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BCAntKeeper's Camponotus novaeboracensis Journal


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#1 Offline BCAntKeeper - Posted May 31 2022 - 8:54 PM

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In May 2020 I caught 10 Camponotus novaeboracensis queens. This was my first attempt at ant keeping. Half of these were exposed to the light and the other half were kept in the dark. Out of the 5 queens exposed to the light, one died to parasitic fly larvae, and I kept the rest until hibernation, at which point I released all but my favorite one. It had 26 workers, including one that was quite large for that stage of colony development. They grew to over 100 workers the next year. This year they were removed from the fridge on March 15. The colony has grown a lot since hibernation and now has hundreds of workers. However, they almost stopped growing a couple of weeks ago and a thin layer of brown-yellow liquid had accumulated on the ground in about half of the formicarium. The liquid is clearly from the ants, so I am assuming they are sick, and I am doing my best to help them recover. I hope they pull through because they have been doing very well and seem like a colony with strong genetics. 


Edited by BCAntKeeper, May 31 2022 - 9:27 PM.

Keeping: Formica aserva, Lasius pallitarsis, Tetramorium immigrans, Camponotus novaeboracensis
 
Have kept: Camponotus modoc

#2 Offline T.C. - Posted May 31 2022 - 9:02 PM

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My all time favorite species. Please keep this updated with pictures. Following.


“If I am killed for simply living, let death be kinder than man.” -Althea Davis

#3 Offline BCAntKeeper - Posted April 16 2023 - 9:43 PM

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This colony has not changed in the months since the update, but had their nest changed 3 times. One day I noticed all of the liquid in the formicarium was moving and saw thousands of nematodes when I put the nest under a microscope. After that I started feeding them less, so the amount of liquid decreased. Now that they are out of hibernation I hope they will start growing again, even though the nematodes are still there.


Keeping: Formica aserva, Lasius pallitarsis, Tetramorium immigrans, Camponotus novaeboracensis
 
Have kept: Camponotus modoc

#4 Offline T.C. - Posted April 17 2023 - 9:18 AM

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This colony has not changed in the months since the update, but had their nest changed 3 times. One day I noticed all of the liquid in the formicarium was moving and saw thousands of nematodes when I put the nest under a microscope. After that I started feeding them less, so the amount of liquid decreased. Now that they are out of hibernation I hope they will start growing again, even though the nematodes are still there.


Give them spiders and a heat lamp. They will blow up in size.
“If I am killed for simply living, let death be kinder than man.” -Althea Davis

#5 Offline BCAntKeeper - Posted April 18 2023 - 4:29 PM

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This colony has not changed in the months since the update, but had their nest changed 3 times. One day I noticed all of the liquid in the formicarium was moving and saw thousands of nematodes when I put the nest under a microscope. After that I started feeding them less, so the amount of liquid decreased. Now that they are out of hibernation I hope they will start growing again, even though the nematodes are still there.


Give them spiders and a heat lamp. They will blow up in size.

 

I give them spiders on a regular basis, probably their favourite food.


Keeping: Formica aserva, Lasius pallitarsis, Tetramorium immigrans, Camponotus novaeboracensis
 
Have kept: Camponotus modoc

#6 Offline BCAntKeeper - Posted May 14 2023 - 1:53 PM

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The colony didn’t improve after hibernation, so about 2 weeks ago I started to only give them access to carbs for a few hours to prevent spoilage (before then I was replacing the maple syrup within 48 hours and the honey and sunburst every week or so). As soon as I started doing this the larvae started growing for the first time in almost a year. They got a new nest about a week ago and the queen has laid a bunch of eggs since then. From pictures of the setup I counted over 450 workers.

 

DSC_3816.JPG


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Keeping: Formica aserva, Lasius pallitarsis, Tetramorium immigrans, Camponotus novaeboracensis
 
Have kept: Camponotus modoc

#7 Offline BCAntKeeper - Posted May 14 2023 - 2:46 PM

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I don’t know why but the resolution is horrible compared to the original image.


Keeping: Formica aserva, Lasius pallitarsis, Tetramorium immigrans, Camponotus novaeboracensis
 
Have kept: Camponotus modoc

#8 Offline Ernteameise - Posted May 15 2023 - 12:10 AM

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I am right now also trying out the sunburst, but only have varying acceptance.
So probably one has to change it every other day? Going from your experience?

#9 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 15 2023 - 12:03 PM

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The whole point of Sunburst is that it doesn’t spoil for a long time. It does start drying out, though, and can turn too viscous for ants to drink.
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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.

#10 Offline BCAntKeeper - Posted June 18 2023 - 8:38 AM

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This colony has had lots of new workers emerging in the last few days as well as a male alate which was fed on. There are usually 1-200 workers in the outworld and I have had to add new fluon twice to keep them from escaping. There are hundreds of eggs as well so the colony could hit 1.5K this summer from a single queen, which would be pretty good for their third growing season.


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Keeping: Formica aserva, Lasius pallitarsis, Tetramorium immigrans, Camponotus novaeboracensis
 
Have kept: Camponotus modoc

#11 Offline BCAntKeeper - Posted December 30 2023 - 10:06 AM

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They stopped growing again after the last update, lots of liquid once again. Probably tried a dozen different things with no luck. I decided to stop using byFormica feeders about a month ago. It took a couple weeks but they finally recovered and got put into hibernation last weekend, much later than I wanted. I have a variety of liquid feeders from byFormica and made my own as well. I switched between types a few times which could explain the on and off symptoms. It might only be the free ones with colored bases that are causing the problem. Not a great design either. I have heard 3d printed materials can be toxic to ants as well but I’ll look into it more next year before I come to any conclusions. 


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Keeping: Formica aserva, Lasius pallitarsis, Tetramorium immigrans, Camponotus novaeboracensis
 
Have kept: Camponotus modoc

#12 Offline BCAntKeeper - Posted April 27 2024 - 8:21 AM

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Taken out of hibernation last weekend.


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Keeping: Formica aserva, Lasius pallitarsis, Tetramorium immigrans, Camponotus novaeboracensis
 
Have kept: Camponotus modoc

#13 Offline T.C. - Posted May 14 2024 - 10:01 PM

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This species from my experience prefers syrup over almost all other sugars. I dilute it in water about 50/50 and feed alot of spiders and fruit flies. How are they doing now?
“If I am killed for simply living, let death be kinder than man.” -Althea Davis




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