Lasius flavus is pretty good as well.
Here's my colony at present. Got three queens and about seventy workers. They'll outgrow their test tube early next year and be moved to a proper setup.
And here's a queen who didn't bother moving out of the way during feeding time, so she sat in the lid for a bit.
Pheidole pallidula colony:
Messor barbarus queen peeking out of nest:
Also got a new species of carpenter ant, Camponotus herculeanus- one of the biggest species in Europe. The queen is huge and has just started laying eggs. She has one worker and three eggs.
It was hard to believe that she actually had wings and managed to fly at one point, because she looks too heavy to get off the ground.
how long do they usually stay in their tube?
also don't some ants prefer to hibernate during winter? I hear you can leave them going about themselves, but it won't be good for them.
This thread makes me really want an Ant Farm, but I think if they got out in my bedroom I would have to torch the place.
A genus from Britain will hibernate up until Spring, such as Lasius, Myrmica, Formica, Temnothorax and Tetramorium. They enter a dormant state and the queen stops laying eggs, and the larvae will hibernate as well.
Ants in warm countries such as America (Such as Solenopsis invicta, the infamous 'fire ants') do not hibernate either.
Messor, Pheidole and Camponotus are from central Europe, which is warmer. Their activity decreases and they will barely forage, but they stay awake. My Lasius are awake because my room is warm, so the queens are still actively laying eggs.
The test tube question. When you get a newly mated queen, it is best to keep her in a test tube. It should have a small water reservoir behind the cotton at the back, to provide moisture and water. The queen will begin to lay eggs and raise her brood without problems if not disturbed. She feeds her larvae with a nutritious soup that she regurgitates herself, and she will live off energy from her wing muscles, which are broken down as she won't need them.
I'm missing the point though.
You can keep them in there for as long as you like, as long as the water supply doesn't run out and as long as it doesn't get too dirty- you especially need to look out for lice and fungus. You can move them out later by putting them in another setup, but you have to be patient- it can take them months to move and the queen is always the one who wants to stay behind. You can always tap them out of course, but it may stress them too much. Stressed ants may eat their own brood, the queen is usually the most prone to doing this in the founding stage.
I intend to keep mine in test tubes until the colony reaches a good size, then they will have better chances of living. When encouraging a colony to move, its best to be patient and make the new nest seem more desirable than the old one.
Someone get TimeNova a "resident amateur ant scientist" title
So the Lasius Niger should just stay awake without any trouble if you keep them at the same temprature?
wait, does the lasius niger not hibernate at all? If so it would be the easiest ant ever.
oh my GOD
NOT KEEPING THESE
There are some real terrifying ants you can buy and keep on antsore.net
And that's the trap jaw ant, supposedly hard to keep (Not to mention expensive). They catch prey by holding their jaws open and suddenly snapping them shut when it gets close enough.
It belongs to Mymecia, a fascinating genus- because they don't have a queen. Instead they have a fertile worker known as a gamergate, who is responsible for laying eggs. If the gamergate dies, a new one replaces her. You can't tell a gamergate apart from the other workers. Mymecia and Diacamma colonies never grow that big, probably because they don't have a more dedicated fertile female like most species do. In most species, workers are infertile and their eggs become drones if allowed to develop.
holy shit you know a lot.
from when to when and under what temprature should I keep Lasius niger in hibernation?
Thank you, I try. Studied them since 2010.
L.niger will not hibernate above 5°C, but they should be kept at above 2°C. Subzero temperatures will kill them in hours or days. In these conditions they go to the deepest parts of the nest (Where it's above zero).
I can probably put them inside the fridge then. Only thing that would be a pain is to not let ANY tunnel collapse while moving the farm to the fridge
I am no expert and just enjoy reading this thread, but i've done an internship at a pest control company where they did freeze various bugs for later use.
I would rather they died painlessly than get methodically dismembered by the ants whilst still alive.
They probably can't survive subzero temperatures because its usually above zero in their nest. Like most hibernating animals, they sleep all the way through it anyway, whilst ants in warmer countries are able to stay active all year round. I was surprised to find that ants actually sleep at certain intervals in the day, although you most often notice the queen doing this. I've noticed that major, super-major and soldier castes seem to be more vulnerable to the cold than the smaller workers are, their larger size probably means that they need to stay warm in order to have the energy to move. They are not warm blooded, so in the Spring and Summer you will sometimes find colonies exposed under pieces of plastic or metal where they bask underneath it. The warmth speeds up brood development, and it isn't uncommon to find a queen basking in the morning and evening.
We need a livestream of your ant farm when it's done, Garry.
once you put the sand or what ever in, you should put a divider, so they can grow to full strength, then you can pull out the divider then they'll fight
I love the work. I cum.
How are the ants getting on Garry?
I like the name for black ants, it makes me laugh because I think lazy ass-niger instead of lasius-niger
Did you ants die garry?
I forgot about this thread, any updates?
Get some rugs god damn!
Clearly the ants have escaped by now and they have taken his household by force.
Mate with the queen gary! It's the only way they will set you free from your prison built of small twigs and leaves.
I never had any good memories with ants.. besides squishing them
On a side note, nice house!
Can we turn this thread into an "Ant Farms" thread? So people can just post in general about them here? I'm considering making one, well, am, when I can get the wood from B&Q, just need to figure out what wood I need to match up the width of an acrylic sheet.
Can you buy wood which is already routered? (i really do not know how to phrase this, sorry.)
If you can, can someone link me?
In that case, I have some content.
Bought a Formica fusca queen last week. She hasn't laid any eggs yet.
My Messor barbarus queen actually left the nest on Friday, which they only do when they're very confident. The workers don't like it, because she risks being snatched away by passing predators.
Then I found her on her back. She seems to be okay, but I've moved the colony to keep a closer eye on things.
If she dies, I think I give up with that species. I've had seven Messor queens with bad luck.
In other news, the Lasius niger have been eating a house fly.
Hey garry, darling, what happened to the ants, man?
I want to see what Garry's ant farms look like now!
Fuck man, I'm suddenly inspired to dig up some ants again.
This is nice and all, but I have one question: How the hell do you live with that graffiti thing on the wall? I can imagine going in the middle of the night to the bathroom and freaking out because of a dark silhouette of a little girl...
I've got a tiny ant farm, It's full to the brim with ants as I found a huge nest and since they was just black ants I could pick them and most of the eggs up.
Might as well post some content to those interested.
I had bought another Messor barbarus queen in June from a man in England who got them off someone in Southern Europe. She arrived with nine minor workers, several larvae/pupae too.
After some time the pupae became adults and the queen started laying some eggs. This is when the 17th worker matured:
At some point I gave them a dead cricket to see if they would eat it. To my surprise, about eight workers ran out of the test tube including the queen, and they rushed it before bringing it back in.
About twenty workers. By this time, the queen begins to focus on sleeping and egg laying:
Bigger media worker hanging from the top:
Managed to record them somewhat clearly. Don't mind the queen's inactivity- they spend about nine hours asleep each day, divided into small naps. A media pupa can be seen under the queen:
Some weeks ago I replaced their substrate with lawn topsoil because they weren't digging. They enthusiastically began to dig at a fast pace, and even the queen helped at one point. There's now almost forty workers, and they're still expanding their nest. Each day they bring in loads of seeds which they store in underground granaries.
The first major (Soldier) larva is born, visible at the bottom. The one at the top is possibly one too:
Taken yesterday, they start hauling up soil. Probably want more seed storage space:
They like mixed finch seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, toast crumbs, tropical fish flakes, small dead insects, cooked ham/chicken, and cheese.
This is the first Messor colony I've had success with. This species is active all year round, so they should be interesting to watch when the others go into hibernation.
I think Garry is dead and they have figured out how to use facepunch.