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Camponotus mutilarius

Camponotus mutilarius

     This species is also known as Camponotus ‘xiangban’ and Camponotus wasmanni var. mutilarius.


     The name ‘xiangban’ was given by a Chinese exporter who collected and sold them many years ago. However, he could not identify them correctly, so he just made up his own name for them. He called them Camponotus xiangban because when handled they emit a strong sweet scent, and the Chinese name for such a scent is xiangban. It has also previously been called Camponotus wasmanni var. mutilarius, but this name is also incorrect, as it has now been officially recognized as a true species.

     It is a medium-size ant with workers/majors between 8 - 12 mm and queens 13 - 15 mm. The workers are covered with hairs and are blackish-brown with dark red/orange markings on the thorax and top of the abdomen.

     This species seems to be widespread in Southeast Asia and can be found up to an altitude of 1200 m. This would suggest that they could be kept in slightly cooler conditions than a lot of other exotic species.

     They live in undisturbed forest habitats where they construct deep nests, between shrubs and roots in the soil.  These nests can often go down to a meter in depth.

     Queens form colonies independently after an alate flight and stay in their foundation chamber while raising their first brood. Colonies have a single queen and when mature around 2000 - 4000 workers.

     They forage both on the large forest trees collecting the secretions of sap-sucking insects, and over the ground for any dead insects that they can find.


     Summary: This is an attractive nicely coloured species that is easy to keep and will take to most artificial nests. However, in time as the colony increases in size and will require a large habitat area.


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