Camponotus Pennsylvanicus Colony Struggling

Discussions about the care and keeping of ants

Moderator: ooper01

Post Reply
LexingtonAntHunter
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 6:41 pm
Location: Lexington, KY

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus Colony Struggling

Post: # 51189Post LexingtonAntHunter
Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:07 am

Hey all,

So I am currently keeping a Camp. Penn. colony that seems to have run into some issues. I was hoping you all might have some suggestions about how to address it.

So I caught this queen in May of 2017. Last year the colony did very well, going from just the queen to a little over 30 workers before I placed the colony into hibernation at the end of October. I kept the colony in diapause for approx. 4 to 4 1/2 months at approx. 42-44 degrees Fahrenheit. I took them out of hibernation in March, and they seemed to do well after that also. Only one worker did not survive hibernation. All of the brood survived, and after a couple months the colony had reached 60+ workers.

Then, since sometime in June, the colony has seemingly just stopped functioning. Previously they were very receptive to both mealworms and crickets, but now they have stopped foraging altogether. The queen has stopped laying eggs - she has not laid since shortly after being taken out of hibernation. Some of the workers have begun to die off - I am not sure if this is a cause for concern or not, as it could just be that some of her first round of workers have reached the natural end of their lifespan, but the colony is now down below 50 workers.

It seems as if the colony has just decided that it is time to enter hibernation. In the middle of the summer. They are kept in a room that stays between 70-72 F and have a heating cable running along one side of the formicarium that keeps that portion around 82 F. So, there should not be any temperature cues telling them to hibernate.

Overall, I am just not sure what is going on with the colony and am concerned that there is something wrong with their environment, but I don't know what it is or how to fix it. The colony was doing so well for over a year, especially compared to other Camp. Penn. colonies that I have observed, but then suddenly ran into a roadblock. I want to put them back on the path to success!

Does anyone have any insight or advice as to what may be going here? All help is much, much appreciated. Thanks in advance for your replies.

JoeHostile1
Posts: 175
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:51 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Camponotus Pennsylvanicus Colony Struggling

Post: # 51332Post JoeHostile1
Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:24 am

LexingtonAntHunter wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 11:07 am
Hey all,



It seems as if the colony has just decided that it is time to enter hibernation. In the middle of the summer. They are kept in a room that stays between 70-72 F and have a heating cable running along one side of the formicarium that keeps that portion around 82 F. So, there should not be any temperature cues telling them to hibernate.
Is the end of September really the middle of summer where you live? Where I live this is almost the beginning of winter. At least it is getting cold at night time anyway. Snow possible by November in 1 month.

Camponotus takes about 2 months to develop so it makes sense for the colonies in my area to stop laying eggs around this time as there is not enough time for eggs to develop into workers.

If you live somewhere a lot warmer then perhaps your queen is taking a little break. Camponotus are known for laying eggs in batches as opposed to continuously laying. Or maybe she needs more food/sugar to get more energy to lay another batch.
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSfFtn6RegZ3F1NdS1g08NA

LexingtonAntHunter
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun May 07, 2017 6:41 pm
Location: Lexington, KY

Re: Camponotus Pennsylvanicus Colony Struggling

Post: # 51449Post LexingtonAntHunter
Tue Sep 25, 2018 2:37 pm

"Then, since sometime in June, the colony has seemingly just stopped functioning."

This has been going on since early June : /

I would agree that it is possible she needs more sugar/protein to lay, but as I said, the colony has displayed no interest in foraging or accepting food for the past several months.

I am not sure what recourse I have now other than to place them into hibernation soon and hope for the best.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests