|Food:||Insects and honey water|
|Nest-building:||Soil nests, often under stones and in sand|
|Formicariums:||Tank, farm tank|
|Formicarium size:||min 30x20cm (must be adjusted to colony size)|
|Particularities:||These ants are so hairy that they are almost furry and thus reminiscent of the Meranoplus species. This species looks quite similar to Camponotus selen; its red colouring is however prettier. They tend to be fairly tranquil, but get panicky when their nest is disturbed. Their hairiness probably prevents other ants from being able to grab them. They are quite passive and smaller colonies are well-suited for keeping in a shared tank. In larger-sized workers, the thorax is reddish in colour.|
Nice website with very thorough reports. I came to this site via the forum on the World of Ant website. You are giving an especially wonderful report on an ant named Camponotus cf. “xiangban”. Please be informed that this is not a valid, scientific species name, however, was invented by an ant dealer from China; see the following link: http://antfarm.yuku.com/topic/14393/master/1/?page=1
I would like to suggest changing the name of this ant to “Camponotus sp.” instead of using the ficticious name Camponotus “xiangban”. The ant dealer in China has already omitted the fake species name from his website and changed it to “sp.”:
Alternatively, you could name the ant Camponotus cf. wasmanni mutilarius, as it seems to be the only defined species which looks similar to C. “xiangban”.
Please be referred to a specimen of Camponotus wasmanni mutilarius, which is located at the Taiwan Agricultural Research Institute:
The specimen in over a hundred years old, so don’t be mislead by the bleached colors. The original description by Emery for this subspecies is very meager and rather superficial, but the description by Forel (Forel, A. 1895f. Les Formicides de l’Empire des Indes et de Ceylan. Part V. Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 9:453-472.), which you can download at http://antcat.org/documents/1361/3958.pdf, is more precise. Here it is written in the original French text, “Var. mutillarius (Emery). Thorax et pédicule d’un rouge ferrugineux. Souvent une tache noirâtre sur le pronotum. Le 1er segment de l’abdomen est noire avec deux taches d’un rouge ferrugineux ou d’un rouge ferrugineux avec une tache dorsale, postérieure, d’un brun foncé.”, which means translated to English, “Var. mutillarius (Emery). Thorax and petiole rusty reddish brown. Often black (blackish) spot on the pronotum. The first segment of the abdomen is black with two rusty reddish brown spots or rusty reddish brown with a dark, dorsal, posterior spot.”
Information from World of Ants
The first thing you notice about this ant apart from its sheer beauty, is its fluffy appearance which comes from the many hairs covering its body. I bought this small colony on the 23 April 2011 containing about 40 ants which also had roughly the same ammount of larvae. They arrived in a wide mouthed plastic test tube with a cork bung in its end. I had prepared a small glass arena about 25 x 10 x 10 cm and laid the tube on the sand within. The ants came straight out and began to attack a dead blue bottle i had put in earlier.
I made a small y-tong nest for them and put it in the arena and within a few hours the whole colony had moved into it but there was no sign of the brood by the next day.