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1 year old Camponotus colony producing many drones

drones alates males camponotus

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16 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Nogbert - Posted July 3 2021 - 1:50 PM

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Title pretty much says it all. I have a one year old Camponotus. sp. colony that  keeps producing drones. It's a major bummer since they take up valuable resources. so far they have hatched 5 drones since february. the first 2 were killed the third one i rescued/released, the 4th one had its wings removed by the workers but has survived for months among them and they just hatched another drone... this seems extremely odd to me. any thoughts on why this is happening/how to prevent it?


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#2 Offline Manitobant - Posted July 3 2021 - 2:37 PM

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They are probably trophic eggs that aren’t eaten, or the queen isn’t fully fertilized.

#3 Offline Nogbert - Posted July 3 2021 - 3:50 PM

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There are numerous workers so the queen is fertilized
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#4 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted July 3 2021 - 3:53 PM

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They are probably trophic eggs that aren’t eaten, or the queen isn’t fully fertilized.


As far as I'm aware there is no such thing as "fully fertilized"...
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#5 Offline Manitobant - Posted July 3 2021 - 7:59 PM

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Then its probably trophic eggs.

#6 Offline ANTS_KL - Posted July 3 2021 - 10:21 PM

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Then its probably trophic eggs.

Trophic eggs are unable to hatch as they are merely a packet of nutrients. So those are infertile eggs. I just wanted to clarify this so don't get mad

Sent from my CPH2201 using Tapatalk
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Ants epic :D
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My current ants: Camponotus irritans, 2x Camponotus parius, 2x Odontomachus simillimus, Oecophylla smaragdina

 

Death count: idk there's too many that I've lost :(

Also I got an antlion o-0


#7 Offline Manitobant - Posted July 4 2021 - 9:18 AM

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Then its probably trophic eggs.

Trophic eggs are unable to hatch as they are merely a packet of nutrients. So those are infertile eggs. I just wanted to clarify this so don't get mad
Sent from my CPH2201 using Tapatalk
I'm pretty sure unfertilized trophic eggs can hatch, they are just normally eaten.
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#8 Offline ReignofRage - Posted July 4 2021 - 9:38 AM

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Then its probably trophic eggs.

Trophic eggs are unable to hatch as they are merely a packet of nutrients. So those are infertile eggs. I just wanted to clarify this so don't get mad

Sent from my CPH2201 using Tapatalk

 

Trophic eggs are unfertilized eggs, they are usually eaten. Sometimes they are not eaten and become drones, this is why some founding colonies sometimes get drones.


Edited by ReignofRage, July 4 2021 - 9:39 AM.

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#9 Offline Nogbert - Posted August 1 2022 - 7:54 AM

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An update on this:

my queen continues to do this. the first 3 pupae to hatch this season have all been drones.... any advice is welcomed. I keep the nest on a heating cable that is on a timer to roughly match the day/night cycle. I feed them sunburst, fruit flies and dubia roaches. I've been using wakooshi nests (modular and now a saturn) but maybe they would do better in a more natural type setup i.e. tar heel?



#10 Offline futurebird - Posted August 1 2022 - 9:26 AM

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Are all the eggs that hatch drones? or just some of them?


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#11 Offline Nogbert - Posted August 1 2022 - 9:48 AM

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Are all the eggs that hatch drones? or just some of them?

last summer there were a few (2-3) workers born and 3 or so drones. so far this summer I have seen only 3 new drones eclose. there are several pupae that look drone sized waitiing to eclose too. 



#12 Offline UrbanOrganisms - Posted August 1 2022 - 9:51 AM

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None of the above replies are correct. The queen is inbred and therefore heterozygous at the sex determination locus, causing half of her eggs to come out as fertilized, yet male producing. I would just dispose of the colony, it's a lost cause.



#13 Offline UrbanOrganisms - Posted August 1 2022 - 9:53 AM

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They are probably trophic eggs that aren’t eaten, or the queen isn’t fully fertilized.


As far as I'm aware there is no such thing as "fully fertilized"...

 

 

Correct, there is no such thing, and logically makes no sense. It's a common myth/misconception that is constantly repeated in the hobby.



#14 Offline Manitobant - Posted August 1 2022 - 10:05 AM

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Actually there is a such thing as fully fertilized but only with a certain type of ant, that being the true army ants. Army ant queens need to mate with multiple males within the first few months of their lives in order to have enough sperm to keep up with the massive amount of brood a colony produces.

#15 Offline Nogbert - Posted August 1 2022 - 10:07 AM

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None of the above replies are correct. The queen is inbred and therefore heterozygous at the sex determination locus, causing half of her eggs to come out as fertilized, yet male producing. I would just dispose of the colony, it's a lost cause.

it is worth pointing out that the very first clutch or two of eggs the queen hatched when i first got her were all workers. drones didn't start to appear until 1 year after founding



#16 Offline Serafine - Posted August 1 2022 - 2:26 PM

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How are you keeping them, what are you feeding them, what species are they (like what's the typical colony size/growth rate of that species).

 

Male eggs/larvae in young colonies usually get eaten (recycled) before they can even turn into adults, so if it's an accident it's one that made it through at least 3 layers of security.

Also if males started to appear only after a year that doesn't sound like an accident but rather intent, possibly a reaction to a lack of space, nutrition or diapause.


Edited by Serafine, August 1 2022 - 2:27 PM.

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#17 Offline Nogbert - Posted August 1 2022 - 2:39 PM

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How are you keeping them, what are you feeding them, what species are they (like what's the typical colony size/growth rate of that species).

 

Male eggs/larvae in young colonies usually get eaten (recycled) before they can even turn into adults, so if it's an accident it's one that made it through at least 3 layers of security.

Also if males started to appear only after a year that doesn't sound like an accident but rather intent, possibly a reaction to a lack of space, nutrition or diapause.

as i said in my previous posts: They are C. modoc or C. pennsylvanicus. Been feeding them fruit flies and dubia roaches mostly; always have sunburst available too. They are in a wakooshi saturn nest and it doesn't seem overcrowded to me. previously they were in a wakooshi modular nest. i put them through diapause every winter for at least 4 months at 45-50F. its totally plausible the diet isn't ideal but in the early days i was likely underfeeding them/they didn't seem to want the food i offered (mealworms)







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