Carpenter Ants

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Scientific name: Camponotus sp.

The basics:
Carpenter Ants are are present throughout North America. They are mostly found in rotting or deteriorating wood, wood piles, and sometimes will inhabit the wood structure of buildings which can cause thousands of dollars in damage (similar to termites).

Appearance / health:
Carpenter Ants are the one of the largest species of ants in North America. They can range from 1/8 - 1 inch. Queens are the largest of the ants. Adults are usually a shiny jet black color, but some species of Carpenter Ants have been known to be a reddish color. Larvae of these ants are small, white, and look like maggots.

Behavior / temperament:
Ants are not handle-able pets. They are only for visual interaction. Some ants will bite and sting, so do not try to handle them. Although ants are highly social, do not ever introduce ants from a different colony into the existing colony, they will kill each other. The hardest part about establishing a thriving colony is actually finding the queen. They may need to be special ordered depending on your location, or you may find one outside during their annual mating flight. One of the best things about ants is that you can have your own civilization of hundreds of ants right in your own bedroom. They are fun to watch, they work together, and they even will play together.

If there is only a small colony of ants, a 10 gallon tank filled with dirt and rotting wood will work best. Once the colony of ants starts to grow, you may need to add on to the existing 10 gallon by connecting another tank. Drill a pipe size hole in the existing 10 gallon tank and then drill the same hole in the same spot in the new tank to be added. This way you can connect the two 10 gallon tanks by a pipe allowing the ants to travel from one tank to another. This may need to be done several times. Always have a secure lid to prevent escapes and other inverts like spiders from entering. Put a piece of paper all around the outside of the tank, and remove it later on. Doing this should make the ants dig tunnels right near the glass so you can see them.

Temperatures should be anything from 70-85F. Humidity is important to ants because the soil structure depends on it. The substrate that they are burrowing and tunneling in should be strong enough to support the tunnels. Keep the substrate damp but not overly wet. Too wet will cause them to collapse, and too dry will cause them to collapse. As colonies mature and begin to grow, winged queens and males will leave the nest in their “mating flight” so keep an eye out for these. Catch them and release them outside.

Ant diets vary greatly between different species. It will take a little trial and error to see what your colony will readily take. Try offering a dab of honey on a piece of paper towel, seeds, dead insects such as flies, moths, caterpillars, etc. They also love sugary foods like candy. Size of the food item should be pretty small, but even larger items will be carried as the ants work together.

Only one fertile queen is used to establish an entire colony. When more queens and males are produced, they leave the nest in their annual “mating flights“ to go and start their own colonies.


entertaining, tunneldigging mastery, busy little things, special underground chambers, ant farms


plastic green enclosure, traditional Uncle Milton, .Great Therapy

Helpful Carpenter Ants Review

Carpenter Ants

From stormsdestiny42 May 29 2013 6:36AM


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