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My First Camponotus queen

camponotus vicinus carpenter ant queen colony journal

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#1 Offline Studio - Posted June 1 2020 - 11:45 PM

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Hello all, it's been a while!

I've just bought a Camponotus vicinus queen here locally for $20 which was a steal! The area I live in is overrun by S. invicta so it's extremely rare for me to find anything other than fire ants. Needless to say I've never kept a Camponotus before or ever seen an ant this big! Usually, I'd take out my reverse lens adapter to take macro shots, but this queen is so large that I just used a regular kit lens at normal capacity, I'm shook!

 

Unfortunately, she lost a leg during transport, but other than that she's doing just fine. To my surprise, she's one of the most docile queens I've ever seen. Once I set her down, she calmly recollected her eggs in a pile and began to lick them clean. It's been less than a week since I had her and I'm surprised she didn't eat any of her 8 eggs out of stress which usually happens almost 100% of the time. After realizing that she's in good health, I decided to put her in the patio storage closet outside my apartment since it's warmer outside and I'm sure she'll feel more safe in the dark closet.

 

Before sending her off on her own for the next few weeks I wanted to leave her a care package to recover from her stressful trip. I gave her a drop of honey and it was probably the first time I seen her frantic and excited. She kept sniffing around for more and stepping all over her eggs so I decided to give her another drop which engorged her gaster. Once she recollected her eggs into a neat pile again, I took some photos and set her off in the nice dark, warm, humid outdoor closet. I'll be checking up on her in about a week. 

I'm not one to grow attached, but I've become very fond of this queen. One of the most beautiful species I've ever seen in person. The ones I commonly see are so small I can't really appreciate their physique. 

XCYNCTd.jpg

 

OtHteW1.jpg

 

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Edited by Studio, June 1 2020 - 11:49 PM.

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#2 Offline TechAnt - Posted June 2 2020 - 10:14 AM

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I keep two queens of the all-black variety of C. Vicinus. Your queen looks amazing, I hope she does well!

(Edit: I forgot people can actually read my signature)

Edited by TechAnt, June 2 2020 - 10:15 AM.

Ants:
(x1) Campontous semitstaceus ~20 workers, 1 Queen
(x1)Pheidole californica ~200 workers, 4 Queens
(x1) Camponotus vicinus ~a batch of pupae / eggs and 6 workers, 1 Queen (all black variety)
Non-Ants:
A bunch of fish ~50 fish

Ants Wanted:Myrmecocystus sp. and Acromyrmex sp.

#3 Offline Canadant - Posted June 2 2020 - 11:27 AM

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It's amazing that up close some would consider ants heinous and repugnant. Yet they're caring, sharing and cooperative. Great pics and I wish you all the best.
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"You don't get what you want. You get what you deserve".

#4 Offline Studio - Posted June 16 2020 - 6:08 PM

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I checked up on her a few days ago because it's been getting up to the high 90's in Texas lately. I know ants like it warm, but I was beginning to worry. I checked the patio closet she was in and noticed a large pile of cotton and 2 cocoons!. The cotton that was holding the water wasn't deep enough so water wasn't getting to the other side. She was desperately digging the cotton to get to the water and I noticed that a majority of her larvae had shrived up and died. I used a pipette to soak the cotton a little, the poor girl was so thirsty. I had to angle the tube so I can get water in there and accidentally rolled her brood onto the cotton. She immediately began to pull her brood out the wet cotton, took them to the dry end and began to lick them dry.

 

I've never seen this level of awareness and maternal behavior before in queens. I've had a colony of Solenopsis invicta in one of Tar Heel's setups and an air bubble released causing a slight flood onto some of the brood. The queens just left them there to drown and did nothing about it so this level of intelligence with this Camponotus really astounded me. 


Here is the queen quenching her thirst

 

uV0jaWVl.jpg

 

One of the cocoons was soaked and unfortunately did not make it

H7RFjCdl.jpg

The queen licking her younglings dry after pulling them out of the wet cotton.

 

oJmunhhl.jpg

Out of her 8 eggs, all grew into larvae, 2 pupated and the total remaining is 1 cocoon and 2 larvae :(

niL25CIl.jpg

I've bought them inside now as I'm afraid it'll get too hot and kill the remaining brood. I have my apartment around 77-80 during the day and low 70's at night. I'll sacrifice their growth rate for their mortality, they may not grow as fast, but hopefully I can get 3 workers out of her soon. I'm not sure if she'll continue to lay any eggs after her first workers. I've heard how notoriously slow Camponotuses can grow and its not uncommon to have a founding colony of only 4-6 workers within the first year


Edited by Studio, June 16 2020 - 6:12 PM.

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#5 Offline Thunder_Birds - Posted June 16 2020 - 6:40 PM

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Congrats, she is doin' well!


#Ants4Life


#6 Offline TechAnt - Posted June 16 2020 - 6:41 PM

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rip some of those unnamed brood.

Edited by TechAnt, June 16 2020 - 6:41 PM.

Ants:
(x1) Campontous semitstaceus ~20 workers, 1 Queen
(x1)Pheidole californica ~200 workers, 4 Queens
(x1) Camponotus vicinus ~a batch of pupae / eggs and 6 workers, 1 Queen (all black variety)
Non-Ants:
A bunch of fish ~50 fish

Ants Wanted:Myrmecocystus sp. and Acromyrmex sp.

#7 Offline AntsDakota - Posted June 16 2020 - 6:43 PM

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It’s been in the 90s here as well. Unseasonably hot for South Dakota. Some years it rarely gets that hot in July.
"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 versionCurrently Keeping: Aphaenogaster picea, Aphaenogaster rudis, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, Formica subsericea, Lasius americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Myrmica sp., Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, Ponera pennsylvanica ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________My Journal__________________________________________________________________________________________<p>Attention South Dakotans! Join us on The SoDAK (Society of Dakotan Ant Keepers)

#8 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 16 2020 - 6:46 PM

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Haha, we’re in the 70s. Coolest spring in 15 years.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#9 Offline AntsDakota - Posted June 16 2020 - 6:47 PM

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Warmest spring in 50
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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 versionCurrently Keeping: Aphaenogaster picea, Aphaenogaster rudis, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, Formica subsericea, Lasius americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Myrmica sp., Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, Ponera pennsylvanica ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________My Journal__________________________________________________________________________________________<p>Attention South Dakotans! Join us on The SoDAK (Society of Dakotan Ant Keepers)

#10 Offline Thunder_Birds - Posted June 16 2020 - 6:55 PM

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Warmest spring in 50

Wow, didn’t know that. Yeah, it has been very hot. Helpfully it won’t get even hotter in July :lol:


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#Ants4Life


#11 Offline AntsDakota - Posted June 16 2020 - 6:56 PM

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Warmest spring in 50

Wow, didn’t know that. Yeah, it has been very hot. Helpfully it won’t get even hotter in July :lol:
Probably not accurate or true, just my guess. I don’t think it’s gotten to 90 in June in my lifetime.
"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 versionCurrently Keeping: Aphaenogaster picea, Aphaenogaster rudis, Camponotus pennsylvanicus, Formica subsericea, Lasius americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Myrmica sp., Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, Ponera pennsylvanica ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ___________________________My Journal__________________________________________________________________________________________<p>Attention South Dakotans! Join us on The SoDAK (Society of Dakotan Ant Keepers)





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