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Deluga's Camponotus herculeanus Journal 2018


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#1 Offline Deluga - Posted May 15 2018 - 11:19 AM

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So, after my big failure of keeping those last year, I'll try again.

 

I found this queen today 15/05/2018 after 1 hour of looking. 

C. herculeanus 2018

 

 

 

Strangely enough I haven't found any other queens today except for this one. And I spent a total of 2+ hours of searching.

Is it a bit early?

 

I don't think I've missed their nuptial flight, as I've been searching pretty much every day the past two weeks, and I have checked, logs, under logs, under stones etc. 
So could it be too early yet?

Could she somehow be from last year?

Did I somehow miss the nuptial flight?


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Keeper of:

1x Camponotus herculeanus

1x Camponotus sylvaticus

1x Formica cinerea

1x Formica fusca

1x Formica lemani

1x Lasius flavus

2x Lasius niger

 


#2 Offline Jonathan21700 - Posted May 15 2018 - 11:33 AM

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I think they have already had their flights. Check out this observation https://www.inatural...ations/12104874



#3 Offline Deluga - Posted May 15 2018 - 12:27 PM

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I would think that is strange as I found a colony Friday and another colony Sunday with a massive amount of alates.
I have even tried to open logs to see if they had flew and still nothing, so I don’t think I’ve missed it.

Keeper of:

1x Camponotus herculeanus

1x Camponotus sylvaticus

1x Formica cinerea

1x Formica fusca

1x Formica lemani

1x Lasius flavus

2x Lasius niger

 


#4 Offline Deluga - Posted May 15 2018 - 1:00 PM

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Also at around that time of may we only had around 15 degrees C, today we reached 26+, which is around this temperature they fly.

I did not check yesterday, but I believe if they flew yesterday I should still have seen more than one?
  • Karma likes this

Keeper of:

1x Camponotus herculeanus

1x Camponotus sylvaticus

1x Formica cinerea

1x Formica fusca

1x Formica lemani

1x Lasius flavus

2x Lasius niger

 


#5 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted May 15 2018 - 1:50 PM

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Check at night on logs, that's probably the best way to look.

#6 Offline Karma - Posted May 15 2018 - 4:35 PM

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I've had the same thing happen to me here, I've only found one C. herculeanus queen and I've been looking almost every warm day we've had. I am very far from you though so I doubt it has any real value but for me I'm pretty sure the flights just haven't happened yet. Although I caught my queen on May 1st so maybe they just happened really early.



#7 Offline Deluga - Posted May 15 2018 - 9:17 PM

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I’m gonna have problems checking at night as I’m afraid of the dark.
Last year I found a lot at 8pm, digging in trees, I went home at around same time.

@Karma
Could be, but we didn’t have that warm weather so early in may, and I don’t see it explain the amount of alates I found in the weekend, while searching in logs.

Also I’ve checked water sources for cows/horses lately, no queens there either.
  • Karma likes this

Keeper of:

1x Camponotus herculeanus

1x Camponotus sylvaticus

1x Formica cinerea

1x Formica fusca

1x Formica lemani

1x Lasius flavus

2x Lasius niger

 


#8 Offline Deluga - Posted June 16 2018 - 6:10 AM

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So it's time for a new update. It's about a month ago I came up with the first post.

 

I haven't that often to her, like once a week or so, and decided it was time to post what have happened in that month.

She has 3 pupae, 1 big larvae and a bunch of smaller larvae and some eggs. Seems like she is doing really good, and when I took the photos, she was moving around with her pupae. 

The larvae turned in to pupae just recently, so a couple of weeks from now, I should have 2-3 workers out, and maybe 1-3 more pupae.  

I'm really glad she is doing good, as she it still the only C. herculeanus queen that I've got. Haven't had the time to go search in logs.

 

C. herculeanus June update
C. herculeanus June update2
C. herculeanus June update3

 


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Keeper of:

1x Camponotus herculeanus

1x Camponotus sylvaticus

1x Formica cinerea

1x Formica fusca

1x Formica lemani

1x Lasius flavus

2x Lasius niger

 


#9 Offline Karma - Posted June 16 2018 - 11:13 PM

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I also still only have my C. herc queen and I'm pretty sure there are no more camponotus flying where I am which sucks. Also if you haven't, I'd recommend trying to heat them or keep them warm around 85F, they do really well. The queen I caught on the 1st of may is about to get their 8th and 9th worker and still have 3 or so pupae on their way. I've heard these queens lay in batches but they also have several larvae and egg piles and seems like more and more eggs are being laid each day. Maybe I just got lucky with a really fertile queen, but so far she has grown faster than my myrmica and formica queens.


Edited by Karma, June 16 2018 - 11:14 PM.


#10 Offline Deluga - Posted June 16 2018 - 11:38 PM

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Thanks for the suggestion!
Isn't 85F, or 29C for me a bit too high?

I've never used a heating cable before, and how do I set it up to heat a test Tube?

Keeper of:

1x Camponotus herculeanus

1x Camponotus sylvaticus

1x Formica cinerea

1x Formica fusca

1x Formica lemani

1x Lasius flavus

2x Lasius niger

 


#11 Offline Karma - Posted June 17 2018 - 4:06 PM

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I thought that as well when I was first suggested that but ya you would think that's too high but I found out most species are comfortable up to 35C which sounds insane I know but I have actually tested this out. 

 

Now I use a heating cable and let me say it is very tricky and dangerous learning to use a heating cable properly, it has taken me three years of accidentally killing ants by heating them too much to figure it out. I'd say this is because many different people say many different things and you can use it many different ways. There's two ways that I prefer and definitely recommend if you're new to heating your ants as  these ways are much safer compared to using a heating lamp or a different heat source.

 

The first way is is placing the cable under the water portion of the test tube (not directly because it will be way too hot for the ants, I recommend, for this way and the other way, placing some material in between the cable and your test tube and placing a thermometer of some kind where the test tube would go and play around with different materials till you get the temperature you desire). I wouldn't recommend using this way for ants that don't need a lot of moisture or humidity because this way normally makes the water evaporate much faster making the test tube much more humid, this is good for ants like myrmica who really like moisture but for others that don't like Camponotus, go with the other method.

 

The second way is heating the test tube front the front entrance. This method is my personal favourite even with moisture loving ants because this method allows the ants to regulate their brood in terms of how much heat they want to get by placing them closer or farther from the test tube.

 

If you'd like I can take a picture of how my camponotus are currently set up.


Edited by Karma, June 17 2018 - 6:22 PM.


#12 Offline Deluga - Posted June 18 2018 - 1:03 AM

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Thanks Inwould love to see that picture.

Right now I’m working on making them a Ytong nest, and only need to color it up a bit and place it in the platicbox, then I should be done.
I’ve made ad long chamber so maybe I should place the heating cable in one of the ends to gear it up a bit, so they have a mixture of warm and cold areas.
  • Karma likes this

Keeper of:

1x Camponotus herculeanus

1x Camponotus sylvaticus

1x Formica cinerea

1x Formica fusca

1x Formica lemani

1x Lasius flavus

2x Lasius niger

 


#13 Offline Karma - Posted June 18 2018 - 2:47 PM

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Thanks Inwould love to see that picture.

Right now I’m working on making them a Ytong nest, and only need to color it up a bit and place it in the platicbox, then I should be done.
I’ve made ad long chamber so maybe I should place the heating cable in one of the ends to gear it up a bit, so they have a mixture of warm and cold areas.

That's an awesome that would work perfectly!

 

And alright let me just figure out how I can get a picture in here.



#14 Offline Karma - Posted June 18 2018 - 5:58 PM

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https://imgur.com/a/Xbwz6vj

 

This image is of the bottom of a drawer in a desk that I keep the ants in. The cable is just taped in a zig zag formation to heat a wide area.

 

https://imgur.com/a/XwSoxdu

 

This image is of the actual ants, the first tube you see are the C. herc. Under them is two magazines to insulate and lower the temperature and a cloth to provide and soft surface so they don't slide or roll (cloth material will also increase the temperature slightly so kinda be careful with that). Next to them is a thermometer so I can constantly monitor the temperature which fluctuates between 26 and 34 depending on how hot or cold the day is. The pen their is just to raise them up a bit to make sure the front is more heated then the middle.

 

Now they normally have their eggs and pupae at the front of the test tube but they got spooked by the light after I opened the drawer and ran to the back.



#15 Offline Deluga - Posted June 19 2018 - 7:37 AM

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Thanks this is really much appreciated. 

I have never tried to heat up a colony before, and I might try it, after I'm done with the formicarium. Just need to figure out where to place them, as I have no desk with a drawer.


  • Karma likes this

Keeper of:

1x Camponotus herculeanus

1x Camponotus sylvaticus

1x Formica cinerea

1x Formica fusca

1x Formica lemani

1x Lasius flavus

2x Lasius niger

 


#16 Offline Karma - Posted June 19 2018 - 9:17 PM

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No problem, but ya honestly you can really set them up anymore as long as the people you're living with don't mind and as long as they aren't disturbed much. I've heated colonies on several different things ranging from a couch to the floor to a window sill (blocked from the sun though because the sun will roast your ants easily) and as long as you have something separating it to lower heat you're good, but goodluck with your queen and whatever heating you decide to experiment with. I'll be watching for your updates!



#17 Offline Deluga - Posted June 20 2018 - 8:55 AM

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I don't have a roommate and don't have space for one, so I can place them where ever I want. I've considered buying some sort of shelf for my ants. 

Yea, I put them as far away from the window, however it's not necessary as my windows are facing north and the sun will never hit them, only the light from windows near me, that will reflect the light.

 

I've gotta see what I'm gonna come up with.

Firstly I need to color my Ytong nest, so it doesn't look all that white. Hard to find some paint, with no poison og chemicals that could potentially kill them. 


  • Karma likes this

Keeper of:

1x Camponotus herculeanus

1x Camponotus sylvaticus

1x Formica cinerea

1x Formica fusca

1x Formica lemani

1x Lasius flavus

2x Lasius niger

 


#18 Offline Karma - Posted June 20 2018 - 9:47 PM

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I see, is it really that hard to find safe paint where you live? Where I live you can find chemical free paint almost anywhere. But if you can't find paint you could try using safe dye like food colouring or something and mixing it with water or something and try to stain the Ytong, maybe that would work?

 

Or try something like this if you want to make your own, it's actually pretty easy.

 

https://www.cuteness...n-petsafe-paint


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#19 Offline Deluga - Posted June 20 2018 - 11:33 PM

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It took me 2-3 days of searching and I have finally found something that is maybe 100% by plants, minerals and water.
The problem is, everywhere I’ve asked they did not know anything about the paint, or they said I should ask a pet store for what they use. Only problem is, no pet stores in DK keeps ants, and they couldn’t tell me either what paint to use...

But pretty sure I’ve found the right paint. Gonna Test it with wild ants when I get it next week.

Might wanna try making my own, but since there is sugar in it, won’t the ants try to eat it?

Might also try with food colouring.
  • Karma likes this

Keeper of:

1x Camponotus herculeanus

1x Camponotus sylvaticus

1x Formica cinerea

1x Formica fusca

1x Formica lemani

1x Lasius flavus

2x Lasius niger

 


#20 Offline Karma - Posted June 21 2018 - 10:23 PM

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Well that's great I hope it works! 

 

And hmmm I actually didn't think about the ants trying to eat it because of the sugar.....  :thinking:






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