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Crystal's Camponotus novaeboracensis Journal

camponotus novaeboracensis journal novaeboracensis crystals

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#1 Offline Crystals - Posted November 1 2014 - 12:05 PM

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A friend gave me a Camponotus noveboracensis queen on May 28.  He had found her on May 17 and by the time I got her she already had 9 or 10 eggs.
Despite much searching, I had been unable to find this species (or any Camponotus species besides Camponotus herculeanus or Camponotus modoc). 
Needless to say, I was thrilled.  :D
 
35866036582_fc692dee27_b.jpg
 
 

While splitting some firewood in early June, I saw a Camponotus worker run off, leaving a small pile of brood behind.  I collected one pupae and three medium sized larvae and gave them to her (I left the rest in case the worker came back).

 

35903285311_7189f8599d_z.jpg

 

2 workers eclosed by June 15.  The other 2 eclosed by the end of June.

 

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July 28, she has quite a pile of brood with pupae and various sizes of larvae.
 

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The test tube was getting a bit crowded so they got an actual formicarium.  So easy to move, Camponotus simply go to the warmer nest.  :D
 
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Sept. 7 I counted 64 workers with a lot of pupae and larvae, and a few eggs.  They really like cricket and spider.
 
 
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Oct. 14 I counted 101 workers with some pupae and larger larvae....  None of my colonies grew this fast so I am just amazed.  They are in the same type of nest, with the same water schedule, same food, and on the same heat cable.
I am kind of shocked that this colony doesn't seem ready to hibernate yet despite freezing temperatures outside.  Once the last pupae has eclosed they will get a nice nap.
 
 
35226922713_521463b88f_z.jpg
 
 

Nov. 1 This colony has slowed down and is ready for hibernation, I am just waiting for the last 4 pupae to eclose and then they will go into hibernation with at least 125 workers.

 

35866043422_48f5ed8418_z.jpg

 

 

Update: The last pupae eclosed on Nov. 10, and they were put into hibernation on Nov. 13.


Edited by Crystals, December 28 2017 - 8:29 AM.

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#2 Offline dermy - Posted November 1 2014 - 2:34 PM

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:o That is a great first season, I know some who don't even reach 100 workers within 2 seasons! I really look forward to hearing how these get on!

 

You also sparked my interest in carpenter ants again, guess next year I'll be getting me a few of them :D!



#3 Offline dean_k - Posted November 1 2014 - 3:12 PM

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Are those ants fat or is it just how they are?



#4 Offline drtrmiller - Posted November 1 2014 - 3:55 PM

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Are those ants fat or is it just how they are?

 

The notable distension of the gaster, exposing the translucent connective tissue between the plates, is due to an engorgement with food.  The gaster would be solid, shiny black with these ants if they were not filled with food.


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#5 Offline Foogoo - Posted November 1 2014 - 5:26 PM

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The notable distension of the gaster, exposing the translucent connective tissue between the plates, is due to an engorgement with food.  The gaster would be solid, shiny black with these ants if they were not filled with food.

 

Sidebar: How do termite queens distend to the degree they do? That's one of the things I've never been able to wrap my head around...


Edited by Foogoo, November 1 2014 - 5:26 PM.

Camponotus vicinus, Crematogaster 1, Crematogaster 2, Formica francoeuri, *, *, Myrmecocystus testaceus, Novomessor cockerelli, Pheidole hyatti, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, Solenopsis invicta


#6 Offline drtrmiller - Posted November 1 2014 - 5:32 PM

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Their connective tissue is more elastic.  I suspect it's possible that epithelial cells continue to grow as the queens ovaries go into full production, which happens when food supply becomes virtually unlimited, but I'm not sure if this has been studied.

 

Some queen ants swell similarly, but to a lesser extent, when food becomes abundant and their hundreds of ovaries, working in parallel, are constantly churning out eggs.  

 

On a related note, the size of the individual egg actually decreases as egg production rate increases.  



#7 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted November 3 2014 - 3:26 PM

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Wow that colony looks like a painting, nice colony. I am going to try to catch some of these next year, I found a lot of workers just wandering around at my forest/river.



#8 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted November 3 2014 - 3:36 PM

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Wow that colony looks like a painting

That is the purpose of the frame. ;)



#9 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted November 3 2014 - 3:37 PM

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That is the purpose of the frame. ;)

Museum glass?



#10 Offline Crystals - Posted November 3 2014 - 3:39 PM

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Museum glass?

Nope.  Plain $1 frame from the dollar store.

Camponotus just don't seem to dirty their glass like some species, especially if their nest is horizontal.


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#11 Offline dean_k - Posted November 3 2014 - 4:32 PM

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Camponotus just don't seem to dirty their glass like some species, especially if their nest is horizontal.

 

Guess I will get horizontal AntCanada omni nest for them (You know what I am talking about).



#12 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted November 3 2014 - 5:57 PM

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Wow looks like you can reach right in and touch them!



#13 Offline Miles - Posted January 30 2015 - 10:55 PM

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Hi Crystals! How is this colony doing?


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Hi, I'm Miles! I study ants, environmental science, political science, and science communication at Montana State University in Bozeman. I've been keeping ants for nearly a decade and I'm passionate about conservation and public service.

 

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#14 Offline Crystals - Posted January 31 2015 - 7:54 AM

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They went into hibernation on Nov. 13, so they are sleeping.  I find Camponotus in my area need at least 3 months to function properly the next "spring".

In the past when I have gotten impatient with various Camponotus herculeanus colonies and let them only have 2 months of hibernation, they produced about half less brood than the colonies that got 3 months. The couple that had 4 months had a little more brood than the 3 month ones, but I saw no improvement if I gave them 5 months.

 

Camponotus seem to be the ones who demand the most hibernation out of all the species I tried so far.  Other species do fine with just 3 months of hibernation.

First year colonies don't seem to need as much hibernation as they do for the subsequent hibernations (this part really threw me off when I was trying to figure out what was going on, but it kind of makes sense as the queen lays so few eggs during the founding stage).

 

I am doing more hibernation tests with the various Camponotus herculeanus colonies whose queens I caught last year on flight.  Same species, queens caught in same location and on the same day, same heating cable, same food on the same schedule, and yet the individual colonies themselves have a wide variety of behaviors.


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#15 Offline InsideAntz - Posted January 31 2015 - 6:50 PM

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That is a very pretty ant colony.... very healthy lookin too.



#16 Offline Crystals - Posted January 31 2015 - 7:10 PM

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That is a very pretty ant colony.... very healthy lookin too.

Thanks!  I look forward to seeing how they do when they wake up.


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#17 Offline dermy - Posted March 21 2015 - 10:25 AM

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Have you woken these up yet it is the First day of Spring After all?



#18 Offline Crystals - Posted March 21 2015 - 6:45 PM

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Almost none of my colonies are on a cycle that reflects the one outside my window.  :D

I plan on leaving these in for a few more weeks.  Besides I have no more room on my heating cables at the moment.


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#19 Offline dermy - Posted April 2 2015 - 11:25 AM

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Sounds like your at the point were you rotate or something?

 

In other words, this colony needs to hibernate so now i can wake up these guys.



#20 Offline Crystals - Posted April 2 2015 - 12:25 PM

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Yes, I only have room for so many active colonies.  Right now I am at the max for those that are awake.  I only have 4 in hibernation, and 45 out of hibernation.

They are about due to come out, but I need to build a new nest for them first.  :D

They will be out of hibernation by the end of April at the latest. 


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