"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.
White spots dot the stems and leaves of the buds in the shrubs and trees every summer. Smaller than a pin-head, these dots are eggs of the wasp Pseudochalcura gibbosa, the hitchhiking bog wasp. Once the eggs hatch, dozens of maggots less than a millimeter long squirm down the stem to find a nectary, sugar-producing glands the tree grows to encourage ants to patrol the area. At some point, the unfortunate worker of Camponotus novaeborecensis, or the New York Carpenter ant, stumbles onto the nectary. Thinking it looks like a tasty morsel, the ants bring the larva back to the nest. Unfortunately for the ants, this is exactly what the wasp was waiting for. The wasp larva burrows into the ant's young, where it eats it from the inside out. Camponotus novaeborecensis is one of the primary hosts of this parasite,
Camponotus novaeborecensis, or the New York Carpenter ant is the smallest of the Camponotus subgenus. It is a polymorphic species, meaning it has major workers (close to a centimeter) and minor workers (close to half a centimeter) 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 5-16 mm and queens reaching 18mm. Generally, it is a beautiful species of Camponotus with a black head and abdomen as well as a red thorax.
What's a test tube insert? Find out here!