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George's Camponotus Vagus journal


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#1 Offline GeorgeK - Posted May 14 2018 - 12:43 AM

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Camponotus Vagus is a species of large, black, West Palaeartic carpenter ant with a wide range that includes much of Europe, a large area of Asia, and part of Africa. They are relatively distinctive species that is easily identified by its large size, uniform black colour, and the long and dense body "hairs" on its exoskeleton. A eusocial insect, individuals have continuous allometric variation in size and morphology to facilitate task allocation and partitioning of work. Workers are 6–12 mm in length. The larger "major workers" act as guards for in defence of the colony and protect the smaller "minor workers" when the latter go foraging outside the nests. The powerful mandibles of the major workers are capable of decapitating smaller arthropods captured as food and dismembering smaller ants of other species.

 

Habitat: The colonies are commonly found in dry habitats, especially open forests and forest edges. C. vagus most typically builds its nests in dead wood, but colonies can also be founder under stones. An average colony has 1,000 to 4,000 workers, but larger colonies contain up to 10,000 individuals.

 

Diet: C. vagus is known to be both carnivorous and aphidicolous (living in a mutualistic relationship with aphids and feeding upon the honeydew these smaller insects release from the terminations of their alimentary canals).

 

Day 1

 

So around the 1st of May, during the May-day celebrations there was a storm coming. C. Vagus is known to fly during dusk before the storm, so while sitting at out summer house, i felt something rather unpleasantly big on my neck. Still, not wanting to kill whatever it was, i slowly picked it up in my hand, and when checked to see what it is, viola! A camponotus queen. After that, i had her moved into a test tube setup.

 

Spoiler

 

Day 3

 

After 3 days i decided to check up on the queen. By now she stopped tugging the cotton and laid a single egg.

 

Day 14

 

Its been 14 days so far, and i decided to check up on queen again. She laid 9 eggs so far. Eggs are quite big compared to other species, but then again, the queen herself is 16mm.

 

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#2 Offline dermy - Posted May 14 2018 - 1:05 AM

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I find it very odd how her eggs aren't the normal yellow coloured that most Camponotus species are.


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#3 Offline GeorgeK - Posted May 14 2018 - 1:33 AM

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I find it very odd how her eggs aren't the normal yellow coloured that most Camponotus species are.

They also seem to have sort of air bubble on top of them, just like chicken eggs. I'm not sure if that is common with ants


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#4 Offline GeorgeK - Posted June 8 2018 - 12:32 PM

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Day 30

Few days ago i decided to check on queen ( its been 30 days then ) and i noticed she got larvae. They are even larger than eggs, and i found eggs to be quite large. can't wait for her to have first workers, anyways, here are two small pics of proud mother and her eggs and larvae.

 

Spoiler

 

Spoiler


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#5 Offline GeorgeK - Posted June 10 2018 - 12:44 PM

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Day 36

So its day 36 and I have new update. Queen just got her first cocoons. There is now total of 4 cocoons, 3 or 4 larvae and 2-3 eggs. Hopefully i can expect first workers in 2 weeks max.

Spoiler

At this picture she actually took one cocoons and moved with it in her mouth

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My preciousssss

Spoiler


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#6 Offline Jonathan21700 - Posted June 10 2018 - 12:54 PM

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Very nice! You might find this amazing journal helpful http://formicarium.i...9db68e0d27450d2

It's in Italian but you can use google translate it's decent enough.


Edited by Jonathan21700, June 10 2018 - 12:55 PM.


#7 Online Barristan - Posted June 10 2018 - 1:02 PM

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I find it very odd how her eggs aren't the normal yellow coloured that most Camponotus species are.

 

I think most Camponotus don't have yellow eggs, only some have that.


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#8 Offline GeorgeK - Posted January 4 2019 - 2:27 PM

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At this point I think its pointless to update journal with days, so I will simply post some of clearest pictures I have of ‚‚milestones''

Here is queen with first batch of workers

lFDXAXK.jpg

They are decently sized, I don`t even need lens for clear(ish) pictures.

63Vu03I.jpg

First decent feeding

76esMNm.jpg

Colony is doing very good and loves munching on them protein worms

tn8mL4N.jpg

How do you like getting stu....sprayed with formic acid???

TZR5e6m.jpg

At one point it got so messy I couldn`t really see the queen

0W50PU4.jpg

Nice and plump, nice and plump....

hQ64TP0.jpg


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#9 Online FSTP - Posted January 4 2019 - 2:40 PM

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I like these, something really cool about giant black ants.


There are videos of my ants here: https://www.youtube....bN5yYK2KWXA0vQ?


#10 Offline GeorgeK - Posted January 4 2019 - 2:43 PM

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I like these, something really cool about giant black ants.

Indeed, normal workers are usually the size of your average ant queen. Can`t wait for majors.



#11 Offline GeorgeK - Posted January 5 2019 - 2:00 AM

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Before hibernation i moved them to clean test tube and added piece of ytong that they seem to like. Colony is currently in hibernation and has 23 workers if I done counting correctly.

eftlmPX.jpg

And heres a vid of workers wrestling worm and spraying him with acid (at 0:25 you can see upper worker release and spray worm with acid)


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#12 Offline GeorgeK - Posted March 10 2019 - 10:55 AM

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Ants have been pulled from hibernation. During the hibernation period, based on my counting, 2 workers died, and were tossed out, leaving total of workers to 21. I offered them sugar water, which they enjoyed but quickly piled trash on it. I offered them dead prenolepis queen, dead roach and spider, which they all ignored. At the end, I gave them springtails and they were thrilled! I ended up taking two videos, one being much better due to lighting. I'll post more tomorrow.


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#13 Online FSTP - Posted March 13 2019 - 12:41 AM

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Wow, that's fascinating footage of them eating those springtail shrimpfs. It looks like they're rolling them around with their front legs. Like litte racoons. 


There are videos of my ants here: https://www.youtube....bN5yYK2KWXA0vQ?


#14 Offline EthanNgo678 - Posted April 14 2019 - 4:33 PM

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How are these?






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