Ant Keepers United

veryhot post 3878 51
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

  • Colony
  • *
    Global Moderator
    Community Manager
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. :-*