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What happened to my Formica queen?!

formica sudden death help

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17 replies to this topic

#1 Offline DinoH - Posted July 9 2023 - 1:43 PM

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I checked my queen Formica subsericea queen but what I saw was the weirdest death scene I have ever seen. Her faster was about five times larger, the cotton blocking the water was far behind where I put it, there was no water besides the cotton blocking the water and exit, and the queen was dead.
What happened to her? There is a hole in the cotton also.

Before:

[attachment=15335:IMG_3556.jpeg]

After:

[attachment=15336:IMG_3700.jpeg]

Edited by DinoH, July 9 2023 - 1:44 PM.


#2 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 9 2023 - 1:45 PM

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Did the tube get overheated?
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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.

#3 Offline Ernteameise - Posted July 9 2023 - 2:02 PM

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Flooding?
She pulled out too much cotton, the water got out and she drowned?
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#4 Offline DinoH - Posted July 9 2023 - 2:12 PM

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Did the tube get overheated?


I’m sure it’s not that, my basement never gets hot and there is no possible heat source anywhere.

#5 Offline DinoH - Posted July 9 2023 - 2:15 PM

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Flooding?
She pulled out too much cotton, the water got out and she drowned?

That seems like the most reasonable explanation. She looks like a drowned ant. Is there any way I can prevent that?

#6 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 9 2023 - 3:12 PM

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Folks use these blue foam pieces instead of cotton. They fit tighter, mold less, and ants can’t dig into them.
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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.

#7 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted July 9 2023 - 5:31 PM

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Folks use these blue foam pieces instead of cotton. They fit tighter, mold less, and ants can’t dig into them.

yes pva sponges could work


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Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

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Attention Ant-Keepers in South Dakota! Join the SoDak(Society Of Dakotan Ant Keepers)


#8 Offline DinoH - Posted July 10 2023 - 5:42 AM

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Folks use these blue foam pieces instead of cotton. They fit tighter, mold less, and ants can’t dig into them.

I think I have seen them in Ebay but I did not know they where good. Thank you for the advice. By the way what do you use as a founding chamber to the very small queens?



#9 Offline ANTdrew - Posted July 10 2023 - 7:23 AM

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Test tubes work great for almost any species.
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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.

#10 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted July 10 2023 - 2:18 PM

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Folks use these blue foam pieces instead of cotton. They fit tighter, mold less, and ants can’t dig into them.

I think I have seen them in Ebay but I did not know they where good. Thank you for the advice. By the way what do you use as a founding chamber to the very small queens?
Either 16mmor smaller test tubes or portable amor ants has some cryptic species inserts you could purchase.
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Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

My South Dakotan Shop Here

Attention Ant-Keepers in South Dakota! Join the SoDak(Society Of Dakotan Ant Keepers)


#11 Offline AntObserver - Posted July 21 2023 - 8:23 AM

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Bloating like that is common from drowning. 
Sorry for your loss! 
See about the Blue PVA sponges, they are much better and reliable and are synthetic so do not mold unless excessive organic material is placed upon it. 

Happy Anting 


Edited by AntObserver, July 21 2023 - 8:25 AM.

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#12 Offline DinoH - Posted July 31 2023 - 5:25 PM

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Bloating like that is common from drowning. 
Sorry for your loss! 
See about the Blue PVA sponges, they are much better and reliable and are synthetic so do not mold unless excessive organic material is placed upon it. 
Happy Anting 

Thank you, fortunately I got 4 more a week after this post.

#13 Offline Full_Frontal_Yeti - Posted August 1 2023 - 9:28 AM

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This is the stuff i seen used with good reports.

 

I've not done founding test tubes peronsally so can't say from first hand Xp,  but all my prep research for ant keeping showed me this is considered the superior material on rerpots of mold resistacne and standing up to digging way better than cotton.

 

https://theantvault....ucts/pva-sponge

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/373143627935

 

https://www.amazon.c...s/dp/B09CCWGQ8Y

 

https://www.etsy.com...bes-ant-keeping

 

can also buy as blocks and cut your own

https://www.aliexpre...0650276296.html


Edited by Full_Frontal_Yeti, August 1 2023 - 9:29 AM.


#14 Offline ReignofRage - Posted August 2 2023 - 4:35 PM

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Let's not forget that many ants can, will, and do bore into the soft PVA sponge material not uncommonly. 

 

gallery_5829_2142_19074.jpg

 

For example, this is a Crematogaster queen that had been in this test tube for a mere two minutes. Various other genera gnaw on the sponge and dig into it such as Camponotus, Formica, LasiusPheidolePogonomyrmex, Veromessor, just to name a few. With cotton, this forms longer strings that are yarn-like. With the sponges, it leaves shredded bits in the tube which can get messy at times. Even queens as small as 4mm can and do chew into the sponges. Additionally, from my experience, founding rates are not different between cotton and PVA sponges, both get 95+% time and time again.

 

Now, that's not to say there are no benefits from PVA sponges. As mentioned, the molding issue is reduced and the sponges only grow harmful mold when organics such as insect bits are placed against them. They also are reusable and easy to clean as well.


Edited by ReignofRage, August 2 2023 - 4:36 PM.


#15 Offline ANTdrew - Posted August 3 2023 - 2:15 AM

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Let's not forget that many ants can, will, and do bore into the soft PVA sponge material not uncommonly.

gallery_5829_2142_19074.jpg

For example, this is a Crematogaster queen that had been in this test tube for a mere two minutes. Various other genera gnaw on the sponge and dig into it such as Camponotus, Formica, Lasius, Pheidole, Pogonomyrmex, Veromessor, just to name a few. With cotton, this forms longer strings that are yarn-like. With the sponges, it leaves shredded bits in the tube which can get messy at times. Even queens as small as 4mm can and do chew into the sponges. Additionally, from my experience, founding rates are not different between cotton and PVA sponges, both get 95+% time and time again.

Now, that's not to say there are no benefits from PVA sponges. As mentioned, the molding issue is reduced and the sponges only grow harmful mold when organics such as insect bits are placed against them. They also are reusable and easy to clean as well.

Good ol’ Crematogaster! They’ll bore into anything, even THA Type III material.
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#16 Offline DinoH - Posted August 3 2023 - 5:11 AM

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PVA sponges will be very helpful for next year’s winter ants. Mold happens so quickly when I put Winter ants on a test tube.

#17 Offline DinoH - Posted August 4 2023 - 6:50 AM

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I got two questions. How do you take the sponge off once your queen does not need it anymore? Can I fill the test tube back with water with a syringe like on cotton ones?

#18 Offline ANTdrew - Posted August 4 2023 - 9:40 AM

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I got two questions. How do you take the sponge off once your queen does not need it anymore? Can I fill the test tube back with water with a syringe like on cotton ones?

They fit a bit tighter, but you can remove them with any thin implement like long tweezers or a hook of some sort. Moving colonies to a new tube is usually better than trying to refill old ones.
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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.





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