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Camponotus Herculeanus colony haven't exited the nest in three months.

camponotus herculeanus help not exiting nest staying in nest not eating

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#1 Offline 2boi - Posted September 15 2019 - 1:49 AM



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Ok i'm just gonna keep this as short as possible. Me and my family left for vacation during June earlier this year. I obviously couldn't bring the ants with me so I left them behind with a large amount of protein and sugar they could live off on while I was gone. (all food was sterilized if that matters)

I own a Camponotus colony of about 70 workers that were thriving up until this point. Problem is that since I returned from vacation, they have barley exited the nest. Before you would always see 2-6 workers out foraging, but as it stands now, you would have to be lucky to see even one ant crawl around the entrance. They never come out to eat any of the fruit or honey I place out for them, and only accepts insects if I literally drop it on top of them.

There is no chance they have died, as I can clearly see the ants moving slightly inside the formicarium. At first, I thought this was just a result of the queen taking a break from egg laying, as I have read Camponotus do. But now that nearly three months have passed, I’m starting to suspect that isn’t the case. It's almost as if they have gone into hibernation.

Is this behavior normal and/or healthy? If not, what can I do to fix it?


More information on the housing:
They are kept in an all-in-one homemeade fomicarium/terrarium hybrid built out of ytong. I'm going to admit that the design isn’t that good as I have little to no control over hydration and heating. I usually use a heating mat at one side of the terrarium but have stopped after the ants went further away from the heated side. I suspect this is more of a problem with humidity than heat.    


#2 Offline Roy3 - Posted September 15 2019 - 11:12 AM


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Maybe pics of the enclosure and the colony can help us help you on this situation. I don't know much of Hurculean but now I guess I could research and see what I learn.

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#3 Offline Canadian anter - Posted September 15 2019 - 1:37 PM

Canadian anter


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I would just hibernate them
Sounds like they're trying to/preparing to
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#4 Offline Antennal_Scrobe - Posted September 15 2019 - 1:51 PM


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Can you see them inside the nest? If their gasters are big and bloated, with white stuff visible inside, then they probably don't have any need to forage and are hibernating.

Currently keeping:


Tetramorium immigrans, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis

Myrmica punctiventris, Formica subsericea

Formica pallidefulva, Aphaeogaster cf. rudis

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus nearcticus

Crematogaster cerasi

Temnothorax ambiguus

Prenolepis imparis

#5 Offline Serafine - Posted September 15 2019 - 3:02 PM


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It is not recommended to heat Camponotus herculeanus (same for ligniperda) as this species basically has a 1 year plan (they lay eggs twice a year - in spring and it summer - and only the spring batch will grow into workers the same year) and once they're done they will go into pre-hibernation, only foraging the tiny amounts of sugars they need to survive in this standby mode (they usually come out at night for that).

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#6 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted September 29 2019 - 11:03 AM


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I would just hibernate them
Sounds like they're trying to/preparing to

Yeah, especially because Norway is temperate, that would be my best guess

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Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: camponotus, herculeanus, help, not exiting nest, staying in nest, not eating

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