Jump to content

  • Chat
  •  
  •  



Welcome to Formiculture.com!

This is a website for anyone interested in Myrmecology and all aspects of finding, keeping, and studying ants. The site and forum are free to use, and contain no ads for members. Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation points to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!

Photo
* * * * * 1 votes

Crystal's Camponotus herculeanus journal

crystals carpenter

  • Please log in to reply
49 replies to this topic

#41 Offline Crystals - Posted March 23 2016 - 7:23 AM

Crystals

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,044 posts
  • LocationAthabasca, AB (Canada)

This colony has taken a bizarre twist.

After about 4 weeks they ate what they could of the Queen's body and finally dropped the pieces of the queen in the refuse pile.

 

After this point, their behavior changed noticeably.

Despite a lot of food (nectar and insects) available in their outworld, they ate about half of the larvae.  Leaving about 80 or so.

The rest of the larvae spun cocoons, but as the weeks have gone on they are slowly cannibalizing the brood.  I am down to about 20 pupae.

 

Oddly enough, 3-5 workers will gang up on a single worker, killing her and then cannibalizing her as well.  From over 200 workers I am down to about 100.  And it isn't the same 3-5 workers every time.

 

I was planning on introducing a new queen when they fly late May, but at this rate, I may not have any workers left...

 

I have had several species lose a queen on me, but they did not turn self destructive like this colony has.  In one small Camponotus herculeanus colony (10 workers) I had a queen die and thought it was odd that there were only 2 surviving workers 4 months later.  Now I am wondering if Camponotus herculeanus always behave like this once they loose their queen.


"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

My Colonies


#42 Offline dspdrew - Posted March 23 2016 - 9:59 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Sounds like they were possessed by dermy.


  • dermy and LC3 like this

#43 Offline LC3 - Posted March 23 2016 - 3:48 PM

LC3

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,320 posts
  • LocationRichmond, BC, Canada

How to Anarchy 101.


  • Gregory2455 likes this

#44 Offline Crystals - Posted March 31 2016 - 8:23 AM

Crystals

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,044 posts
  • LocationAthabasca, AB (Canada)

Well, I haven't seen much more death recently.  I did a head count and came to about 135 workers and 4 pupae.

The "colony" has started acting like just a bunch of lost leaderless workers.  In other words, they just sit there and barely move. 

Reminds me of one of those old uncle milton ant farms where the workers just hunker down and sit.

 

Two months to go until the queens fly, I am hoping they will accept a new queen. 


"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

My Colonies


#45 Offline Crystals - Posted April 22 2016 - 7:28 AM

Crystals

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,044 posts
  • LocationAthabasca, AB (Canada)

A few queens had an early flight and I tried a few introduction methods.

 

1. Put queen in pill bottle covered with mesh in foraging area - workers in foraging area tried to attack whenever she came to the mesh.  FAIL

 

2. I took a major from the foraging area and tried to introduce her to the queen in a separate container.  Major tried attacking.  FAIL

 

3. Took a minor worker from the foraging area and put her with a queen.  The worker ran away for about 10min before relaxing and accepting the queen.  Left them in a test tube, no problems 3 days later.  PASS, with one worker.

 

4. Did the same as #3, but tried to introduce both into main colony. Queen was met was severe aggression, and the introduced worker also experienced some aggression.  Removed both and left in test tube.  FAIL for colony introduction (Pass for one worker, same as #3).

 

5. One queen was extraordinarily aggressive and refused to accept any worker under any circumstances.  Considering this one was also very slow to shed her wings and flew at an unusual time, she may be infertile or just crazy in the head.  Either way, I am labeling her a tentative dud and put her in a corner to ignore for a few months.

 

 

I have done dozens of introductions in the past with Campontous, using queenless colonies of 1-5 workers or lone workers with a new queen and they succeeded as long as the colony was queenless for at least 3 months or more.  It seems like larger colonies do not accept new queens as readily, perhaps once the colony dwindled down to less than 10 it would work, but I still have my doubts.

 

I may try one experiment if I find another queen - put her in a test tube, with steel mesh from a frying pan creating a barrier between her and the nest, and attaching it to a second unused tubing entrance.  Maybe if we bypass the foraging area guards and allow the queen to share the same air as the main nest some of the scent would carry over or the novelty of a strange ant would wear off.  Leave her like that for a month or so and see what happens - if she is in a test tube setup, the queen will be fine.


  • LC3 and rxxxm22 like this

"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

My Colonies


#46 Offline dspdrew - Posted April 22 2016 - 10:16 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Interesting experiments. I've wanted to try something like that last method.


  • Ants4fun and LC3 like this

#47 Offline LC3 - Posted April 22 2016 - 11:47 AM

LC3

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,320 posts
  • LocationRichmond, BC, Canada

What about putting the colony and the queen in the fridge to slow them down?

Also how many workers are there currently?



#48 Offline Crystals - Posted April 22 2016 - 12:21 PM

Crystals

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,044 posts
  • LocationAthabasca, AB (Canada)

This colony has about 80 workers left.  I think at this point the guards are so old that they are nothing but guards - and will attack anything without their colony scent, regardless if they are queenless and they stumble across a queen.

 

I would not put the queen in the fridge, she needs to be able to escape.  I have not found the fridge method to make any different when trying to introduce workers to a queen.

 

Drew, I will try that last method next time I find a queen.  it may have been 27C (80F) on Monday, but considering it is snowing today that is easier said than done....  Typical Alberta weather.


"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

My Colonies


#49 Offline Leo - Posted December 20 2016 - 6:21 PM

Leo

    Advanced Member

  • Junior Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,385 posts
  • LocationHong Kong

umm



#50 Offline Crystals - Posted December 20 2016 - 6:41 PM

Crystals

    Advanced Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPip
  • 2,044 posts
  • LocationAthabasca, AB (Canada)

I forgot to post one last update.

I ended up doing one unintentional experiment. I put the formicarium by my wood pile (where the original queen had been collected) to let the workers forage freely. Interestingly enough, three weeks later they still considered the formicarium as their nest despite the fact that they could have moved into the wood pile.

What really caught my interest, is that I noticed five of the guards trying to lure a skittish queen into the formicarium. She plainly did not try the vinyl tubing. Another worker came out and tried to attack her, despite the fact that five others had tried to bring her back. Plainly, all of the workers were not on the same page with this adoption process.

Several weeks later I considered them a lost cause and put the formicarium into the freezer.


"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

My Colonies






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: crystals, carpenter

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users