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My ants keep moving to the outworld?

question ant keaping

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#1 Offline Pokee5954 - Posted February 18 2024 - 6:40 PM

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i recently moved my  (Camponotus Tanaemyrmex tortuganus) colony to a new nest about a month and a half ago. Every couple of days they move into the outworld and once they get spooked by something they move back to the nest, I'm not sure why or if it has something to do with the nest conditions or what's wrong. How can i fix the issue and ensure it doesn't happen anymore? 

 

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#2 Offline JesseTheAntKid - Posted February 18 2024 - 6:50 PM

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Does your nest have moisture?


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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

 

"ATTAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!" -Me

"AAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" -Even more me

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"- Me personified


#3 Offline futurebird - Posted February 18 2024 - 8:09 PM

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The moisture question is a good one. Do you keep the nest covered? Some ants are sensitive to light and vibrations. I keep most of my ants nests covered and this is important to keep the ants feeling secure in the nest. Vibrations can also be an issue. Choose a location that isn't subject to things being moved around, and put a soft pad under the nest. 

 

Last, consider the heat and moisture gradients. It looks like they took the pupae out there... ants will move young if they can achieve as little as a half degree improvement in temp or humidity. Their nest could be too dry, too moist, too cold or too warm. This could be due to sun exposure, a power cord, or light bulb near the nest.. or simply having a water feeder in the outworld and a dry nest. 

 

Ants like heat and moisture, but don't assume that they are going out because it's not wet enough in the nest or not warm enough ... too wet and too warm are also bad. 

 

Consider what is different about the outworld. Cover the nest. Add padding. Consider adding gentle heat (on a gradient) if the nest is cold, consider adding water if it's dry. 

 

Hope that helps. 


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#4 Offline TacticalHandleGaming - Posted February 18 2024 - 8:32 PM

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Make sure to cover the nest section, and that the water tower has water in it. Half full is plenty to start. What are you using for heat?


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Currently kept species

L. neoniger, P. occidentalis, C. modoc, C. novaeboracensis, C. vicinus, T. immigrans, A. occidentalis, S. molesta, P. imparis, M. kennedyi, M semirufus, F. pacifica, P. californica, M. ergatogyna.

 

Previously kept species

T. rugatulus, B. depilis.

 

Looking for

Myrmecocystus pyramicus, Myrmecocystus testaceus

Pheidole creightoni, Pheidole inquilina, Crematogaster coarctata, Crematogaster mutans

My youtube channel.  My ant Etsy store - Millennium Ants


#5 Offline Pokee5954 - Posted February 18 2024 - 8:37 PM

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there is moisture i make sure it at least half of the way full i also use a cover for the nest i just took it off for the pictures I'm using a small reptile heating pad for heat 



#6 Offline TacticalHandleGaming - Posted February 18 2024 - 8:53 PM

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there is moisture i make sure it at least half of the way full i also use a cover for the nest i just took it off for the pictures I'm using a small reptile heating pad for heat 

Make sure the heat pad is only under 1/3 to half the nest opposite the water tower. I would expect they are too hot, or the humidity is too high. Is the heat pad on a temp controller?


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Currently kept species

L. neoniger, P. occidentalis, C. modoc, C. novaeboracensis, C. vicinus, T. immigrans, A. occidentalis, S. molesta, P. imparis, M. kennedyi, M semirufus, F. pacifica, P. californica, M. ergatogyna.

 

Previously kept species

T. rugatulus, B. depilis.

 

Looking for

Myrmecocystus pyramicus, Myrmecocystus testaceus

Pheidole creightoni, Pheidole inquilina, Crematogaster coarctata, Crematogaster mutans

My youtube channel.  My ant Etsy store - Millennium Ants


#7 Offline ANTdrew - Posted February 19 2024 - 3:50 AM

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Increase ventilation in the outworld, and the ants will start treating it like the “outside.” The small bits of super fine mesh on outworlds like that offer next to no ventilation.
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#8 Offline The_Gaming-gate - Posted February 19 2024 - 6:50 AM

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The simplest thing I could think of is taking the top off to allow ventilation. If you put a small fan next to the outworld, the wind will prevent ants from staying in the outworld. Just make sure the nesting area stays heated.


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

 

 

 


#9 Offline TheAntKid - Posted February 19 2024 - 6:56 AM

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The ants might feel as though the outworld is a part of their nest that is also super safe to have their brood exposed. You may want to use some small disturbances like a little tapping in the outworld or a small but live feeder insect to show them that the outworld isn't safe.


Currently keeping:

2x Camponotus pennsylvanicus

1x Camponotus nearctius 

1x Lasius sp.

1x Unknown ant species (may not have a queen).
Past colonies:

Formica subsericea

Camponotus nearctius

Camponotus sp.

Lasius Claviger (only a couple days)


#10 Offline JesseTheAntKid - Posted February 19 2024 - 12:03 PM

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Ehh, maybe not a live feeder insect, but overall, TheAntKid has a point. Make the outworld feel like something that is a "danger zone."


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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

 

"ATTAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!" -Me

"AAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" -Even more me

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"- Me personified


#11 Online GOCAMPONOTUS - Posted February 19 2024 - 7:43 PM

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I did the same thing as my ants C.sp would also nest in the outworld. I shined light and taped on the glass

Edited by GOCAMPONOTUS, February 19 2024 - 7:43 PM.


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


#12 Offline FormiCanada - Posted February 20 2024 - 8:41 AM

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i recently moved my  (Camponotus Tanaemyrmex tortuganus) colony to a new nest about a month and a half ago. Every couple of days they move into the outworld and once they get spooked by something they move back to the nest, I'm not sure why or if it has something to do with the nest conditions or what's wrong. How can i fix the issue and ensure it doesn't happen anymore? 

 

 

 

I can tell you unequivocally without a doubt that this is due to the foraging area being warmer than the nest & that's why they've moved out. This isn't really something to worry about as your ants feel comfortable and safe to have moved there. This means you're not disturbing them all too much, which is great! 

 

If your ants are all in the arena, you may find an opportune time to plug up the hole from the inside of the nest, remove any few stragglers in the nest and then remove the entire nest and give it a good spring cleaning in the sink. Sometimes the ants will avoid a freshly made nest because of the concrete preservative fumes found in many plasters are still being released and the ants don't like it. Either way, a nice wash will aerate everything and you should be good. 

 

Just an additional though too, the ants will prefer if the nest itself is actually dark, or has some red acrylic covering. 

 

Cheers!



#13 Offline Full_Frontal_Yeti - Posted February 20 2024 - 12:39 PM

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the ants always go where they like it best, which may or may not be where we had figured that might be

 

 

They more or less just can't nest in 'the wrong place" cause they won't stay there, but move to any place where they measure conditions to be any better. Like if they want 80f, but the closest they can find is 68f, then they will be where it is 68f.

We can't assume they "like" where they are, they are wherever it is "as good as it can be." Which may or may not be their optimal best really, just "the best" they can find at the moment. So if they find conditions are just a little better in the outworld than nest, they will move there.
 

 

If you know what their ideal is, and you create that space for them, they will move into it.

 

With camponotus i notice they are generally averse to light, commonly getting the high speed freak outs when exposed to light more than some other species.

Covering the topdown nest fully or using a red filter on it would help them differentiate the nest from the outworld by light levels. I notice in the image posted, it looks as if they are in the most shadow they could find. The top down nest having some side shadows but still getting direct light cast into all the chambers.

 

Not sure on their ideal temps, but i'd also be checking on that to ensure the nest was kept on a fairly tight temp range around their ideal. While the outworld was allowed to temp swing wider, for  more natural outdoors day/night time changes.

 

 

Once you master their reactions, and have the ability to tightly control their environment. They will kind of  go where you direct them to, with that direction being environmental conditions made more or less brood rearing optimal for them. They will go where they deem it to be optimal and all we have to do is wait patiently.

 

But then they pick what is "optimal" for them, from what is available to them.
This is why knowing their ideal conditions, and being able to make that where you want it, is the power to get them to nest where you want.

However a small outworld with a  closed lid will likely smell like the same as the inside of the nest to them. If they "see" it this way then they do and the only fix is to open the lid and keep it a fresh air outworld where their nest oder can't build up. To make the illusion of outside the nest for them is smell based basically.

Though a strong light/dark differentiate between the outworld and nest can help with that.
Even if it all smells the same to them, if we know they prefer darker areas, then darker zones will be their more optimal nesting areas and we can use that to help direct them to nest where we want them to.


Edited by Full_Frontal_Yeti, February 20 2024 - 12:49 PM.

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#14 Offline Mushu - Posted February 21 2024 - 7:23 AM

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As mentioned by others, it could be they prefer the temperature at that spot at certain times. The heatpads/cables aren't always consistent and may get warmer/cooler at times. I also suspect that water feeder near there may also play a part. Curious if you set the water feeder somewhere else if it makes a difference. 

 

My buddy who has Camponotus ca02 in a nucleus with 40ish workers(too large for them yep, but they're doing fine) from what he tells me moves the brood up and down a floor every night at about the same time in the evening. It may be the temperature  change at night, but he did mention he keeps his house temperature controlled at room temperature 


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