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Prenolepis Imparis Hibernation?

winter ant winter ant prenolepis imparis prenolepis imparis hibernation cold

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#1 Offline Enthusiastic_Callow - Posted November 1 2018 - 12:49 PM

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Hi everyone! Hope you are all doing great.

I can't wait for Winter! Chapped lips, eczema, countless colds and more await! (AND amazing views, fun in the snow, sledding, skiing, etc...) So, I was curious as to how I would hibernate a small Prenolepis Imparis colony of about 20-40 workers, still in a test tube setup. Here are a few options of what I was thinking, I don't know which one, however.

1. Hibernate them like the rest of my ants, in my garage which is usually 5-15 *C. I will not check on them weekly (or so) and feed them. All Winter long.

2. Hibernate them like the rest of my ants, in the garage previously mentioned, and I will check on them weekly (or so) and feed them. All Winter long.

3. I keep them at room temp, 20-21*C all Winter long and I will check on them weekly (or so) and feed them.

 

I can't find info like this anywhere, and from online research it says Prenolepis Imparis are still active during Winter and eat during Winter (true?). So I do not know how I can mimic this for them under my care.

You can add any options you want if these do not fit, and thank you so much in advance.

Thanks!


Colonies: (Max 60/70 workers) 

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus

Lasius sp.

Prenolepis Imparis?

Tetramorium Immigrans x 2

 

Queens:

Lasius sp. (Different species than one above, caught recently)

 

- Not a lot of ants, I know. I don't look for queens anymore, I just stumble upon them (not literally). It's all an amazing learning experience for me! (I still take good care of them, don't worry). But I'm still as busy as an ant!  :) 


#2 Offline Hunter - Posted November 1 2018 - 1:01 PM

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put them in hibernation like usual and just take em out for short times to feed, but if memory serves they should be able to store anof food if you faten em up before


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#3 Offline Reevak - Posted November 1 2018 - 1:08 PM

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I caught a bunch of Prenolepis imparis in my first year of keeping and so when it came time to hibernate ants, I hibernated some colonies for 1 month, some for 2 months, and some for 3 months. They were in my mini fridge but I don't know what temperature they were hibernated at because my cat broke my thermometer a few months before I put them in (it was above freezing temp obviously but that's about as accurate as I can get). All of the colonies ended up laying eggs in the spring (the ones put near a heating cable laid eggs sooner than the ones just left at room temp after hibernation). Also, I didn't feed them at all while in hibernation. The ants can go for months without food at room temp so I figured they definitely wouldn't need anything in the fridge. Let me know if you want to know anything else about them. Hope this helps


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#4 Offline Enthusiastic_Callow - Posted November 3 2018 - 5:19 AM

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Thanks guys! I forgot to mention that I will hibernate my other ants for 4-5 months (when the temperature gets too high for them to be in dormancy and they start going hungry. Usually 4-5 months for me). If I would hibernate my Prenolepis Imparis with my ants, would it be ok for 4-5 months? Of course, I can put the P. Imparis in later or take them out earlier if needed, but preferably they would all have the same hibernation schedules? Also yeah, I think the colony I have of 30 ish workers is P. Imparis, most of them also have very large gasters (really cool!), some of them being quite a lot bigger than the rest of their body! It is strange, as my P. Imparis almost always accept the mealworms from the weekly feedings (my ants don't really get that hungry, so I think weekly is good, my C. pennsylvanicus took one mealworm bit from the 3 other ones only, same thing last week and they have a huge pile of larvae [that aren't growing  :( ]) when my other ants may not, I think this is because they are storing up fat (also really cool!). I was perplexed, however, that they had (and still have) NO BROOD at all, queen was not laying eggs (huge abdomen for like 2-3 months) but now that you mention the fat reserve thing, it makes sense!  :D  Thanks!

 

Also, my garage can get pretty cold, but this happens only once or twice the whole Winter. Sometimes it becomes 0*C, but VERY RARELY lower than that. It usually stays below 10*C. (When it does get too cold, I can always take them inside, but I didn't do this last year because I heard that the sudden temp difference can create toxins and make the ants do worse in the future [I doubt it, but still might be possible]). But, I caught all my ants here, near my house, so they should all be adapted to the local climate. (Well, maybe without tunnels they cannot survive -20*C plus, but with tunnels it is warmer, and my garage is usually like 10-15*C warmer than outdoors (not in summer however, that would be insane!)

 

So sorry, as I went off topic lol, but once again: If I would hibernate my P. Imparis with my other ants, would it be ok for 4-5 months? Of course, I can put the P. Imparis in later or take them out earlier if needed, but preferably they would all have the same hibernation shecules? Also, should I or should I not feed them during hibernation guys? (Got 2 different answers there, [its ok I really appreciate help] lol)

 

Thank you so so much guys, so helpful and kind of you, gonna hibernate my ants this weekend. (One last off topic thing: Some antkeepers don't like hibernation time because they miss their ants, but I personally enjoy it as it gives me a break from antkeeping to spend more time to myself and my family, especially during the holidays[I LOVE HOLIDAYS]) Thanks!

 

EDIT: I watched some of your youtube videos reevak (nice camerawork, much better than mine) and it really helped with the ID of my P. Imparis. I wasn't sure, because I caught my queen May 1st [2018], which is strange because I heard that they stop flying in April. But then again, we had a really late Winter in my area and it kept lurking into spring ( :/). So my queen looks exactly like the ones in this video  . She laid a good size pile of eggs about a week/2 weeks later and now has about 30 workers. Also, what put me off from thinking that I had a P. Imparis queen, was that I know that the species is very very nervous, and my queen was pretty chill every time I checked on her. (She barely moved). She's a special snowflake  :) (get it? Winter ants, snow in Winter = snowflake... No? Ok).


Edited by Enthusiastic_Callow, November 3 2018 - 5:24 AM.

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Colonies: (Max 60/70 workers) 

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus

Lasius sp.

Prenolepis Imparis?

Tetramorium Immigrans x 2

 

Queens:

Lasius sp. (Different species than one above, caught recently)

 

- Not a lot of ants, I know. I don't look for queens anymore, I just stumble upon them (not literally). It's all an amazing learning experience for me! (I still take good care of them, don't worry). But I'm still as busy as an ant!  :) 


#5 Offline Enthusiastic_Callow - Posted November 4 2018 - 12:30 PM

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Sorry, I don't want to be pushy but an answer soon would be best, I'm putting my ants into hibernation today. Thanks!


Edited by Enthusiastic_Callow, November 4 2018 - 12:30 PM.

Colonies: (Max 60/70 workers) 

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus

Lasius sp.

Prenolepis Imparis?

Tetramorium Immigrans x 2

 

Queens:

Lasius sp. (Different species than one above, caught recently)

 

- Not a lot of ants, I know. I don't look for queens anymore, I just stumble upon them (not literally). It's all an amazing learning experience for me! (I still take good care of them, don't worry). But I'm still as busy as an ant!  :) 


#6 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted November 4 2018 - 1:25 PM

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3-4 months is sufficient for this species based on my digging. I would not keep ANY of your ants in a place that teaches 0 degrees Celsius, they can and probably will die. A constant 40-60F temperature is best for hibernation, so do whatever you need to in order to make sure this happens. You don't have to feed them during hibernation, but mortality decreases if you give them a tiny bit of sugar every two weeks or so.

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#7 Offline Enthusiastic_Callow - Posted November 4 2018 - 3:18 PM

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Yeah, I will take my ants inside to a slightly warmer area if it reaches 0*C. Like my fridge, 7*C. Even though, from past experiences, I find that it isn't always necessary, I will. (I heard that camp. pennsylvanicus can do great hibernating in -20*C, just saying). Although, I sometimes cannot use the fridge. Some days it gets 0*C, last year I think it happend for 2-3 days straight. I put em in a cooler (insulation) and covered with blankets on those days, they were absolutely fine come Spring time. I did this last year as I could not put ants in the fridge, I will do this again this year if the fridge is off limits (and it usually is). Ok, 4 months it is. I'll take them out a month before the rest of my ants. Yeah, I make sure all my ants have a drop of honey somewhere in the setup/living area before hibernation, they never drink it though. I never had any ants die from hibernation (except one worker ant, which is normal) so I think I'm prepared.

 

Thanks for your help, I am putting my ants into hibernation now, a sad yet happy time for me. Also thanks for the quick reply, it was just in time.


Colonies: (Max 60/70 workers) 

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus

Lasius sp.

Prenolepis Imparis?

Tetramorium Immigrans x 2

 

Queens:

Lasius sp. (Different species than one above, caught recently)

 

- Not a lot of ants, I know. I don't look for queens anymore, I just stumble upon them (not literally). It's all an amazing learning experience for me! (I still take good care of them, don't worry). But I'm still as busy as an ant!  :) 






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: winter ant, winter, ant, prenolepis, imparis, prenolepis imparis, hibernation, cold

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