for the eggs. 

3, I read a study on Camponotus that showed that the eggs develop faster when exposed to more light as the workers and queens feed them differently. I don't know if your formicarium does that but mine does compared to test tubes left mainly in the dart 24/7. 

4, Some queens are just egg layers. I have a queen from this summer that has as many workers as another I have from last summer. 

 

Regarding number 3 about developing faster to light. I wonder if that affects longevity or how long those workers live. If they're developing faster I wonder if they will die sooner. It sounds similar to nanitics and their smaller size and shorter life span. Perhaps not if they're receiving adequate food. Interesting though. 


ScrixxAnts Queen Adoption

YouTube: View my ants

Keeping: Camponotus sansabeanus - C. vicinus - Formica francoeuri - Liometopum occidentale -  Pogonomyrmex californicus - P. rugosus - P. subnitidus - Solenopsis molesta - S. xyloni - Tapinoma sessile - Temnothorax sp.

Journals: Camponotus sansabeanus & C. vicinus | Pogonomyrmex californicus & P. rugosus | Solenopsis molesta & S. xyloni

Discontinued: Pogonomyrmex subnitidus


#6 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted August 13 2018 - 11:57 AM

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What species of Camponotus might this be? Quite fascinated by this.

#7 Offline CampoKing - Posted August 13 2018 - 4:11 PM

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If you're asking me, I have standard C. pennsylvanicus.


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Camponotus (10x C. pennsylvanicus & 2x C. nearcticus)




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