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Maru's Camponotus Journal

camponotus maru journal pennsylvanicus novaeboracencis herculeanus

32 replies to this topic

#1 Offline MonsieurMaru - Posted June 5 2019 - 8:39 AM

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Hello, I'm new to the Ant keeping Hobby. Most of my Knowledge is limited to what i watched on AntsCanada Channel by Mikey and AntsAustralia. I've also watched, read some of the stuff from here which is why I decided to create a Journal here in hopes that I can be guided correctly in this journey. 

 

Here's a look at the current set up. i think the black sponge filters are putting the test tubes too far for the heating cable to actually do anything.

The blue ones are Camponotus Nova species and the red one is Camponotus Herculeanus.

 

GUTzi7E.jpg

 

I absolutely love the camponotus species and been looking up as much information on them as possible.

Knowing that they are mostly tree huggers, i wanted to create an environment similar to that. However from the research i have done, wood is not the best at being a formicaria. would anyone have any tips on how i can simulate this and still have the ability to observe the nest?

 

Being in Canada, you'd think i'd have access to alot of resources but it seems the only thing cheap in my area is wood. no one even sells acryllic sheets here and have to order them from US which is not an option for me. There also no Ytongs or cinderblocks sold here. are conrete blocks the same? 

 

I saw Crystal's picture frame method, this seems plausible i just don't know how to work with grout.

 

I wanted to purchase the hybrid nest from antscanada but they are very expensive and for someone starting out i simply cannot blow that much money or have the luxury to do so..

 

Anyways, any help would be appreciated. Thank you very much! I will update this with more pics later and once i get any changes.

 

I have caught these species at the end of May and hopefully they will all be fertile:

 

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus - Ate all her eggs but waiting for her to calm down.

 

20190601_125259_zpsurblvrfk.jpg

 

Camponotus Novaeboracencis - Lots of eggs and apparently i have two queens! 

 

20190607_233703_zps2vcdov5h.jpg 20190607_233850_zpsefgotgox.jpg

 

Camponotus Herculeanus - i actually think there's larvae now? i can't tell.. i'm new to this

 

20190607_234012_zpsje27o9ue.jpg


Edited by MonsieurMaru, June 7 2019 - 9:23 PM.

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#2 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 5 2019 - 8:58 AM

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Best of luck with your queens! If your resources are limited, remember that your ants can do great just in a test tube placed in an escape proof container.


"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#3 Offline MonsieurMaru - Posted June 6 2019 - 11:33 AM

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Here's a Layout I would like to create once i have the materials. This is meant to be a wooden slab. 

https://imgur.com/a/17j4KjC

Here's how i picture this will go down:

 

1.) Obtain Wooden slab. Preferably a lighter color and is hard wood.

2.) Place a picture frame glass about 4 x 8 on the center of the slab and make outline. 

3.) carve/dig the inside of the outline and make a 3-4mm edge enough to fit the glass snug. 

4.) carve the deeper tunnel-like areas for nest. Might have to use drill.. not sure what yet.

5.) Drill a hole on the top all the way to the nest. A tube will be fitted through this all the way to the nest. this will hopefully prevent the ants from chewing through the wood where i can't see them and act as a way for them to enter the outworld.

6.) Carve the watering area on the bottom right corner. (not sure if necessary as i read that Camponotus prefer a dry nest and therefore not need watering in the nest. all their drinking water will come from the outworld). 

7.) Carve a line on the side for a heating cable to sit on. (not sure if necessary but since i live in the basement and air conditioning is usually on, i think it would be a good idea to have this).

8.) Place glass back on top. Seal with silicone (can i use any kind of silicone? like aquarium safe maybe?).

9.) Place queen in Outworld and pray she enters the chambers? I'm still not sure how to go about this. I'm thinking making a small indent on the side to fit a testtube upright and she can crawl straight into the chamber. this could also act as a water reservoir in future? any tips would be great. 


Edited by MonsieurMaru, June 6 2019 - 11:36 AM.


#4 Offline Acutus - Posted June 6 2019 - 12:36 PM

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For right now your Test Tubes are just fine! I love Camponotus too. I have C. pennsylvanicus, castaneus, and chromaiodes.

 

The only drawback to Camponotus is their slow growth. You probably won't need a formicarium for at least the first year! the good News about that is you have plenty of time to plan and do your formicarium right!! :D

 

I like your idea, but admittedly am having trouble picturing it completely.  I guess I would need a side view as well.

 

Grout btw is very easy to work with. I've done it twice and even the first time it was very very simple.


Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#5 Offline MonsieurMaru - Posted June 6 2019 - 1:38 PM

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For right now your Test Tubes are just fine! I love Camponotus too. I have C. pennsylvanicus, castaneus, and chromaiodes.

 

The only drawback to Camponotus is their slow growth. You probably won't need a formicarium for at least the first year! the good News about that is you have plenty of time to plan and do your formicarium right!! :D

 

I like your idea, but admittedly am having trouble picturing it completely.  I guess I would need a side view as well.

 

Grout btw is very easy to work with. I've done it twice and even the first time it was very very simple.

 

Hey there!

 

That's definitely what i thought. I was reading your journal on your castaneus. I do appreciate the amount of time i have before i need to move them to a bigger space. 

 

As per your suggestion, i made a side view at an angle to give an idea of what it looks like from top to side.

 

WXubJzt

 

The added white part is a testtube where the queen would be coming from to enter the nest. 

 

I've thought about grout which i've seen alot of people here have alot of success with but i just don't have access to that at the moment. mainly because i have 5$ to my name. lol and grout cost 6$ not including all the other materials i'll need...

 

If anyone has any ideas on how i can improve this design and also share some of their experience with camponotus species (i would really like to know if hydrating the nest isn't necessary because this makes the difference between mold appearing sooner on the wood or not for awhile.)


Edited by MonsieurMaru, June 7 2019 - 9:19 PM.


#6 Offline rbarreto - Posted June 6 2019 - 1:55 PM

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Camponotus pennsylvanicus can bore through wood, I'd be careful if I was you.


My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

Lasius sp. (black workers)

Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

Prenolepis imparis

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#7 Offline Acutus - Posted June 6 2019 - 5:33 PM

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Ok couple questions. What are you calling the out world? Is that where the blue is? The White part comes down into the Outworld right? There is also a tunnel from the side going into the nest?

 

You're going to need some type of Hydration. Carpenter Ants still need humidity. Even the driest of wood in the wild has  a water content. I don't know if you could seal the wood to prevent mold or what. You're going to need hard wood in really good condition and I would imagine all the tunnels would have to be very smooth as well to keep the ants from boring into it. I know people paint the fire brick maybe you could do that with the wood?

 

Only person I've seen use wood was Ant_Dude2908 You could PM him to see what he did. :D

 

Actually the AC mini nest is pretty affordable at under $30.00 (you have a year to save). It's also the right size for a year old colony. The regular Hybrid nests are way too big.


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Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#8 Offline MonsieurMaru - Posted June 7 2019 - 7:46 AM

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Ok couple questions. What are you calling the out world? Is that where the blue is? The White part comes down into the Outworld right? There is also a tunnel from the side going into the nest?

 

You're going to need some type of Hydration. Carpenter Ants still need humidity. Even the driest of wood in the wild has  a water content. I don't know if you could seal the wood to prevent mold or what. You're going to need hard wood in really good condition and I would imagine all the tunnels would have to be very smooth as well to keep the ants from boring into it. I know people paint the fire brick maybe you could do that with the wood?

 

Only person I've seen use wood was Ant_Dude2908 You could PM him to see what he did. :D

 

Actually the AC mini nest is pretty affordable at under $30.00 (you have a year to save). It's also the right size for a year old colony. The regular Hybrid nests are way too big.

 

The outworld is not in the picture. basically the tunnel you see on the side is actually what will connect the outworld to the nest via a hole fitted with a tube. this will prevent them from being able to dig in that tunnel.

 

the white part is the testtube where the queen will be in when i transfer them. because currently she's in a testtube and will be for a long while.

 

as for hydration, i'm kinda anticipating that there will be precipitation created on the glass when the AC is on or when it gets cold in the basement due to there being a heating cable. but i have created a small water basin(blue circle) where i can place a sponge or just straight water in. 

 

i'm thiking once i finish carving the nest out, i will sand it smooth. i thought about varnishing it but i think that's toxic to ants so i don't know.

 

I've also aded a picture of the camponutus pennsylvanicus.. she's not happy with me right now. she ate her eggs a month ago. she's calmed down now and i'm hoping she lays eggs again. i made sure to give her protein and honeywater before i placed her back in cabinet so she can be peaceful in darkness for a couple weeks and i will check on her again and clean/ give her fresh food.

 

https://imgur.com/a/Bv4fm2f

 

if anyone can help me figure out how to put pictures here that way its not just a link.



#9 Offline Acutus - Posted June 7 2019 - 11:17 AM

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if anyone can help me figure out how to put pictures here that way its not just a link.

 

 

OH Ok I understand better now!! :D

To post pics when you click on the Imgur image copy the one called Direct Link. Then in your post click on the picture Icon and paste the direct link. It'll then show up! :D


Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#10 Offline MonsieurMaru - Posted June 7 2019 - 9:33 PM

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Update!!!!

 

 

I honestly can't believe it. i caught the Camponotus Novaboreacensis a week ago and they already have eggs and tons of it!! Apprently I caught two of the same species. I don't know what i will do with these. i didn't know they were the same. should i keep both or try to give it away? name them and  compare them? lol i don't know.

 

First queen seems to have her eggs all under her a bit scattered but still relatively close to each other.

Second queen seems to bunch them all together like a ball. 

 

seemed rather interesting how they're doing it differently hehe

 

20190607_233703_zps2vcdov5h.jpg

 

20190607_233850_zpsefgotgox.jpg20190607_233748_zpsva91cww5.jpg

 

The Camponotus pennsylvanicus still hates me... keeping her hidden in the drawer for another 2 weeks. she seems a bit calmer now though and is staying in the tube. hopefully she lays eggs again... please pennsylvanicus... give me another chance..

 

The Heculeanus seems to have larvae. i honestly couldn't tell. but this is great. i think they will have nanitics in a month or two!

20190607_234012_zpsje27o9ue.jpg

I won't be doing much update for awhile as i don't want to disturb the queens at this time. i will add new pics in 2 weeks if anything changes. I am so excited and i can't believe all my queens were fertile!!! 


Edited by MonsieurMaru, June 7 2019 - 9:35 PM.


#11 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted June 8 2019 - 8:05 AM

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In my experience, Camponotus don't do very well in any AC products. They'll survive, but in my experience won't thrive to their full potential.
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#12 Offline MonsieurMaru - Posted June 8 2019 - 8:54 AM

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In my experience, Camponotus don't do very well in any AC products. They'll survive, but in my experience won't thrive to their full potential.


ohh for real? wow i wonder if anyone else has the same opinion. is it too cramped? what stops their potential?

#13 Offline Acutus - Posted June 8 2019 - 9:08 AM

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In my experience, Camponotus don't do very well in any AC products. They'll survive, but in my experience won't thrive to their full potential.

 

 

 

In my experience, Camponotus don't do very well in any AC products. They'll survive, but in my experience won't thrive to their full potential.


ohh for real? wow i wonder if anyone else has the same opinion. is it too cramped? what stops their potential?

 

 

Exactly! It's one thing to slam a suggestion especially when done from experience, but without explaining or offering a better suggestion that helps the OP the post is useless.

 

My limited experience with AC nests so far seems fine, but it is admittedly limited. At least most of us are here to learn. So if in your experience you see problems what are they (or if this is just an experienced perception) and what would you recommend?


Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#14 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted June 9 2019 - 12:44 PM

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In my experience, Camponotus don't do very well in any AC products. They'll survive, but in my experience won't thrive to their full potential.


In my experience, Camponotus don't do very well in any AC products. They'll survive, but in my experience won't thrive to their full potential.

ohh for real? wow i wonder if anyone else has the same opinion. is it too cramped? what stops their potential?

Exactly! It's one thing to slam a suggestion especially when done from experience, but without explaining or offering a better suggestion that helps the OP the post is useless.

My limited experience with AC nests so far seems fine, but it is admittedly limited. At least most of us are here to learn. So if in your experience you see problems what are they (or if this is just an experienced perception) and what would you recommend?

I say this because in 3 years of observing Camponotus across a multitude of setups, colonies in their first year and second year that are moved into Ants Canada nests seem to not produce nearly as well as colonies kept in similarly sized TarHeel Ants nests and test tubes.

It is up to you to form your own opinion on their products, I am just sharing my experience to provide a longer term insight on colony success with these ants.

As for the cause of the slower growth, I really have no solid answer. I hypothesise that it is due to the affects of plastic material's inability to absorb the formic acid excretions of Camponotus workers and queens, which can kill workers and stress the colony out.

I have seen Camponotus colonies (not my own) who have done well in AC nests, but in comparison to a colony of similar age in a more natural setup, their growth appears somewhat stunted. Just my two cents on the matter, what you house your ants in is your choice.
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#15 Offline Acutus - Posted June 9 2019 - 2:44 PM

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In my experience, Camponotus don't do very well in any AC products. They'll survive, but in my experience won't thrive to their full potential.


 

In my experience, Camponotus don't do very well in any AC products. They'll survive, but in my experience won't thrive to their full potential.

ohh for real? wow i wonder if anyone else has the same opinion. is it too cramped? what stops their potential?

Exactly! It's one thing to slam a suggestion especially when done from experience, but without explaining or offering a better suggestion that helps the OP the post is useless.

My limited experience with AC nests so far seems fine, but it is admittedly limited. At least most of us are here to learn. So if in your experience you see problems what are they (or if this is just an experienced perception) and what would you recommend?

I say this because in 3 years of observing Camponotus across a multitude of setups, colonies in their first year and second year that are moved into Ants Canada nests seem to not produce nearly as well as colonies kept in similarly sized TarHeel Ants nests and test tubes.

It is up to you to form your own opinion on their products, I am just sharing my experience to provide a longer term insight on colony success with these ants.

As for the cause of the slower growth, I really have no solid answer. I hypothesise that it is due to the affects of plastic material's inability to absorb the formic acid excretions of Camponotus workers and queens, which can kill workers and stress the colony out.

I have seen Camponotus colonies (not my own) who have done well in AC nests, but in comparison to a colony of similar age in a more natural setup, their growth appears somewhat stunted. Just my two cents on the matter, what you house your ants in is your choice.

 

 

that's an answer I can respect! :D Thanks for replying back and explaining your post. This is very helpful. The Formic Acid thing definitely makes sense. I'll be sure to keep a close eye on my Camponotus. Thanks again!


Edited by Acutus, June 9 2019 - 2:45 PM.

Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#16 Offline MonsieurMaru - Posted June 10 2019 - 10:48 AM

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In my experience, Camponotus don't do very well in any AC products. They'll survive, but in my experience won't thrive to their full potential.


 

In my experience, Camponotus don't do very well in any AC products. They'll survive, but in my experience won't thrive to their full potential.

ohh for real? wow i wonder if anyone else has the same opinion. is it too cramped? what stops their potential?

Exactly! It's one thing to slam a suggestion especially when done from experience, but without explaining or offering a better suggestion that helps the OP the post is useless.

My limited experience with AC nests so far seems fine, but it is admittedly limited. At least most of us are here to learn. So if in your experience you see problems what are they (or if this is just an experienced perception) and what would you recommend?

I say this because in 3 years of observing Camponotus across a multitude of setups, colonies in their first year and second year that are moved into Ants Canada nests seem to not produce nearly as well as colonies kept in similarly sized TarHeel Ants nests and test tubes.

It is up to you to form your own opinion on their products, I am just sharing my experience to provide a longer term insight on colony success with these ants.

As for the cause of the slower growth, I really have no solid answer. I hypothesise that it is due to the affects of plastic material's inability to absorb the formic acid excretions of Camponotus workers and queens, which can kill workers and stress the colony out.

I have seen Camponotus colonies (not my own) who have done well in AC nests, but in comparison to a colony of similar age in a more natural setup, their growth appears somewhat stunted. Just my two cents on the matter, what you house your ants in is your choice.

 

 

That is very very informative! Thank you so much!

 

I was very curious because the plastic nests that Ants Canada have worried me. They're not natural at all and can definitely feel "odd" to the ants who's natural habitats are in trees. This was why i was considering the wooden formicarium approach even with the cons that may come with it (Eg. Mold). 

 

If only tarheelant formicariums werent so expensive to ship to Canada, i would really consider them. looks like i'm better of with testtubes and tubs for now. 



#17 Offline Acutus - Posted June 10 2019 - 11:43 AM

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You could give the ants substrate in an AC setup too. that would alleviate the formic acid thing. Grout could be spread over the bottom of the tunnels too. (as long as you didn't cover the moisture holes.)

 

I have a 500 worker (can't count the brood) C. chromaiodes colony in an AC setup and they seem to be doing ok so far. AC does recommend not using a nest area more than 2 years though.

 

I have a "Grand Plan" setup I wanna do but I'm gonna be awhile planning and implementing it.


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Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#18 Offline MonsieurMaru - Posted June 10 2019 - 12:24 PM

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You could give the ants substrate in an AC setup too. that would alleviate the formic acid thing. Grout could be spread over the bottom of the tunnels too. (as long as you didn't cover the moisture holes.)

 

I have a 500 worker (can't count the brood) C. chromaiodes colony in an AC setup and they seem to be doing ok so far. AC does recommend not using a nest area more than 2 years though.

 

I have a "Grand Plan" setup I wanna do but I'm gonna be awhile planning and implementing it.

 

I'm thinking of finding a small container that has flat sides. i will then measure the wooden slab to fit the container in. how i see it, this will prevent the workers from digging their way out of the original nesting area as they will be prevented by the acrylic. i will then place the glass on top of that as a lid. 

 

this will still give them the wood nest (the wood that was carved out for the container) but gives me the safety of not having to worry about the ants digging their way out. i can also just buy a piece of 2 x 4 wood or 4 x 4 wood and cut it to size of the container. 



#19 Offline Acutus - Posted June 10 2019 - 12:28 PM

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You'd be better off using natural wood. Using any type of lumber could be a bad thing. Even if it's not Pressure treated there could be other things to worry about. 

Good Luck!


Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Aphaenogaster "NOT tennesseensis" fulva


#20 Offline MonsieurMaru - Posted June 10 2019 - 12:34 PM

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You'd be better off using natural wood. Using any type of lumber could be a bad thing. Even if it's not Pressure treated there could be other things to worry about. 

Good Luck!

ahh good point!

 

I'll stick to wood slabs. i might be able to make a prototype soon. will post pics when i do! i might move one of the Novas in it once they have workers/nanitics.


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