Friday, March 27, 2009

Camponotus castaneus

Some much needed rain last night gave me hope that Prenolepis imparis would fly. However all I found today were Camponotus castaneus workers out foraging. Though normally a nocternal forager they may still be seen on cloudy days. They normally nest in semi sandy soil around trees. The nest itself is located around the tree roots while the entrance is uaually a few feet form the trunk. They may take advantage of rocks and logs too but rarely build up into them.

Unfortunantly I've never been able to get queens of these to be successful. Boosting with pale workers seems to help. I say pale workers becasue Camponotus lay eggs in batches over the year and colonies don't always have cocoons to boost with. Pale workers are uaually a sign that they're less than 4 weeks old so the colony odor hasn't taken them yet. Such young workers rarely attack other ants, especially queens of their own species.