Journaling my first queens (camponotus pennsylvanicus)

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AntzNaTube
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:55 pm
Location: Northeast Louisiana

Journaling my first queens (camponotus pennsylvanicus)

Post: # 19272Post AntzNaTube
Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:09 pm

Moving this journal here from another forum.
The below string of posts started 4-1-17

Hi all, this will officially be my first ant keeping experience so, by all means, please feel free to critique if you read that I am doing something foolish/incorrectly.

About a week ago, I was picking up limbs in the yard after a heavy storm we had in the area (Northeastern Louisiana), when I noticed the largest black carpenter ant I had ever seen. I quickly went into the house and got a jar to put her in. Came back to 2 more, and these had wings!

I caught all three and brought them into the house to show my son who loves ants (7year old autistic son who apparently only loves the *idea* of ants). I then began googling, as I am prone to do, and quickly came upon this forum and the AntsCanada YouTube channel. After doing some picture searching and diligent reading, I now have all three in test tube setups, and have decided to chronicle my adventure along with the experts.

From what I have read, I have deduced that the queens I have are most likely campomotus pennsylvanicus, although it seems somewhat early for them to be flying. I have since decided that this was most likely due to the aforementioned storm.

I caught three queens that day: one wingless (queen 1 from this point forward), one that had only one wing (queen 2), and the third had both wings in tact (queen 3). Queen 2 & 3 both shed their wings almost immediately upon putting them in test tubes.

Queen 1 now has four eggs. Queen 2 has 3 eggs. And, queen 3 seemed rather restless and would not lay. So, this morning I made a small (4"×4"×1") formicarium out of red oak with my 1/2" router bit and covered it with lexan. I connected her tube to it and she immediately began exploring it. Now, approximately 8 hours later, she has finally laid her fist egg and moved it to the test tube, probably because of the humidity created by putting their test tubes on a warm heating pad.

I am super excited that they have, now, all began laying eggs. My wife is rather annoyed, due to my ever growing list of hobbies (sever A.D.D. is no laughing matter). I however am rather pleased that this is finally something that seems to keep my attention and I didn't have to purchase any materials for. I had test tubes, heating mats, and lumber/tools from other hobbies I have been known to dabble in.
Founding:
2 x camponotus pennsylvanicus queens
1 x atta texana queens
1 x Pogonomyrmex barbatus queen

AntzNaTube
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:55 pm
Location: Northeast Louisiana

Re: Journaling my first queens (camponotus pennsylvanicus)

Post: # 19273Post AntzNaTube
Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:21 pm

The following was posted 4-2-17.

As promised, a picture update!!!

This is the makeshift formicarium I made for queen 3.
Image

This is queen 1, who I might mention is up to 7 eggs.
Image

This is queen 2. She is currently at 6 eggs.
Image

And last, but not least, queen 3. She has laid 3 eggs since yesterday morning.

Image


I have been very surprised at how well these ladies are taking to captivity. Even with minimal care, they seem to be doing just fine.
Founding:
2 x camponotus pennsylvanicus queens
1 x atta texana queens
1 x Pogonomyrmex barbatus queen

AntzNaTube
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:55 pm
Location: Northeast Louisiana

Re: Journaling my first queens (camponotus pennsylvanicus)

Post: # 19276Post AntzNaTube
Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:35 pm

And just as a current update, I am currently away from home on business in Pennsylvania, so I have not been able to check on the ladies lately. However, my wife tells me they are doing well and all 3 have a pile of eggs of at least 9 each. They are kind of hard to count at this stage :D
Founding:
2 x camponotus pennsylvanicus queens
1 x atta texana queens
1 x Pogonomyrmex barbatus queen

User avatar
Cale3459
Posts: 200
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:59 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Journaling my first queens (camponotus pennsylvanicus)

Post: # 19277Post Cale3459
Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:40 pm

Congrats on the catches! I am currently keeping a colony of Camponotus pennsylvanicus and a colony of Camponotus chromaiodes that the queen was injured during landscaping and I'm waiting to see if she survives. One thing to note about this species is they are very slow growing due to their size so have patience with them. This is one of my favorite species and is definitely worth the wait!
Keeper of:
Camponotus pennsylvanicus
(http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=2686)

Martialis
Posts: 1564
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:30 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: Journaling my first queens (camponotus pennsylvanicus)

Post: # 19279Post Martialis
Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:55 pm

I like your setup! Hopefully you'll be able to bring your son around to keeping ants. I've actually made a wood nest myself and am looking for a way to attach plexiglass to the top.
Keeper of

Formica sp.

Tetramorium caespitum

Camponotus chromaiodes

Selliing:

User avatar
Cale3459
Posts: 200
Joined: Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:59 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Journaling my first queens (camponotus pennsylvanicus)

Post: # 19281Post Cale3459
Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:58 pm

Martialis wrote:
Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:55 pm
I like your setup! Hopefully you'll be able to bring your son around to keeping ants. I've actually made a wood nest myself and am looking for a way to attach plexiglass to the top.
Could you not predrill a hole through the plexi on each corner and then put a screw through it into the wood?
Keeper of:
Camponotus pennsylvanicus
(http://forum.AntsCanada.com/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=2686)

AntzNaTube
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:55 pm
Location: Northeast Louisiana

Re: Journaling my first queens (camponotus pennsylvanicus)

Post: # 19285Post AntzNaTube
Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:03 pm

Martialis wrote:
Tue Apr 11, 2017 5:55 pm
I like your setup! Hopefully you'll be able to bring your son around to keeping ants. I've actually made a wood nest myself and am looking for a way to attach plexiglass to the top.
As long as the wood is planed flat u should be able to predrill and screw it in as I did. Otherwise, I am not sure you'll ever get it to seal and be able to keep it humid due to the swelling and warping nature of the wood.
Founding:
2 x camponotus pennsylvanicus queens
1 x atta texana queens
1 x Pogonomyrmex barbatus queen

AntzNaTube
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:55 pm
Location: Northeast Louisiana

Re: Journaling my first queens (camponotus pennsylvanicus)

Post: # 19286Post AntzNaTube
Tue Apr 11, 2017 7:09 pm

By the way, do you guys agree that this is camponotus pennsylvanicus? I'll have to take some better pictures when I return home (hopefully in about a week) and maybe take some measurements. That was just the most likely species that l could find and have been assuming that is the case. These ladies are very large, I don't know their exact size, but they would just barely be able to fit on a quarter (american) from end to end.
Founding:
2 x camponotus pennsylvanicus queens
1 x atta texana queens
1 x Pogonomyrmex barbatus queen

xTNxANTMANx
Posts: 393
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 9:03 am
Location: Western Tennessee

Re: Journaling my first queens (camponotus pennsylvanicus)

Post: # 19293Post xTNxANTMANx
Wed Apr 12, 2017 2:07 am

Wow, they are pretty! I really hope I get lucky enough to find just 1 Camponotus pennsylvanicus queen...as long as she's fertile that is :-). I wish u best of luck with them all. Here in West TN we just had a great rain today with temps in the high 70s and low 80s next 3-4 days I know of so I am definitely gonna be looking. Very nice find and welcome to the Ant Community!!!
Keeping:
Camponotus subbarbatus
Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2
Crematogaster ashmeadi
Crematogaster missouriensis
Formica pallidefulva x2
Formica subsericea x2
Lasius sp x2 (founding)
Pheidole sp. x4
Tetramorium caspitum x2

AntzNaTube
Posts: 29
Joined: Tue Apr 04, 2017 11:55 pm
Location: Northeast Louisiana

Re: Journaling my first queens (camponotus pennsylvanicus)

Post: # 21938Post AntzNaTube
Sun May 28, 2017 3:30 pm

Little update. Queen 1 has her first worker!

Image
Founding:
2 x camponotus pennsylvanicus queens
1 x atta texana queens
1 x Pogonomyrmex barbatus queen

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