After the first week the three pupae have hatched and the ants can’t decide which test tube to live in as they are all back in the wet tube, anyway here are some more pics…
There are a few pupae now which have to be from the larvae from last year as there hasnt been any other larvae present that the pupae could have been from. This brood must be at least 7 months old?????
So at last things seem to be working but something is missing as these ants were so much more active when i first had them.
So nest temp about 70f- 75f and humidity high.
A pupae is about to hatch, i hope its a worker…and there is another pile of eggs..
The ants have decided to utilize both test tubes. The queen i can see through the red cellophane is in the dry tube but i can’t see how the brood is distributed. I don’t want to disturb them to much whilst they are settling in. So far the proteins i have offered are Blatta lateralis, meal worms flies but most popular are crickets which i Blanche first with very hot water to rid any mites. The ants have an interesting trait where they stand and “sniff” the air moving their heads from side to side like dogs.
It didn’t take long for the ants to decide which nest they preferred so last night they moved from the wet tube to the dry one. The gasters of this species swell up after drinking and i have already seen signs of this. I haven’t really seen them drinking much though. They have nibbled on a roach but they seem more intent on settling down at the moment. So far, these ants have been pretty active day and night and can move very fast and with agility, they should make an interesting species to study.
(Colony size: Queen + 3-6 workers)
Name: Camponotus fellah
Distribution: North Africa
Queen: 16 mm
workers: about 5-14 mm
Food: insects and honey water,
Temperature: Min 20 / Max. 30 ° C (Arena)
Nest building: Soil nests under stones and features: This species has a very nice color. The ants are very active and react frantically at fault and sometimes aggressive. Once they are fed with liquid food such as honey, water, etc., take the first workers on this immediately, clearly filled up their gaster. Some workers store the food for several days. Camponotus fellah are very curious and like to explore the basin. This species is polymorphic.
Information from Antdealer.com
Originally i had sent a some of money off to Antstore as they were advertising Camponotus substitutus, a species i had been waiting to appear back in stock for some time. Sadly i was informed that the queen had died over the week endend and promptly refunded my money, strange though that they appeared back on sale a week later. …Anyway mean time i drowned my sorrows and purchased a nice small colony of Camponotus fellah from Kevin at Antdealer which arrived today. The colony consist of the queen, nine workers and two medias, three cocoons a number of larvae and a small clump of eggs.
I had originally designed an arena for a lot more ants to be housed in on arrivel and utilised an old 30 cm tank. I cut 2 holes in either side and glued in two y-tong nests i made to fit. I covered the top of the nest with a piece of perspex to give a false floor. There is also an acrylic tube inserted in the floor so i can ad water to the bottom of the nest.
Well after all that the nest was way to big for the ammount of ants that arrived, so i have given the fellahs something much more modest to live in until their numbers grow.
I have read varying reports on how wet the nest should be for this species so i have given the ants a choice of wet and dry and given them a choice of sugar or honey water. There is a shallow layer of fine white sand and is heated at 24 c.
Did’nt take long for the ants to begin to investigate their new home.
Two more pupae are about to eclose and i am hoping to see my first major join the colony. The two medias seem to do most of the nursing and this is perhaps why the brood is beginning to develop better than before. The Temps in the nest are about 30c in this heat wave we are having and i need to keep them cooler. I have also noticed that the workers have been out more often, perhaps looking for somewhere cooler, or perhaps the test tube is getting to small. They have recently moved from one tube to another as the water reserve had dried up. Food wise, they are still not taking much if anything in the way of protein. Most food given is discarded straight away but the ants seem to thrive on the acacia honey/water.
Very little has happened since my last update, there is no brood and i think this it is because the colony did not have a winters break. The queen appears healthy and so seem the rest of the colony, although not so abundant in the arena. They seem happy to take protein mainly in the form of roaches but are filling the tunnels with their bodies. Maybe this is because the tunnels are to wide ? The arena daytime temp is about 32 c and drops to 20c at night. The nest is heated only at the top during the day from the red heat bulb. There was a small 7 wat heat pad on the nest but the ants moved away from this so i removed it.
The colony continues to grow and there are always new majors with their orange heads in the nest. There is much more activity in the arena at night with many more majors venturing outside. I tend to feed the protein at night so this is perhaps why, or simply that they may just feel safer.The temps in the arena are barely 72f and i’m not really heating it except for a power saving light above which gives off little heat. The nest is still heated from the bottom and the temps there is about 32 f and graduates lower towards the top. Most of the brood is kept at the bottom where it is much warmer.
Well the prince didnt last long and i can only assume he was eaten and fed to the larvae. The eggs that i saw earlier have also dissapeared but there are another two cocoons in the nest. The colony really isnt doing very well so i have decided to revert the conditions back to how they were at the start when they were thriving. The y-tong nest is now outside the arena and sat in a shallow bowl of warm water which is heated from underneath. Ill refill the water after a couple of days to give the nest time to dry out a bit. The nest temp is barely 70f and maybe to cold and is connected to a small plastic arena via a plastic tube. The ants seemed to enjoy the tube before perhaps because it gave some extra humidity.