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Camponotus Novaeboracensis, also known as the "Red Carpenter Ant" and the "New York Carpenter Ant," has a dark reddish-brown-coloured thorax and petiole, with a black head and gaster. Newly eclosed ants will have yellow or orange thoraxes that slowly darken into a deep red over days to weeks.


Camponotus Novaeboracensis is a slow-growing species but makes up for that with its ease of care, massive size, and beautiful coloration, consisting of a glossy red mesosoma (thorax) and a dark black head and gaster. It loves sweets and likes to have a heating spot in its setup. 


Camponotus Novaeboracensis is a species that can produce majors (polymorphic) relatively early in its development if given ample food and thriving conditions. 


This species can make nests underground, under rocks, or inside rotten wood. We suggest keeping them in the nest with preformed chambers instead of a naturalistic digging format; due to their size, you would need a setup with a deep substrate, as they will likely dig to the bottom.


This species requires relatively low humidity (they like gradients), and our hybrid formicaria will need very little water to house them adequately. They can fit through 9.5 mm tubing, which is preferred during the founding stage to create a smaller chamber entrance; once the colony is more extensive and they have more traffic on their formicarium entrance, it is wise to use 12.7 mm tubing.


For this species to thrive, providing them with a diapause period (hibernation) is essential. Such species most likely originated from northern areas like Canada, where the cold climate can last five months; this species has adapted well to such climate and will go into diapause regardless of the temperature. Still, they won't come out of this diapause state unless they experience a shift from cold to average temperatures. In other words, do not attempt to skip diapause.


You can customize or enhance the test tube your queen and colony will ship in; head over to the "Live Queen Ants" page to read the details on each item.


Live ants ONLY SHIP within CANADA.

Camponotus Novaeboracensis (Red Carpenter Ant)

PriceFrom C$25.00
  • Scientific Name: Camponotus novaeboracensis.

    Common Name: Red carpenter ant or New York carpenter ant.

    Distribution: Primarily found in the United States and Canada.

    Queen size: 14-18 mm

    Worker size: 7-16 mm, with a caste system involving Majors and Minors

    Natural Habitat: Found in moist wood, like deadfall, lumber, and old houses. They are also known to nest under rocks in rocky locations.

    Circadian Activity: Mostly nocturnal, but will still forage in the day.

    Mating Flight: The major flights occur in May and June, with scattered flights during July and August. Ideal conditions are a day after rain, warm and humid. Mid-day to afternoon. But they are also known to fly in periods with no rain.

    Queen Founding Method: Fully Claustral

    Monogyne or Polygyne: Monogyne (Although some occurrences of polygyne colonies have been recorded)

    Average time from egg to worker: Egg to larva - 20-30 days; larva to pupa - 10-15 days; Pupa to a worker - 18-25 days. Time may vary with the temperature.

    Recommended Temperature: 75-80°F (24-27°C)

    Recommended Humidity: Mid humidity level of 30-50%. 20% and lower is known to cause deformities in pupae.

    Preferred Foods: Honey water, sugar, apples, pears, oranges, mealworm/super worms, June beetles, isopods, earwigs, crickets, and grasshoppers. Most sugary foods and insects are readily accepted.

    Hibernation Details: In the wild, temperatures below freezing are typical, even up to -40C. In captivity, it is advised to stay above the freezing point as we are unable to easily duplicate the slow cool down into freezing temps to allow the anti-freeze in their blood to work properly. Therefore, hibernation is recommended between 39F (4C) - 50F (10C).

    Escape Barrier Methods: Fluon and talcum powder methods work best. They are also unable to walk upside down on olive oil on a smooth surface.

    Difficulty rating: Very easy to keep.

    Bite and sting rating: They can bite, and the majors or queens can even break the skin. They dab droplets of formic acid from their gaster into the wound, causing a slight stinging sensation.  

    Special Care or Interesting Notes: They prefer warmth and plentiful food sources.

    Description: The red carpenter ant (Camponotus novaeboracensis) has a dark reddish brown coloured thorax and petiole, with a black head and gaster. Newly eclosed ants will have yellow or orange thoraxes that slowly darken into a deep red over days to weeks.

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