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bmb1bee's California Camponotus Compendium (updated 10/14/23)

camponotus journal

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#1 Online bmb1bee - Posted August 19 2023 - 9:15 PM

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I've decided to split my journal up for the time being, due to some conflicting reasons. Too many different species on one journal can really clutter it up. Here I'll be documenting all of my Camponotus species, which I will hopefully obtain more of in the near future.

Current species (11/13/2023):

Camponotus clarithorax

Camponotus essigi (two variants)

Camponotus festinatus

Camponotus fragilis

Camponotus hyatti

Camponotus johnsoni

Camponotus laevigatus

Camponotus laevissimus

Camponotus modoc

Camponotus ocreatus (two variants)

Camponotus sansabeanus (one variant)

Camponotus sayi

Camponotus semitestaceus (four variants)

Camponotus us-ca02

Camponotus vicinus (five variants)

 

Past species:

N/A

 

Species not yet acquired:

Camponotus absquatulator

Camponotus anthrax

Camponotus bakeri (doubt I can obtain)

Camponotus dumetorum

Camponotus yogi


Edited by bmb1bee, November 12 2023 - 8:42 PM.

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#2 Online bmb1bee - Posted August 19 2023 - 9:27 PM

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Camponotus cf. essigi variant A (8/19/23):

 

This colony was started from two queens I caught on the 14th of May, which happened to be Mother's Day this year. Interestingly, I found them at Bramhall Park in the afternoon, which was a time I didn't expect to find them. Both queens stayed together through founding without showing aggression and have since then gotten workers successfully. These are likely polygynous, but it may be a bit early to tell. At the moment, they only have 4 workers and several eggs — but this is mainly due to me not taking proper care of my colonies during my one-month vacation over the summer. Since they have two queens rather than just one, I'll be expecting this colony to grow fairly quickly with some additional heat, food, and care.

 

IMG_0089.jpg


Edited by bmb1bee, September 12 2023 - 5:53 PM.

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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

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#3 Online bmb1bee - Posted August 19 2023 - 9:35 PM

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Camponotus cf. hyatti variant A (8/19/23):

 

Unlike my colony of C. clarithorax variant A, I believe this is a slightly different variant. These queens — which I found 5 of on the night of April 27th — look almost identical in coloration to the other 2 queens I found at Bramhall. However, these are at least 3 mm longer, and perhaps more when fully filled up. Currently, just one of these queens remains with me. This one has around 7 workers and some eggs, not much of a difference from my other colony. These grow just as fast though, and should also recover soon.

 

IMG_0080.jpg


Edited by bmb1bee, September 28 2023 - 8:56 AM.

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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

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#4 Online bmb1bee - Posted August 19 2023 - 9:41 PM

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Camponotus cf. hyatti variant B (8/19/23):

 

I actually thought these were the Bay variant of Camponotus essigi, which look very much like C. hyatti and C. clarithorax here. After having them ID'ed it turned out to be C. hyatti, albeit an interesting redheaded queen. I received this colony from NancyZamora, who I'd like to thank for these. This colony has one queen and just a worker, but they're doing pretty fine. Just eggs at the moment, but larvae should appear shortly.

 

IMG_0069.jpg


Edited by bmb1bee, September 12 2023 - 5:54 PM.

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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#5 Online bmb1bee - Posted August 19 2023 - 9:48 PM

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Camponotus us-ca02 (8/19/23):

 

To start, this is probably the largest known ant in the state of California. These I received from AntsCali for a very low price, since they weren't doing very well. This colony came with one queen and 2 workers, one of which died during shipping and the other had run off somewhere on my desk. Regardless of this colony's rough start under my care, I hope they'll bounce back if I give them a boost. On another note, I did get some time to observe the queen with her remaining worker for about a day before she escaped. The worker basically worked like a bucket brigade of sorts and ran back and forth between the liquid feeder in the outworld and the queen. She filled up on nectar and fed the queen for the entire day after I received them, which was rather amusing to watch. Strangely, the worker was able to engage in trophyllaxis with the queen without any problems, but the queen would regurgitate an overly large amount of liquid every time she fed the worker and as a result dump her contents onto the floor of the test tube. This likely explains why she was so thin when I got her. Oddly, this only happens when she feeds the worker, not vice versa.

 

IMG_0110.jpg


Edited by bmb1bee, August 19 2023 - 9:54 PM.

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#6 Online bmb1bee - Posted August 19 2023 - 9:53 PM

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Camponotus ocreatus AZ variant (8/19/23):

 

I traded some Pheidole queens for this massive queen just last week, courtesy of Jeffpbalderston. It seems to be the largest queen I have, and may be a couple mm larger than my C. us-ca02 queen. However, this is probably because the C. us-ca02 queen hasn't fully filled up on food yet. Regardless, Camponotus ocreatus are known as one of the largest Camponotus species in the United States and should at least match Camponotus us-ca02 in size. All the more reason to obtain one. The queen arrived with a couple small larvae intact. I am personally excited to start a colony of these and compare them with my other variant of Camponotus ocreatus, which will be featured next. Speaking of which, these differ from the California variant in that they are slightly larger and are more bold in coloration, sporting fully black heads and a tricolored gaster. Conversely, the California variant has plain yellow workers, with queens that have slight brownish coloring on their heads and mustard colored gasters.

 

IMG_0132.jpg


Edited by bmb1bee, August 19 2023 - 10:38 PM.

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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

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#7 Online bmb1bee - Posted August 19 2023 - 10:07 PM

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Camponotus ocreatus CA variant (8/19/23):

 

This colony I received a couple weeks ago after purchasing it from Jeffpbalderson. These came with over 20 workers, but a few died in the following week. The deaths stopped after I moved them to a proper "tubs and tubes setup", where they currently reside in with around 15 workers. Their test tube flooded a bit during shipping, so all the brood died by the time I received them. Unfortunate, but no one's fault. I experimented to see which foods they would prefer best, since I was under the impression that large Camponotus species would be picky with feeder insects. After having no luck with fruit flies or mealworms, I turned to dubia roaches. Interestingly, I'd read from somewhere on the forum that protein fed roaches would contain urea, which is an essential part of Camponotus diets in the wild. After feeding my roaches some protein pellets, I cut one open to feed my C. ocreatus colony. Success! The workers started drinking up the juices and feeding each other via trophyllaxis. At the time of writing this journal, this is currently my favorite ant colony.

 

IMG_0138.jpg


Edited by bmb1bee, August 19 2023 - 10:26 PM.

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#8 Online bmb1bee - Posted August 29 2023 - 8:00 PM

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Just a picture to show the size difference between the queens of the polygynous colony and the monogynous colony. There's at least a 2-3 mm gap... More updates coming this weekend, as I'll be receiving a load of new Camponotus species to add to the list!

 

IMG_0050.jpg


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#9 Offline Tanks - Posted August 30 2023 - 6:45 PM

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Camponotus ocreatus CA variant (8/19/23):

 

This colony I received a couple weeks ago after purchasing it from Jeffpbalderson. These came with over 20 workers, but a few died in the following week. The deaths stopped after I moved them to a proper "tubs and tubes setup", where they currently reside in with around 15 workers. Their test tube flooded a bit during shipping, so all the brood died by the time I received them. Unfortunate, but no one's fault. I experimented to see which foods they would prefer best, since I was under the impression that large Camponotus species would be picky with feeder insects. After having no luck with fruit flies or mealworms, I turned to dubia roaches. Interestingly, I'd read from somewhere on the forum that protein fed roaches would contain urea, which is an essential part of Camponotus diets in the wild. After feeding my roaches some protein pellets, I cut one open to feed my C. ocreatus colony. Success! The workers started drinking up the juices and feeding each other via trophyllaxis. At the time of writing this journal, this is currently my favorite ant colony.

 

IMG_0138.jpg

 

Do you think giving crickets protein would rear similar results as to what you did with those roaches?



#10 Offline AntsCali098 - Posted August 30 2023 - 7:00 PM

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Yes

Interested buying in ants? Feel free to check out my shop

Feel free to read my journals, like this one.

 

Wishlist:

Atta sp (wish they were in CA), Crematogaster cerasi, Most Pheidole species

 

 


#11 Online bmb1bee - Posted August 30 2023 - 9:49 PM

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Do you think giving crickets protein would rear similar results as to what you did with those roaches?

It might, but I'm not quite sure. They should be about as nutritious as roaches, but probably lack the urea that Camponotus seem to thrive on. I'd give it a try though if I were you.


"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#12 Offline antsriondel - Posted August 31 2023 - 7:20 AM

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Wow that is a lot of colonies! Keep it up!  (y)


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#13 Online bmb1bee - Posted August 31 2023 - 8:30 AM

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Believe me, it gets better! I'm probably crazy for trying to raise almost every CA Camponotus species at the same time, but it seems like an interesting project to try out. 


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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#14 Online bmb1bee - Posted September 1 2023 - 6:48 AM

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Camponotus fragilis (9/1/23):

 

I received one of these queens from Jeffpbalderston about a week ago. Despite going through the rough process of shipping, she seemed completely fine. There were a couple eggs in the test tube when I received her, which she may have laid during shipping. Behaviorally, she's likely one of the most calm queens I currently keep. I gave her a bit of hummingbird nectar after opening the box, which she definitely enjoyed. 

 

IMG_0211.jpg


Edited by bmb1bee, September 1 2023 - 6:48 AM.

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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#15 Online bmb1bee - Posted September 1 2023 - 6:50 AM

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Camponotus cf. semitestaceus variant A (9/1/23):

 

This queen came from Benxixi, who I ordered from this week. She looks a bit like a C. ocreatus queen, just smaller and some other differences in coloration. No eggs yet, but hoping that some will be on the way soon.

 

IMG_0335.jpg


Edited by bmb1bee, September 21 2023 - 10:16 PM.

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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#16 Online bmb1bee - Posted September 1 2023 - 6:55 AM

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Camponotus us-ca02 (9/1/23):

 

I got a colony of these with 5 workers from Jeffpbalderston around the same time as my C. fragilis queen. She's by far the largest queen I have so far, both in length and mass. She's so heavy she can hardly move... Although this colony came without brood, the queen has laid a few large eggs since I received her. I'll be switching over to updating this colony instead of the single queen, since there won't be anything new with her until I can successfully boost her.

 

IMG_0217.jpg


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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#17 Online bmb1bee - Posted September 1 2023 - 7:13 AM

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Camponotus vicinus high elevation variant (9/1/23):

 

I managed to trade for a colony of these from a friend on Discord, as well as a few other Camponotus colonies. I believe these are the high elevation variety, since that's what he told me they were from. They're also pretty big, similar in size to the C. modoc I'll be mentioning later. They have 4 workers and a couple eggs so far, but the queen looks like she'll be laying more soon.

 

IMG_0323.jpg


Edited by bmb1bee, September 2 2023 - 10:04 PM.

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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#18 Online bmb1bee - Posted September 1 2023 - 7:34 AM

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Camponotus vicinus dark variant (9/1/23):

 

These, which I obtained 3 of, were from the same exchange as the high elevation C. vicinus colony. I also managed to get a C. modoc colony and a C. essigi queen, which will both be brought up later. None of these black variant queens have eggs yet, but they've accepted small bits of dubia roaches and hummingbird nectar. Hopefully these aren't duds. I'll definitely boost them with any C. vicinus pupae I can get my hands on.

 

IMG_0351.jpg


Edited by bmb1bee, September 12 2023 - 5:57 PM.

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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#19 Online bmb1bee - Posted September 1 2023 - 7:39 AM

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Camponotus johnsoni (9/1/23):

 

This colony I got for free from Benxixi when I bought the C. semitestaceus queen. There were workers, but they unfortunately died when the tube flooded during shipping. It hit 90 that day in my area, so no one but the weather is to blame for this. Luckily, the queen and some small larvae survived. I fed the queen a bit of hummingbird nectar and will also be boosting this queen soon. I thought these were C. maritimus, but the face looks quite hairy for that species.

 

IMG_0316.jpg


Edited by bmb1bee, September 12 2023 - 5:57 PM.

  • Somethinghmm likes this

"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.


#20 Online bmb1bee - Posted September 1 2023 - 7:45 AM

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Camponotus modoc (9/1/23):

 

As mentioned before, I received a colony of C. modoc with 6 workers and some larvae from a friend on Discord. One worker died shortly after I received them, but the others seem perfectly fine and healthy. They've absolutely filled up on hummingbird nectar and almost look like mini repletes. The queen is pretty big for Camponotus; slightly smaller than C. us-ca02 and C. ocreatus, but larger than almost everything else. 

 

IMG_0348.jpg


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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see." - Muhammad Ali

 

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