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multiple Queens for Camp Subbarbatus


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#1 Offline Aewhistory - Posted July 11 2022 - 3:15 PM

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So about a year ago I bought my son a colony of C. Subbarbatus and it has been fine.  Then a couple weeks ago my son walks in with a couple new queens, one of which I am sure is a Subbarbatus (let’s call them “CS” from here on in).  So far this new queen hasn’t even laid an egg, so we are thinking she might not be cut out to be a mom.  Anyway, we got to thinking what if we just put her with the successful colony.  But would this just be killing her?  If so I don’t want to do that.  OTOH, if this has a reasonable chance of success it would make the colony stronger and she would have some friends to remind her what her job is.   :D

 

I can try to snap some pics, but my only good camera is broken…. The rest take some pretty mediocre pics, which is a shame because I could use some help identifying some of the queens my little guy keeps finding.  Anyway, if pictures will help I can definitely try to get some.

 

as always, thank you guys,

aaron

 

EDIT: forgot to mention I found one topic that seemed to indicate that this species can have multiple queens.  the thread doesn’t really go into this much, it really discusses whether the queens have been mated, and I’m uncertain if an established queen would go well together with a newbie.

 

https://www.formicul...?hl=subbarbatus


Edited by Aewhistory, July 11 2022 - 3:19 PM.


#2 Offline madbiologist - Posted July 11 2022 - 3:33 PM

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Some populations of C. subbarbatus can definitely be polygynous! However, there is always a chance that the workers of the colony just tear the queen apart instead, so unless you're prepared for that as well, I wouldn't try it. Even mediocre pics should be okay to ID most Camponotus species, so that would definitely help.

 

Edit: I don't know whether anyone has gotten an established colony to accept a newbie, but I have seen it done in founding colonies and solo queens.


Edited by madbiologist, July 11 2022 - 3:34 PM.

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#3 Offline Aewhistory - Posted July 17 2022 - 9:07 AM

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So we waited a few more days to see if she’d lay eggs, but still nothing.  My son got really excited about trying to merge them so we put her tubes in with the established CS colony.  They came into her tube and she ran out.  Since then they’ve been pursuing her around the formicarium.  I can’t exactly tell what I’m seeing, but I lean towards them trying to kill her.  I’ve seen a video or two (maybe on AntsCanada?) where a new queen is dragged into the nest and almost “forced” to join the colony, but they’re trying to sting this queen (or is it acid? I need to look that up…).  I know she has killed a worker or two as well.  One worker’s head is still attached to her left middle leg!  I think the head is either still alive and biting her or it is dead the the mandibles clamped shut on her leg.  Either way, this is probably not looking good.

 

EDIT:  so she is still fighting, but when she calms down they stop attacking her.  Instead they’re just laying pattycakes with her antennae.  Then she starts fighting again and they bite her and hit her with their abdomens.  I doubt we could get her out at this point, so this experiment is going to go to the end methinks.  I’m a bit bummed, but not entirely surprised.  
 

I wonder though if getting her out and reintroducing her in a day or so might help things?  She is probably covered in their scent now, right?  So maybe if the colony calms down they might accept her with a slightly different smell?  This is probably a stupid idea, but I wanted to table it and see what you all think.


Edited by Aewhistory, July 17 2022 - 9:12 AM.


#4 Offline Valkyrie04 - Posted August 5 2022 - 5:27 PM

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Any update?






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