The designation "Camponotus CA02" has unfortunately been removed from Antweb, so don't know what is up with that. They haven't officially been described or studied, hence the name (CA02, California 02).
EDIT: Antweb changed the designation to Camponotus us-ca02
This species appears to be endemic to the southern hilly parts of CA, found as low as 1000ft of elevation. They are huge, leggy, and known for their massive dark head majors and red head colored minors. Drew first noticed them years ago and assumed they may be C. ocreatus, but I never agreed with that and assumed they were C. vicinus as I had never seen them in person. A few years back I went to his area and saw them, and they definitely weren't C. vicinus! This species does not occur in the San Gabriel mountains near where I live, but can be found in the Santa Ana mountains near Drew's neck of the woods. Trabuco Canyon is part of the Santa Ana mountains and this is where he has seen them foraging at night.
We've never been able to ascertain when they fly, but this year I've been watching the weather like a hawk, and whenever it warmed up even just a tad, I thought about heading there. It is about 2 hour drive from where I live with traffic, so it's always a gamble.
Last night, on the eve of April Fools, I found them!!!
Not sure when they flew exactly because I found some dead dried queens as well, so it could have been a few weeks earlier. They weren't easy to find either. Got 10 dealate queens in about 4.5 hours of searching.
Size comparison next to C. vicinus, which were also found that night.
Found ten. Should I make a journal? This will be a species first for this forum
Edited by nurbs, May 17 2021 - 3:09 PM.