Camponotus atriceps, am I doing it right?

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TheAwesomeOne
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Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:18 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Camponotus atriceps, am I doing it right?

Post: # 31970Post TheAwesomeOne
Sun Oct 01, 2017 9:17 pm

Hello. A few months ago i purchased a C. atriceps queen through the GAN project! Its my first time ant keeping, and so i thought id ask a few questions here. Currently there are 5-6 workers, about the same number that she came with. A few are new, and a few of the workers she came with sadly passed away for some reason pretty soon after i got them, not sure why :(

I have them in a round plastic enclosure I bought from the local pet store, which is currently in my closet. I didnt have any sanitized soil readily available so i also got some reptile sand to use until i move them into a real formicarium setup. Is it okay to use sand for my Camponotus ants? They've piled it up at the entrance to the test tube so only the top half is open, so it seems like they dont mind it.

The way i have it set up is i have two test tubes sitting in the container on one side, covered partially with sand, and also with half of a toilet paper roll cardboard piece covering them to provide shade from the light. The first test tube is the original they came in and the other one is filled with sugar water next to it. For light, i have a small lamp pointing at the wall near the setup so its keeping the sand from being too cold. I dont have it pointing at the sand directly, i wouldnt want to bake my ants!!!
However im still worried about the temperature. My house is normally around 70-75 degrees, and the light in my closet makes it maybe a little warmer in there. I have the door cracked open so it doesnt get too hot, though. Ive also been turning the light off at night to simulate day and night.. is this necessary? Is it harmful? Should i forget the lamp and keep just the closet light on during the day?

I added in the sugar water test tube later, before that id been giving them honey which they ate up quickly. How often do i need to replace their sugar water test tube? Whenver it starts to look moldy?

They always send at least one worker to guard the sugar water test tube, and their bellies never look too empty so they are enjoying their new food source!

Ive been giving them chopped up mealworms every week or so as well but i cant tell if they're eating it because theres only a few workers. I have of course been taking out the remains after a couple days to keep it clean and sanitary. How often should i feed this small colony insects? I know they need protien for their young to develop but i dont see any new eggs :(

I know Camponotus species take a long time to develop so im not extremely worried about the current lack of workers/eggs but I still want to make sure im doing everything right. It would be awful to end up killing my ant babies because of some rookie mistake :(

Ive attached a couple images of the setup.

Thank you anyone who's taken the time to read this novel and thank you even more to eveyone who comments with advice!!!

AntsOnTheCoast
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Re: Camponotus atriceps, am I doing it right?

Post: # 31978Post AntsOnTheCoast
Mon Oct 02, 2017 4:26 am

Hm, are you sure you have attached an image of the setup?

You should change the test tubes whenever the cotton gets moldy or if it runs out. The temperature is fine, so you can probably close the light in your closet. The only thing they get out of that is warmth and the feeling of exposure, as ants don't need to really see anything to navigate their way around the setup. Sand is okay, but if the ants start digging into it, the tunnels will most likely collapse every once in a while, so it's best to provide appropriate living quarters for them. You don't really need to feed them insects until they start to develop a bit more, but it's always good to be safe. Other than that, I don't know why some of your ants are dying. If your queen is okay, that's all you need for the colony to thrive on.

Good luck, and post some updates when you can!

TheAwesomeOne
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2017 7:18 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Camponotus atriceps, am I doing it right?

Post: # 31998Post TheAwesomeOne
Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:14 pm

whoops! My mistake. here are the images.
Image
Image

I'll go ahead and see if they prefer the light off for a couple weeks :)

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