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Camponotus Chromaiodes - Western Massachusetts


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#1 Offline Scherme - Posted September 21 2020 - 11:36 AM

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I recently adopted a colony with 40+ workers along with a colony of Pennsylvanicus with roughly equivalent worker count from a member of this forum. They can reveal themselves if they so choose, nothing sketchy just have not asked their wishes about being included in the journal. 

 

Both colonies came in custom 3d printed formicariums that look great, but no outworld.

 

I got my 2 AC TT portals attached with tubes for both water and sugar water and threw a frozen grasshopper in just to give them options as they settle down from their journey. 
 The abdomens were quite swollen with food when I got them but they quickly began drinking from both tubes. 

 

The size difference from my Tetras or even my previous Lasius is awesome and also the different sizes among workers of the same colony is huge! What GIANT queens, they are great to watch.

I was able to closely witness a lot of trophallaxis which was a first for me and I enjoy it. 

 

Both colonies seem to be filling their current nests quite well, and I have been told they can be slow growing, but I still have to think about expansion. I think getting a couple more small 3d printed nests and attaching them to the current is the best route, I have several options there. 

 

I ordered a 2 pack of 4x4x4 inch clear plastic cubes with lids that I plan to turn into outworlds for these 2 colonies. Was $12 total and I think they should work perfectly. 

 

I have also recently obtained a 1/2 sized refrigerator. Much newer than the old mini fridge that I planned to use to hibernate everything and has much more room. Going to move that down to

the basement shortly, hook up the thermostat and keep an eye on the temps that I can sustain as I prepare to cool the ladies down. 

 

The Chromas were not shy. I hooked up a TT that came with outworld stragglers from the previous owner and they immediately start moving trash into it. I heard Camponotus are messy, and the Penns seem like they could be, although their nest wasn't bad, it wasn't as clean as the Chromas. After attaching the AC portal they immediately flooded it with bodies and seem to constantly have workers in it. They start poking into the grasshopper immediately, but didn't swarm it. 

I enjoy their red colored middle. This is a species I had never really thought about, and had goals to obtain the others of their genus, the Penns. Seeing as they are much more active at the moment, they are giving me more to enjoy which I have. 

 

I am excited and very thankful for the opportunity to keep these colonies, I hope I don't screw it up. I am also glad to have made the in person connection.


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Tetramorium immigrans | Journal

Lasius Neoniger | Journal

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus | Journal

Camponotus Chromaiodes | Journal

Schermicarium - DIY | Journal


#2 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted September 21 2020 - 11:44 AM

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cool!


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#3 Offline Scherme - Posted October 12 2020 - 5:43 PM

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another copy and paste update for both my camponotus journals:

 

They started dying.. not all of them but enough to worry me.

 

I fed them the same stuff I fed my tetras.

 

Was it an end of year die off? It looks to be so because it has almost stopped.

 

They have no interest in protein and even pretty much stopped water and sugar water intake. They sit motionless huddled together.

 

So what do I do? My plan: Give em what they want, diapause. I pulled the heating cable away to let them cool to room temp.

Next step is to drop em slowly week per week until they sit at about 45 degrees F.

 

I pulled their outworlds off as they arent using them, it will be easy enough to manage them over winter with the AC TT portals. 

 

The ones that are alive look healthy, the queens look healthy. If i bump or jostle them they do scurry around for a bit and settle back down. 

 

I am not too worried, I am going to get them in the fridge and do infrequent check ups and i hope for a bounce back next year. 


Tetramorium immigrans | Journal

Lasius Neoniger | Journal

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus | Journal

Camponotus Chromaiodes | Journal

Schermicarium - DIY | Journal


#4 Offline ANTdrew - Posted October 13 2020 - 4:57 AM

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Sounds like pretty typical Camponotus behavior. Definitely time to hibernate them, seems like.


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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.


#5 Offline Scherme - Posted October 13 2020 - 7:07 AM

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Sounds like pretty typical Camponotus behavior. Definitely time to hibernate them, seems like.

Good. It was freaking me out for a while. They would very slowly die, over several days, and seemed to lose control over their movements. 
Some of them started walking backwards in circles, others would have 1 claw attached and they would spin in circles, randomly flipping over and flipping back. 

 

It made me start to think they were being poisoned, but only a few showed these symptoms.

The rest seem fine now, I'm gunna drop their temps.

 

It feels good to be reassured this is normal, as I don't know what normal is. 


Tetramorium immigrans | Journal

Lasius Neoniger | Journal

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus | Journal

Camponotus Chromaiodes | Journal

Schermicarium - DIY | Journal


#6 Offline Scherme - Posted January 4 2021 - 10:18 AM

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The chromas and penns journals are still pretty much identical. 

 

I ended up disconnecting their outworld since they were not using it anyway and refreshing a AC TT portal with both sugarwater and water test tubes.

 

This time I added a ratio of 1/25 drops of DEF to their sugar water. I bought the smallest jug I could find.. 4 gallons lol I will be set on DEF for life. 

 

External thermostat and controller set to 48 Fahrenheit on a 1/3rd size fridge in my basement.  When it kicks on it dips slightly below that temp. 

 

I have checked on both colonies every couple of weeks. I have lost more workers, but each queen still has a small ball of workers huddled around her.

 

I will start to warm them up at the beginning or the end of February. 


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Tetramorium immigrans | Journal

Lasius Neoniger | Journal

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus | Journal

Camponotus Chromaiodes | Journal

Schermicarium - DIY | Journal


#7 Offline Scherme - Posted February 19 2021 - 9:24 AM

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Chroma queen deceased 02/18/21

 

Her care pretty much mirrored what I did for the Penns but with the opposite outcome. 

 

Her worker count dwindled. I did drop her once during hibernation while replenishing water. Clumsy. She seemed completely unharmed by it. 

 

Pulled out of hibernation with only a couple workers left running around, she huddled up in a tube. I understand Camponotus queens in particular can take quite a while to wake when warming up, but something about the way her body moved when I adjusted her nest made me look closer. 

 

She is crispy now. RIP 

 

I will revive this journal if I ever get my hands on another Chroma queen. As for now there is a slight relief that I have 1 less colony to worry about.

 

Keeping them is becoming easier as it gets harder, if that makes any sense. My experience grows but so does the colony size, both good things, but I never realized how much time was required. I still love it. 


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Tetramorium immigrans | Journal

Lasius Neoniger | Journal

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus | Journal

Camponotus Chromaiodes | Journal

Schermicarium - DIY | Journal


#8 Offline ANTdrew - Posted February 19 2021 - 10:11 AM

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It is hard to keep chromaiodes going past the second season.


"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 Kaelwizard - Posted February 19 2021 - 12:55 PM

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It is hard to keep chromaiodes going past the second season.

Mack at THA would probably have some tips. I heard that he is an expert at keeping them. As with most ants he keeps it seems.



#10 Online TennesseeAnts - Posted February 19 2021 - 5:26 PM

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It is hard to keep chromaiodes going past the second season.

Mack at THA would probably have some tips. I heard that he is an expert at keeping them. As with most ants he keeps it seems.

 

I mean, anyone keeping for as long as Mack has would be a pro with the local species, I'd hope. I'm getting there, but I've still got a ways to go til I reach his level, haha.






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