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Hey, Serafine, how do ants handle satellite colonies? I had trouble finding information on this so could you help me?

Satellite colonies are usually established in warmer places to increase brood development speed (mostly pupae) or near food sources. The queen usually stays in the primary nest, although brood may be carried into the satellite nests.
Some ants (like big colony Camponotus species) can be oligynous which means they have more than one queens with each having a seperate nest (they usually attack each other when they're in the same nest but it works as long as they're in different places, this is very hard to successfully pull off in captivity though).

The supercolony ant types can make new nests by splitting off a part of the colony that moves to the new site but that's not really a satellite nest anymore then.


Just a quick update...

They love shrimps tubes!


Big blob at the entrance. Lots of majors standing guard.


These are two really big majors.


Lots of ants in the nests - that's actually not all of them, about a quarter of the colony is now scattered across the outworlds and the various water tubes they have.






Feeding time!


I did a bit of an expansion thing.




And that's how the Solenopsis fugax tube looks now:






  • Mike

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Man. That colony is thriving.

I spent a couple of minutes trying to spot the queen but I'm having trouble distinguishing her from the majors - where is she?

In the picture with the two nests the queen is in the right nest in the upper left corner below that patch of pupae. You can recognize her by the big thorax segment where the wing muscles once where (the majors have much slimmer middle segments).



Can't find her in the other pictures, she probably moved into the outworld access tube (she doesn't like light and that includes the red camera focus light).
Interestingly this Camponotus species doesn't seem to be one of those ants where the workers constantly hang to the queen and tend, feed or groom her all day long. Most of the time she just sits or walks around in the nest and doesn't get bothered by her children.



The Solenopsis queen on the other hand is literally covered in workers most of the time.



AAAWWWW look how cute those queens are. :-*

Here are some new ant pictures while we wait for freeplay =)
















How's everyone's ants doing?


My Campos are eating tons of food.











This is their entire setup now (only about half of the colony is actually in the primary nest).





Btw, Lasius and Formica flights are happening right now in Europe.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 12:30:42 AM by Serafine »

  • Mike

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Btw, Lasius and Formica flights are happening right now in Europe.

Welp. Time to order some plastic test tubes from Amazon.

Great to see your colony going from strength to strength, Serafine.

I have a queen that I brood-boosted, but I can not identify her. She is about the size of a garden ant queen, but she is orange in color.
Ants are beautiful,
but if fooled around with,
can be deadly.

Why do you brood-boost a queen if you don't have an ID? Are the pupae from the same species?

Yes, in fact, the species are exactly the same color and size of what I guess the queen's workers would be like. These ants I noticed behave like black garden ants in every way.
Ants are beautiful,
but if fooled around with,
can be deadly.

I guess your queen is either Lasius flavus or Lasius umbratus/Lasius claviger, depending on the size of the head. She could also be Prenolepis imparis or a Nylanderia species, depending on your location. Those all look very similar.
If you post pics I may be able to identify her.

Click us, we are album links!

New outworlds:
https://imgur.com/a/aOO5GPE <- album link


New expanded ant setup:
https://imgur.com/a/2KrTmdI <- album link



Colony pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/Fpj40qH <- album link