Ant keeping help

#1
Just today I captured a fertile Queen and I would like some advice. How much food should it get? What temp should it be in? Thanks
 
#2
I'm keeping her in a test tube with half of it filled up with water. I have a thin cotton ball keeping her from excaping. In her half of the test tube I have a bit of dirt so that she can dig a nest. Anything else I should do? (I don't know that species she is)
 

MikeSlugDisco

Community Manager
Staff member
Community Manager
#3
I'm not the person to be asking since I've yet to capture a queen (despite having test tubes with me most of the time) but we need to get people like Serafine in here. What is the species?
 
#4
Still trying to find out. All i currently know is that they are common in northern Minnesota. She has a dark red thorax and a black head and abdomen. Is there a website where I can find ants identified?
 

Serafine

Queen
Backer
Beta Tester
#5
Can you make a picture of her and post it here?
There's probably a few hundred species of black ants with red thorax.

A wild guess would be Camponotus novaeboracensis (but she'd have to be between 1.5-2cm long) as they're fairly common in northern america but then it could also be a dozen other ants.

Your ant queen is most likely fine and now just needs around 4-6 weeks to get her first workers. She doesn't need any food, should not be disturbed and room temperature is most likely fine (anything between 20 and 25°C will do). I wouldn't recommend to heat test tubes as it's very easy to overheat them.


Here are a few sources that might help you:
https://www.reddit.com/r/antkeeping/wiki/index
https://www.reddit.com/r/antkeeping/wiki/guides/beginner_antfarm
https://www.reddit.com/r/antkeeping/wiki/guides/humidity

You can also visit the Antkeeping Discord Chat to get a quick answer and some advice =)
https://discordapp.com/invite/qrAqPAQ
 
#6
Just today I captured a fertile Queen and I would like some advice. How much food should it get? What temp should it be in? Thanks
Hello!
I just started antkeeping, but I know some things about that...
About the food.. You do not need to feed her now but you can give her a little drop of honey (If the queens drinks it, the chances of her eating her own eggs with drop severely) Hope this helps.
 
#7
Thanks! I got a picture of her but it wouldn't let me post it. The file is to large. I set her as my prophile pic though. She is about 1.5 cm long. PS, is there a way to shrink file size on a phone?
 
#8
The workers of neighboring colonies look exactly like this. This is a Camponotus novaeboracensis worker ant. Thanks serafine!
350px-Camponotus_novaeboracensis,_Ashburnham,_Massachusetts_(Tom_Murray).jpeg
 

Serafine

Queen
Backer
Beta Tester
#12
Thanks! I got a picture of her but it wouldn't let me post it. The file is to large. I set her as my prophile pic though. She is about 1.5 cm long. PS, is there a way to shrink file size on a phone?
I'd say it's either Camponotus novaeboracensis or Camponotus herculeanus. Definitely Camponotus though.
For antkeeping purposes it doesn't really matter, care is exactly the same - the main difference is that C. novae will slow down (and finally stop) growing after it has a few thousand workers, while C. herc will really ramp up brood production in year 3-4 and over the following years grow into the tenthousands.

Wait, is Camponotus novaeboracensis polymorphous?
Yes, pretty much all Camponotus species are very polymorphic.
There's only a few rare species that lack majors (the biggest worker class).
 
#14
I'd say it's either Camponotus novaeboracensis or Camponotus herculeanus. Definitely Camponotus though.
For antkeeping purposes it doesn't really matter, care is exactly the same - the main difference is that C. novae will slow down (and finally stop) growing after it has a few thousand workers, while C. herc will really ramp up brood production in year 3-4 and over the following years grow into the tenthousands.


Yes, pretty much all Camponotus species are very polymorphic.
There's only a few rare species that lack majors (the biggest worker class).
Strange. She came from a ant colony with all 1 sized ants.
 

Serafine

Queen
Backer
Beta Tester
#18
Strange. She came from a ant colony with all 1 sized ants.
Some ants look fairly similar, you're sure you're not confusing her with Pogonomyrmex workers?

Also most Camponotus species are nocturnal, so usually the larger workers only come out at night.

There's also a small chance that she's actually a larger Formica species which don't have huge majors.
 
#19
I'll try to get a pic of the workers. Also, is it possible that the colony I've been looking at is to Yong to have majors? How old does the colony have to be to have majors?
 
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