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How to care for Camponotus habereri

In this comprehensive blog post we will take about Camponotus habereri in detail. How the species lives in the wild, where they are from and most importantly how to care for them at home.


General information about Camponotus habereri





Distribution

There is limited information available on Camponotus habereri, suggesting that they are a relatively rare ant species. According to AntMaps, these ants have been reported native to Taiwan. Additionally, there are reports of sightings in India and Japan.



Wild lifestyle

Little is known about the wild lifestyle of Camponotus habereri. They are said to inhabit soil, live under rocks, and in rotting wood – typical nesting places for many ant species. Recent reports (2023) indicate their presence in India, with regional temperatures around 28 degrees Celsius at that time.


Identification

At first glance, Camponotus habereri may resemble Camponotus nicobarensis, but a closer inspection reveals a significant difference.


Camponotus nicobarensis queen. Photo by Taku Shimada.



Camponotus nicobarensis as we all know being a very popular ant species in the ant keeping hobby has two distinct orange spots on its gaster.






Camponotus habereri queen. Photo by 공인인증



Camponotus habereri has multiple stripes of lighter coloration across its gaster making them easier to identify. The workers carry these traits as well.





Size

Sizes of queen, workers and majors will soon be added to this post.


Nuptial flight

There is no online record of the nuptial flight schedule of the ants. We can only assume they fly during summer similar as European ant species.


General information about how to care for Camponotus habereri

Introduction Due to its rarity, there's limited knowledge on the best care practices for Camponotus habereri. The advice provided here is general and based on experiences with this species and other Camponotus, such as Camponotus nicobarensis. Hibernation For hibernation it is always very helpful to check the orgins place of the species to see if they do hibernate. The following records are taken from the Taiwan’s Climate in 2021 Central Weather Bureau, Taiwan.

"The situation was similar in Taiwan, where the annual mean temperature was 24.25°C." (the Taiwan’s Climate in 2021 Central Weather Bureau, Taiwan.)

With this information we can conclude somewhat safely that Camponotus habereri does not have a diapause. As the tempertures do plumit from November to Februari you can expect that Camponotus habereri does somewhat slow down during this period.


In our personal oberservation Camponotus habereri does continue to grow as normal when external heating is provided to keep the colony warm.


Feeding requirements

As with all ants this species will mainly feed on sugars and insects. Like many other Camponotus they do love sugars. You can provide this in the form of sugar water, sugar jelly or sugar cubes in the outworld. Although these ants are quite decent in size we do advice to be careful around larger bodies of liquid and liquid feeders. We strongly recommend adding cotton to avoid any workers droning in the liquid. In terms of protein sources any form should work. From fruit flies to dubia's or red runners every form of insect should be more then suitable. We mainly feed them red runners as we have easy access to them and leave very little mess for us to clean. For smaller colonies we recommend a size 1 or 2 to make sure it will get taken into the nest. Temperature

For the best growth we strongly recommend keeping these ants warm. Somewhere from 25 to 28c. This means you can get a heat mat on a low setting or a heat cable to heat your colony. They will be perfectly fine at a room temperature but won't grow as quickly.

Camponotus habereri in test tube on a heat cable.

Humidity Taiwan, where these ants are native to is right in a sweet spot for intense raining, monsoons and strong sea climates (https://www.climatestotravel.com/climate/taiwan). With a lot of rain every month we can only assume Camponotus habereri likes a moist nest. However most Camponotus colonies do not apreciate a lot of humidity inside their ants. We never water the nests of our Camponotus colonies. Definitly not when they are more noumerous in worker count. Future experience will learn us if these ants like moisture. Nest

Founding stage: For the founding stage we recommend a simple test tube with acrylic insert. This is has proven to be very successfully at raising a founding colony. After the first workers arrive you can provide the colony with a mini outworld to feed them their first protein source and supply the colony with additional sugars.

Camponotus habereri colony in founding stage

Small colony: After the colony has filled the test tube with workers you have a lot of options to chose from. Based on our comparison to Camponotus nicobarensis we can assume that these ants are able to nest in any material making them ideal to keep as you have the freedom of choise. At Esthetic Ants we are probably going to move them into a wooden nest with humidity chamber to see if these ants like a bit of moisture within their nest. Large colony: Larger colonies will do very well in either out XL Type B Ytong Nests or in our XL Mesh Nests. The XL Mesh Nests are a little bit safer as eventually they will probably start to chew at the ytong. Outworld These ants can benefit a lot for getting a slightly larger outworld to encourage more foraging behavior. The Esthetic Ants outworld range is perfect for these ants.

Progression/Growth

Although no information is avaible about the growthspeed of this colony by seeing how they progress at the moment we can assume their growth speed is quite fast and you can count on a couple 100 individuals in the first year to more then a 1000 in the following years.

Check out this video about Camponotus habereri




Please note that this blog post is a work in progress and we hope to add more information as more information becomes available. If you want to help contribute please send us an email at info@eshteticants.com

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