I live in a small flat.
I do not have the space to have a huge ant room like many other members on here.
So with my ant keeping, I am looking for ants that are manageable (apart from the Messors of course, which can grow to a few thousand workers).
I had been looking around for a Camponotus species that is not aggressive, peaceful and avoids conflict with other ants and that has very small colonies.
There is one species, in warmer parts of Germany and Southern Europe, that fits my wishes perfectly.
Shiny black beauties.
A small species of Camponotus (the standard workers are the size of Lasius niger), they still have polymorphism (larger majors) and they have small colonies of several dozens to around 100-150 workers.
They are timid, shy, not aggressive, scavengers and can be kept together with other peaceful ants.
Then there was also the fact that I had bought this beautiful small founder wood nest from Foranto, which I had planned for the Walnut Empire (my Acorn Ants) but which has been ignored completely. It is just too beautiful to not see any use!
So what did I do?
I bought a small cheap plastic box (2 Euro) for a tubs and tubes setup, added some Vermiculite (which I had moistened in the corners) and disconnected the Foranto wood nest from the Acorn Ants enclosure and added it into the plastic box.
I also used Fluon around the top corners and the lid as escape proofing.
And I ordered a small founder colony of Camponotus piceus online.
The girls arrived save and sound and they are absolutely stunningly beautiful with their shiny black exoskeleton.
According to the seller, the ants are from Portugal.
And here they are, the beauties!
I also provided some wholesome dinner
The girls are now residing in their arrival tube and I have covered them with some cardboard (like I did with my Rescue Ants).
They have right away started to drag some of the moist vermiculite into the test tube!
Plus, they also did some exploring
And it looks as if the fluon barrier would work at least with these girls!!
The box is now sitting right next to the Acorn Ants.
I had been thinking that maybe, when both colonies grow bigger, I might even keep them together since both species are non-aggressive and can be kept with other species.
If I do that, I will just have to have a cooler area where the Temnothorax live, and (with a heating cable) have a heated nesting area for the Camponotus.
But that is dreams for the future.
Right now, I only have this tiny founding colony.
I hope I can do these girls justice and have them grow!