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Care Sheet - Camponotus pennsylvanicus


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#1 Offline Crystals - Posted February 2 2016 - 9:36 AM

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Scientific Name:   Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Common Name:  Black carpenter ant, common carpenter ant

Distribution:  Eastern and Central Canada and United States. Common in the Eastern and Central United States and the lower regions of Canada.

Queen size:  15-18 mm
 
Worker size:  6-14 mm, polymorphic

Natural Habitat:  Normally found in trees, logs and occasionally houses.

Circadian Activity:  Primarily nocturnal, however, will occasionally forage in the daytime.

Mating Flight:  Usually the first warm afternoon in Spring. Will fly as early as March and as late as July.

Queen Founding Method:  Fully Claustral

Monogyne or Polygyne:  Strictly Monogyne
 
Average time from egg to worker:  Egg to larva = 20-30 days; larva to pupa = 10-15 days; Pupa to worker = 18-25 days.

This species grows very slowly. In the beginning it only takes 1.5-2 months for nanitics, but it takes 2+ months in a normal colony. The average time from egg to worker is highly dependent on temperature. Time is highly dependent on temperature; a higher temperature will generally reduce the average time.

Recommended Temperature:  75-80°F (24-27°C)

It is a heat loving ant, so a heating cable is preferred. Hibernate them at roughly 46-55°F (8-13°C). Queens found in a warmer location might prefer more heat.

Recommended Humidity:  Queens found in more desert locations may prefer a lower humidity. Queens found in more temperate locations prefer a higher humidity.  Different stages of brood will be kept at different humidity levels.

Preferred Foods:  Insects including crickets, termites, fruit flies, house flies, mealworms, spiders and grasshoppers/locusts. Sweets including sugar water, honey, syrup, and a variety of fruits.

This species also has a social stomach, so keep that in mind when it comes to foods. Here is a link to their preferred foods.
 
Hibernation Details:  Requires hibernation. 3-5 months is recommended, depending on where the queen was collected.

Make sure they have access to water and sweets, as they may eat and drink during their hibernation. This species commonly falls over in hibernation and may appear dead until they wake.
 
Escape Barrier Methods:  Fluon and talcum powder are effective at containing them. They are unable to climb upside down on olive oil. Vaseline or olive oil on a vertical surface will not contain them.
 
Difficulty rating:  Great beginner species, but grows quite slowly. This species is good for someone with patience.

Bite and/or Sting rating:  They can and will bite, and will likely dab formic acid on the bite. The pain will fade within a few minutes.

Special Care or Interesting Notes:  As these are carpenter ants, they are able to chew through soft plastics, plaster, and sometimes a whole cotton ball. Also, these ants are especially susceptible to chemicals. They will require extra ventilation or airflow as they can produce a strong formic acid gas when startled or alarmed. These ants will often appear inactive during the day as they are primarily nocturnal. Colonies with less than 50 workers are far less active than colonies with more than 100 workers.
 
Additional Links:

http://www.antweb.or...=pennsylvanicus
http://www.antwiki.o..._pennsylvanicus
http://animaldiversi...pennsylvanicus/
http://bugguide.net/node/view/543
 

 

Information submitted by Ants4fun.


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List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

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#2 Offline Spamdy - Posted April 14 2017 - 10:24 AM

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If moving my queen from one place to another will I have to separate her brood and how?


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All my colonies are dead. 

 

 Except:

  

  Pogonomyrmex barbatus

  Pheidole obscurithorax

  Pheidole morens


#3 Offline Spamdy - Posted April 14 2017 - 10:26 AM

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Also about the Monogyne part, I did find another queen of the same species in the same log.


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All my colonies are dead. 

 

 Except:

  

  Pogonomyrmex barbatus

  Pheidole obscurithorax

  Pheidole morens


#4 Offline LC3 - Posted April 14 2017 - 11:52 AM

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Also about the Monogyne part, I did find another queen of the same species in the same log.

 

You can find often find multiple founding queens usually within close proximity to one another, especially if there is a lot of competition for nesting sites, but they're not part of the same colony.


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#5 Offline Spamdy - Posted April 14 2017 - 12:01 PM

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Thanks, there was a lot of competition, found 30 pavement ants there. (y)


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All my colonies are dead. 

 

 Except:

  

  Pogonomyrmex barbatus

  Pheidole obscurithorax

  Pheidole morens


#6 Offline Marie_ANToinette - Posted May 31 2017 - 5:45 PM

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when should i move my new colony into it's formicarium? After hybernation?


LONG LIVE THE QUEEN!


#7 Offline Ants4fun - Posted June 7 2017 - 3:34 PM

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when should i move my new colony into it's formicarium? After hybernation?


That's a good time to start thinking about moving them. They will usually have about seven workers, and will increase in growth fairly rapidly.

#8 Offline fANTastic - Posted August 5 2017 - 11:29 AM

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Mine seem to like cooked crab very much. 

THis species also looks really like tetramorium, I thought they were Tetramorium for a long time.



#9 Offline T.C. - Posted August 5 2017 - 12:10 PM

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Mine seem to like cooked crab very much. 
THis species also looks really like tetramorium, I thought they were Tetramorium for a long time.


There's a significant size difference. ;)

#10 Offline Penguin - Posted October 4 2017 - 12:12 PM

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I caught what I think to be a C. Pennsylvanicus queen with visible wing scars I have heard of fall flights but what is the chance of her being fertile? Also could she be an eject and do I need to feed her for her to start a colony? Will she not lay eggs until hibernation?  :cold:


Edited by Penguin, October 4 2017 - 12:12 PM.

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#11 Offline Chicken_eater100 - Posted October 5 2017 - 4:15 PM

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I caught what I think to be a C. Pennsylvanicus queen with visible wing scars I have heard of fall flights but what is the chance of her being fertile? Also could she be an eject and do I need to feed her for her to start a colony? Will she not lay eggs until hibernation?  :cold:

probably not.  you may want to fed it some honey if you catch late in the year.


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#12 Offline DJoseph98 - Posted January 25 2019 - 5:53 PM

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How well can this species (and, by extension, the closely related Camponotus chromaiodes) climb glass? I'm hoping to create a natural setup with a glass fishbowl, and hope to avoid having to apply and reapply oil or talcum if possible. 


Current Colonies

1 x Camponotus nearcticus (Monogynous), 1 x Crematogaster cerasi (Monogynous), 1 x Formica cf. subsericea (Polygynous Two-Queen), 1 x Formica cf. pallidefulva (Monogynous, single worker),

1 x Lasius cf. americanus (Pleometrotic Founding, now Monogynous), 1 x Tetramorium immigrans (Monogynous)

 

Current Founding Units

1 x Formica cf. subsericea (Monogynous)

 

Up-To-Date as of 9/15/2020

 


#13 Offline YsTheAnt - Posted January 25 2019 - 6:44 PM

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Camponotus are good climbers in general but a barrier of baby powder and alcohol or fluon will effectively keep them in, as they are large and can be quite clumsy on slippery surfaces.
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#14 Offline Enthusiastic_Callow - Posted April 7 2019 - 5:49 AM

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I love this species!


Colonies: (Max 60/70 workers) 

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus

Lasius sp.

Prenolepis Imparis?

Tetramorium Immigrans x 2

 

Queens:

Lasius sp. (Different species than one above, caught recently)

 

- Not a lot of ants, I know. I don't look for queens anymore, I just stumble upon them (not literally). It's all an amazing learning experience for me! (I still take good care of them, don't worry). But I'm still as busy as an ant!  :) 


#15 Offline Kaelwizard - Posted July 21 2019 - 10:09 AM

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Mine seem to like cooked crab very much.
THis species also looks really like tetramorium, I thought they were Tetramorium for a long time.

They literally look nothing alike.

#16 Offline disasterants - Posted August 7 2019 - 1:28 PM

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The ventilation rule means you can't keep them in just a test tube setup without an outworld and just a cotton ball for very long after you start having to feed insects since even PRE KILLED insects will cause them to spray to get through the exoskeleton and cause a buildup in the tube causing quick and unexpected death of colony within a few months

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#17 Offline rbarreto - Posted August 7 2019 - 1:41 PM

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The ventilation rule means you can't keep them in just a test tube setup without an outworld and just a cotton ball for very long after you start having to feed insects since even PRE KILLED insects will cause them to spray to get through the exoskeleton and cause a buildup in the tube causing quick and unexpected death of colony within a few months
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I've kept tons of C. pennsylvanicus queens and never had this problem. Test tubes with cotton balls provide plenty of ventilation. Especially when you're constantly opening it to feed them.

Edited by rbarreto, August 7 2019 - 1:43 PM.

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#18 Offline Da_NewAntOnTheBlock - Posted September 29 2019 - 11:23 AM

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When they get nanitics I just put them into a tubs and tubes set up with a honey water test tube, liquid feeder and offer them some mealworms if this helps anyone.


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