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Camponotus pennsylvanicus Help!

help camponotus nebraska omaha camponotus pennsylcanicus guide

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#1 Offline Antking117 - Posted February 18 2017 - 5:08 AM

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The time is nearing, and I need your help! I am a large ant fan, but every year I catch ants they all lay thier eggs and then the workers come, then accept none of the food I offer? Can I please get some help? I am considering buying the ants canada guide, but I am not sure becuase I am sure I can get help from this great forum! Anyways, let me walk you through what I do so hopefully you can catch my flaws before I end the lives of the colonies I attempt to catch and raise this year... So step one, I go and collect the ants. I walk around in a park and check logs walk the ground and catch the queens into plastic jars into a special carrier I made to fit into a backpack comfortably. Then I go home and prepare the test tubes, I have about 20 of them, and I usually catch 10 queens. I fill the water about 1/2 through and then put the queen in and cap it with cotton. I put a black construction paper cover over them into a test tuber holder and leave it there for 3 days at a time glancing to make sure it is all okay. If mold is present I attach it to another one and they will move eventually, them being healthy at this time. Eventually the workers arrive and Ill present them with honey off a toothpick and either a dead small cricket, or a small piece of a super worm. This is where I do not know what I am doing. They just refuse food forever, survive until winter, then die during winter. I have them stored in a location that is non fluctuating in temperature. No one sells in Nebraska either, so I do not know what to resort to. HELP ME PLEASE!



#2 Offline Nathant2131 - Posted February 18 2017 - 5:40 AM

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You are hibernating them when winter comes around, correct?

#3 Offline Antking117 - Posted February 18 2017 - 5:43 AM

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Yes I am, but the queen never wakes up :'(



#4 Offline Nathant2131 - Posted February 18 2017 - 5:52 AM

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Yes I am, but the queen never wakes up :'(


What temperature are you keeping them when you are not hibernating them and when you are? Camponotus like warmth, so perhaps it is too cold.

#5 Offline Nathant2131 - Posted February 18 2017 - 5:56 AM

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It could just be the colony/queen herself, though. Generally, a queen ants survival rate is quite low no matter what you do. Perhaps you didn't catch enough for at least one to be successful?

#6 Offline Antking117 - Posted February 18 2017 - 5:56 AM

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I hibernate them at 50 degrees F. They seem to look like normal. I start hibernation about mid august which was suggested by multiple different websites.. ( I've tried October and November aswell, but last year I tried August cause it was very cold at that time here in Nebraska.)



#7 Offline Nathant2131 - Posted February 18 2017 - 6:02 AM

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I hibernate them at 50 degrees F. They seem to look like normal. I start hibernation about mid august which was suggested by multiple different websites.. ( I've tried October and November aswell, but last year I tried August cause it was very cold at that time here in Nebraska.)


Well, while C Pennsylvanicus like the warmth when it is not winter, they are VERY cold resistant and can survive even at -20 C, one reason they are such a hardy and successful ant. I'm not sure if it is the hibernation that is too warm, but it won't hurt to put them in a colder area like a fridge. That isn't necessarily what could be the problem though.

#8 Offline Antking117 - Posted February 18 2017 - 6:02 AM

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I catch 10 each year for the past 3 years now >.> please do not tell me I have been that unlucky!



#9 Offline Bracchymyrmex - Posted February 18 2017 - 6:23 AM

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Could you expand upon the ants' response to when you introduce food to them and how you introduce it? Perhaps you are presenting it to them in an unappealing way...

 

I have a C. pennsylvanicus. colony of about 5 workers, they accept drops of honey and occasionally a cricket leg, so you are doing nothing wrong here as far as I can tell. However, you need not feed them too much food, if they are overwhelmed by what you present them they will not eat at all, so start with a small amount and slowly work up until you find what they like. Another mistake I see is that you check on them too often; I check on mine once a week and for five minute increments. This reduces stress levels in the colony and results in more growth. 

 

Best of luck,

Bracchymyrmex


Edited by Bracchymyrmex, February 18 2017 - 6:23 AM.

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#10 Offline Nathant2131 - Posted February 18 2017 - 6:26 AM

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Could you expand upon the ants' response to when you introduce food to them and how you introduce it? Perhaps you are presenting it to them in an unappealing way...
 
I have a C. pennsylvanicus. colony of about 5 workers, they accept drops of honey and occasionally a cricket leg, so you are doing nothing wrong here as far as I can tell. However, you need not feed them too much food, if they are overwhelmed by what you present them they will not eat at all, so start with a small amount and slowly work up until you find what they like. Another mistake I see is that you check on them too often; I check on mine once a week and for five minute increments. This reduces stress levels in the colony and results in more growth. 
 
Best of luck,
Bracchymyrmex


Yeah, checking once a week is ideal too.

#11 Offline Kevin - Posted February 18 2017 - 6:29 AM

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No, I do not suggest buying the AC E-book. You will probably find better information here. Feed your queen a drop of watered down honey and a termite, cricket leg, mealworm piece, etc. If she isn't waking up, let her be. Camponotus is one of the only or the only (I forget) species that go into a deep diapause and look dead. She could take days to wake up.


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#12 Offline Serafine - Posted February 18 2017 - 7:53 AM

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What temperature are you keeping them when you are not hibernating them and when you are? Camponotus like warmth, so perhaps it is too cold.

Camponotus can survive temps below -20°C if they can get used to it over a period of days to a few weeks.

Also they look completely dead while hibernating (they even curl up) and can take up to TWO WEEKS to come back to life after hibernation.
 

However, you need not feed them too much food, if they are overwhelmed by what you present them they will not eat at all, so start with a small amount and slowly work up until you find what they like.

If they don't like crickets from the shop just go out, catch some spiders and freeze them (my ants LOVE spiders). Before you feed them put them into warm water for a minute so they're not frozen when the ants find them.

 

And if they're remotely similar to my Camponotus barbaricus don't worry about feeding them too much. These ants can store amazing amounts of food in their gasters when they found something tasty. A few days ago I gave them a frozen spider and the queen ate it entirely (there is nothing left of it) and at the next day she looked like a replete (her gaster was essentially transparent). If they're full they will either ignore the food or push it to dry cotton parts they use storage.

 

I'd also recommend putting the tubes into small outworld containers and add a sugar water tube to each. My Camponotus eat sugars in bursts (and when they go out to get some they consume huge amounts at once).


Edited by Serafine, February 18 2017 - 1:46 PM.

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#13 Offline T.C. - Posted February 18 2017 - 8:48 AM

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Sugar water is your answer.I tried feeding my Camponotous Pennsylvanicus queen honey and she never touched it. She was on the verge of dying from starvation. So I stated that in one of my journals. A member by the name Crystal told me that they prefer sugar water. Right away I went to the kitchen, mixed me a nice little potion of it. =) And guess what happened, she drank so much of it her gaster nearly doubled in size. Also for protein I recommend fruit flies and spiders. Be absolutely sure the spider is dead if you give it to her.

Hope this helps

Edited by T.C., February 18 2017 - 12:09 PM.

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#14 Offline Nathant2131 - Posted February 18 2017 - 12:14 PM

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What temperature are you keeping them when you are not hibernating them and when you are? Camponotus like warmth, so perhaps it is too cold.

Camponotus can survive temps below -20°C if they can get used to it over a period of days to a few weeks.

Also they look completely dead while hibernating (they even curl up) and can take up to TWO WEEKS to come back to life after hibernation.
 

However, you need not feed them too much food, if they are overwhelmed by what you present them they will not eat at all, so start with a small amount and slowly work up until you find what they like.

If they don't like crickets from the shop just go out, catch some spiders and freeze them (my ants LOVE spiders). Before you feed them put them into warm water for a minute so they're not frozen when the ants find them.

 

And if they're remotely similar to my Camponotus barbaricus don't worry about feeding them too much. These ants can store amazing amounts of food in their gasters when they found something tasty. A few days ago I gave them a frozen spider and the queen ate it entirely (there is nothing left of it) and at the next day she looked like a replete (her gaster was essentially transparent). If they're full they will either ignore the food or push it to dry cotton parts they use storage.

 

I'd also recommend putting the tubes into small outworld containers and add a sugar tube to each. My Camponotus eat sugars in bursts (and when they go out to get some they consume huge amounts at once).

 

Serafine, What I meant is that they like warmth for the duration of when they are active.



#15 Offline Antking117 - Posted February 18 2017 - 6:10 PM

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I do know they take forever to wake up, and i probably do look to much, but i don't move them i just slide the cover off and peer in slightly making sure the queen isn't eating her young or drowning.. also i do wait about 2 weeks for them to wake up, but they never do wake up.. also when i introduce food i do exactly that, i stir some honey and water in a little sauce bowl then take a toothpick take a dap, attach the test tube to a small outworld and place the dap there.. the workers come out and look at it, then run away and just hide in the test tube.. also they do seem to be interested in the cockroach legs or cricket legs, but they never do anything but drag them around and seem to play with it..

#16 Offline Antking117 - Posted February 18 2017 - 6:14 PM

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I've never found spiders because my house is sprayed for spiders by the owner, and i never throught to go out looking for spiders xD well maybe this year with the forums help they will survive! Sorry for the late response i work iver night and sleep during the day (why i love this species so much)

#17 Offline Reevak - Posted February 20 2017 - 5:51 AM

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also when i introduce food i do exactly that, i stir some honey and water in a little sauce bowl then take a toothpick take a dap, attach the test tube to a small outworld and place the dap there

T.C. said that they preferred sugar water, not honey or honey water.

#18 Offline benjiwuf - Posted February 20 2017 - 6:18 AM

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honey water, sugar water, maple syrup, and Sunburst are all sugary compounds (and the sugar is what is required). In  that respect any of them should work for sugar supplements. with small colonies they typically don't need much of anything as they are too small in number to consume a noticeable portion of anything you provide. However moving protein sources around typically is one of two responses:  Its garbage and needs to move out of the way, or it's exactly what they wanted and attempt to move it into the place they want it to be. As i said before though, with small colonies you will definitely not be able to tell what is evaporating vs. what they're eating.


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#19 Offline LC3 - Posted February 20 2017 - 8:08 AM

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I've never found spiders because my house is sprayed for spiders by the owner, and i never throught to go out looking for spiders xD well maybe this year with the forums help they will survive! Sorry for the late response i work iver night and sleep during the day (why i love this species so much)


That's an interesting priece of information. I am just curious, how extensively is your house sprayed and what kind of spray is used? I'd imagine you need quite a lot of spray in order to keep something as versetile as spiders out.

Edited by LC3, February 20 2017 - 8:08 AM.


#20 Offline Antking117 - Posted February 20 2017 - 9:12 PM

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I've never found spiders because my house is sprayed for spiders by the owner, and i never throught to go out looking for spiders xD well maybe this year with the forums help they will survive! Sorry for the late response i work iver night and sleep during the day (why i love this species so much)


That's an interesting priece of information. I am just curious, how extensively is your house sprayed and what kind of spray is used? I'd imagine you need quite a lot of spray in order to keep something as versetile as spiders out.

 

I am not sure on the spray, and I may have exaggerated when saying no spiders, but very very little to if any spiders are here. If any ever do show in the house, they are to sly for me to get, or they are pretty freaky looking. The house is sprayed every week to 2 weeks. I see no spiders during winter, and during the spring you see them for like a couple days, then never again.


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