Camponotus modoc

From Ant Keeping Wiki

Camponotus modoc is a large dull looking, yet timid, widespread Camponotus of Western North America. 



Queen Ant
  • Nuptial Flight Time : Use: ant-mating-chart(NorthWest:) Early May. Flies during the middle of the day
  • Colony Founding : Claustral
  • *gynous : Monogynous
  • Brood Boostable: Yes
  • Hibernation : Yes, around 3-5 months depending on the latitude
  • Feeding Requirements : Like all Camponotus they benefit drastically by a diverse carbohydrate diet and plant secretions. 
  • Nanitics Appear After : 3 months




  • Crickets(1)
  • Sugars/carbohydrates
  • Plant secretions/nectar
  • Honeydew
  • Mealworms(1)
  • Inchworms/small caterpillar(1)
  • small flying insects like mosquitos and midges



  • mealworms
  • isopods




  • Difficulty : Not very difficult, however finicky
  • Typical Colony Size : Around a few thousand workers
  • Polymorphic : Yes. Clearly polymorphic
  • Ant Length : Nanitic: ~6mm Minor: 8mm - 12mm Median: 12mm - 14mm Major: 14-15mm Queen: 17mm Male:
  • Temperament : Overall timid ants. Are not hesistant to bite if nest is disturbed or if individual is grasped.
  • Suggested Feeding Schedule : Often, with constant access to sugar
  • Hazards : Bite (sometimes will not let go), formic acid and biting and squirting formic acid into wound.
  • Colony Growth Rate : Varies between slow and fast (10-20 workers first year or few dozen with lots of brood). Colony growth rate seems to be substantially based on the fitness of the queen.
  • Egg To Worker :
  • Circadian Activity : Incipient colonies: mostly nocturnal. Mature colonies: Mostly diurnal.
  • Recommended Temperature : 23-25°C(2) seems to have trouble below 22-23°C.
  • Recommended Humidity : 
  • Heating Pad Required Highly recommended. Although be wary of overheating 
  • Can Climb Smooth Surfaces : Yes as well as being able to climb upside down. Able to climb slippery surfaces (wet glass, oil glass) albeit with difficulty but not upside down.
  • When To Expand
  • When Do Soldiers and Reproductives Appear : Appearance of major workers is sporadic with a gradual trend towards large workers as the colony ages. Major production may be linked to cold/decreased temperatures or before hibernation however.
  • Invasive/Pest : Pest to wooden structures. Not invasive however.
  • Farmers : Opportunistic aphid tenders. Not known to farm aphids but will tend to them if given the chance.
  • Native Location :, Western North America. Abundant in South western British Columbia, western Washington and Oregon. In California it is a mountanous ant found in the Sierra Nevada. Species also found abundantly in the Rocky mounatains.
  • Natural Habitat : Wood nesting species, will nest in fallen logs, rotten wood, wooden structures and occasionally nests extend into the soil. Found in urbanized environments and forests, primarly coniferous forests.
  • Preferred Nesting Medium : Wood, rotting wood, logs, stumps. In captivity however it can be housed in virtually any formicaria material.
  • Scientific Information:


  • (1) C. modoc by far seems to be most succesful when fed crickets, their predatation on inchworms and other larvae in trees suggests a diet that benefits best by high protein foods. Likewise although capable of sustaining on mealworms it's possible this diet is somewhat detrimental.
    • Like all Camponotus they benefit from constant source of a variety of carbohydrates
  • (2) Possible temperature measurements may be off.
  • Seems to require a minimum amount of heat (23-24°C?) to thrive or otherwise faces brood stagnation. 
  • Hibernation is very important especially for Northern populations
  • Workers may sometimes voluntarily jump or "fall off" if picked up
  • Founding queen is sensitive to disturbance.