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Crematogaster digging through Mini Hearth

crematogaster mini hearth escape

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6 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Izzy - Posted June 21 2023 - 10:15 PM

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Two days ago I caught some Crematogaster queens from a very large wild colony (they had about twenty five queens and I only took a few). I came home and immediately moved them into a THA Mini Hearth. Tonight I discovered that they have started digging tunnels into the bottom right corner of the Mini Hearth, near the water tower. One of the holes is apparently big enough for one of the queens to go in because she seemingly has disappeared and I can see the back of an ant sticking out of the bottom left red circle I've drawn in the image.

 

I'm pretty new to ant keeping and not really sure what to do? I'm guessing at some point in the very near future, maybe tonight while I'm asleep, they're going to dig through. Is there a better formicarium I could have used for these guys? Maybe I need something like an AntsCanada Mini Hybrid or something that is made of acrylic? This is a brand new Mini Hearth that has never been used and that I bought very recently. I don't think any excess water spilled from the water tower while filling it up.

 

Any help would be appreciated. Would be nice to save the Mini Hearth as well since its so new. Is there a way to repair the holes of one that has been dug through if they make it through?

Ahhhhhhh!

EDIT: This has been resolved, see my answer on the 6th post.

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Edited by Izzy, June 22 2023 - 7:41 AM.


#2 Offline Ernteameise - Posted June 21 2023 - 11:51 PM

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Have you asked the founder of Tarheel Ants Mack Pridgen about this?

Send him an email and show him the photos.

He is very nice, very knowledgeable and I am sure he might be able to help.



#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 22 2023 - 2:01 AM

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Welcome to the joys of keeping Houdini ants. Is that made of type 3 material? If it is one of the old Ytong designs, then they could definitely chew through that for breakfast. If it’s type 3, then something is very wrong, but Crematogaster do have supernatural escape abiliities. I say move them out into a test tube in an escape proof box.
Another problem is collecting wild queens without workers. They will need workers to support them at refounding a colony or they will most likely die out.
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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.

#4 Offline Manitobant - Posted June 22 2023 - 5:35 AM

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Yeah you made a huge mistake not collecting workers. Whenever i collect a wild colony, i take as many workers as i can.
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#5 Offline Izzy - Posted June 22 2023 - 6:07 AM

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When I initially caught the queens on Monday I was so excited to have finally found something that I forgot that I needed workers. I actually went back up the next day and found the same rock and gathered some. So they do have workers, and they are the ones who are doing the digging as far as I can tell.

I'll reach out to Mack. I bought it as part of his 2023 Special where you get 5 Mini Hearths. I assumed they were Type 3, but it doesn't actually say on the product page if they are the Ytong or Type 3.

So far as of this morning they haven't managed to burrow through yet but the hole does look deeper.

 

I'll try to see if I can get them into some kind of test tube.

 

Thanks for the replies.


Edited by Izzy, June 22 2023 - 6:08 AM.


#6 Offline Izzy - Posted June 22 2023 - 6:36 AM

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I sent an email to Mack and he called me within about 3 minutes of sending it. He doesn't think there will be an issue, and they shouldn't be able to dig through the Type 3 material. He hasn't seen that happen before.

 

What he did tell me is that the Mini Hearth often has a bit of loose sand to the right of the water tower that the ants will dig into, that often doesn't get cleaned out before shipping. I guess a lot of people freak out about this happening and reach out, so hopefully if you find this in the future you will know. This is pretty normal and shouldn't be a cause for alarm.

 

Seemed like a really nice guy and I'm super impressed with the response time.

 

Thanks everyone.

 


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#7 Online antsriondel - Posted June 22 2023 - 7:37 AM

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I sent an email to Mack and he called me within about 3 minutes of sending it. He doesn't think there will be an issue, and they shouldn't be able to dig through the Type 3 material. He hasn't seen that happen before.

 

What he did tell me is that the Mini Hearth often has a bit of loose sand to the right of the water tower that the ants will dig into, that often doesn't get cleaned out before shipping. I guess a lot of people freak out about this happening and reach out, so hopefully if you find this in the future you will know. This is pretty normal and shouldn't be a cause for alarm.

 

Seemed like a really nice guy and I'm super impressed with the response time.

 

Thanks everyone.

 

Yeah, my Formica subsericea have made a small tunnel in their Mini hearth. 







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