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Is there a future for this lasius niger queen?

lasius queen fertility fail neoniger lasius neoniger

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5 replies to this topic

#1 Offline futurebird - Posted July 17 2021 - 3:32 PM

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The first ant queen I ever got is still with me, and she still has no colony. That said, I check on her every week, she is always lively moving about a bit. She will drink a drop of honey now and then and has eaten some fruit flies (not to mention some brood... but we will get to that)

 

I thought for a long time she was lasius niger, but she might be neoniger. I'm in the US and she was a gift from a parent of a student who is into ants. He's a good keeper but not all that interested in scientific names. So I don't know if when he said "she's lasius niger" if he meant that. English also isn't his first language so confusion abounds. 

 

But I was very happy to have her and thrilled that she was laying eggs. I probably put her in a founding formicarium too soon. One of her first two nanitics escaped, the other just ... died. But she laid more eggs and in a few months had two more. She didn't want to leave the founding formicarium for a test tube. There were mold problems and she was stubborn. The second nanitics didn't last either. 

 

At last I got her back in a test tube. I fed her and she cheerfully ate. She will take a fruit fly right from the tweezers sometimes. But I was not surprised when she didn't lay anymore eggs. She's probably just exhausted. 

 

So I gave her about 3 of the brood from my very productive and happy lasius neoniger colony... twice. I was able to get her to unwrap one of them. I saw them interacting and it was walking around... then the next day it was gone.  She's always excited to take the brood, she seems to care for it. Then it just... disappears. 

 

I'm reluctant to disturb my productive neoniger colony again for her. I've just been keeping her in a quiet spot and offering food once a week. My theory is maybe she'll have a shot next year? After diapause?

 

But do ya'll think I should give her brood again? I have this feeling she's been killing them... or maybe. IDK. Why does she struggle so? Mostly my fault for not just leaving her in the test tube in the first place I guess. Also the founding formicarium was terrible, not really escape proof in sand, even one grain got under the lid.

 

But the past is the past.

 

I joke "maybe she doesn't want to raise a colony, maybe she wants a career instead"

 

She doesn't seem sick or low energy at all. When I check on her she runs to the test tube opening and is interested in whatever I give her. 

 

I'm happy to have a queen who's just like a pet spider I guess.


Edited by futurebird, July 17 2021 - 3:33 PM.

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#2 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted July 17 2021 - 4:38 PM

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When a queen loses her first ants, it is close to impossible to get her to care for her brood after that. In 7 years of ant keeping, I have only gotten 1 queen, who lost all of her ants, to raise up more ants. They usually just eat their brood. You can try to get her some host workers from a wild colony though. Lasius do accept them sometimes. I would also recommend that if you get her less than like 20 wild workers, put her back into a test tube.

Edited by Ants_Dakota, July 17 2021 - 4:38 PM.

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#3 Offline futurebird - Posted July 17 2021 - 4:48 PM

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She's been back in a test tube for a few months now. I just couldn't get her to move when she still had workers.


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Starting this July I'm posting videos of my ants every week on youTube.

I like to make relaxing videos that capture the joy of watching ants.

If that sounds like your kind of thing... follow me >here<


#4 Offline Manitobant - Posted July 17 2021 - 9:05 PM

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Get her some pupae and callows of the same species. That is the only way i have saved a colony.
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#5 Offline TestSubjectOne - Posted July 17 2021 - 9:44 PM

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I have a Camponotus semitestaceous queen that had lost her pupae and I had been neglecting in her tube aside for occasional honey drops to keep her alive. I recently decided to giver her a second chance and with weekly insect feedings she's laid more eggs and now has medium larvae. That said, I doubt your queen is able to raise her own brood if she hasn't for several months. Maybe if you give her a larger amount of pupae or workers, she will only eat some of them while the rest take up caring for the brood and colony?


Edited by TestSubjectOne, July 17 2021 - 9:44 PM.

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Currently Keeping:

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#6 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 18 2021 - 3:52 PM

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“You had one job, queen!”

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Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: lasius, queen, fertility, fail, neoniger, lasius neoniger

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