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Noob mistakes


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#1 Offline Skwiggledork - Posted September 14 2017 - 3:18 PM

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So I am kicking myself at the moment. I went hunting for queens yesterday for the first time. Caught six ants that looked good to me and posted pictures on an ant facebook group for id. Turns out one was a male and one was a worker, so I was down to four queens, which I don't think is horrible for a first go at it. I figure four queens, one will probably die for no reason, one or two will be infertile, and I will still have a colony started. Well I didn't use enough cotton for my test tube or pushed it in too far or something, because I checked on them this morning and 2 had drowned  and the other two were wet but alive. So I made new test tube with more cotton and pushed the cotton in less. Now I am tucking them away for a week to see what happens, but I'm not confident that I will get babies.

Anyone else have stupid rookie mistakes like me or a funny story?


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#2 Offline AntPhycho - Posted September 14 2017 - 4:04 PM

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My first search for queens I came home empty handed, the second time I only saw alates flying out of the nest, the third time I resorted to try to dig up a colony (which didn't work), I kinda had given up for a few days until one day it started raining. Shortly after the rains I caught 1 extremely small, still not identified, queen, than I caught 2 Solenopsis Invicta queens, than I caught 1 Pogonomymrex Rugosus queen (eggs are spread all over the test tube and very small so I don't know if she fertile). From then on I have been catching Queens here and there,

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#3 Offline noebl1 - Posted September 14 2017 - 4:08 PM

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Last year was my first year anting and I decided to keep a single Temnothorax queen out of the thousands I saw outside, not getting any extras just in case something happens...  She laid, and eventually first workers slowly starting to eclose.  If you've never seen Temnothorax, they are hardy, but very small.  When their original test tube started drying out, I added a small outworld (4"x4") with a new water source and food.  Well noticed they were dying one by one as they'd leave the tube, and the enclosure was too big.  They'd die trying to find their way back, never finding their original tube or new tube with water either.  I connected two test tubes together, and they finally started moving to the newer tube.  I went to give them food one day, and squished one as didn't see it.   I was giving them a drop of Sunburst nectar on aluminum foil, which they loved. However without a cotton ball, due to their small size, they started to drown one by one until there were none left before I realized it  Finally queen was the only one left and died early during hibernation.  Super easy species, and I totally failed miserably.


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#4 Offline FeedTheAnts - Posted September 14 2017 - 4:28 PM

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The day after I even heard about ant keeping I wanted to go dig up some fire ant workers and put them in a terrarium. I went to get the fire ants and while doing so happen to notice a Prenolepis imparis queen just sitting there(it was february). I put her in a small plastic container, not even noticing that she could get out, came back a few hours later after putting my fire ant workers in their tank, and she was gone. I really did not care though, because after all, I had my fire ants! :facepalm:

Ps. Prenolepis imparis is at the top of my list for queens to catch


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I accidentally froze all my ants 


#5 Offline AntPhycho - Posted September 14 2017 - 4:37 PM

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The day after I even heard about ant keeping I wanted to go dig up some fire ant workers and put them in a terrarium. I went to get the fire ants and while doing so happen to notice a Prenolepis imparis queen just sitting there(it was february). I put her in a small plastic container, not even noticing that she could get out, came back a few hours later after putting my fire ant workers in their tank, and she was gone. I really did not care though, because after all, I had my fire ants! :facepalm:
Ps. Prenolepis imparis is at the top of my list for queens to catch


Lol I'm glad that one other person on this forum likes fire ants.

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#6 Offline Ants_Texas - Posted September 14 2017 - 6:31 PM

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This is sure to make you feel better about yourself.

 

1. I bought a Pseudomyrmex queen for $80, and prosided to get the wrong lid size for their formicarium. Once I realized I flipped out and put a painting on top over night. They were gone next morning.

 

2. I ordered 150 test tubes online, and then decided to catch 130 Solenopsis invicta queens. BAD IDEA.


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#7 Offline Skwiggledork - Posted September 15 2017 - 3:01 AM

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#1 is the exact reason I am trying to catch my first queen rather than buying, I would cry if $80 disappeared overnight.

 

#2 I am pretty sure Invicta isn't by me, but what I've read about them I wouldn't messed with any of them let alone 130. Hell I probably would have squished them as I saw them, since from what I've read they are invasive.


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#8 Offline disasterants - Posted April 25 2018 - 1:52 PM

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the first 2 queens that I ever caught were lasius queens and to keep myself from checking on them too often and stressing them out, i decided that i'd leave them in a closet at my grandparent's until they had workers; since it takes an entire winter of hibernating until they get them. anyway i knew that my grandparents wouldn't be too thrilled about me keeping ants at their house, so I kept it a secret from them. anyway, their cat had a flee problem and they ended up spraying bug poison all over the room which i was keeping my ants in and i only found out when it was too late...



#9 Offline CoolColJ - Posted April 27 2018 - 3:48 PM

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the first 2 queens that I ever caught were lasius queens and to keep myself from checking on them too often and stressing them out, i decided that i'd leave them in a closet at my grandparent's until they had workers; since it takes an entire winter of hibernating until they get them. anyway i knew that my grandparents wouldn't be too thrilled about me keeping ants at their house, so I kept it a secret from them. anyway, their cat had a flee problem and they ended up spraying bug poison all over the room which i was keeping my ants in and i only found out when it was too late...

 

 

Just put some red cellophane around the test tube, it allows you to peek on them


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#10 Offline Skwiggledork - Posted April 27 2018 - 5:28 PM

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I actually got a red see through photo case from a craft store that perfectly holds 5 test tubes with a little clay to keep them from rolling.

Since my first post in this thread I had three crematogaster queens. All three survived hibernation from November to mid-late February. I put one of them into a small naturalistic habitat and promptly dropped the whole thing and killed her. The other two laid eggs and now have 5-10 workers each. I bought a Prenolepis queen and workers from a forum member who is also doing well. Then made another noob mistake or two last week. I was out walking and flipping rocks to see what I could see and saw a bunch of ants on a slab of bark that was under a rock and when I picked up the bark I didn't see any workers on the ground or any tunnels away from the area, so I figured the queen must be in the bark even though I couldn't see her and put the whole thing in a test tube. I've been told that's not a good thing to do, but I think my guess was right since they haven't died and more importantly I saw brood that I didn't remember seeing. Second noob mistake this year I saw a bunch of prenolepis queens swarming out of a nest and grabbed them straight off the nest. Got home and posted on fb and was told they were most likely infertile since they hadn't been given time to fly so I took them back to the nest and let them go, then went about a hundred meters away from the nest and started looking and caught one queen without it's wings walking around. Over all I feel like I am learning, but wish I would learn from other people's mistakes rather than make them all myself. lol

 

I did have one weird thing that I can't explain. After I took the 3 surviving queens out of hibernation, the water side of the test tube sucked back into the tube. I have no idea where the water went, but I usually fill the test tubes 1/2 - 3/4 of the way with water. I was discussing trading one of the Crematogaster queens for a Lasius flavus queen and he wanted a picture of them. While I was taking the pic I noticed the cotton was all the way to the end of the test tube save for a tiny little glob of water. No idea how that happened. My Prenelepis colony the water just gets lower and fills with air, this just sucked into the test tube. Trying to move one colony over to a new tube, then I'll work on the other, but they are in no rush to move. 


Edited by Skwiggledork, April 27 2018 - 5:47 PM.

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