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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.


#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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My test queen has at least 20 adult workers, with 20 counted pupae already hatching the last couple weeks, and she even has one medium worker now. Nothing stood out about this queen prior to being moved into my untested new habitat idea.
All Queens are the same species, and all habitats are made with wood material.

It's just fascinating to have so much seemingly random success with this one queen. But effects have causes, and if I can understand why this one is doing so well, I should unlock the secret to happy colonies everywhere :)

Edited by CampoKing, August 8 2018 - 9:07 PM.


#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. 


Scrixx's Adoption Center - Camponotus and Formica available now! 

 

YouTube 

Keeping: Camponotus clarithorax - C. sansabeanus - C. vicinus - Formica francoeuri - Liometopum occidentale - Myrmecocystus mexicanus - M. mimicus - Pheidole xerophila -  Pogonomyrmex californicus - P. rugosus - Solenopsis molesta - Tapinoma sessile

Journals: Camponotus sansabeanus & C. vicinus | Pogonomyrmex californicus & P. rugosus

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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