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Mysterious death within first 48 hours of two Lasius interjectus founding queens

lasius interjectussudden death death larger yellow ant

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#1 Offline drawpositive - Posted June 16 2021 - 5:49 AM

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I recently caught two queen ants each possessing wing scars walking along a trail in the woods.  They were identified as Lasius interjectus in this thread: https://www.formicul...21/#entry190309

 

Based on further research (and info provided by responses in that thread) it was made clear to me that the only way either of these queens would survive, was if they had developing brood (as much as possible) as well as a few workers, from a non-parasitic Lasius sp. colony, in order to begin their egg laying.

 

I put the queens each in test tubes with water and partial shade, so as to give them a light gradient (about 90% covered with aluminum foil, 10% exposed to light) 

I fed them each a bit of honey water --one even drank directly off of the end of the toothpick.  They were kept in an upstairs room  in my house.  Temperatures there range from 69 F to 72 F depending on the temperature outside.

 

The next day, one of the queens had died. 

 

The day after, the second queen had died.  

 

My plan (prior to them both dying) was to go out on the weekend in search of a suitable Lasius sp. colony to raid for brood.  People said they should survive a while on their own, prior to being introduced to foreign brood/workers to found their colonies.

 

I searched the "Ant Care Sheet" section of this website and could not find anything for Lasius interjectus.  Does anyone have any idea as to why they both died so rapidly?  What did I do wrong?

I know Lasius interjectus is not a "beginner species" but I thought I was doing everything right, and to have both queens die within the first 48 hours seems odd.

 

For reference, both queens were collected near a State Park, where I do not believe any insecticides or herbicides would be employed.

 

So, if I find a queen of this species again, what should I do differently?

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#2 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted June 16 2021 - 6:29 AM

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They don't need nor want a light gradient, and the light combined with the aluminum foil wrapped around the tubes probably overheated them. These are also notoriously hard to be successful with and are quite fragile.


Edited by Kaelwizard, June 16 2021 - 6:32 AM.

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#3 Offline drawpositive - Posted June 16 2021 - 6:52 AM

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They don't need nor want a light gradient, and the light combined with the aluminum foil wrapped around the tubes probably overheated them. These are also notoriously hard to be successful with and are quite fragile.

 To clarify, I did not have an electric light shining on them.  I merely exposed the test tube to the ambient light in the room (window with the blinds open on one side of the room).  I think the temperatures they would've experienced in the room would've ranged from 69 F to 72 F.

 

Would a test tube setup be too claustrophobic for them in the future?  Should they have a larger area to roam around in in the future, prior to the introduction of raided brood?

 

It's good to know that they are fragile and notoriously hard to be successful with.  Thank you for that info. (y)  



#4 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 16 2021 - 7:07 AM

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You did nothing wrong. These queens just have a high mortality rate. Chalk it up to bad luck and keep trying to find more rewarding species to learn with.
This is not a reason they died, but 69-72 degrees is basically hibernation temperatures for most ants.
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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.

#5 Offline DDD101DDD - Posted June 16 2021 - 7:07 AM

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Yeah, I don't think they live very long without hosts. A while ago I found an interjectus queen and she died the next day. My claviger queens will go for months without hosts though.


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He travels, he seeks the p a r m e s a n.


#6 Offline drawpositive - Posted June 16 2021 - 7:13 AM

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You did nothing wrong. These queens just have a high mortality rate. Chalk it up to bad luck and keep trying to find more rewarding species to learn with.
This is not a reason they died, but 69-72 degrees is basically hibernation temperatures for most ants.

Good to know.  I did order a 15 watt heating cable a few days ago, so this temperature problem will be remedied in the future.



#7 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 16 2021 - 7:18 AM

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Perfect. Aim for 82-90 degrees depending on species.
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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.





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