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Meet Scarlett... Castaneus queen who adopted me


27 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Lillyrose - Posted June 12 2023 - 6:24 PM

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Last year I got rid of all but two colonies. My original Queen, the one I over paid for in my excitement. .. and Mira, my Crematogaster... the first queen I ever found in the wild.

The Crematogaster queen did well for a while and then escaped one day... just .. poof .. no more queen.

The original queen ... sigh .. I squished in a cleaning accident. She was under a rock rather than in the tube and I pushed down on the rock by accident. It was horrible.

This year I decided I would get my hands on a fertile Tetramorium immigrans queen (like my first .. my og) and just focus on one.

Welp, what is a girl to do when she finds a camponotus castaneus hanging on her shirt? I made a tube out of habit and put her up ..

Then I decided .. hey .. I only wanna raise one! So I decided to let her go. Except.. the girl already laid eggs. Apparently she was ready ... so I can't bring myself to get rid of her. Thus, Scarlett has come home. All hail queen Scarlett!

When I peeked in on the little armored truck of a queen she had maybe 4 or 5 eggs. I'm really not sure because I don't like to mess with the queen when she's pounding. I had it really intended to keep her and so I had pulled her out a little roughly but now seeing that she was expecting a felt compelled to give her the respect she deserved.


Not sure the exact date that I picked her up. I feel like maybe it was about a week ago. But I'm really not sure it's hard to tell. I do know that today was the day that I decided to keep her anniversary date.
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#2 Offline ZTYguy - Posted June 12 2023 - 11:00 PM

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That’s awesome! You’ll love that queen and her workers. They seem to be on the slow side in terms of Camponotus but I’m sure with your full attention she will do fine. What I can suggest to help speed up the process it get a small dish (maybe some folded aluminum foil) and put some sugar water in there (simply sugar dissolved into water with some optional food dye) and give her that every 3 ish days or when it’s all out. She will appreciate that and hopefully will make her first generation nice and large. My second piece of advice is to put her near a heat source such as a reptile heating cable. She will appreciate the heat and food. Anyways good luck with your queen and happy anting!


  • Lillyrose likes this

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 ANTdrew - Posted June 13 2023 - 2:08 AM

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Woah, you’re back! Almost summer break, too.
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#4 Offline Lillyrose - Posted June 13 2023 - 12:23 PM

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Woah, you’re back! Almost summer break, too.


Yeah, I was keeping ants over the winter but there wasn't much to write about lol. And then I got overwhelmed with everything because I made the mistake of getting way too many colonies all at once. So I'm back! Ready to try again this time with a more reasonable amount
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#5 Offline Lillyrose - Posted June 30 2023 - 6:13 AM

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The Scarlet Queen is doing great. She has herself a little pile that's she's keeping safe. Frankly, she wants me to leave her alone. Since I've gotten her first she's been bothered everytime I added another queen to the box. I'm making a rookie mistake and I'm going to stop.

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She is very protective of her brood and stays over them like a mama hawk.


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#6 Offline Lillyrose - Posted July 15 2023 - 12:55 PM

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VideoCapture_20230714-205902.jpg

 

Scarlet, who I keep accidently calling the Crimson Queen, is doing really well. I really need to stop bothering her but I always forget how slow they are. They're big girls and need that extra loving for sure. 

 

She's been in the warming tent and keeping a steady 72 degrees.. I'm afraid to do anything warmer. Last hear I accidently cooked a bunch of new queens and it's not something I want to do again. So I'm happy to keep them a little cooler and let them grow just a little bit slower until they have an outworld.

 

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This gets me so excited. Look how close they are! These two are going to be out soon. 

 

 


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#7 Offline ZTYguy - Posted July 15 2023 - 10:11 PM

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You can probably bump her up to 75. 80 is the optimal temperature for majority of US Camponotus. I totally get the hesitation however it will in the long run lead to her being a healthier queen and having a healthier colony.

 

I will say that you are doing a great job with this queen and she seems nice and healthy. I love the colors of C. castaneus however they are just annoyingly slow... even once they get going. This girl will definitely test your patience.


Edited by ZTYguy, July 15 2023 - 10:13 PM.

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.


#8 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 16 2023 - 2:50 AM

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Just turn down the AC in your house.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#9 Offline Lillyrose - Posted July 29 2023 - 5:57 PM

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Just turn down the AC in your house.


Nooooooo

I'm built for the cold
And a wuss in the heat

The queen is doing well.. I will add some pictures as I edit this .. but today I was lucky enough to see the queen helping her first little worker out.

Their slow nature had me ready to pull my hair out as she had huge cocoons, and they just weren't hatching. I got her well before the other girls, but a queen needs what she needs and I was going to leave her alone....

But ... I noticed she had laid more eggs! I feel like that's a sign that she thinks the workers would soon be able to help her take care of them... and YAY .. today one colorless little girl came trembling out into the world.

And what did this little baby sister do? Grab the eggs and bring them over to the queen to protect them from the giant that was shining light into their tube.

Very proud of them! Lol

The other ants are going to live in a tube/outworld for a while .. but Scarlett will be going into a much more suitable environment for her and her workers.

#10 Offline Lillyrose - Posted August 5 2023 - 4:17 PM

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This girl is doing great. She currently has three workers. They're small, light colored, and very attentive. They almost look like they didn't quite harden. But she has three, which is a pretty good amount for the species, in my experiences.

Like the other ants that I have kept, they tend to put the eggs up on top of the water tank. Not necessarily the cocoons though. That's one of the things I like about this ant. They are large enough to really see some of the stuff that's going on. Most of the kinds of ants I like are fast and small, but the side effect of that is that I don't get to see most of the small details.

The queen is amazing! The three girls ran and hid under her trying to cover over the cocoons when I peeked in. But she turned and looked at me and her mandibles were just so threatening. She look like a fierce mama!

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#11 Offline Lillyrose - Posted February 25 2024 - 11:31 AM

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First let me apologize for any weird writing. I'm using voice to text and if you know anything about that you're aware that it can have an interesting interpretation of what you said. I'm going to try to get on the computer in a little bit and do some editing, but right now sitting out in the sun I can't see the screen very well so voice to text it is. I've been having the hardest time with this girl. Despite her initial laying of eggs and raising a fruit, towards November this girl just completely stopped producing any eggs at all. Since I'm used to the pavement ants which produce eggs even into hibernation at first I didn't realize what that meant. I put her into hibernation, figuring out finally that she needed a break and was waiting for winter to set in. Her and her children seem to do really well over hibernation. The water either evaporated or was drinking and I continued to fill it up. The sugar water didn't change at all so I figured that they were spending more time sleeping than drinking. However, this girl was easily startled and almost anything made it so she didn't want to interact with the world. The smallest vibrations, the loud noises, or even unexpected lights made them skitter to the back of the tube and curl up in a huddle. I know these girls are shy so it didn't surprise me. What did surprise me is that a couple of weeks ago I took them out of hibernation. Despite having a nice little break they still did not seem to want to become active. While the water continues to go down, the fresh sugar water doesn't change. I tried a huge variety of foods but none of them seem to tempt them. I never see them take any of the food. I tried things like the nectar jelly, sugar, honey, Meats like hams and turkey, fruit flies, crickets, even little bits of nuts. But nothing seems to catch their attention. I know they're drinking because the water goes down even though the sugar water does not. But they must wait until it's incredibly dark and quiet with no movement for a while before they venture out. I tried covering the tube knowing that they're kind of skittish. But the queen is not laying, the girls are not foraging, and nothing seems to change. I've tried heating them, I've tried taking them off the heat. I've tried making sure they can see light, I've tried putting them in the dark corner. They just seem to be afraid of their own shadow and don't want to move. Always huddled up into a ball towards the back of the tube. I figure that they might be able to survive this way, but I don't raise them because I want them to survive! I want them to thrive. So today I decided to try something a little different. Well out for a walk I saw several losses growing and I peeled them off. They're very shallow roots and don't need a whole lot of work to stay alive for a while. At least I hope that Trent stays the case though I guess that's always something that might have to be dealt with again later. I use the Moss and draped it over the tube on both sides and on top. I didn't layer it thick enough to create complete darkness, though I thought I had, but I did give them a nice Shady spot. Now I know this is a huge risk! There could be mites or eggs of some kind of other insects or any number of issues with the dirt or the Moss itself. It could be pesticides or any sort of different problem. However, letting them just sit there obviously terrified is breaking my heart. About 5 minutes after I put the Moss down I was peeking down from the bottom to see if I could still see into the tube. That's when I found out that it was still just a bit of light getting in because I could see movement around the tube. Wasn't perfectly possible to see but it was possible. To my surprise, not even 5 minutes later, despite the fact that I was sitting right there! One of the girls came out. She started to touch the mall since the dirt and explore. She climbed along the wall and climbed up on several different types of mosses. She went underneath them between the tube and the dirt and then on top of them. She explored more in the last 10 minutes then I've seen them moved since the beginning of when Scarlett adopted me. This may have been a risk, and it still might come back to bite me in the butt! But I'm starting to think it was a really good choice. The dirt, or the moss, or the smell, or the feel, something about this is triggering them to feel safer and to explore. I hope this continues to show good promise. Peeking from below I can see movement in the tube, much more than I've ever seen before, I can actually see individual ants instead of a ball of ants that are hiding the queen behind them. This might actually save them and help them to go from survival to thriving.

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#12 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted February 26 2024 - 4:46 AM

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I’m in Florida, a place without hibernating ants, but I do think that if the queen still won’t lay eggs, and the ants aren’t eating, they may not be done with hibernation. The ants have an internal clock, so heating them up could wake them up, but they still know it’s winter. If you’re worried about their food, you could leave some out, but otherwise you may just want to consider cooling the colony for a bit.

Ants are small creatures... but together... they can rule the world.

 

 

 


#13 Offline Lillyrose - Posted February 26 2024 - 7:42 PM

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I’m in Florida, a place without hibernating ants, but I do think that if the queen still won’t lay eggs, and the ants aren’t eating, they may not be done with hibernation. The ants have an internal clock, so heating them up could wake them up, but they still know it’s winter. If you’re worried about their food, you could leave some out, but otherwise you may just want to consider cooling the colony for a bit.

Honestly, I do think that might be what's happening here. It is still only February. While in Virginia that is pretty warm compared to some other places for the ants themselves that it might just not be long enough.

I am giving them a couple days before I put them back in the fridge though because one Anta has been out and pulling moss off non-stop to block the front of the tube. And I want to let her finish making it feel comfortable and safe. The only issues the Moss is not going to survive because there's no way I can keep it moist enough in there without worrying about molding everything else... so I want to let her build the wall and feel safe before everything dies.

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Edited by Lillyrose, February 26 2024 - 7:45 PM.


#14 Offline Rrar - Posted February 29 2024 - 5:40 PM

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lol when you call her a name, you're kinda acting like AntsCanada, because in his videos, he always gives a colony's queen a name


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canada = boring!!!!!

I want attaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!!!

also: Camponotus ca02 ( probably not possible though)


#15 Offline Artisan_Ants - Posted March 1 2024 - 1:23 PM

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If you find the correct date for when they fly, you could wake them then. It would really depends though. If you’ve seen this species fly before, the wake them up then. I you haven’t then you could go to website like AntWiki and find the date. There’s also the Queen ant spotting chart on this forum that you could use. And by the way, this species is by far my dream species to keep (that’s found in my stat of course). Good luck!

Keeping:

3x - S. molesta 

1x - C. chromaiodes

2x - F. pallidefulva

2x - C. cerasi

1x - B. depilis

2x P. imparis (colonies) 3x P. imparis queens (1x queen in test tube, 3x queens in test tube, and 6x queens in another test tube. Can't wait to see the results!)

 

Check out my C. chromaiodes journal here: https://www.formicul...aiodes-journal/


#16 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 2 2024 - 5:28 AM

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If you find the correct date for when they fly, you could wake them then. It would really depends though. If you’ve seen this species fly before, the wake them up then. I you haven’t then you could go to website like AntWiki and find the date. There’s also the Queen ant spotting chart on this forum that you could use. And by the way, this species is by far my dream species to keep (that’s found in my stat of course). Good luck!

There is absolutely no reason to keep these ants in hibernation until early June, which is their typical flight time here. Three months is sufficient for most northern Camponotus.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#17 Offline Lillyrose - Posted March 2 2024 - 10:01 AM

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Honestly, I think it was simply that they are much more cautious than the other ant colonies I'm used to raising. Giving them moss might be a mistake if there ends up being mites or other such critters, but it made all the difference for them!

The girls are more active now and while they have effectively blocked off my vision of the tube, I've seen them coming in and out... which they were refusing to do before. They also took some protein into the tube so I'm hopeful she is back to laying. At some point I'll have to take a peek but I think with these sensitive, and oh so slow, girls I should let them alone as much as possible.

I love watching them crawl on the moss as well. Unlike some of the other ants I've raised, they're large enough to actually see. I don't need a glass or a camera to zoom in and to see each one clearly. They have lovely body formations and I love seeing them at work.

It was also a join to watch them pulling and cutting the moss to build a hideaway for their tube.

This particular box has 2 much smaller tubes under the rocks, as well as a stone formicarium... but they seem content to stay in their regular tube. I'll probably remove the formicarium at some point if they never use it, but for now it can sit.

The tubes in the rocks have a side effect as well. When I put the heating cable it creates a little more humidity which seems to be helping the moss...

Of course, that too might bite me in the butt if it's too humid for the ants or if it starts producing moldy spots, or if it doesn't have enough ventilation and it causes sweating to reduce the Fluon.

All in all, I'm watching and learning and enjoying this new habitat. I think the girls are loving it too.
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#18 Online GOCAMPONOTUS - Posted March 2 2024 - 1:15 PM

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Worker count?



Currently keeping
1.Camponotus vicinus. 5 workers
2.Camponotus modoc. 5 workers
3. Camponotus hyatti. 1 worker
4.Veromessor pergandei. founding
5 Linepithema humile. 70-100 workers 5 queens
6. Pheidole Californica. 65 workers

I want: Atta,Myrmecia,Myrmica,Myrmecocystus

#19 Offline Lillyrose - Posted March 2 2024 - 9:32 PM

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Worker count?


There were only 6 ... I know these girls are slow growers but it makes me nervous. They need more workers.

I'll be on the lookout for a nest I can steal brood from.
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#20 Offline Artisan_Ants - Posted March 3 2024 - 5:22 AM

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Worker count?

There were only 6 ... I know these girls are slow growers but it makes me nervous. They need more workers.
I'll be on the lookout for a nest I can steal brood from.
I don’t know for sure, but can C. castaneaus or another Carpenter ant species open cocoons for different species (in brood boosting) once accepted? If not, they might need workers from that colony your stealing brood from in order to close those cocoons. (It’s kind of like introducing host workers to a parasitic Lasius queen/de-alate). Also keep in mind that this can be kind of complicated and risky especially with Camponotus. If you want to do it, then go for it! Good luck!

Edited by Artisan_Ants, March 3 2024 - 5:23 AM.

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Keeping:

3x - S. molesta 

1x - C. chromaiodes

2x - F. pallidefulva

2x - C. cerasi

1x - B. depilis

2x P. imparis (colonies) 3x P. imparis queens (1x queen in test tube, 3x queens in test tube, and 6x queens in another test tube. Can't wait to see the results!)

 

Check out my C. chromaiodes journal here: https://www.formicul...aiodes-journal/





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