Camponotus modoc (Western Carpenter Ant) - Canada Ant Colony
Camponotus modoc (Western Carpenter Ant) - Canada Ant Colony
Camponotus modoc (Western Carpenter Ant) - Canada Ant Colony
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Camponotus modoc (Western Carpenter Ant)

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"Will it chew through my house?" is the first question I hear from a first-time ant-keeper or any ant-keeper's parents when they look at carpenter ants.

A quick disclaimer: your house will be safe as long as it's not made from a crumbly and rotting foundation. There will only be ants if there's water leaking through.

Most people know 3 kinds of ants. "The small black ones", "The big black ones", and "The red ones". Now, these species aren't actually the same, but if you live in the northwest, "the big black ones" almost certainly refers to Camponotus modoc, also known as the western carpenter ant. If you could use one word to describe this species, it would be "big". in fact, it is probably the biggest species on the western end of the country.

Camponotus modoc is a very common species of Carpenter ant which lives mainly in western Canada. It has sometimes been called a Western equivalent of Camponotus pennsylvanicus. Although they can be distinguished by their red legs, the diffference is mainly genetic. In addition, Camponotus modoc has been recorded to be polygynous, though queens often kill each other when workers emerge. Nonetheless, true Polygynous colonies (with multiple queens) can definitely be established. 

It prefers low humidity from 30-50%, and slightly higher temperatures at 25-28 degrees Celsius. It's the fastest growing Carpenter ant species with workers ranging from 6-20 mm and queens reaching 20mm.

Image Courtesy of @antstagram67 

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