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Banded Sugar Ant (Camponotus consobrinus)


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#1 Offline markomac - Posted November 26 2021 - 5:39 PM

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Let me start this thread by saying I’m an absolute beginner. This is my first attempt at raising ants, so happy to take any advice on offer as I go.

I didn’t catch my Queen. I purchased her from a shop online and she was delivered from the ACT to NSW (in Australia) on September 28th. I basically placed her test tube into a kind of Tupperware container with some red sand that I purchased at the same time, set some rocks up to stop the tube from rolling and left her be in a little used room (I have a Prop Replica Movie Collection/Whisky Bar setup in a spare room upstairs, so she’s tucked away in there away from our cats and near 2 year old daughter.)

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Tried my best to follow the “leave her be to avoid stressing her out” rule. Not easy to do, so basically set a weekly schedule to poke my head in to check on her. Was a little paranoid that the tube she arrived in had a plastic cap, and whilst I assumed it had air holes, I didn’t want to handle it/remove the masking tape to check. Her water supply was also coloured red and seemed fairly low, so I ordered a bunch of new test tubes. When they arrived, I connected the two tubes together with some tape on my weekly inspection and left her be. The following week she was in the new tube, so I pulled the old one out and blocked her in with a cotton ball.

The next challenging thing, was giving her a name. I wanted something Pop Culturey, with an Ant flair. I asked Facebook friends for their ideas and the best anyone gave me was Marie Antoinette. Didn’t commit to it though. There I was just last night, looking at ant videos and photos of Formicariums and a name popped into my head. So her name is now Ant Hathaway.

I’ve had test tubes sitting on our kitchen bench for weeks now. And my wife finally harassed me enough to move them upstairs. So, I took them up and had my weekly inspection. And to my delight, I discovered my first worker has hatched!

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For some reason I thought this would still be a while off. So now I need to do some research on ‘what to do when your first worker ant arrives’. I’ve also noticed they seem to have pulled som cotton away from the water side of the tube and it’s now on the floor of the tube. I think this has caused her to move herself and her eggs (I don’t think that’s the term, but I’ve blanked on what to call them) further from the water end to the dry end. I’ll have to read into that as well.

But that’s where we are at right now.
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#2 Offline JCRHJM - Posted November 26 2021 - 6:41 PM

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Congrats on the worker, it looks like you will soon have 2 more as they will be hatching from the cocoons. At this stage you can start feeding them small amounts of honey and protein. Sugar ants are a great species and you should have a rewarding colony in no time.


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#3 Offline Shazza - Posted November 30 2021 - 2:38 AM

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Good luck Markomac,

I have the same species and I'm not to much further down the path than your self. Fairly certain we got our Queens from the same supplier as well.

If you have any questions feel free to DM or ask in here
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#4 Offline markomac - Posted December 1 2021 - 2:00 PM

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Congrats on the worker, it looks like you will soon have 2 more as they will be hatching from the cocoons. At this stage you can start feeding them small amounts of honey and protein. Sugar ants are a great species and you should have a rewarding colony in no time.


Cheers. No new workers yet as of last night but I’m sure they won’t be far away.

Good luck Markomac,
I have the same species and I'm not to much further down the path than your self. Fairly certain we got our Queens from the same supplier as well.
If you have any questions feel free to DM or ask in here


Had a read through your journal last night. It does sound like we got our queens from the same place. I’ll keep following your journal in case it answers any questions I have.
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#5 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted December 5 2021 - 10:38 AM

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Good luck! I recommend giving them a constant source of carbohydrates, specifically something like sugar water, honey, or byFormica Sunburst. They also will need protein (pre-killed insects work best), especially when there are larvae present.



#6 Offline markomac - Posted December 18 2021 - 3:31 AM

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Second worker arrived just the other day. Have been giving them some protein and sugar water. They’re loving the sugar water. Haven’t seen them touch the protein as of yet.

I’ve set them up in their test tube in an out world and have occasionally caught the original worker out exploring. The other day, whilst I think the new worker was coming out of its cocoon, he was moving a couple of other cocoons around the outworld. The next day they’d been moved back in to the test tube. Was almost like he was moving them out of the way to give them room to release the other one, but he moved them to 2 seperate areas of the outworld. No where near the entrance of the tube.

Here’s a couple of pictures:

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#7 Offline markomac - Posted January 10 2022 - 10:27 PM

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Currently up to 4 workers now.

I ran out of the liquid ant food I’d been supplying them with earlier than I anticipated (ie, I knocked over the bottle and lost the rest), so I’ve set them up a temporary test tube of sugar water I mixed up myself whilst I’ve got new food on order. Have also given them some fruits to see if they like them alongside some protein. Can’t say I’ve seen them take protein, fruit nor the new sugar water. I catch them moving around occasionally, but most of the times I look in briefly, they aren’t up to much. I think there’s a pile of eggs that they seem to tend to, but that’s about it.

So, not a big update.

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#8 Offline Shazza - Posted January 11 2022 - 1:08 AM

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They do get more active around dusk naturally so I tend to put protein in around this time.

It took a little while for my colony to want and accept protein. They will take it when they are ready so just keep offering it up every few days.

There gasters don't look to empty so theymau be drinking the sugar water?

#9 Offline markomac - Posted January 11 2022 - 10:01 PM

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I must have timed today’s visit well. Most activity I’ve seen yet. Queen was out near the fruit. She went straight back in when I walked in the room. A worker came out after that and wondered over near the fruit and came back. Then another left and went to the protein and have been hanging out there for a bit. Another worker is right at the water end of the restive assuredly having a drink.

All very exciting stuff.
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