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Mitzunare's Camponotus chromaiodes Journal, 2019


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#1 Offline Mitzunare - Posted August 8 2019 - 7:27 PM

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I met Ant_Dude2908 on August 4th when he responded to my post in General Market Place looking to buy my first Colony, preferably in the Camponotus Genus.

We battled back and forth for a few days as I hotheadedly begged to met with him and make the exchange personally, the dude just won't do it and finally won the battle of just mailing them to me.. :P

 

He sent them Wednesday around 6AM and my anticipation at the thought of them being alone in transit ate away at me, but Thursday morning the e-mail update notifications from USPS came through and alerted me that at 6:37AM the package had arrived at my local Post Office, which would be delivered probably the next day.. my work commute put me passing the Post Office so I called ahead and they found my babies and had them prepared for my arrival!

 

The lady met me at the side-door, handing me the package and I hurried back out to my vehicle.. I stopped and opened the package on the hood of my car and BOOM, there they were! The tube was turned straight up so they were all gathered atop the damp cotton separating the water from them, looking around dazed and confused from all the movement, but seemingly appreciative that the movement had mostly ceased!

 

I ooh'd and aww'd at them for a couple of moments before I had to return to my commute to work.. before I continued upon my route I got a Pipe Wrap I had in the back of my car and slid the Test Tube into it, providing ample darkness for the babies.. I continued on to work, struggling against the urge to peak at the Colony during the drive.

 

Work was the same as always, except during lunch I took a quick detour to check on them. I had parked in a Parking Garage but the fear of overheating still terrified me..

 

I finally got off work and the mad dash began! Wal-Mart, Hometown Pets, Tractor Supply! No body had long tweezers or any sort of heating mechanism to slip food to them, or provide them warmth in my house that stays 72 degrees Fahrenheit. I ended up having to go to Petsmart to gather the required tools to provide them with a comfortable stay in their temporary home, which consists of the typical Test Tube nest w/ a miniscule Outworld to roam in and eat their meals.

 

They seem rather comfortable after settling in and returning to the calm life of not being jostled by outside influence. They originally seemed to cuddle up into the corner, trying to leave as small a footprint as possible and I think go unnoticed, to calming down and spreading out a little bit after the tube has been placed over the corner of a heating pad, they're stretching out, moving the brood somewhat closer to the warmth and still enjoying nibbling on a freshly slain Superworm.

 

Now we just wait for the Mini-Hearth to arrive! :)


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#2 Offline ANTdrew - Posted August 9 2019 - 2:45 AM

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Good luck with the colony! This is a cool species to start with, and I’m sure you got a healthy colony from the ‘Dude.

Edited by ANTdrew, August 9 2019 - 3:37 AM.

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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#3 Offline Acutus - Posted August 9 2019 - 11:26 AM

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Welcome to the Chromaiodes Club! (y) (y)
I have 2 pretty big colonies and they are really cool and active ants! ENJOY!!

Edited by Acutus, August 9 2019 - 3:07 PM.

Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Formica subsericea


#4 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted August 9 2019 - 12:35 PM

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I was sad to let them go lol. One of my favorite chromaiodes colonies I had from this year. :)
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#5 Offline Mitzunare - Posted August 10 2019 - 11:21 AM

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August 9th - One of the workers died in the Outworld that was attached to the test tube.. I adjusted numerous things, first removing tube from a heat pad I had it sitting on the corner of, instead moving the heat pad under half of the Outworld.. before it died I had fed them Fischer's 100% Pure Natural Honey and a Superworm.. The entire colony seems lethargic, mostly inactive and just kind of curled up together tucked against the water barrier cotton inside the tube..

 

August 10th - This morning another worker was acting weird, its face kind of pressed against the ground as its legs twitched slowly but consistently, almost as if it did not have complete control of its muscles.. it remained there for a few hours, two of it's sisters keeping guard and only leaving its side when I took the top off of the outworld to nudge the hindered Worker, the two guard sister ran in circles around her, diving into her and prodding her with their antennae numerous times before finally giving up and running into the Nest.. I nudged her around a bit to snap her out of it, she began moving and now, about 2 hours later, she SEEMS to have returned to normal condition, reacting quickly to the outworld being moved and the such..

 

This time, no honey was introduced but Tap Water was provided inside a Sea Shell that was bought at Pet Smart, and another one of the Super Worm (pieces) was introduced to the outworld.

 

Currently: Either it's the Outworld, the Tap Water or the Super Worm causing this anomaly, someone on a Discord I'm part of said (in response to a video I posted of her leg spasms) that it seemed like reactions of "neurotic pesticides".

 

I have, since starting this journal, obtained a colony of Monomorium Minimums and have introduced the water AND the Super Worm to their colony as well, so we shall see what happens.


Edited by Mitzunare, August 11 2019 - 7:49 PM.


#6 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted August 10 2019 - 11:56 AM

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It is entirely possible that the honey you are using could have pesticides. Try sugar water and see if that helps. It does sound like pesticides. I had that happen once with an apple that I fed mine.

Edited by Ant_Dude2908, August 10 2019 - 11:56 AM.

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#7 Offline Mitzunare - Posted August 11 2019 - 7:21 PM

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August 11th

 

Camponotus

Two Ants have now died in the Camponotus Colony.. I separated the Outworld for some time, scrubbed it AND the plastic tube vehemently with Dawn, rinsed it rigorously and re-attached it, putting some water-soaked cotton and sugar water-soaked cotton inside it. The Ants have not had honey since Thursday so I'm not quite sure it's possible that has killed them, unless it was still held in the stomachs of the repletes for two days and lead to the death of the second Ant, and the awkward behavior of the ant from yesterday? (Yeah, the Ant that died was NOT the one I was lamenting about in yesterday's post.)

 

I Freddy Krueger'd up another Super Worm and split it between the Camponotus's and the Mono Mini's, as far as I can tell NONE OF the Monomorium Minimum's have died from exposure to the Super Worms, which is pushing me closer to a conclusion, but I still have more testing to do, but we're narrowing it down rapidly.

A: The Honey was the culprit, and it had staggered, long-term deaths because the Replete stored it and didn't kill the second ant until later when it needed sugar and maybe the Sugar Water diluted the reserves that the others got even more later...?

B: The FIRST Super Worm, which only the Camponotus's got, was exposed to Pesticides, but the rest were not and I just got unlucky?
C: The substance that the little Rock-like thing which came inside the Outworld with the ants was toxic to them in some way, and the ones that were exposed to it and interacted too heavily with it died?

 

Another alternative is that the ones dying are nanitics, but even they have a general life expectancy of more than a year with Camponotus, and this Queen's nanitics were only born around 4 months ago..

 

Monomorium Minimum

These little guys are absolutely BOOMING.. they have gotten honorable mentions as "test subjects" to narrow down cause and effect w/ the Camponotus Colony, but they're more than that. They are a colony that I am keeping inside a Ziploc Small Twist N' Loc Container w/ a Sugar-Water soaked Cotton Ball and a Tap Water soaked Cotton Ball.. they currently have 6 queens and I'm guesstimating around 100 Workers, with about the same numbers in brood.. it's unbelievable how quickly they are going to grow and I'm thinking I need to prepare for an explosion in population from these little girls.

 

I have a THA Mini Hearth on the way for what was originally planned to be the Camponotus, but based on the slow growth and general lethargic demeanor of the Camponotus in contrast to the EXPLOSIVE activity and growth of the Monomorium, I'm thinking I may need to put the MoMi babies into the Mini Hearth instead and jump for something else for the Camponotus next year once they come out of hibernation?

 

What do y'all think? :D


Edited by Mitzunare, August 11 2019 - 7:24 PM.


#8 Offline ANTdrew - Posted August 11 2019 - 7:32 PM

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Small and vigorous ants are way more my style than Camponotus. Camponotus workers just up and die for no reason seems to me. I wouldn’t blame your natural honey.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#9 Offline Mitzunare - Posted August 11 2019 - 7:48 PM

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Small and vigorous ants are way more my style than Camponotus. Camponotus workers just up and die for no reason seems to me. I wouldn’t blame your natural honey.

 

While a few weeks ago, before I had gotten these Colonies, I wouldn't have agreed with you.. but now that I have both Camp and Mono I'm inclined to agree.. Unless my Camponotus are acting out of character (which a lot of people are telling me their current behavior is run of the mill for Camp) then their general demeanor of just sitting pressed up against the water barrier in their test tube FOREVER, once an hour (or two) sending ONE worker out to check the Outworld, then returning....and doing the same thing again an hour or two later.. is really boring to me.. I'm being told that (in a year or two) when they get some healthy numbers to their colony they'll become more active and that's cool.

 

My biggest concern I guess is that I'm concerned that I will not be able to find out what's wrong with them, and the fact that two has died has gotten me in the mindset that there is something WRONG with them and that they're all going to die, and I have kind of separated myself from them because I'm afraid of getting attached and then having all of them die and devastating me..


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#10 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted August 12 2019 - 4:51 AM

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It is not possible that the super worms are the problem, as they are all raised in captivity.
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#11 Offline Mitzunare - Posted August 12 2019 - 5:40 AM

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The superworms you sent me were mixed with some other superworms I had gotten elsewhere. That was before I knew about the possibilities of them being exposed to pesticides.

#12 Offline Mitzunare - Posted August 12 2019 - 5:57 AM

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So the superworm issue, if that is the case, is my fault. I just wanted a container with bedding for them and I had to get more to obtain that. Loo

#13 Offline ANTdrew - Posted August 12 2019 - 6:56 AM

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It is not possible that the super worms are the problem, as they are all raised in captivity.

I second this. I think it is just the weird shaking disease that has been mentioned in other threads on this forum. Something just goes wrong with some of their nanitics. I’ve seen it in all four of the colonies I’ve raised from queens this year. I’m selling off my last Camponotus colony because I’m only interested in ants that thrive under my care life is hard enough as it is.
"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#14 Offline Acutus - Posted August 12 2019 - 8:23 AM

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I think with Camponotus it just takes longer to get to the point where you feel they are thriving. Foragers in every social insect are the few not the many. Most are inside taking care of things in the nest. sometimes that "taking care" is just sitting there keeping the temperature and or humidity at the proper levels.

With my 2 large C. chromaiodes colonies most of the ants are piled on top of the brood in whatever stage. They are there for a reason even if I don't know what it is.  There is a great deal of activity in the Out World as well but there are a lot of ants total in the colony! My  much smaller C.castaneus colony only has 6 - 8 foragers during the day that are regularly out but there's a ton of activity in the nest.


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Billy

 

Currently keeping:

Camponotus chromaiodes

Camponotus castaneus

Formica subsericea


#15 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted August 12 2019 - 11:15 AM

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My now thriving colony of Camponotus chromaiodes (caught from the same flight yours was) had a few workers die within days of hatching. I don't know why though.

#16 Offline TennesseeAnts - Posted September 6 2019 - 10:11 AM

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Update? I'm curious to know what has happened.




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