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Best means to capture wild queens.

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23 replies to this topic

#21 Offline Forestflamboyant - Posted June 26 2015 - 6:15 PM



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Howdy! featherweight forceps for the Camponotus's and hardener ant species' queens are usually the biggest in their colony. You do have to worry about dropping the forceps because they are so thin you can't see them looking down on them. I thought of painting mine a bright fluorescent color to make them more visible. Don't know if the ants would mind that or not?


THA has a plastic specimen container that you can keep your featherweight forceps in and not bend them. I use that same narrow container to have the queens walk in. Then move them later into something else. It's a durable plastic so you don't have to worry too much about it breaking. Also, in this container I keep a q-tip for the small queens and even a tooth pick. Kind of my queen little round up kit that fits in your pocket.


I guess now I need to tell everyone what the heck it's called! OK, they are the plastic ant collecting vials for $1.50 @ THA, very cheap and well worth it!!


I also like picking them by the wings when opportunity presents itself. Using a vial and having them walk in or using something like a stick/tooth pick to have them climb on, then place in the specimen jar.


Note: It's kind of important with formicinae species not to get them too excited. Or they spray Nuke themselves with their acid, when placed in a confined space the effect is worst. Reason for the sudden death for no reason when there is a reason. You can smell it!!


If this happens a good field trick is to dust a container with fine sawdust maybe from a nearby nest or just use fine soil leaving some in the container. This will help absorb the acid from the queen and may save her. Dusting of this sort is also like using fluon because the ants can't climb the container.To dust you just put the material in the container and place the lid on, shake back and fourth until the wall has a fine coat of dust. The dust clogs the ants climbing gear temporary and doesn't hurt them. They will spend some time cleaning themselves after and you shouldn't just leave them in there. Trade containers out at the best possible time.


Sorry, little off subject there but I hope this helps some collectors out there??




#22 Offline BrittonLS - Posted June 27 2015 - 7:48 AM


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From Drew's videos it seems just scooping them up in your hands or delicately with your fingers is a pretty simple way to actually do it. 


For Camponotus though, it seems like featherweight forceps are really good for trying to get them out of their little burrows in the wood if you can't reach.

#23 Offline Trailandstreet - Posted July 1 2015 - 12:59 AM


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I don't think queens can sting, as I believe it is an adaptation of the ovaries, but I might be wrong...

Yes, they can, Here you can see a Myrmica rubra laying an egg, with the sting folded up.

14148506028_a4335bdd36_z.jpgMyrmica rubra, gyne laying egg by franz steinleitner, auf Flickr

Edited by Trailandstreet, July 1 2015 - 1:00 AM.

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:hi: Franz

if you find any mistakes, it's my autocorrection. it doesn't speak english.

#24 Offline Ants4fun - Posted July 1 2015 - 7:34 AM


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Interestimg. Reminds me of a wasp.
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