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To move or not to move? Questions about hibernating my queens.

camponotus lasius hibernation

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#1 Offline GeoAnts - Posted October 22 2022 - 1:06 PM

GeoAnts

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Hey Guys,

 

I am a Second year antkeeper, but last year all I kept was Tetramorium. (I live in Utah) I have two questions about some queens I am keeping, and I have to make the tough decision on if i want to disturb them, or keep them in their current setups and maybe make more problems for myself and them in hibernation. 

 

1: I caught a few Lasius Americanus queens up Provo Canyon in August, I had forgot all of my tubes and I was camping up there for the rest of the week so I was forced to use what I had... I had two queens in some small containers I had on hand, (since moved into test tubes) But, one of them I was forced to place in a small plastic cup with substrate. Looking back, it was a poor move, but hey, what can you do? She burrowed into it and on the car ride home she disappeared underground. Now, I have to decide if I want to hibernate her in the cup and simply water it or if I should slowly spoon out the substrate and find out if she is even still alive, as I have seen no signs of her since the car ride. Should I simply hibernate her in that, and see what happens? Or should I spoon out the substrate and place her into a test tube and hibernate her and any brood she may have in a test tube? Any advice would be appreciated  :)

 

2: I found a C. Vicinus queen this May while also on a camping trip, I flipped a rock, and there she was! I assume that she had just flew and had no brood. I collected her, and she had her first cocoon that I assumed would hatch, but the cocoon just died and is now sitting there stuck to some other eggs molding.  :( This also happened with another C. Modoc queen that has since died, she had two cocoons but they never seemed to be able to eclose. They were both in test tube setups, and I am wondering what is up? I seem to recall that Camponotus cocoons need substrate to eclose, and both had no substrate, just the glass. Is this true? Or, I could just be conjuring up solutions out of nowhere! She is out of water anyway so I will probably try to move her anyway into a new test tube setup. Should I add substrate to the new setup? Or am I doing something else wrong? Also, any advice would be great!

 

Thanks guys,

 

GeoAnts

 

Currently keeping: 2x Tetramorium Immigrans (20 workers, 100 workers) Camponotus Vicinus (brood, and hopefully soon workers!) 3x Lasius Americanus (Brood, and hopefully soon workers!)

Used to keep:

3x Brackymyrmex Depilis never founded, 3x Camponotus Modoc Queens never founded

 

 

 


GeoAnts

 

Currently keeping: 2x Tetramorium Immigrans (20 workers, 100 workers) Camponotus Vicinus (brood, and hopefully soon workers!) 3x Lasius Americanus (Brood, and hopefully soon workers!)

Used to keep:

3x Brackymyrmex Depilis never founded, 3x Camponotus Modoc Queens never founded


#2 Offline Manitobant - Posted October 22 2022 - 8:00 PM

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1: i would try to get her out because you don’t even know if she is alive and now you have tubes.

2: I've never heard of this problem before, camponotus should be able to eclose just fine without substrate. Just dump her into a new tube and hibernate.
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#3 Offline UtahAnts - Posted October 22 2022 - 9:32 PM

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Nice to see a fellow Utahn! Here's my two cents:

 

1: Moving her out into a tube setup will probably be the best move in the long run, especially if and when that substrate in the cup begins to mold. However, some americanus queens will get their first batch of larvae before hibernation, so if you do move the queen out, be sure to keep an eye out for any small larvae with her.
 
2: When founding Camponotus vicinus in test tubes, I always make sure to get a bit of dirt from where the queen was found, to ensure the queen has suitable substrate to her liking. You don't need to go all the way back to Provo canyon to get suitable substrate, any natural dirt without any pesticide exposure will do. I've never had problems with putting a bit of natural dirt in with vicinus queens, it seems to increase their first generation size as well.

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Leave the Road, take the Trails - Pythagoras

 

Utah Ant Keeping --- Here

Formicariums and Outworlds --- Here


#4 Offline GeoAnts - Posted October 23 2022 - 1:11 PM

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Success! Thanks for all of the advice! I was leaning towards doing most of what you guys answered, but it is always nice to have confirmation. I found the americanus queen alive and kickin' with 3 larvae and a big egg pile, transferred her to a test tube setup and she is doing good as far as I can tell. I did sadly lose a couple of eggs but she still has the larvae and another four or five eggs, so I am hoping she will be all right, I'll give her a drop of honey once she calms down a bit to hopefully set her on her way to greatness! She is my only americanus queen with larvae before hibernation, so I am hoping that she will succeed and recover from the stress. As for my Vicinus queen, I set up a new test tube for her, placed some soil into the new tube, and offered her a honey offering, and sat down to play the waiting game. And, she drank for about 20 minutes.  There is something so satisfying about watching queens eat/drink. Especially when they are just so hungry and need every tiny drop. Eventually, I  just tipped her old tube on her side and she slid down into the new tube with her brood, she is chilling there now and I am going to leave them alone. Thanks for the advice!


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GeoAnts

 

Currently keeping: 2x Tetramorium Immigrans (20 workers, 100 workers) Camponotus Vicinus (brood, and hopefully soon workers!) 3x Lasius Americanus (Brood, and hopefully soon workers!)

Used to keep:

3x Brackymyrmex Depilis never founded, 3x Camponotus Modoc Queens never founded






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