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New to ant keeping


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#1 Offline kmoore79 - Posted June 9 2021 - 6:57 AM

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Hello, my name is Kyle and I am brand new to ant keeping. I have done my research and decided to buy a Formica Subsericea and formicarium from Tarheelants. I bought the XL mini hearth and side attached outworld. They came in a genesis test tube with 1 pupae, 10 workers and 1 queen. I followed Tarheels advice from their website and put the test tube in the fridge to calm down the queen and workers from the stress of shipping. I then carefully removed and extracted the genesis slide from the test tube and placed it into the outworld. After about 10 minutes they started to explore the outworld and about a few hours later, they moved into the formicarium. I filled both nest mates and the water tower and placed a small feeding dish in the outworld and put very tiny droplets of honey on the dish for them. One ant came out that same day and fed on the honey. However, they are not moving now. They are huddled up to the left side of the nest away from the water tower (on the right) and aside from moving their antennae and heads, they haven't moved at all. My house isn't cold and I have one edge of the formicarium on an 8w heat pad, because their care sheet calls for warmth and humidity. Is there something I am doing wrong? I didn't see anything on their care sheet about them being nocturnal, but I haven't seen them move from that spot for about 36 hours, of on and off checking. I do have a red acrylic plate over the museum glass and check frequently with a flash light. Can anyone please tell me if I am doing something wrong, or is this normal?

 

Thank you for your time.

 

-Kyle



#2 Offline Chickalo - Posted June 9 2021 - 7:17 AM

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They can see red light-  it's just a myth.  However red light is darker so it helps a little


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#3 Offline kmoore79 - Posted June 9 2021 - 7:29 AM

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They can see red light-  it's just a myth.  However red light is darker so it helps a little

So are you saying that I am disturbing the colony by checking on them and that's why they aren't moving?



#4 Offline Chickalo - Posted June 9 2021 - 7:44 AM

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They can see red light-  it's just a myth.  However red light is darker so it helps a little

So are you saying that I am disturbing the colony by checking on them and that's why they aren't moving?

 

Give them time, sometimes ants move in right away sometimes they take a while.  Once their test tube dries out they will move in.  Have you tried bright lights onto the test tube?  That's basically like "flipping the rock over their nest" making them want to move out


Look at my location maybe;
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#5 Offline kmoore79 - Posted June 9 2021 - 8:19 AM

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They can see red light-  it's just a myth.  However red light is darker so it helps a little

So are you saying that I am disturbing the colony by checking on them and that's why they aren't moving?

 

Give them time, sometimes ants move in right away sometimes they take a while.  Once their test tube dries out they will move in.  Have you tried bright lights onto the test tube?  That's basically like "flipping the rock over their nest" making them want to move out

 

They're already out of the test tube. They're all inside of the formicarium. They just sit in there and don't move.



#6 Offline AntsUtah - Posted June 9 2021 - 8:27 AM

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Often small colonies of formica (or any ant really) are very timid and will not forage or do anything unless they feel the queen is safe. I would recommend you cover the formicarium completely and check on them only once a day. Until the colony has more workers, they might not exhibit any behaviors like nest cleaning or foraging during the day.


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#7 Offline kmoore79 - Posted June 9 2021 - 9:26 AM

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Often small colonies of formica (or any ant really) are very timid and will not forage or do anything unless they feel the queen is safe. I would recommend you cover the formicarium completely and check on them only once a day. Until the colony has more workers, they might not exhibit any behaviors like nest cleaning or foraging during the day.

Thank you so much =)



#8 Offline kmoore79 - Posted June 9 2021 - 9:29 AM

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Is there a way I should be heating the formicarium, or is room temp ok? I keep the thermostat on 74F and it's been in the high 70s all week. 



#9 Offline azzaaazzzz00 - Posted June 9 2021 - 11:26 AM

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Well I would suggest 80-85F from my expeiriences. You can get heating mat and put it under part of the formicarium.


Edited by azzaaazzzz00, June 9 2021 - 11:26 AM.


#10 Offline Triggerhippy888 - Posted June 9 2021 - 2:03 PM

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They haven't got anything to do, you say there is one pupa so there are no larvae demanding food, no eggs to be cleaned, no pupa pile that needs rotating. When ants have nothing to do they just stand about and wait, their behaviour is normal. Also because they are doing practically nothing they don't need to use up much sugar, so as you said they drunk sugar at first and stocked up and now don't even need much of that. 

 

You key indicator that everything is ok is when the queen lays more eggs, then the workers will start doing things as well. 


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#11 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 9 2021 - 2:47 PM

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They haven't got anything to do, you say there is one pupa so there are no larvae demanding food, no eggs to be cleaned, no pupa pile that needs rotating. When ants have nothing to do they just stand about and wait, their behaviour is normal. Also because they are doing practically nothing they don't need to use up much sugar, so as you said they drunk sugar at first and stocked up and now don't even need much of that.

You key indicator that everything is ok is when the queen lays more eggs, then the workers will start doing things as well.

Well put. This species is maddeningly inactive as their default. Just stay patient.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#12 Offline MinigunL5 - Posted June 9 2021 - 3:50 PM

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They will become more active when they get more workers. Instead of

using the red acrylic and checking with a flashlight it is best to keep a light on them 24/7 or during the day. They will adjust to it and you will always be able to look at them.


Edited by MinigunL5, June 9 2021 - 3:53 PM.

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ANTS I KEEP:

Formica subsericea queen with 2 workersLasius aphidicola queens-Camponotus pennsylvanicus queen| Camponotus novaeboracensis queen with ~35 workers10 Solenopsis molesta queens (together) with 5-10 workers| Lasius cf. neoniger queens| Apheonogaster fulva queenBrachymyrmex depilis queen| Myrmica cf. punctiventris queenStenamma brevicorne queen


#13 Offline kmoore79 - Posted June 10 2021 - 7:36 AM

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Thank you everyone, for your reply's. 



#14 Offline Chickalo - Posted June 10 2021 - 8:02 AM

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My ants actually adjusted to my day night schedule (lights turn on about 7-10 am and turn off at 9:30-11 pm), so I can view them during the day and let them chill at night without worry of disturbance or having to use a light 24/7


Look at my location maybe;
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