Ok, long rant ahead.
TLDR: A ~5 minute cleaning of a test tube turned into a 2 hour ordeal to return escapees, because ants always do the EXACT opposite of what you want them to do, even if it makes no sense. I need some help on how to prevent this in the future.
Before I begin: I know, I know, my tetramorium (about 40 workers right now) is needing of an outworld. Unfortunately, because of the epidemic, my parents are less than likely to purchase Fluon.
I cleaned out last night's mealworms which that ants looked like they ate. So then, about HALF the colony tried to escape when I tried to clean the test tube. Why? There is NO benefit in all rushing out at once. I struggled to get them back in because of 2 reasons. One: Workers always hang on to the entrance cotton, even though in the wild if a colony is in danger their best bet is to evacuate the queen and brood. Second, when I place the cotton back onto the entrance they always seem to get stuck between the test tube edge and the cotton (no workers were squished because of this luckily). WHY???
After I placed the escapees in other test tube. The ants did another thing I did not get. First, the problems listed in part 1 were still present. My plan was for the ants in the extra tubes to hang out on the cotton. I could then swap the cottons to move the workers back into the original tube in one step. The workers in the original tube were all freaking out and hanging out near the cotton in the original tube, but the ants in the extra tube were completely calm, and walking around in the unfamiliar environment???
After I moved the ants from the extra ants back into the original tube, they kept on getting stuck on the cotton which made it so they coudn't move out of the way when I put the cotton back.
My ants confuse me, so after the ordeal was over I put a short section of vinyl tubing to act as a small outworld.
Edited by Temperateants, May 20 2020 - 5:22 PM.