Camponotus Pennsylvanicus - Seasonal Diet? Growth Patterns?

Posts and questions relating to ant diet & nutrition. Let us know what you’re feeding your ants.

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UserJB007
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:33 am
Location: Albany NY

Camponotus Pennsylvanicus - Seasonal Diet? Growth Patterns?

Post: # 73002Post UserJB007
Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:19 pm

Hello!

I'll start with a little background to frame my questions :D

I live in Albany, NY and earlier this summer a Camponotus Penn. colony moved into a houseplant of mine. I was able to remove safely the queen, brood, and most of the workers and decided to keep them. This is a DREAM of mine so I want to keep them happy!

When I captured the colony, I'd estimate we had about 50/60 workers and a massive amount of brood and pupa (no # estimate) from that time. When I captured them, I noticed there was a pretty even mix of small/young larva to mature larva and pupa. Today, things are EXTREMELY different.

Currently, I'm estimating about 200/225 workers (tons eclosing every day) with at least another 150 pupa. The interesting thing is there are barely ANY larva. The queen however in the last few weeks has pumped out hundreds of eggs in small clusters all over the nest. If I was guessing I'd say around 300-400 in the last 2 weeks. I've noticed they have stopped taking much protein, which I imagine they don't need at the moment with fewer young. I'm curious if this is a normal seasonal cycle for these ants or some residual shock from having captured them from the "wild."

I did see an article that seemed to ***** this could be seasonal:
https://academic.oup.com/ee/article/31/6/977/452582

Once all of these young start demanding food, I imagine they will be needing tons of protein. If so and all is well, do I expect to have 400/500 more workers before hibernating them? Or do you think they will wait to eclose for next year? I know I packed a bit in here, but I'm hoping with how common this species is you can put my concerns to rest.

Thanks AC crew!

JB

Hawkeye
Posts: 1561
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Camponotus Pennsylvanicus - Seasonal Diet? Growth Patterns?

Post: # 73014Post Hawkeye
Thu Aug 13, 2020 3:59 am

UserJB007 wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:19 pm
Hello!

I'll start with a little background to frame my questions :D

I live in Albany, NY and earlier this summer a Camponotus Penn. colony moved into a houseplant of mine. I was able to remove safely the queen, brood, and most of the workers and decided to keep them. This is a DREAM of mine so I want to keep them happy!

When I captured the colony, I'd estimate we had about 50/60 workers and a massive amount of brood and pupa (no # estimate) from that time. When I captured them, I noticed there was a pretty even mix of small/young larva to mature larva and pupa. Today, things are EXTREMELY different.

Currently, I'm estimating about 200/225 workers (tons eclosing every day) with at least another 150 pupa. The interesting thing is there are barely ANY larva. The queen however in the last few weeks has pumped out hundreds of eggs in small clusters all over the nest. If I was guessing I'd say around 300-400 in the last 2 weeks. I've noticed they have stopped taking much protein, which I imagine they don't need at the moment with fewer young. I'm curious if this is a normal seasonal cycle for these ants or some residual shock from having captured them from the "wild."

I did see an article that seemed to ***** this could be seasonal:
https://academic.oup.com/ee/article/31/6/977/452582

Once all of these young start demanding food, I imagine they will be needing tons of protein. If so and all is well, do I expect to have 400/500 more workers before hibernating them? Or do you think they will wait to eclose for next year? I know I packed a bit in here, but I'm hoping with how common this species is you can put my concerns to rest.

Thanks AC crew!

JB
Hi there!

Your species is a 'hibernating' one, so they will slow down to a halt over the winter months. The queen lays eggs in batches rather than continously, so it actually makes sense that there aren't any larva at the moment. That way there will be a new wave of ants ready to forage for the next batch of larva.

UserJB007
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2020 7:33 am
Location: Albany NY

Re: Camponotus Pennsylvanicus - Seasonal Diet? Growth Patterns?

Post: # 73084Post UserJB007
Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:32 pm

I really appreciate the input. As a follow up question:

I expect I'll need to hibernate them in about 2mo. living in Upstate NY (which I'll tackle the how in the coming weeks).

Will this mega clutch of larva cocoon before hibernation? Or would they wait to until they become active again in the spring? The later seems to be more likely, but with the timing of this clutch it seems to be right on the edge.

I'm likely over thinking, but appreciate the feedback! :-)

Hawkeye
Posts: 1561
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Camponotus Pennsylvanicus - Seasonal Diet? Growth Patterns?

Post: # 73093Post Hawkeye
Thu Aug 13, 2020 5:58 pm

UserJB007 wrote:
Thu Aug 13, 2020 1:32 pm
I really appreciate the input. As a follow up question:

I expect I'll need to hibernate them in about 2mo. living in Upstate NY (which I'll tackle the how in the coming weeks).

Will this mega clutch of larva cocoon before hibernation? Or would they wait to until they become active again in the spring? The later seems to be more likely, but with the timing of this clutch it seems to be right on the edge.

I'm likely over thinking, but appreciate the feedback! :-)
I guess you'll just have to wait and see. Keep an eye on their dietary requirements, it's likely to go up.

Firespitter
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 2:52 pm
Location: New york

Re: Camponotus Pennsylvanicus - Seasonal Diet? Growth Patterns?

Post: # 73177Post Firespitter
Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:39 am

So I also caught a wild colony and so far they haven’t accepted anything I’ve attempted to feed them, what have you been using?

Hawkeye
Posts: 1561
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Camponotus Pennsylvanicus - Seasonal Diet? Growth Patterns?

Post: # 73197Post Hawkeye
Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:21 pm

Firespitter wrote:
Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:39 am
So I also caught a wild colony and so far they haven’t accepted anything I’ve attempted to feed them, what have you been using?
Spiders, flies, mosquitoes, bugs all sorts really. It depends on the size of the colony how much food they need and how big a prey they feel comfortable with

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