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Formica subsericea queen is miserable in every nest.

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#1 Offline futurebird - Posted June 20 2022 - 7:13 AM


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I have a Formica subsericea queen and she has never seemed settled in any nest. Even though the colony has slowly grown to about 30 ants they have been unhappy in a tubes and tubs set up, unhappy in a plaster mini hearth from tarheel (which most ants like) unhappy in a flat little nest. I'm trying a dirt nest now and hoping it will work.


I know she's unhappy since she runs out of the nest when there is a loud noise or if I bump the lid. I have put them in the bedroom on an isolated dark shelf to try to calm them... but she's still a nervous wreck. 


Also they never set the eggs down, her workers always hold the eggs and larvae as if they might need to run from danger at any moment. 



I really hope this dirt nest will do the trick. They are in two test tubes now and I've placed them in their new home. 


Why am I so bad at caring for this species?


I've never had any other queen run out of her nest like this. 

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

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

#2 Offline Manitobant - Posted June 20 2022 - 7:36 AM


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in my experience, some colonies seem to be more sensitive to disturbances than others. It doesn’t really affect them though, and all the colonies I’ve had do this are perfectly healthy otherwise.

#3 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted June 21 2022 - 4:39 PM


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Some queens are just skittish, it doesn't mean the nest is unsuitable. My Formica subaenescens and Pogonomyrmex occidentalis queens run out every time there's a slight disturbance. I've even had wild F. subsericea queens bolt away from the nest when I disturbed it.
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#4 Offline Polyacanthus - Posted June 22 2022 - 7:47 PM


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Mine are all very nervous too. I've seen them go berserk when I've coughed near the nest. Same with my pallidefulva. In my yard I have these two species plus Formica pergandei which routinely raid the nests of the other two species for brood, so I understand why they're so jumpy. I've found they are a little more relaxed as the colony grows but they still very nervous.

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