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abandoned brood

moving transfer

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5 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Nogbert - Posted August 13 2020 - 7:01 PM


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I hooked up a tetramorium colony of mine's test tube to one of dspdrews starter formicariums with some vinyl tubing (~3-4") and was delighted to see the workers almost immediately start carrying brood toward it. However, I was dismayed to see them dropping the brood in the tubing and not taking it into the nest itself. As of this morning, all of the workers had migrated into the nest and left the brood and queen behind. As of this evening I had noticed the queen migrating closer to the nest but still in the tubing with all the workers just kinda chilling in the nest. In a panic I sort of dumped the  queen into the nest hoping she'd give the "get my brood for me peasants" signal to the workers, but I've had no such luck. I have yet to see a single worker venture back to the brood pile in they vinyl tubing. Should I be concerned? Should I try to dump the brood into the nest with the workers and queen?

#2 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted August 14 2020 - 8:01 AM


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I would move the brood into the nest.

#3 Offline AntsDakota - Posted August 14 2020 - 9:21 AM


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Yeah, just dumping the brood in the outworld portion isn't going to hurt anything. The workers will collect it and bring it in the nest.

"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version

#4 Offline Temperateants - Posted August 14 2020 - 10:05 AM


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Happened to me. Luckily the queen wasn't left behind, but some workers died somehow and 25% brood was left behind. Luckily the colony is fine now.

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#5 Offline ponerinecat - Posted August 14 2020 - 10:13 AM


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The queen doesnt actually dictate moves or give orders to the workers, although this seems like a common enough misconception. Reluctance of the queen to move is pretty normal, in most ants she will have to be forcibly dragged or guided to the new spot. Leaving the brood behind is a bit unusual though, give it some time to see what happens before trying anything.

  • AntsDakota and Antkid12 like this

#6 Offline Formiga - Posted August 28 2021 - 12:53 PM


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When I moved my 1st colony from their syringe (I couldn't find test tubes anywhere) into their new place with an outworld and a formicarium (way too big for them), in their 1st night they moved away from the syringe into the vinyl tubing and stayed there for a couple of days until I managed to fine tune the humidity in the formicarium and they decided themselves to move.

Meanwhile they were inhabiting the tube, I've covered it with a red filter so they would feel less stressed.


Note that I've never had your issue of the queen or brood being left behind, they've moved as a whole colony both times.

But I guess they kinda like narrow vinyl tubing as a nest for very small colonies. My 2nd colony (both Formica Fusca) moved from a 20ml syringe into a 2.5ml one with water attached to a vinyl tube (covered with a red filter) and until now they seem to be happy inside the tube, even blocking the entrance with sand pebbles and locking themselves inside and barely coming out for a walk, sugar or even food.

Edited by Formiga, August 28 2021 - 12:54 PM.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: moving, transfer

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