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Satisfying the Urge to Roam

nest outworld roaming roam forage

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#1 Offline rptraut - Posted December 14 2023 - 12:36 AM

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Do you feel that as a colony grows, they need a longer distance between the nest and the outworld, to satisfy their urge to roam or forage for their food?
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My father always said I had ants in my pants.

#2 Online ANTdrew - Posted December 14 2023 - 3:12 AM

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I feel that certain ants like Crematogaster really do need distance to roam. You can see in my journal how I hooked up very long tubing in a kind of experiment.
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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 antsriondel - Posted December 14 2023 - 7:01 AM

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There are plenty of species that need large distances to roam as this is what happens in the wild. I hope to make one of these for my Liometopum in the future as they are consantly patrolling their outworld and in nature they create massive trails sometimes a kilometre or two in length.
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#4 Offline Full_Frontal_Yeti - Posted December 14 2023 - 9:50 AM

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I only have the one colony. But I find that even if a lot of "roam" (long distances) space can't be had, a highly lopsided ratio of nest/outworld, helps them show us their more natural behaviors. If the outworlds are small enough/not vented enough, then from the Ant's POV it may not be "outside"  and it influences their behaviors. I used to get callows and even The Queen in the outworld somewhat regularly until i had enough open air/well vent outworld going. Now they behave in a  way that clearly denotes their nest space from outside space.


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#5 Offline UtahAnts - Posted December 14 2023 - 10:10 AM

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I've noticed a larger outworld does promote natural foraging behaviors you may see in the wild (trailing, recruitment, etc.). That said, most formicaria these days have proportionately small outworlds so I think we miss out on a lot of the interesting behaviors that ants exhibit.


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#6 Offline Full_Frontal_Yeti - Posted December 14 2023 - 10:47 AM

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I've noticed a larger outworld does promote natural foraging behaviors you may see in the wild (trailing, recruitment, etc.). That said, most formicaria these days have proportionately small outworlds so I think we miss out on a lot of the interesting behaviors that ants exhibit.

one of the biggest influences i found was open air/well vented outworlds.

 

I stopped keeping the lid on my large outworld after a few days of having it and their behavior changed immediately.

I just went out of town for a week and put the lid on it while i was away. When i got back yesterday they were living in it. Masses of them were out in it doing the huddle up and just hang out, like they do in the nest.
I took the lid off slowly without major disturbance. And within a couple hours they had all moved back into the nest proper with only foragers out in it any more.

I'd say even if the outworld is kind of small, if you can keep the lid off, it likely has a strong influence on their behavior.

As they live by smell, if a space is closed up/not well vented, it probably just seems like nest to them.


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#7 Offline JesseTheAntKid - Posted December 14 2023 - 4:12 PM

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So long as you add a newer container when all containers are full, you should do good. Good luck!


Currently keeping: Pheidole obscurithorax (FINALLY I CAN STUDY THEM AND HAVE THEIR COOL MAJORS  B)), Tetramorium bicarinatum, Solenopsis spp. (probably xyloni, the queens are tiny hehe)

Wanting: Atta texana, Camponotus planatus (PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE CAN SOMEONE HOOK ME UP WITH ATTA)

Previously kept: Monomorium minimum, Pheidole dentata

 

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#8 Offline T.C. - Posted December 14 2023 - 11:57 PM

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I've noticed a larger outworld does promote natural foraging behaviors you may see in the wild (trailing, recruitment, etc.). That said, most formicaria these days have proportionately small outworlds so I think we miss out on a lot of the interesting behaviors that ants exhibit.

I've never bought an out world because of this. Any large colony i have, i give them a minimum of a 10 gallon aquarium.  You are right, you do miss out on a lot. Especially with Camponotus Species and their foraging trails.  Quite intriguing and you will only see it in a large set up.


“If I am killed for simply living, let death be kinder than man.” -Althea Davis

#9 Offline antsriondel - Posted December 15 2023 - 6:17 AM

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The only problem with these massive setups is they cost a lot money and they take up a lot of time and space to create. 



#10 Offline Full_Frontal_Yeti - Posted December 15 2023 - 12:23 PM

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The only problem with these massive setups is they cost a lot money and they take up a lot of time and space to create. 

large outworld spaces will have to take up the space they do. But if you have space to spare they can be quite cheap.
Just about any container that can keep them in with a fluon/anti-climb barrier can become an outworld if you can make a hole for an entrance tube in it.

I have fantasized about having the room to use a kidde pool as the outworld for a large colony.

assorted-blue-pink-summer-waves-kiddie-p

tube entrance from the nest, and a thin layer of sand would be a 45" diameter outworld for $13. Plus any sand/tube/decoration/fluon costs, which i do not see adding up to too much.



People curb empty aquariums, and plenty of rubbermaid like containers that would work well too. Lots of good containers from home depot like places for under $30.

The container can be cheap, but high quality professional decoration and/or custom cut fit stuff is where it starts running up a bill i find i need to budget for.

The time to make is however its own thing. When you like the work/process then it's not a cost but a "labor of love." If you're not into it then yeah it's just a time sink labor cost to pay.
 


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#11 Offline futurebird - Posted January 11 2024 - 6:23 PM

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I've had good success with my pennsylvanicus colony adding extra outworlds. They now have 3, and they are much more cautious about all of them. I do find longer tubes work OK with this species provided they are in a well lit area. They HATE light. This isn't obvious since it's not like they run from light... but they will cluster in any little dark nook, and they have a few "satellite nests" that I gave them to make them stop trying to escape and make satellite nests in my art supply drawer. 

 

They have at last stopped hanging around near the lid waiting for a chance to rush out... now if only I could get a handle on my discolor colony in the same way! They are such good climbers and feeding them is a pain. 


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Starting this July I'm posting videos of my ants every week on youTube.

I like to make relaxing videos that capture the joy of watching ants.

If that sounds like your kind of thing... follow me >here<


#12 Offline rptraut - Posted January 11 2024 - 11:00 PM

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Hello futurebird and thanks to all who replied to my question.
I too believe that to resemble the natural world, there are ants that need to roam and forage for at least some distance to satisfy that need. Last season I had two Tetramorium colonies in similar set ups. Each had a nest chamber and three “outworlds” connected together with tubing. I connected one colony’s nest and outworlds together with approximately 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) of tubing between each. With the second colony I used much longer tubing between each outworld, to a length of 10 feet (3 m) of tubing between the nest and the furthest outworld where I fed them. Both colonies had at least 1000 ants.

I feel one of the chief advantages of having to travel long distances for the ants is that it helps to reduce boredom and keeps them busy. Unknowingly, I had used screens that the ants could chew through. The short distance colony hung out on the screens quite often, and eventually chewed a hole in one while I was away on vacation. I never had any problems or escapes with the long-distance colony. I think they were just too busy to even hang out on the screens.
RPT
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My father always said I had ants in my pants.





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