Today i noticed quite a few ants standing around the arena and on top of the nest doing nothing, perhaps this is the first signs that the nest is already to small. I am going to have to start planning for larger accomodation as there are piles of cocoons waiting to hatch.
These ants should be having a winter rest at the moment and i had asked for an opinion on this so below is an extract from Frank Mattheis. (German translation via google)
” It is safe for it, come from the region from which the animals. On the coasts it is warmer in the winter months than in inland areas. There is no winter rest in the sense it does not, but certainly a breeding pause in the cooler months. In Djerba, the Tunisian coast, the breeding season ends in these species in October and November, the new breeding season begins in Djerba (where these animals originate presumably) by the end of January and February. Also in November, December and January, the colonies are active, albeit less. It is collected and recorded diet of some workers, while the majority of the colony crammed into deeper areas of the nest and staying cool. A short, two-month rest period is thus quite fashionable, at temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees. But now there should be a day-night rhythm, constantly offered food and there must be a bit warmer during the day also apologize in discharge of the animals. The rest period should occur gradually, so that the colony has time to adjust to their brood rearing on the coming cool period. So do not suddenly “cool” a colony that is located in the breeding business and has masses of eggs and larvae. Then it’s probably better to let the animals durchbrüten or just lower the temperature and gradually shut down the heating of the nest.”
Because of how active and probably to late to begin their break i have decided to let the ants continue as they are. I just hope this doesn’t damage the colony.
I also noticed today a young bright orange ant running about the arena. This is the first time i had seen a youngster out and some of the other ants seem to be showing concern. It eventually returned home.