-Familia: Formicidae/ants (Latreille, 1809)
--Subfamilia: Formicinae/scaly ants (Lepeletier, 1836)
---Tribus: Camponotini (Forel, 1878)
----Genus: Camponotus (Mayr, 1861)
-----Subgenus: - Tanaemyrmex (Ashmead, 1905)
------Species: Camponotus barbaricus (Emery, 1905)
-------Subspecies: - Camponotus barbaricus xanthomelas (Emery, 1905), Camponotus barbaricus eubarbaricus (Cagniant, 1970)
Origin: Northern Africa (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Lybia) and southern Europe (Spain, Portugal, Sicilia, Malta and other mediterranean islands).
Habitat: prefers open landscapes but avoids arid areas
Colony form: monogynous
Colony size: 10000+ workers
Colony age: up to 20 years
Workers: extremely polymorphic
Nesting sites: under stones and dead wood, rarely pure soil nests
Feeding: Trophobiosis, Zoophagy (liquid sugars and arthropods)
Hibernation: Short hibernation (3 months at 15°C/60°F), can be done in an unheated room, has an endogenic rhythm; hibernation is not necessary (due to their endogenic rhythm the ants will be fairly inactive nonetheless)
Reproduction: Nuptial flight during warm days in June
Appearance / Coloration
Workers: Black head and abdomen, middle segment dark red to fiery orange (varies between individual workers, nanitics are almost black)
Queens: Black head and abdomen, middle segment black with varying amounts of red
Males: Black, very slim, small head
Workers: 8-18 mm
Workers: 2-3 months/8-12 weeks
Egg - Larva: 3-5 weeks
Larva - Pupa: 2-3 weeks (majors may take longer)
Pupa - Worker: 3-5 weeks
Workers: 1-1.5 months/4-6 weeks
Egg - Larva: 1-2 weeks
Larva - Pupa: 1 week (majors may take longer)
Pupa - Worker: 2-3 weeks
Notes: Young colonies often only raise a fraction of their eggs at a time, while the others stay dormant and only hatch when the first batch of larvae is about to pupate.
Recommended for beginners: Yes, but patience is required as the initial colony growth rate is rather slow. Also consider that colonies can become really massive after a few years.
Temperature: Outworld: 18 - 30°C, Nesting area: 25 - 30°C*
Humidity: Outworld: 30 - 50%, Nesting area: 40 - 60%
Nest types: Sand-clay farm, gypsum, Ytong, acrylics and 3D-printed nests (preferably with a bottom coat of sand-clay or grout). The ants are very dry-resistant however the nest should feature a water source, like a water test tube attached to the nest.
Formicarium size: Should fit the current colony size.
Formicaruim accessories: Heat source (heat mate, heating cable or heat lamp).
Substrate type: This species can walk well on most surfaces. Glass, vinyl tubing, acrylics, sand, clay and grout pose no issues. They can also climb vertical and upside down on glass.
*Some ant shops state 21-24°C which is way too cold. Below 25°C the brood grows very slow. Anthouse, a spanish ant shop (they gotta know) states 30°C as ideal nesting temperature which matches my own experience.
Additional antkeeping information
Can be kept at room temperature but vastly benefit from a heat source (heating cable, heat mate, heat lamp).
Young colonies will only be active during the night. Very little daylight activity.
Do NOT try to feed these ants inside their tube. Some of the workers might become extremely aggressive and accidentally escape or get lost. As soon as they have their first workers put their tube into an outworld and offer food there.
The ants are sensitive to nest vibrations but calm down very quickly. Can get used to certain vibrations.
They do not bother with camera flashlight but react very strong to other light sources (flashlight, daylight). Red foil does NOT work well if the light source is strong.
Weak red light does not bother them much, if the light source is moved slowly and not pointed directly at the nest.
Can be kept in a dry nest as long as the nest has a water source (integrated or a water test tube directly attached to the nest).
If the ants pile brood in the outworld and the outworld is not significantly warmer than the nest it is usually a sign that the nest is too moist (or they are about to move).
These ants should NOT be forced to move. They have a very good understanding of their own colony growth and will move on their own when they are about to outgrow their nest or when nest conditions become unfavorable. Force-moving them will seriously stall their development.
Test tubes of 30x200mm are great starter nests. These large tubes feature a huge water tank (sufficient for 6-8 months) which means you won't have to move your ants before the colony grew to a good size.
The entrance area should be sized down with cotton and a large straw (as passage) to reduce evaporation.
Diet & Nutrition
All insect foods are frozen.
Refused (ignored or dumped)
Not yet found/used
Marple syrup (pure, very popular)
Sunburst ant nectar (they love it)
Honey water (1:1, ferments VERY quickly during summer, not recommended)
Sugar water (1:1)
Brown sugar water (3:1/4:1)
Frozen raspberry bits
Frozen strawberry bits
Frozen blueberry bits
Coconut flower syrup
Cane sugar molasses (they nip on it sometimes but mostly ignore it)
Green bottle flies (box from pet shop, very popular)
Honey bee pupae (and sometimes larvae, very popular)
Wild spiders (they LOVE those, it's a delicacy)
Dry salt (yes, they have a dish with some salt crystals on it (originally was salt water) and occasionally lick from it)
Meat fly pupae (box from pet shop)
Drosophila melanogaster (cup from pet shop, they only accept them once every few weeks)
Drosophila melanogaster (same as above)
Dubia roaches (they mostly ignore them, colony is probably too small still)
Red mosquito larvae (fish food from pet shop, they only really take them when they are wet and even then only rarely)
Small crickets (box from pet shop) - they're not taking them anymore after they grew to 20+ workers
Small grasshoppers in slices (box from pet shop) - they're not taking them anymore after they grew to 60+ workers
Cooked superworms in slices (box from pet shop) - they never really liked them much and now are completely ignoring them
Drosophila hydei (box from pet shop, they got immediately disposed)
Ants are getting a proper outworld
First worker (born in my care)
Moving into the new nest
16th Nov '16
8th January '17
23rd January '17
17th February '17
22nd February '17
1st March '17
9th March '17
17th March '17
20th March '17
25th March '17
1st April '17 (they've started to store some pupae at the front end of the tube where they can't be seen so from here on there may be actually not all of them on the pictures)
5th April '17
10th April '17
17th April '17
22nd April '17
29th April '17
5th May '17
9th May '17
15th May '17
19th May '17
21st May '17 (some of the ants are definitely in the entrance area and not on this picture)
30th May '17
12th June '17
20th June '17
25th June '17
28th June '17
2nd July '17
9th July '17
14th July '17
19th July '17
23rd July '17
29th July '17 (first majors)
4th August '17
7th August '17
9th August '17
10th August '17
14th August '17
25th August '17
5th Septermber '17
12th Septermber '17
23rd September '17
27th Septermber '17
7th October '17
15th October '17
Edited by Serafine, October 19 2017 - 9:38 AM.