Camponotus (Carpenter Ants)
The Camponotus Genus is one of the most widespread and commonly found genus of ants across the world. They are also often referred to as "Carpenter ants" due to them nesting inside rotten and decaying wood. This has caused them to gain a bad reputation as a pest insect however it is far from the truth: Camponotus species would only nest inside dead or dying wood and will not touch any trees that is alive and healthy, so as long as your house isn't made out of rotten wood, it is unlikely that these amazing animals will damage your property.
The Camponotus genus is so widely spread that they can be found in almost all parts of the world, with more than 1000 recognized species with nearly 500 subspecies spanning 45 sub-genera
They are highly variable with countless different colourations that can vary from location to location, but all possess the same extremely polymorphic nature of the genus; from slim and fast moving minors to enormous lumbering majors. Some species have developed special mutual relations with other organisms such as the carnivorous plant Nepenthes bicalcarata and others evolved to have a reflective golden sheen across their entire body.
These ants are sometimes called "Sugar ants" for a reason, they love their sweets. Workers can often be observed in the wild tending to aphids or mealybugs and protecting them from predators in order to lap up the precious honeydew those insects produce. Due to this nature, be sure to offer your colonies substantial amounts of sugary food such as honey or sugar water, but definitely do include enough protein in their diet as well.
We have composed of a complete guide on how to keep and raise ants from the Camponotus genus, which you can read here.
Happy ant keeping!