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Camponotus fedtschenkoi (Wegmier)

camponotus turkestanus fedtschenkoi tanaemyrmex

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#21 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted December 16 2020 - 6:09 AM

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look at the size of those gasters! they look super healthy! i have a small colony of c. novaeboracensis with 16 workers. your colony is exploding, so i wonder if you have any tips for me? thanks!

Those look neat! The colors remind me of my C. ligniperda ants (still in founding stage)

Can't think of any tips sorry, I don't really know if I'm doing something right haha. Just feeding them daily & making sure they always have access to fresh sugars seems to work. You could try feeding urea to your Camponotus urea (Update #1) as well, though I couldn't say for sure if this colony owes their success to that

 

c. novaeboracensis do look awesome, but not as cool as yours. i love that pale color.


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#22 Offline dayglowfroggy - Posted December 16 2020 - 4:37 PM

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Hi Thanks for the reply .

 

I have had a close look and can only see one egg and one worker in my turkestanus tube they are on the same windowsill in cool rather than full hibernation though she is not moving around or doing anything the worker moves about a bit its 17.5 in there at the moment .

 

At the weekend I will attach one of those little founding cubes I got it on ebay very cheap, the tube looks to be a perfect fit .


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#23 Offline Wegmier - Posted December 21 2020 - 12:01 PM

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Update 9: Back-up colony rescue update + Main colony (December 21 2020)

 
Seven days ago I gave my failing back-up fedtschenkoi queen 9 pupae from the main colony. None of them have been opened properly so far.

Two of the pupae were partially opened with the workers' heads and legs sticking out (see the bottom left pupa in the image below). The workers were alive and twitching stuck in their cocoons. But without the queen opening them, they'll die

I returned 4 of the pupae to the main colony. Lets hope the queen actually opens any of the last five.

hRJSJGd.png

Anways

Here is some short footage of my main colony. Sorry for the shaky camera, recorded these with my phone

Media worker and regular workers at the outworld entrance:



Major worker:

https://www.youtube....h?v=RGiuY9BSit4

The full nest:



Two workers engaging in trophallaxis:


Edited by Wegmier, December 21 2020 - 1:12 PM.

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1 x Lasius flavus - https://www.formicul...flavus-wegmier/

4 x Camponotus fedtschenkoi - https://www.formicul...-wegmier/page-2


#24 Offline Wegmier - Posted December 28 2020 - 6:11 AM

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Update 10: New nest progress (December 28 2020)

 
The old nest is filling up nicely. It's getting a bit crowded so I started carving a new nest

I'm not really satisfied with it though. I added a plaster layer (last pic) to make the new nest look smoother, but it's become incredibly dusty with very fine gypsum particles that I can't seem to get rid of. I can't imagine the ants liking that

heXsXGj.jpg

The new nest I made, compared to the old:

KQVa0J8.jpg

After adding the plaster layer. Doesn't look as clean as I hoped:

3MWkFYe.jpg

 

1 x Lasius niger -  https://www.formicul...-wegmier/page-6

1 x Lasius flavus - https://www.formicul...flavus-wegmier/

4 x Camponotus fedtschenkoi - https://www.formicul...-wegmier/page-2


#25 Offline Wegmier - Posted February 10 2021 - 2:39 PM

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Update 11: Prospects (February 10 2021)
 

First update of the year.

Secondary Colony:

The struggling lone queen (Update#9) refused to open any of the cocoons that I gave her. Most pupae died so I gave the few remaining ones back to the main colony.

Running out of options, I stole two freshly emerged callow workers from the main colony and gave them to the struggling queen. She adopted these two! I also gave them 4 pupae, 3 of which died but 1 was succesfully eclosed. 

She now has 3 workers and a healthy batch of ~13 eggs. I hope they succesfully raise a new generation of workers, but I've learned not to get my hopes up too much for this colony.

The queen with her 3 adopted workers and eggs:
 
4leQEtX.png

A new outworld and a fresh test tube:
 
6WzF1Wp.jpg

Main Colony:
 
I still haven't attached the new nest because I keep procrastinating it. Thankfully ants don't mind crammed spaces!

They must have around 300-400 workers now

Progress of the colony over the last half year:
 
cUxzOmq.jpg

Sadly the tubing I use is cloudy. But any time there is a disturbance, about 50 media workers & majors will rush through the tube to guard the outworld entrance! 
 
dhxuwRz.jpg
 

Edited by Wegmier, March 4 2021 - 12:06 PM.

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#26 Offline Wegmier - Posted March 4 2021 - 11:58 AM

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Update 12: New Nest (March 4 2021)
 

Secondary Colony:

Not much progress. It seems that some of the eggs have developed into small larvae now
 
They haven't moved into the fresh test tube that I offered them. Their current tube is getting pretty mouldy. I will try moving them manually

Main Colony:
 
The new nest has finally been attached. Workers started exploring it right away. After 20 minutes they began moving their brood to it

The next day, most of the brood had been moved to the new nest

My first attempt at a timelapse. Towards the end, you can see a few pupae being placed in the top right chamber:
https://imgur.com/NRGJUz7

The new & old nest
February 12:

mpyNJ8I.jpg

After moving out, the old nest was almost completely abandoned. A few weeks later and the old nest is starting to get occupied again

In a few months they will have probably outgrown their new nest. I should have made a bigger one. Oh well!
 
March 2:
 
qVnHFkS.jpg
 
The queen moves around a lot. Today she was back in the old nest:

LqC0yvK.png

One of the biggest majors:

Kd6Vp5O.png

Some fat larvae in the middle. More majors soon!:
 
ZCOqzw7.png

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1 x Lasius niger -  https://www.formicul...-wegmier/page-6

1 x Lasius flavus - https://www.formicul...flavus-wegmier/

4 x Camponotus fedtschenkoi - https://www.formicul...-wegmier/page-2


#27 Offline Wegmier - Posted March 19 2021 - 4:45 PM

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Update 13: Steady growth (March 19 2021)
 

The colony is growing into the new nest nicely. There should be over 400 workers now

I'll start carving a new nest soon

C6OriBk.png

The workers are forming some neat little rows along the walls:
 
NmtcDtt.png
 
7Wxt9eY.png

OKnkTCn.jpg

Enjoying some dubia roach guts. It's always the smallest workers of this colony that forage in the outworld:

zO3itah.png
 
Workers tending to larvae of various sizes:
 
BB8AY0X.png
 
Lots of tiny ones:
 
XqrdRCd.png

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1 x Lasius niger -  https://www.formicul...-wegmier/page-6

1 x Lasius flavus - https://www.formicul...flavus-wegmier/

4 x Camponotus fedtschenkoi - https://www.formicul...-wegmier/page-2


#28 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted March 20 2021 - 6:52 AM

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Such a nice looking colony and formicarium. Can’t wait to see what amazing nest they move into next.

#29 Offline Wegmier - Posted April 28 2021 - 9:16 AM

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Update 14: Thriving & secondary colony boost! (April 28 2021)

 

Main Colony:

 

The colony is doing great. Both nests are looking good:
 

j1NoPO1.jpg

 

The queen still prefers the old nest (left):

UQGbjIz.jpg
 

Secondary Colony:

Fantastic news!

For the 4th time now I boosted my second, struggling C. fedtschenkoi colony (update 11) with a bunch of pupae from the main colony

NmBwidP.png

They are finally eclosing the cocoons properly! The back-up colony has 11 workers now

Even better is that they are raising their own brood again. Two growing larvae in the pic below

I will be boosting them with an additional 20 pupae and then they will hopefully explode this year

ZhRUJ8v.jpg

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1 x Lasius niger -  https://www.formicul...-wegmier/page-6

1 x Lasius flavus - https://www.formicul...flavus-wegmier/

4 x Camponotus fedtschenkoi - https://www.formicul...-wegmier/page-2


#30 Offline Bobby_Hill - Posted July 9 2021 - 9:09 PM

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Update?

#31 Offline eea - Posted July 9 2021 - 10:16 PM

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so many carpenter ants are black with orange gasters, also is this species one of those ants that use their faces to block entrances, they workers have stubby faces.


-camponotus sansabeanus: 14 wokrers


#32 Offline Wegmier - Posted October 8 2021 - 12:08 PM

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Update #15: Four Colonies (October 8 2021)
 
Didn't realize it had been so long since the last update!
 
The colonies are doing fine. I actually received two more colonies recently
 
This journal will now follow the progress of 4 different colonies of Camponotus fedtschenkoi
 
 
 
Colony A:
[ Population: ~2.000 ]
 
Colony A has been doing well. Development stagnated when I went on a 2 week vacation, but since then the broodpile has exploded again. I have no idea how many workers they have. 2,000 would be a rough guess
 
Hooked up a third small nest and a larger outworld. Will start looking for a bigger nest.
 
The colony went through a die-off when I fed them 2.5% Urea-water last week. About 300 small workers perished. All the larger workers seem to be doing fine.
 
I have no idea why the urea killed so many ants this time, but people say die-offs are common when feeding it. Maybe water evaporated and the % become too high? I might just hold off from feeding urea 
 
The queen seems to go physogastric occasionally:

RenwIRE.jpg

There are 100 to 300 workers in the outworld constantly. The entrance is always well defended:

kDS2zdA.jpg

Death after urea feeding:

vbumVqv.jpg

In their second nest, they chewed through the thinnest wall of the water reservoir... Had a few escapees before I could plug it. This nest can't be watered anymore. A valuable lesson, these girls will chew through Ytong if it's slightly scuffed:

SwdmrcY.jpg

Workers tending to brood:

1xQMIIX.jpg
 
Replete majors:

NqleJMr.jpg

Bottom major performing trophollaxis:

oHsgrCC.jpg
 
The current set-up:
 
vNsbWa1.jpg

IqCOBFE.jpg
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Colony B:
[ Population: ~80 ]
 
Colony B, the original "back-up" colony is doing great. I gave them another broodboost from the main colony.
 
In early September they were moved into a small Ytong nest. They are now producing an impressive amount of brood all of their own.

They have around 80 workers and over a hundred pupae & larvae in various stages

The colony right before moving into their new nest:


aNxaR0y.jpg

Attached the test tube straight to the nest so they wouldn't take days to move in. Exploring the new nest:

hcIAr5t.png

The colony likes to stick to the left side of the nest, that's where the heating cable is:
 
shS0lmm.jpg

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Colony C:
[ Population: 10 ]
 
I purchased colony C thinking that this would finally be Camponotus turkestanus - another yellow-colored tanaemyrmex from the same region as C. fedtschenkoi that I really wanted to acquire. The two species get infamously mixed up with each other all the time. The queen was advertised as such: https://imgur.com/1sTQufj
 
This is the queen that was received: 

POdLw27.png
 
Shortly after they arrived, they escaped. I had forgotten to plug a hole in their small outworld. :whistle: Apparently the test tube wasn't good enough for them and wanderlust had them leave the set-up.
 
Thankfully they didn't vanish - instead they moved into the water reservoir of the nearby Lasius flavus nest!
 
I frequently saw workers of the escaped colony walking over the desk, foraging for food. I left sugarwater and fruitflies laying around which they occasionally accepted:

2ioMk4q.png
 
This past month I've been trying to get them out of this nest without any luck. I stopped watering the nest and placed a fresh, moist test tube nearby. But they refuse to leave. The nest itself has become so dry that even the Lasius flavus moved out - the fedtschenkois don't seem to care care. They even started rearing brood inside there. 
 
Today I finally decided to just detach the flavus nest from the outworld (all L. flavus have moved into test tubes in their outworld) and place it in a sealed container. No risk of them vanishing now. Hopefully they move out sometime soon...
 
4lCHryk.jpg
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
Colony D:
[ Population: 5 ]

I bought colony D off of another Dutch antkeeper.
 
This queen stands out from every other C. fedtschenkoi queen that I've seen. She has a brown-reddish head & thorax instead of the pitch-black head & thorax that queens of this species normally have.
 
The colony arrived on September 28 with five workers.
 
Despite the very different coloring, the hairs on her head and legs all indicate that she must C. fedtschenkoi. Maybe this is just a less common phenotype that occasionally pops up? No idea
 
I plan on brood-boosting this colony to the point where they start producing majors. It'll be interesting to see if the majors come out reddish like the queen as well
 
Picture by the previous owner:
 
 
jXX4oCQ.png

Edited by Wegmier, October 8 2021 - 12:13 PM.

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#33 Offline Wegmier - Posted October 16 2021 - 12:43 PM

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Colony A:
[ Population: ~2.000 ]

 


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1 x Lasius niger -  https://www.formicul...-wegmier/page-6

1 x Lasius flavus - https://www.formicul...flavus-wegmier/

4 x Camponotus fedtschenkoi - https://www.formicul...-wegmier/page-2


#34 Offline That_one_ant_guy - Posted October 20 2021 - 6:25 PM

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Wow! Awesome journal

#35 Offline Wegmier - Posted October 24 2021 - 1:50 PM

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Update #16: Eviction & Boosts (October 24 2021)

Colony C & D have been rehoused and broodboosted

Do you keep C. fedtschenkoi or C. turkestanus, or are you generally interested in these species?
A few of us fedtschenkoi keepers have set up a little discord where we try to gather information about this species & talk about their care: https://discord.gg/H6FaNeJjSm

Colony A:
[ Population: ~2.000 ]

I use my main colony to boost the others.

To steal pupae, I remove the heating cable from their nest and place it alongside their outworld instead.

 
Soon enough, the workers will start dumping pupae into the outworld. Easy stealing!
 
 

HeQILEX.png

Cw8EuiM.jpg

Pupa harvest.

I stole 40:


gwhoBFw.png
















 

Colony B:
[ Population: ~120 ]

Colony B is still growing nicely.

Lots of larva & pupae.


673MNKf.jpg 
 












 
Colony C:

[ Population: 10 ]


Colony C, the one that escaped and moved into the water reservoir of a nearby nest, has been driven out and re-captured.
 
I ended up having to flood their room. The ants all rushed out and I scooped them up. A few of their larvae died, but there was no other option left.
 
Thankfully, the queen is contained and in good health!
 
To compensate for their loss of brood & rough start, they were given 20 pupae from the main colony.

Shortly after being dumped in the outworld, it took them hours to make their way into the test tube: 


22Qu6Vt.jpg
 













 

Colony D:
[ Population: 6 ]
 

One worker eclosed since last update. This brood develops very slowly without a heat source.

Like colony C, I boosted this colony 20 pupae too.

Proudly sitting on her new pupa pile:


PJfAWo5.jpg

Love this queens' reddish coloration compared to the others:

NYm2IZf.jpg


1 x Lasius niger -  https://www.formicul...-wegmier/page-6

1 x Lasius flavus - https://www.formicul...flavus-wegmier/

4 x Camponotus fedtschenkoi - https://www.formicul...-wegmier/page-2


#36 Offline Wegmier - Posted May 23 2022 - 6:06 AM

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Update #17: Exploding Through Winter (May 23 2022)

The colonies have been growing steadily the past 7 months

I did not hibernate any of the colonies

Colony A has grown to ~5.000 workers. Two more nests were added. The outworld has been replaced by a bigger one.

 

Colony B has really taken off and has around ~1.000 workers now. They received a second nest.

Colony C has about 45 workers. They received their first nest recently.
 

Colony D stagnated a bit despite the boost, but they are now producing brood again. They have ~15 workers.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Colony A:
[ Population: ~5.000 ]
 

In December the colony badly needed a new nest, but I couldn't be bothered carving one with the chilly temperature outside. I purchased an Ytong nest from a local ant shop instead.

I removed the lid and added loamsand, hoping the ants might use it:


gfRUJvb.jpg

They were eager to explore the nest...

NXRmC0w.jpg

... but they ejected all of the sand after a day!

fqShUdP.jpg
 
The set-up now looked like this:

Zixfugz.jpg
 
In April I carved and added a fifth nest.

4yrSqsa.png

As well as adding a new outworld:

xo8KtZj.jpg

The set-up now looks like this:

M2OaYzt.jpg

In February the colony produced a male reproductive, probably by mistake?

wtVQJs6.jpg

... He was eaten after a few days.  :whistle: 

PRDxQDE.jpg

They have hundreds, maybe thousands of larvae

x0lPDXS.jpg

The queen is getting very physogastric again:

IdgAAzV.jpg



Edited by Wegmier, May 23 2022 - 6:09 AM.

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