Discuss keeping ants in here. Including what to feed them, hydration, development, disease and everything in between.
New members should post your questions in here.
User avatar
By Xc220009
#22837
Hi
Im now declaring this as an emergency! Nearly a year ago i got a Lasius Niger colony with 6 workers now she has 3!
She has never raised a worker with me and im worried about her.
She is laying but always seems to disapear or not develop?

Also i want to change their testtube because this one has sand that that dragged in but the only tube i have free is a larger one so how do i transfer them without any escapees!

Im determined to get them on track but just need some general advice!

Thanks
User avatar
By milant
#22839
Are you ensuring they have proper humidity levels and also that they're fed enough protein? I'd feed them everyday for 2-3 weeks and see if that helps. Yes I know it's totally overfeeding but it sounds like they're not getting enough protein
User avatar
By Zoron
#22840
Use a large tube (attach both using a funnel and the tube and much tape) or a secure see through box, place both tubes in the box make sure the new one is a test tube setup and is covered by black construction paper (Which is taped around it) to make the new tube more appealing. Feed the ants watered down honey and perhaps the upper portion of a boiled cricket leg. Observe the workers and the abdomains of all of the remaining ants. If they expand then the colony may recover if not then there may be another issue we can look in to. Also only give them a cricket leg every 2-5 days until they have some decent sized pupae. Never give them anything wild caught that isn't boiled. (Be patient and let the queen and workers move out and explore their mini outworldish box. Perhaps you will see that the queen has hidden her eggs in a piece of cotton or has been sitting on them)

Hope this helps
~ Asoroa

Edit: Also feed them in bottle caps. This will help prevent mold as you can replace the bottle caps every 1-2 days.
User avatar
By Xc220009
#22841
Hi! Thanks for the help! Should i leave the plastic container open for them?

Finlay
User avatar
By milant
#22842
Parameters for lasius niger are virtually impossible to mess up so I'm thinking something else is going on. How far does the brood develop before disappearing?
User avatar
By milant
#22844
Larvae is the only stage ants require protein (slight lie they need it as adults but in tiny amounts) so I'm thinking it's an issue with protein intake
User avatar
By Xc220009
#22845
Ok thank you im putting them on a protein diet! Im thinking about putting their test tube in a plastic container! Good idea or not?
User avatar
By Zoron
#22848
Container should be closed but the 2nd test tube should be open with test tube setup and wrapped with paper to keep it dark. Protein diet sounds good. Only put food in bottle caps that u place in the container. (Remember to poke air holes and plug them with cotton)

~ Asoroa
User avatar
By Zoron
#22850
I normally use watered down honey. and boiled cricket legs for small colonies.
Also be sure the space between the straw and cotton isn't big enough for small ants to escape. (Not sure the size of the worker ants, Did it once upon a time... Lots of ants... Everywhere -_-)

Should not be a need to hibernate them if nothing to major is happening.

~ Asoroa
User avatar
By Squimbles
#22890
I had a similar problem with my Camponotus. She had one worker and one egg for 2 months. But after leaving her without checking her for around 2-3 solid weeks, she finally laid more eggs. Try not to disturb your queen, however, Camponotus tend to be more fragile and picky whereas Lasius niger, being the easiest species to own, usually don't have this problem. Also, I am not an expert and I don't know how all ants act, however, they tend to be very unusual and unpredictable. So, if the eggs seem to be disappearing, my guess is there isn't enough protein like everyone else has stated. They are probably eating their eggs, but I may be wrong. I would suggest feeding them a boiled fly or something. From my experience, all four of my current ant colonies love freshly boiled flies that I usually capture from my conservatory. As long as you kill the flies humanely in the boiled water, it will provide them an instant, painless death, as well as an instant, cleanse of most of the bacteria. A lot of the ants seem to enjoy the fly heads as well as flies soaked in honey. You should try this technique, however, don't layer the fly with lots of honey! Otherwise, the ants may not be able to get to the fly and furthermore may drown in the honey as I have previously witnessed in my own colony. But as long as you don't overdo it, the mix of honey and protein will be perfect for any colony that needs a boost in both energy and production.

Like I said earlier, ants can be strange and unpredictable. For example, My Lasius niger colony that I bought last year surpassed 40 workers by October. I hibernated them and when I brought them out of hibernation, all but one worker and the queen died. Yes, of course, this was my fault for the bad hibernation, however, as soon as I took them out of hibernation, they were all alive. They just didn't venture out their tube into the feeding chamber. The reason for this was that the queen had suffered an overexposure to a lightbulb when I had previously tried to move the colony into a new nest. And because of this, she became permanently disabled and the ants barely left her side. Thankfully, I revived the colony and she is currently recovering slightly alongside her 5-9 new daughters. She does not stand much anymore, and lies on her belly, sometimes moving to get food if the workers don't provide her food through trophallaxis.

The point of this story is just to show that ants are completely random in how they live. I am pretty sure the queen is healthy and just needs some more food. I hope this overdone answer aids you.
User avatar
By milant
#22893
After doing some research I've come to the conclusion you don't have enough protein being given to the colony so your queen is laying eggs to eat to distribute her fat reserves to the probably one larvae you have hidden somewhere. Queen ants will only do this in times of famine
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