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Myrmecocystus Die-offs for unknown reason

myrmecocystus help

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9 replies to this topic

#1 Offline UtahAnts - Posted May 1 2022 - 12:47 PM

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My year old M. Mexicanus colony has been growing steadily until yesterday when I noticed 5 dead workers in the outworld. Inside their nest they have several non-replete workers also dead. The queen and repletes are still fine, has anyone had similar experiences? The workers are continuing to die, including some of the newly eclosed workers. 
 
Here's the colony's situation:
Size: 5 large repletes, around 20 workers before die-offs, some pupae and larvae
Nest: Type one (ytong material) THA mini hearth.
Protein: Mainly mealworms and some crickets, although I fed fruitflies for the first time recently. None of my other colonies reacted negatively to the fruit flies.
Sugar: Mostly hummingbird nectar, along with some fruits and sugar water.
Heating: They have a large temperature gradient, the warmest section of the nest being around 80 degrees.

 

Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated!


Leave the road, take the trails -Pythagoras


#2 Offline ZTYguy - Posted May 1 2022 - 1:01 PM

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I’d get heat up a bit but is it light in that room because in all my years of anting I’ve found myrmecocystus to be the largest wimps ever. If it is too overstimulating of a room then it is a bad thing.


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Ant Keeping Since June 2018
Currently Keeping:
A. versicolor, C. vicinus, C. us-ca02, C. clarithorax, C. yogi, C. sansabeanus, C. semitestaceus, C. laevigatus , M. mimicus, M. mexicanus , P. montanus, V. andrei, V. pergandei, N. cockerelli, L. humile

GO CHECK OUT ANTSEMPORIUM HERE: https://antsemporium.com/

#3 Offline UtahAnts - Posted May 1 2022 - 1:59 PM

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I agree with the heat, but could light really affect the workers that much?


Leave the road, take the trails -Pythagoras


#4 Online lazyant - Posted May 1 2022 - 3:45 PM

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I agree with the heat, but could light really affect the workers that much?

I know this question wasn't meant for me but, yes maybe. They might get really stressed and die.


"Maybe I can channel my inner zucker"- Lazyant zucker from animal crossing


#5 Offline ZTYguy - Posted May 1 2022 - 3:51 PM

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When I say they are wimps. THEY ARE WIMPS
Ant Keeping Since June 2018
Currently Keeping:
A. versicolor, C. vicinus, C. us-ca02, C. clarithorax, C. yogi, C. sansabeanus, C. semitestaceus, C. laevigatus , M. mimicus, M. mexicanus , P. montanus, V. andrei, V. pergandei, N. cockerelli, L. humile

GO CHECK OUT ANTSEMPORIUM HERE: https://antsemporium.com/

#6 Offline Ftorres - Posted May 4 2022 - 6:02 PM

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I had a few colonies die in THA minis, for unknown reasons.
Others are just fine.
A mystery to me.

Good luck with them

Edited by Ftorres, May 4 2022 - 6:03 PM.


#7 Offline UtahAnts - Posted May 4 2022 - 7:48 PM

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I had a few colonies die in THA minis, for unknown reasons.
Others are just fine.
A mystery to me.

Good luck with them

 

What formicarium(s) do you have your other colonies in?


Leave the road, take the trails -Pythagoras


#8 Offline UrbanOrganisms - Posted May 5 2022 - 12:51 AM

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No offense, but the fact alone that your colony is 20w after a year is a sign that some aspect of their care is off. Assuming that issue is not the cause of the die offs, in general when there is a sudden high number of deaths the general suspects are poisoning (either through spoiled food or chemicals in the environment) or desiccation (did the water tower dry out?) If it's neither of those could be something as simple as either starvation or old age, though those don't tend to cause a large number of deaths rapidly


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#9 Offline UtahAnts - Posted May 5 2022 - 12:58 PM

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No offense, but the fact alone that your colony is 20w after a year is a sign that some aspect of their care is off. Assuming that issue is not the cause of the die offs, in general when there is a sudden high number of deaths the general suspects are poisoning (either through spoiled food or chemicals in the environment) or desiccation (did the water tower dry out?) If it's neither of those could be something as simple as either starvation or old age, though those don't tend to cause a large number of deaths rapidly

 

No offense taken, I probably have not been heating or feeding them as much as I could, but I'm not really in any rush for another huge colony on my hands.
 
I should have posted this originally but the colony was from THA at the end of March, originally with 10 workers in a test tube when I received them and over the course of the next month they got 10 more, however the sudden deaths were worrying me. This is my first time keeping the genus, but wouldn't poisons affect the repletes in the same way as the workers?
 
The dryness in the nest might be a factor, the AAC material seems to be a bit dryer then the type 3 stuff Mack uses these days.

Leave the road, take the trails -Pythagoras


#10 Offline UrbanOrganisms - Posted May 6 2022 - 9:20 AM

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Pots definitely like their water, I would keep a feeder with some in the outworld at all times. Since there seems to be no immediately obvious cause for the sudden deaths, I would focus on keeping them warm and feeding protein constantly to get their worker numbers back up to a more stable amount asap. In my experience they love crickets and roaches. Good luck!







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