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Aaron's Camponotus castaneus Journal (Updated 3-4-19)

camponotus castaneus journal

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#1 Offline Aaron567 - Posted May 29 2018 - 12:17 PM

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May 21, 2018

 

On the early morning of May 21st just before leaving home to go to school, I found a dead Camponotus castaneus queen in my pool. She looked and felt dead, with her legs crossed and stiff. But I still collected her and put her in a little dry container before I left for school just in case a miracle happened.

 

Ugr32AY.jpg

 

After getting home from school just a couple hours later (early release days), I discovered that the miracle DID happen, and she was as alive as can be. I've had many queens wake up from being nearly drowned before, but I was particularly surprised this queen woke up because of how stiff she was when I found her.

 

 

May 25, 2018

 

Four days after catching her and one day after shedding just one of her wings, the queen laid her first egg.

 

Out of the few Camponotus castaneus queens I have captured, this is the first one to lay eggs for me. All of the rest have been seemingly unmated.

 

KkGTauz.jpg

 

 

May 29, 2018

 

Today, she has six eggs and still has three wings. Her wings are kinda ruffled up which annoys me slightly.. hopefully she sheds those soon. It's like she tried to shed all of them and just gave up in the process.

 

4tPrGkx.jpg

vZhLgSq.jpg

ClNxMUu.jpg

 


Edited by Aaron567, March 4 2019 - 4:02 PM.

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#2 Offline rbarreto - Posted May 29 2018 - 12:31 PM

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Is that actually how red she is? If so then color me jealous!


Edited by rbarreto, May 29 2018 - 12:39 PM.

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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)

 


#3 Offline Zmagz - Posted May 29 2018 - 1:22 PM

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Nice pictures!



#4 Offline Noah Norman - Posted May 30 2018 - 4:40 AM

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What do you use to take pictures?

#5 Offline Aaron567 - Posted July 17 2018 - 6:30 AM

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July 17, 2018

 

It's been a while. This queen went through some difficulties last month. 

 

Her first batch of eggs, the ones you see in the first pictures above, all died. There were 13 of them, and they all shriveled up like raisins about 2.5 weeks after she laid them. She ate them shortly after they died. 

 

June 12. 

DK5aVbj.jpg

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wJXgE10.jpg

 

 

Right after the queen ate her eggs I gave her a pupa from my C. tortuganus colony. Camponotus tortuganus are in the subgenus Tanaemyrmex with castaneus, so I figured she might accept the pupa and adopt a tortuganus worker to help her found. I don't even have pictures of this because the castaneus queen started eating the tortuganus pupa immediately upon introduction. I feel like if the queen wasn't so stressed she might've accepted it.

 

So, I thought about what could've led to the death of the eggs. I was almost completely sure that this queen was fertile, because I've had many infertile C. castaneus queens and they never lay eggs or shed any of their wings. I checked on this queen way more often than I should've.. about once every other day. She was in my heated drawer with some of my other ants, so the eggs also could've gotten too hot.

 

I came to the conclusion that the eggs most likely just got too hot and may not be as heat-tolerant as most other ants. I put the queen in a room-temperature cabinet separate from my other ants. After a couple days, I checked to see that she had already started laying a new batch of eggs. When I discovered this, I told myself that I wouldn't check on her for 3 weeks. 

 

On July 6, I finally checked on the queen. She had no larvae but still had a batch of eggs. None of them were shriveled or dead. 

I checked again on July 10, four days later. Her first larvae had just begun to hatch!

 

And here she was yesterday (July 16), with medium-sized larvae. 

 

5fa9noM.jpg

YStQ9eh.jpg

7QUAPAS.jpg


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#6 Offline Aaron567 - Posted July 28 2018 - 1:50 PM

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July 28, 2018

 

First pupae.

 

GajbaEk.jpg

qcg6qb1.jpg

 

She still has those wings. 

 

Igby9Go.jpg


Edited by Aaron567, August 22 2018 - 5:11 PM.

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#7 Offline Aaron567 - Posted August 22 2018 - 5:10 PM

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August 22, 2018

 

The first nanitic hatched 2 days ago, on August 20. 

 

2EDkLIU.jpg

BA4N8uD.jpg

 

This pupa was in the middle of hatching. You can see her mandibles poking through the cocoon.

SEF2G4Y.jpg

 

 

And here we are today with two workers. 

 

TUmIzDo.jpg

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aQelcUD.jpg

rxmQOrw.jpg

 

 

In the last few days the queen has laid at least 8 new eggs. 


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#8 Offline akaant - Posted August 23 2018 - 3:45 PM

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Great photos!


AKA's Ant adoption.

http://www.formicult...achusetts-only/

Youtube. https://www.youtube....Hbsk2xiarcfGTmw

Keeper of...

Aphaenogaster sp

Camponotus americanus, castaneus, chromaiodes, novaeboracensis, pennsylvanicus.

Crematogaster sp

tetramorium immigrans

Formica sp

 

 

 


#9 Offline Ikerrilove - Posted August 24 2018 - 4:47 AM

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She's a pretty queen and I love the photos. Camponotis novaeboracensis are the species that really got me interested in ants. I really like the color of both these species so I hope you keep us updated on her progress.



#10 Offline Aaron567 - Posted September 1 2018 - 4:12 PM

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September 1, 2018

 

Four workers now, with the 5th and 6th getting ready to eclose. There are a pile of around 10-12 eggs. I fed them a lot of sugar water today and the queen is now probably the fattest she's ever been in her life. 

 

UaKrKTg.jpg

pSYEb2c.jpg

kbgVtr8.jpg

9DVU0FS.jpg

ipTr6oB.jpg


Edited by Aaron567, September 1 2018 - 4:12 PM.

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#11 Offline Aaron567 - Posted October 17 2018 - 5:43 PM

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October 17, 2018

 

This colony getting ready for diapause right about now. All pupae have hatched and the queen has stopped laying eggs. They have many small larvae that are in a hibernation-like state. I will continue to feed them their sugar/honey/water mixture and crickets and will probably put them on top of my mini-fridge in a few weeks where they will get some cooler temperatures of around the 55F-65F range.

 

There are 9-10 workers. Since the queen's wings are such a nuisance, the workers have been biting them down and will likely keep doing so until there is nothing left. 

 

Here they are flocking to some sugar water.

 

P1aE0nS.jpg

59vwaR3.jpg

P29VSeD.jpg


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#12 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted October 23 2018 - 4:54 PM

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I am going to hunt for these next year. I am so happy they live in my area. I have been wondering if someone had a journal on them and I finally found one. 

:D  :yahoo: 



#13 Offline Aaron567 - Posted December 15 2018 - 6:34 PM

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December 15, 2018

 

All is well and the larvae are still dormant. I will probably begin heating them again sometime in February. They are currently being kept at about 69F and it seems to be cool enough for them.

 

XWLn8xv.jpg

eKICwXe.jpg

H6CmYje.jpg

3BbVS48.jpg


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#14 Offline Guy_Fieri - Posted December 15 2018 - 7:00 PM

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Beautiful colony, next year they will definitely get some majors.



#15 Offline Rstheant - Posted January 6 2019 - 12:10 PM

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Update?

#16 Offline Aaron567 - Posted February 14 2019 - 5:59 PM

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February 14, 2019

 

Last week I put the colony inside my heated drawer to take them up from their diapause. After a couple days the larvae became glossy again and immediately started growing. I checked to find the first two eggs laid today. A few of the larvae are going to pupate soon, but a few of them seem to have shriveled back up and gone back into a diapause state. Not sure what's up with that but hopefully they wake back up.

 

The colony has readily accepted sugar water and crickets.

 

cUASfVq.jpg

6QbubNm.jpg

8QMKOas.jpg


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#17 Offline Ants4fun - Posted February 14 2019 - 7:34 PM

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Beautiful ants. Nice pictures.

#18 Offline Aaron567 - Posted March 4 2019 - 4:00 PM

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March 4, 2019

 

Today they have some large larvae that will be pupating in the next few days. There would already be pupae by now, but for some reason the colony ate some large larvae a couple weeks ago.

 

DQ7Orq6.jpg

rfjmH26.jpg

 

 

There is also a nice little cluster off eggs now. At least 10.

 

SF4irHI.jpg


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#19 Offline EthanNgo678 - Posted March 4 2019 - 4:42 PM

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May I ask what happened to your Tetramorium bicarinatum ant journal?


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#20 Offline WanderAnts - Posted March 4 2019 - 5:18 PM

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Happy to see this colony out of diapause and growing again
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