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Correct amount of time to wait until viewing the colony often?

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4 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Calebhunter123 - Posted June 2 2023 - 6:25 PM



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Hello, I have a smaller Pheidole pilifera colony with about 10 workers, with more on the way. They've been in this test tube for a few months now and I was wondering, is it safe to look at them more often? I know you shouldn't disturb them during the founding phase but I was wondering if it would be alright to look at this more now? Thank you.

#2 Offline ZTYguy - Posted June 2 2023 - 7:43 PM


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It is fine. You can keep them on a desk or table or nightstand next to heat. At this point I pull out all of my personal colonies. I only keep ants in the closet even when they have workers because I keep hundreds of queens at a time and have no nightstand large enough for that.

Ant Keeping Since June 2018
Currently Keeping:
A. versicolor, C. us-ca02, C. yogi, C. Vicinus, C. laevigatus, C. clarithorax, C. maritimus, C. ocreatus, M. mexicanus, M. placodops 01, V. andrei, V. pergandei, N. cockerelli, P. barbata, P. montanus

Hoping to Catch This season:

M. romanei, M. placodops 02, P. imberbiculus, Polyergus sp., F. moki, A. megomatta, Cyphomyrmex sp.,Temnothorax sp.

#3 Offline B_rad0806 - Posted June 3 2023 - 11:50 AM


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Check them as many times as you want. Checking them doesn't have an affect on the colony, it's if you are vibrating and shaking the tube. 


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#4 Offline rptraut - Posted June 3 2023 - 6:12 PM


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Hello Cablehunter123;

With my colonies, I have ones that I call “Observation Colonies”. These are colonies that I check regularly, often daily. From their development I have a pretty good idea of how the other colonies are doing, without checking them all. In fact I seldom check them as I think sporadic checking causes more disturbance than regular checking. Most colonies I never check at all, but the ones I do check get quite used to it.

With some colonies it seems only the queen gets disturbed when I check them. I’ve put a piece of black paper where the queen likes to hang out so she has a refuge to escape to. Then I can check them without undue disturbance.

Ants - All for one and one for all.

#5 Offline Flu1d - Posted June 3 2023 - 7:36 PM


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Honestly, I used to have the same worries as you. However, at this point in time, I have realized that most ants are not nearly as sensitive as I believed they would be when I first found my original queens.

I used to cover all my queens and was terrified to let them see light or even accidently, slightly bump one of their tubes. I have had a lot of far more experienced keepers than I assure me that, yes, although SOME ants might care SLIGHTLY, the vast majority don't. As long as you aren't picking up the tubes every day and shaking them or dropping them and such, the vast majority of your colonies will get used to light and vibrations.

My biggest colony, which happens to be Solenopsis invicta, scatter like wild at the slightest bump.. yet they are thriving.

My Camponotus castaneus, however, couldn't give the slightest of a care. Neither do my Pheidole bicarinata. I will say, half of my Dorymyrmex bureni queens care, the other half don't. My Brachymyrmex patagonicus do not seem to care at all, either.

Just be careful with them, but if you do handle them, it's not that big of a deal.

Again, that is for, in my experience, the majority of ants I have.. not all. You should definitely be most careful in the beginning stages of founding to kind of gauge which of your ants care and which don't.

Edited by Flu1d, June 3 2023 - 7:39 PM.

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