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Dspdrew's Camponotus semitestaceus Journal [132] (Updated 6-6-2019)

camponotus semitestaceus dspdrew journal

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#1 Offline dspdrew - Posted March 22 2014 - 2:45 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

3-22-2014
 
On March 8th 2014, while looking for founding chambers, I dug up a colony of Camponotus semitestaceus in Pinyon Pines, California, which is located on the eastern (desert) side of the San Jacinto Mountains.
 
Original ID thread: http://www.formicult...s-ca-3-10-2014/
 
It seems most of the colony was only a few inches deep. I collected the queen and as many workers as I could. I ended up with about 32 workers, with two of them being majors. I never saw any brood though, so there may have been more to the nest. Once I got home, I put them in a foraging container with a test tube.
 
A week later, while I was out there again, I found five more workers hanging around the entrance of the old nest. I collected them and brought them back with me to add to the colony. Once I put them in with the others, they seemed to get along at first, but then the next morning I found all five of them dead, piled with their trash. I guess one week is enough time for scents to change to the point where they are no longer welcome.
 
Shortly after this, the queen laid about 35 eggs.
 
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#2 Offline dspdrew - Posted June 1 2014 - 12:42 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 6-1-2014
 
This colony is doing well. They are up to about 45 workers now. Yesterday I introduced a major larva from an all black Camponotus vicinus colony. It will be interesting to see how it gets along once eclosed. It'll be quite a contrast in color compared to the rest of the colony. At first one of the majors tried to attack it, but a bunch of minors quickly pulled it into the tube and into the brood pile. Now they're all getting along with it just fine, cleaning it and feeding it.

 

Here's a video of a minor feeding the C. vicinus larva.

 



#3 Offline dspdrew - Posted August 15 2014 - 5:57 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 8-15-2014
 
This colony seems to be doing fine, yet it hasn't really grown at all since the last update. Right now they do have plenty of brood, so maybe there will be a jump in their population soon.

 

 

 

Their liquid feeder was leaking all over and making a mess, and their test tube was just about out of water, so I cleaned up their container and setup a new test tube for them to move into once they're ready. This is the nice thing about foraging containers: when it's time to move a colony to a new test tube, you just set the new test tube in there, and then remove the old one once they've moved.

 

 



#4 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 15 2014 - 1:51 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 11-15-2014
 
The colony is up to about 50 workers now, so it's not growing all that fast, but at least it is growing. They also have a pretty large pile of larvae right now too. I just moved them into my third prototype formicarium last night.

 

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#5 Offline James C. Trager - Posted November 15 2014 - 2:35 PM

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Cool looking formicarium. Do you make those yourself?
 

Great for showing off nice big ants like this, too.



#6 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 15 2014 - 3:16 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Thanks. Yeah, this is a design I've been working on for a while. This prototype was made from scrap acrylic, so the colors are a little funny.



#7 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted November 16 2014 - 4:44 PM

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So is this species not a very big Camponotus?



#8 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 16 2014 - 7:02 PM

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  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Say what? This species is from the Tanaemyrmex subgenus and quite large.



#9 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted November 16 2014 - 7:38 PM

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Aren't Tanaemyrmex spp. some of the largest Camponotus in North America?



#10 Offline dspdrew - Posted November 16 2014 - 8:29 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Probably. I know C. ocreatus are the biggest I've ever seen.



#11 Offline dspdrew - Posted January 9 2015 - 5:31 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 1-9-2015
 
I took this colony out of the formicarium so I could make some changes to it. Right now they are living in a test tube with a foraging container again. The colony is now up to 55 workers.



#12 Offline dspdrew - Posted January 11 2015 - 4:01 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Apparently my Camponotus semitestaceus have been a free-range colony for a few days now without my knowledge. I found out last night when one of them crawled across my laptop screen not too long after turning off all the lights. I ended up catching about five of them wondering around. I probably didn't notice untill now because they only forage in the dark. Luckily none of the majors, or more importantly, the queen could get across the thin band of Fluon like these smaller escapees did. I reapplied the Fluon much better this time, and left the open top on so any foragers that I didn't manage to find would be able to get back home.



#13 Offline Chromerust - Posted January 12 2015 - 8:02 PM

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Why didn't you hibernate these?



#14 Offline dspdrew - Posted January 13 2015 - 12:51 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

They're found in places that don't get very cold.



#15 Offline dspdrew - Posted March 17 2015 - 5:13 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 3-17-2015
 

Since this colony's brood doesn't seem to be developing, I put them in the fridge to hibernate for a few months.



#16 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 4 2015 - 11:15 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 5-5-2015
 

I took these out of the fridge today. There were a few dead workers, but other than that they look pretty good.


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#17 Offline Foogoo - Posted May 5 2015 - 9:13 PM

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3-22-2014
 
On March 8th 2014, while looking for founding chambers, I dug up a colony of Camponotus semitestaceus in Pinyon Pines, California, which is located on the eastern (desert) side of the San Jacinto Mountains.
 
Original ID thread: http://forum.formicu...s-ca-3-17-2014/
 

Link goes to Myrmecocystus navajo :P . I sounds as if Camponotus queens stay relatively shallow? I quit trying to dig up colonies because I get to arms depth and still never any sign of the queen.
 


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


#18 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 6 2015 - 4:30 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Oh whoops. Fixed it. It should have linked here (http://www.formicult...s-ca-3-10-2014/).

 

No this colony was just very shallow for some reason.



#19 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 19 2015 - 9:13 AM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 5-19-2015
 

It looks like the queen might have laid some new eggs finally.



#20 Offline dspdrew - Posted May 26 2015 - 10:02 PM

dspdrew
  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Update 5-26-2015
 

The queen definitely laid new eggs; she has laid a whole bunch of them. You can see part of the pile here where the workers had them out side their tube for some reason.

 

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