Camponotus pennsylvanicus is a beginner level ant species. It is large and easy to keep, growing at a slow pace.
STATES AVAILABLE TO BUY CAMPONOTUS PENNSYLVANICUS: All Continental States EXCEPT Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, Texas
Camponotus pennsylvanicus is fairly easy to keep in captivity. They are sugar-loving ants which can take a long time to grow, but small colonies are very rewarding nonetheless.
A good diet with these ants would be liquid sugars (honey, sugarwater) and a protein source (fruit flies, crickets, mealworms). Fruit flies seem to be a favorite of this species. They can be fed daily or every few days, depending on colony size and volumes of feeding.
The colonies benefit from a heat source, such as a heat mat, heat cable, or heated room. A good temperature for growth and activity would be ~82 degrees fahrenheit.
This species requires a diapause period, which should last 3-4 months ideally. During this time, the ants need to be cooled down to a low temperature, with around 40 degrees fahrenheit being ideal. You can achieve diapause by placing the ants in a controlled cooling unit, such as a wine cooler, mini fridge, or regular fridge if temperatures are safe. If you cannot use any of these, a non-heated room which stays above freezing could work.
Brood development can take anywhere between 5-9 weeks depending on feeding and heating, with 7-8 weeks being the average. Queens tend to lay eggs in batches. Colonies grow slow for the first year or two of development, but tend to reach the hundreds within 2-3 years.
Queen size: 16-22mm
Worker size: 6-12mm
Major worker size: 8-18mm
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