Camponotus mutilarius

Camponotus mutilarius

     This species was originally called ‘Camponotus xiangban’ because when handled it gives out a strong sweet scent, and the Chinese name for such a scent is xiangban. However, its correct classification is C. mutilarius.

     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 markings on the thorax and top of the abdomen.

     They live in undisturbed forest habitats where they construct deep nests in the ground. 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.

     This is an attractive species that is happy in most artificial nests. It is easy to feed, however in time as the colony increases in size will require a good size habitat area.