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Formica rufa eats own brood

formica rufa woodant antkeeping

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#1 Offline Miel - Posted August 29 2023 - 12:33 PM



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Hello everyone,


My name is Miel, thanks for allowing me to the forum.


However, I do have a Formica rufa ant colony. In the beginning of the season, they were doing very well and around the end of may, they produced a nice pile of puepea.

Sadly, just before many workers were ready to eclose, many pupea disappeared and no to a few new workers could be seen...


 The most annoying thing is that I have also experienced this before with another colony of this kind... I would therefore like to know what I am doing wrong here so that I can have the colony expanded considerably next year. 


I keep the colony in a classic test tube setup± two large test tubes. One of them has a water tank, the other is completely dry. Both tubes are not obscured. Colony lives mostly in the dry tube with around hundred workers.


I feed them every week two buffalo worms and sometimes a few crickets. I give them honey and sugerwater as a sugar source.  


Thank you for helping!



Edited by Miel, August 29 2023 - 12:41 PM.

#2 Offline Manitobant - Posted August 29 2023 - 5:20 PM


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Host workers will sometimes kill the parasites before they emerge, which is speculated to be a natural defense against the invaders. The easiest way to get around this in my experience is by introducing some pupae and callows of the parasite species (in this case rufa) in order to acclimatize the hosts to their presence.

If you can’t get those you can try some sanguinea pupae and callows since raptiformica will literally open and care for anything (including sometimes other genera like lasius or Camponotus!)

Edited by Manitobant, August 29 2023 - 5:24 PM.

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#3 Offline Miel - Posted August 29 2023 - 11:14 PM



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Thank you for your help! The thing is, the colony has already no to just a few host workers, so I wonder if this is the problem.

Edited by Miel, August 29 2023 - 11:14 PM.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: formica rufa, woodant, antkeeping

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