assuming you got them from Mexico, they won't need to hibernate since the climate they came from is warm, they won't adapt to European weather
They are from Texas, my ant dealer told me
I'd say the best way to find whether they need hibernation and if so at what temperature and for how long, would be to research the seasonal temperatures in the place where they were found. Personally, I plan to keep my Novomessors active throughout the winter, and at a lot higher temperature than you keep yours (87 Fahrenheit / 30.5 Celsius). If I wanted to lower their temperature over winter I would at most take them down to room temperature. Putting them as low as you plan would be dangerous.
Yeah, I kept them at 30 degrees (like my Messor) with a mat until middle of October. Then gradually went down 1 degree every 2 days until they reached room temperature. In the summer we had like 35 degrees in the flat when it was 38 outside - so they would live in got conditions in our summer and, as mentioned - I heat with a mat until the temperature rises. But yeah, maybe it would be safer to keep them at room temperature in the winter than hoping that they will survive at least 4 weeks under 10 degrees.
I've heard some people recommend letting desert species go off heat in the winter, but if you do that do it gradually so they have time to acclimate.
Last winter I took my C. fragilis off heat and they stopped making brood and started EATING brood until I warmed them in spring again (I've since taken them off heat, but in the middle of summer so the temp drops are natural).
That is how I want do do it after I read your comments. I hope, my Novos won't eat their brood without heating. By now it seems as if they would grow as fast as without heating.
Thank you, guys!
I planned to start a journal also, but until now, I couldn't find the time to do so - but maybe I should to share my experiences with turning the heating off.
Edited by Fabey, November 2 2020 - 2:11 PM.