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OhNoNotAgain's Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola


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#1 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted February 28 2020 - 1:07 PM

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These are notes about Camponotus sansabeanus "salsabeans" (starting 2019)

Camponotus vicinus (introduced on page 2, June 2020)

Camponotus quercicola "cola" (introduced on page 2, July 2020)

and other miscellaneous California Camponotus, except for C. fragilis, which has its own journal.

 

 

C. sansabeanus are:

 

- Primarily nocturnal

- The queen is HUGE and darker than the workers. The workers are about the same size and just slightly darker than C. fragilis, but while the C. fragilis queen is just slightly bigger than her workers and has the same coloration, the C. sansabeanus queen is gigantic and much darker and makes a big impression on kids. (I understand sansabeanus queens are only a bit smaller than Ca02 queens.)

- The queen is AGGRESSIVE. Every other colony I have, queens aren't that interested in getting into fights. This queen, however, seems to know her nanitics are derpy and is practically the first to march over and bite, bite, bite, spray, spray, bite, make sure it's dead, then stalk away. I tell kids she's the "Mean Queen" and they love it.

- THEY DO TAKE A BREAK IN WINTER! This is the biggie that got me.

 

C. vicinus are:

- Apparently both diurnally and nocturnally active.

- I've heard that high altitude vs. low altitude vicinus (at least in California) have different winter diapause temperature needs, with high altitude needing wine cooler temperatures.

- I've heard that high altitude queens are larger than lowland queens.

- Colors apparently vary, but seem to be primarily shades of brown and black, often both.

 

 

------------

 

I purchased a small colony of C. sansabeanus with 9 workers in August of 2019.

Anyway, I had problems getting heating for my ants, as mentioned in my other journals.

I had this queen in a test tube in a plastic makeshift outworld for a while. Then I moved her to a fake mini-hearth (not a THA creation, pretty similar, but no nestmates and bigger). 

 

Autumn 2019:

 

Brood did not develop.

House temps were around 80 F, going down to low-to-mid-70's in the winter.

I started heating my other colonies (with 90F heating mat) and their numbers skyrocketed, but for another month or so I didn't have room for the poor salsa queen.

 

By the time I had heating late in 2019 there was still no brood development. They had a few eggs or tiny larva and one partially developed larva.

 

Winter 2019:

 

I stuck them in the unheated but mid-60's garage starting mid-December.

 

Then in preparation for taking them to school, I brought them in and tried an experiment where I heated them for a few weeks in January 2020.

 

No brood development, even with heat.

 

I moved them to a spare Chinese-made acrylic formicarium to which I added a grout floor. I did this because the fake mini-hearth did not have enough means of providing them with water and I was getting worried it wasn't good for them.

 

No brood development, even with heat and adequate moisture.

 

I took them to school in January 2020 - by this time the 9 workers were down to 6 - and they were a huge hit because of the size of the queen. (Esp. after seeing Tetras, Veros, C. fragilis etc. - great to have this species last in line.)

 

Shortly thereafter as per advice I put them back in the garage (late January 2020), even though temps aren't even wine cooler range, and were still mid-60's F.

 

Late February 2020

 

I checked on them in the garage twice. The first time no change. I watered them. The second time the one medium-sized larva looked BIGGER.

 

So as of roughly February 21st, 2020 they are back inside, ON HEAT (85F for now, will raise to 90F later). 6 workers, and finally one developing larva.

 

Conclusion: So although they didn't get the full cold treatment, their brood DEFINITELY went on diapause.

 

They haven't been very hungry but hopefully with heat on they will get hungry and I can note what they like to eat. They have so far ignored a lot of food as well as bird urea and the like. Though the queen has been willing to kill stuff they've tended to leave the bugs lying around.

Attached Files


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, November 20 2020 - 10:43 PM.

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Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#2 Offline MsTesaAnt - Posted February 29 2020 - 1:39 AM

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Wow!  That is a great story.  I'm happy for you.  The picture look fantastic   :yes:


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#3 Offline AntsDakota - Posted February 29 2020 - 6:27 AM

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- The queen is AGGRESSIVE. Every other colony I have, queens aren't that interested in getting into fights. This queen, however, seems to know her nanitics are derpy and is practically the first to march over and bite, bite, bite, spray, spray, bite, make sure it's dead, then stalk away. I tell kids she's the "Mean Queen" and they love it

Pennsylvanicus do this too. When catching them, I have to be careful as not to be bitten, as they have large, strong mandibles. And they HURT! Once I had a colony where I introduced a sickly and dying major, and the queen walked over and ripped off its head, while the workers panicked, not knowing what to do. I have observed this with Lasius as well. The first time I fed a previous colony, the queens were the ones to approach and violently snap at the dead fruit flies before dragging them over to the nanitics and brood pile.

Edited by AntsDakota, February 29 2020 - 6:28 AM.

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#4 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted March 1 2020 - 10:18 PM

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- The queen is AGGRESSIVE. Every other colony I have, queens aren't that interested in getting into fights. This queen, however, seems to know her nanitics are derpy and is practically the first to march over and bite, bite, bite, spray, spray, bite, make sure it's dead, then stalk away. I tell kids she's the "Mean Queen" and they love it

Pennsylvanicus do this too. When catching them, I have to be careful as not to be bitten, as they have large, strong mandibles. And they HURT! Once I had a colony where I introduced a sickly and dying major, and the queen walked over and ripped off its head, while the workers panicked, not knowing what to do. I have observed this with Lasius as well. The first time I fed a previous colony, the queens were the ones to approach and violently snap at the dead fruit flies before dragging them over to the nanitics and brood pile.

 

 

Wow, nice! Those are some awesome sounding queens. This one's not good at dragging food back, unlike your Lasius, but she's certainly the most aggressive. I put some fruit flies into their outworld yesterday(?) and some wandered into the nest. She was running all over the place, trying to kill them. Her gaster is so big she barely fits through the acrylic connecting tunnels between rooms, and it was kind of painful to watch her squeezing through narrow spaces trying to get at the fruit flies. The workers were, as usual, less competent. I really respect this queen, lol.


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Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#5 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 2 2020 - 3:40 AM

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Looks like she earned it.
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"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version

 

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#6 Offline ForestDragon - Posted March 4 2020 - 3:04 PM

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C. pennsylvanicus bites don't hurt that much! I've been bitten by queens loads of time (its a great way to hold them to not have to put much pressure on them) and its funny



#7 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted March 4 2020 - 3:09 PM

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my colony doesn't care really, they let me pet my queen's gaster hair once lmao, I'm pretty sure she layed after too :rofl:


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There is a important time for everything, important place for everyone, an important person for everybody, and an important ant for each and every ant keeper and myrmecologist alike


#8 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 4 2020 - 3:12 PM

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C. pennsylvanicus bites don't hurt that much! I've been bitten by queens loads of time (its a great way to hold them to not have to put much pressure on them) and its funny

In my opinion they feel like a mild pinch.

"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version

 

Join our fledgling but growing AntsDakota Discord community! https://discord.gg/vkwjYzz

 

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#9 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted March 4 2020 - 3:16 PM

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interesting


There is a important time for everything, important place for everyone, an important person for everybody, and an important ant for each and every ant keeper and myrmecologist alike


#10 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 4 2020 - 3:21 PM

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Full size Formica worker bites can also cause mild pain. They also tickle.......

"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version

 

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#11 Offline Ferox_Formicae - Posted March 4 2020 - 3:59 PM

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Just cause this is a notes thread, I do have a little snippit of information to add about color phases. In certain areas of south-central Texas (mostly San Antonio and surrounding counties), there is a very unique color phase of sansabeanus, in which all of the workers have the classic black head sported by the majors. They're just straight up darker in general, with a more brownish body. Gynes are also darker, having a deep orange gaster, as opposed to the yellow gaster of OhNoNotAgain's queen. Some examples of this unique color phase can be seen in this video here at the markers of 4:53 and 10:28.

 

https://www.youtube....h?v=OKaikvGd2gQ


Spoiler

#12 Offline AntsDakota - Posted March 4 2020 - 4:08 PM

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I love color variations in ants.

"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version

 

Join our fledgling but growing AntsDakota Discord community! https://discord.gg/vkwjYzz

 

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#13 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted March 18 2020 - 3:04 PM

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2020.3.15 

 

So, C. sansabeanus wasn't fully on the (very small) heating mat, so I decided to move them out of their cheap acrylic formicarium and into the first mini-hearth my C. fragilis lived in (the outworld sand is almost the exact same color as fragilis so it wasn't a great match, but they did well in it). I took apart the acrylic formicarium and herded the freaked out ants into the outworld of the mini-hearth with the paintbrush (shockingly, the queen did NOT attack the paintbrush - I thought that was strange. Apparently it doesn't smell like a threat?? Any semi-alive arthropod she goes after with a vengeance). There's only 5 nanitics and the big fat queen, plus a very small pile of brood. I was worried about the queen making it into the nest, but she did (slooooowly). Pic of fat salsa gaster going down. Amazing she fits at all.

 

2020.3.18

Yesterday I think I detected the largest larva, at least 3-4 months old, might finaaaaallly ??? be  pupating? Certainly it has no cocoon though. It's verrrryy small.

 

Anyway today, one of my "blue bottle fly" pupae eclosed into a big fat hairy black fly. NOT a pretty blue bottle fly, and WAY too big for my tiny little slings. What else could I do with it except feed it to the big fat salsa queen?

I fridged it, grabbed it by the wing, and killed the poor ugly fly, then dropped it into the nest.

The queen had to "kill" it and then seemed interested in the taste (pic). A couple hours later she's not eating it herself, but a couple nanitics are still chewing on the fly, and there's trophallaxis going on, which is pretty exciting as I've had SO MUCH TROUBLE getting these ants to eat anything.

Attached Files


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, March 18 2020 - 3:10 PM.

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Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#14 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted March 23 2020 - 5:21 PM

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2020.3.23

 

I had another crop of big black hairy flies eclose today, so I killed one and dumped it into the nest (knowing the workers, they are useless at foraging). I didn't see the queen eating it but I did see some trophallaxis going on. Also, I could be wrong but it really looks like her gaster is bulging like anything. So hopefully....?


Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#15 Offline ForestDragon - Posted March 25 2020 - 1:03 PM

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2020.3.23

 

I had another crop of big black hairy flies eclose today, so I killed one and dumped it into the nest (knowing the workers, they are useless at foraging). I didn't see the queen eating it but I did see some trophallaxis going on. Also, I could be wrong but it really looks like her gaster is bulging like anything. So hopefully....?

yeah with my C. pennsylvanicus and formica, smaller colonies in mini hearths don't leave unless they are literally dying of starvation... Camponotus are so stubborn



#16 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted March 25 2020 - 1:08 PM

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2020.3.25

 

It's feast or famine with feeders during a pandemic. Right now I'm overrun with black flies (from the not-so-"blue bottle fly" larvae). So I fed Yet Another Black Fly to the Salsa Queen and company (dropped it into the nest again). Check out her gaster. Looks like it's stretching tight or is it just me? I do declare that brood is definitely growing!!

 

 

Attached Files


Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#17 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted April 10 2020 - 10:13 PM

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2020.4.10

 

Unfortunately, I think I may have lost a worker or two. We are down to 4 workers now, and I think I've seen two ant corpses recently. One of the currently living workers MAY be a newly pupated worker, as I thought there was a big fat pupa that I no longer see. But the other workers are nanitics from last summer so they are getting kinda old. I also had a little flooding accident a couple days ago and maybe that stressed one to death. I'm not sure. (The flood was useful for one thing: while they were dealing with the water, I was able to open the door and remove dead fly corpses that were molding over.)

 

I do have a problem, too. C. salsa have NOT figured out that fruit flies are food. I'm not even sure they know that mealworms are food.

They DO know that big fat black flies are food, but I don't currently have any flies.

 

If I put in fruit flies into the nest, they run around killing the fruit flies and then ... dump them in the trash. I did manage to teach C. fragilis that ff are food, because I believe they had enough workers that some geniuses figured it out and sent out a memo to all the others (so to speak). (See my fraggles journal.) C. sansabeanus, though, with only a few workers and a hyper belligerent queen, don't seem to have figured it out.

 

I REALLY need these guys to start accepting other forms of protein. Though hopefully I will have another batch of flies soon.


Edited by OhNoNotAgain, April 10 2020 - 10:17 PM.

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Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#18 Offline ANTdrew - Posted April 11 2020 - 3:13 AM

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The one protein no Camponotus ants can resist is termites.
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#19 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted April 11 2020 - 8:37 AM

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Short of taking apart my Termitat  :o or going up into the garage rafters and chipping them apart, unfortunately I don't have a good source of termites right now.


Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.


#20 Offline OhNoNotAgain - Posted April 18 2020 - 1:10 PM

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2020.4.18

Unfortunately they still haven't figured out fruit flies are food. I put ff in the outworld, and inevitably a few end up falling into the nest.

The 4 workers and queen go crazy. The queen is the craziest of them. She usually winds up with eggs or larvae stuck to her gaster as she charges around attacking everything. I do think if they figured out ff are food they will be less freaked out and more methodical. (At least, that seemed to happen to C. fragilis.)

 

Also last black fly I gave them seemed to be less feast-inducing.

 

Maybe it's time to sacrifice a dubia roach and find out if they figure out roaches are food.


Formiculture Journals::

Veromessor pergandei, andrei; Novomessor cockerelli

Camponotus fragilis; also separate journal: Camponotus sansabeanus, vicinus, quercicola

Liometopum occidentale;  Prenolepis imparis; Myrmecocystus mexicanus

Pogonomyrmex subnitidus and previously californicus

Tetramorium sp.

Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

 

Isopods: A. gestroi, granulatum, kluugi, maculatum, vulgare; C. murina; P. hoffmannseggi, P. haasi, P. ornatus; V. parvus

Spoods: Phidippus sp.





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