Camponotus Herculeanus Ants
Lives: in Europe mainly in mountain areas
Habitat: woods and alpine grassland
Nest: in rotten stumps and logs but also under rocks
Size: workers 5-12mm, queen 14-16mm
This ant species is suitable for beginners. They are one of the biggest ant species in Europe and even produce majorants. They are not aggressive and the only attack if you disturb their nest. They’re active during the day and at night.
Camponotus herculeanus identification.
They are mainly dark brown or black with dark red features such as their legs, antennae and the base of their gaster. Majorants are almost as big as the queen.
Capturing a Camponotus herculeanus queen ant.
Young queens start their nuptial flights between may and June on warm days with temperatures over 20°C. The queen won’t need to be fed until her first workers have hatched out of the pupae.
The colony size can reach up to 10.000 workers but this species only accepts one queen. It will take about 8-10 weeks for your workers to hatch after the queen has laid her first eggs. The queen can live up to 15 years.
Right after catching a queen she can be kept in a test tube setup until her colony starts growing. After that, they can be kept in acrylic, cork and soil nests. It is necessary to keep parts of the nest damp to provide proper humidity for your colony. Camponotus herculeanus are rather inactive ants and a heat mat or lamp should be heating an area of the nest occasionally.
They require being hibernated from the end of October until the end of march at a low temperature of between 5 and 8°C.
Camponotus herculeanus feeding.
They should have fresh water provided at all times. Additional honey or sugar water can help energise your ants and proteins will be provided by feeding insects such as flies, meal worms, crickets etc.