Sick Aphaenogaster senilis

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Sick Aphaenogaster senilis

Beitragvon methuselah » 14. Aug 2007 14:00

I bought Aphaenogaster senilis around June. Recently, for the past two weeks, I realise that there are some bits began to appear all over their bodies. This seems to spread to the whole colony.

Today, I realise that almost the whole colony has come out from the nest, including the queen, which also has bits grow over the body.

Apart from that, they seems to act normal, foraging food, moving around normally.

Here is the picture. Are they contracted with some kind of disease?

The food that I have given them including flies, moth, spider, some other kind of bugs (I don't know the name), that commonly appear in UK, cereals, and honey.


Need your opnion and advice. Thanks.
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ants.jpg
Three Aphaenogaster senilis drinking water. Notice the bits over their body.
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Beitragvon Dr.House » 14. Aug 2007 14:27

At first ... bad pictures ... we need a higher resolution. But i think you're feeding insects without boiling them ... am I right?!
It looks like you're colony has a problem with mites ... one of the most dangerous problems that is. There are some methods which might work ... just try the search engine and wait for users who solved this problem.

greetings
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Boiling insect?

Beitragvon methuselah » 14. Aug 2007 16:51

Is it necessary to boil the insect before serving the meal to ants? I thought in nature you don't. I also thought that if the ants do not like certain insect that ay be harmful to them, they will not eat them, that is, they will sort themselves out.
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Beitragvon Dr.House » 14. Aug 2007 21:03

That's the reason why there are that many queens on a mating fly ... a lot build colonies and die from sickness or many other things ... but if you hold em in a formicarium you have to take care of em ^^
Mites or spores which might infect em ... there are a lot of possibilities and not always they can withstand that.

If the colony dies, than you have to exhaustive clean the whole formicarium with strong Alkohol or a fungizide if it's a fungus growing on your ants. And, it's a pity, you have to boil the remnants of your colony and start over again.

I cannot say what made your ants sick, but the cleaning is necessary. Otherwise your next ants will have the same problems or the ants outside if you empty the formicarium in your garden (so don't do that)

If you start over you have to heat the soil to kill bacteria, mites and such ... and also you have to boil insects ... that is a lot of work but necessary.

As i said, I'm no expert ... just my 2 cent to think about ^^

good luck
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Beitragvon JimmyVe » 14. Aug 2007 22:16

I must agree with Dr.House here ;)

It is better to boil all the insects you give, if you did this, this would probably not have happened.
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Beitragvon Krümel » 14. Aug 2007 23:54

Hey You! ^^

Professor Buschinger wrote in the German Ameisenwiki, that the cause of your ants sickness is a deadly fungus, which might jump on local ants too and cause very much deaths.

I advise you to boil the complete formicarium at once, the way this fungus transferrs is unknown, perhaps in air, perhaps not.

I think the situation is really serious. Please try to clean the formicarium and perhaps the romm it stood in as penible as possible.

PS: Heres the article: Hyperlinks sind nur für registrierte Nutzer sichtbar
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Possible non-destructive disinfection?

Beitragvon methuselah » 15. Aug 2007 00:56

The articles seem to be disheartening, based on the Babel fish translation.

Is there anyway to disinfect or kill the fungi without sacrificing the ants to the boiling water?

I wonder if anyone ever has such an experience in their colony? Is the fungi harmful to human?

I may try to get a better picture, when opportunity arise, as they don't move out of nest frequently. Now, the queen has gone back to the nest. I have also noticed that two-three weeks ago, there were still some eggs, but now is all gone. Perhaps they have consumed it?
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Beitragvon MrNixy » 15. Aug 2007 01:25

Seal the lid but allow air holes still. This fungus is dangerous but will not be contracted via air. I am looking into some natural fungicides on your behalf methuselah and checking there ingredients against dangerous chemicals towards ants.

Feed them and still give them water, carry on as normal I will contact some people I know and see if they have encountered the problem, the ants MAY remove the fungus themselves, they moved out of the nest to prevent further infection and spread.

DO NOT LET THE INFECTED NEAR OTHER ANT SPECIES, this could cause a massive environmental disaster as L. Niger and other British species are not immune to this infection and most have never encountered it.

The fungus will not harm humans, but please don't try ;)

I will reply in under 24 hours.

Regards.


EDIT: Ants also spread with their grooming movements a range of potent antibiotics, that are secreted from glands in their bodies, which may act as fungicides.
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Beitragvon miszt » 15. Aug 2007 02:13

If this is the fungus in the artical, then you absolutly must not let it get out, that includes throwing dead ants in the bin, the best option imo wuld b to incinerate them, put the ants + sand whatever else was in the basin in the oven @ 200C

Mayb MrNixy can find a solution for you, but in the meantime be very careful how you dispose of any dead ants
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Beitragvon MrNixy » 15. Aug 2007 02:27

Just to back up miszt, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT let ANY infected ants out of the basin at all. If you wish to remove dead workers (which is a good idea to stop infection), put them in the oven at at least 200oC as this will kill all bacteria. If this fungus spread to your environment you could be responsible for the failure of an entire ecosystem.

Be careful with the fungus.

Regards
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Beitragvon mpir » 15. Aug 2007 10:07

You´ve all seem to jump on that hedious fungus theory. Is it possible that just dirt/loam/sand got stuck to them?

Just tryin to be a bit optimistic here. :wink:

In case it is fungus take all necessary precautions.
Hoping for the best.
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Beitragvon Krümel » 15. Aug 2007 11:12

Everything's been said now, but i wanna add two things: @ MrNixy: How can you know that the fungus doesn't transfer via air ??? As Mr. Buschinger said, the transfering ways of the fungus is unknown!

Secondly, I don't think your ants will make it. the longer you let this invected workers in the arena, the more will other ants infect themselves and I think if you let this happen for a while, its sure that your colony will die.

And at least: @ mpir: Yeah, we just jumped on that theory... Do you know anything about this fungus? Can you be sure just of this pictures it isnt a fungus? No, damned you can't !

If it would be dirt or stuff the workers would clean themselves untill all dirt is away. But if they keep living with this "dirt" and even try to clean themselves but don't get it away you cann be assured that it isn't just dirt.
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Beitragvon MrNixy » 15. Aug 2007 20:38

@ Krümel: Because I have cultivated the fungus.

Regards
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Beitragvon Pugberto » 15. Aug 2007 20:42

I don't think we should be optimistic that it might be because human error could be on both sides. If this were to get out then it will cause extinctions in areas. It's an alien fungus which they haven't ever seen before.
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new photos - dead queen

Beitragvon methuselah » 15. Aug 2007 23:51

The queen is dead today. A worker is carrying her for hours all over the formicarium. The remaining workers are seen coming out now.

I will soon wipe the colony out - disinfect it. But here are some more photos. Is in original 8 MP. Picture quality may not be as good as you want, as I took the picture without opening the formicarium. In fact my formicarium set up is always with closed lid with some air holes. I do not prefer the open type. So I guess, the contamination, if any have been kept to a minimum.

The question is, even if I have not boiled the insect, I am still curious how these fungi can appear? So far all the insects I have given are those of local origin, that is, somehow get into my house from outside. I just zap them and introduce directly to my ant. If they carry the infectious spores, surely the lacius niger around my garden will get the same infection as well.
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ant2.jpg
How they looked like when I first received them from AntStore
ant1.jpg
A worker carrying the dead queen. Notice the nodules on their bodies.
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