ants, ant farms, small ants big aunts...

toan

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 27, 2002
Messages
76
Hi folks,

I'm fascinated by ants (except argentines). I've always ment to start a colony but one reason or another, I've never gotten one underway.

I'm especially interested in leaf cutters and multi-caste colonies. I plan on starting one this comming spring and hopefully, maintain one thereafter. Is anyone else interested...? Wouldn't it be cool if we can support each other and see if we could get anything/something going?

toan
 

steve055

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
146
I have always been interested in Ants. Mostly, like you said, in multi-caste Sp. It very difficult to get leaf cutters in the US. I'v seen a few cononies and i could watch them for hours. They have some very intersting behaviors. From What i understand there are some types of cutters that live in the South East. I guess there are Sp. of cutters in most places in the U.S. though there most of them are very small compared to the tropical South American ones. There some very nice websites i found that have lots of great info, and some really interesting enclosures. Some even having "open-air" parts were the ants travel across a suspended dowel across a whole room to get to differnt parts other parts of there habitat.
 

Bob the thief

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
285
If i'm not mistaken is not illegal to transport queen ants from state to state?

I remeber hearing that a long time ago
 

Wade

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
2,933
Leaf cutting ants of various types do live in many parts of the US, but it's generally those in the genus Atta that we think of as the classic leaf cutters. Most of them are neotropical in distribution, and many are quite capable of completely defolliating entire trees, so they are indeed illegal to import (without a permit) as far as the USDA is concerned. Even zoos and museums must go to great lengths to prove that they have the containment facility to prevent any possibility of escape in order to get the permit.

There are, however, a few Atta sp. native to the US. I think maybe two. A. mexicana (I think, spelling probably off) occurs in southern AZ and maybe other southwest states as well. You may be able to track down a mated queen and start a colony of these, but watch out, there may be other legal aspects to trasporting them, as Bob pointed out. I'd research it pretty thouroughly first. While there may not be alot of enforcement on keeping many potential pest species (like phasmids and cockroaches), I'd bet they treat ants alot differently, considering the widespread problems introduced ants have caused.

Wade
 

Bob the thief

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
285
Yea I work for the Philadelphia zoo in the summer as an apprentice keeper.My keeper there told me that it was illegal to transport ANY queens state to state even if they are native. This was due to the fire ant incident.
 

toan

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 27, 2002
Messages
76
Yes it *is* illegal to transport queens from state to state. Importing south american leaf cutters, like Wade suggested, is certianly not a good idea, even if you are sure you will not get caught. Unless we live in NY or alaska, the pontential agricultural destruction would probably be beyond our imagination.

I'm still looking for someone interested queen ants this comming spring. Anyone?

Toan
 

jwb121377

Arachnoangel
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 20, 2002
Messages
907
I think it would be neat. It is something to think about. Do you know anyone selling enclosers? I'm sure you could get them online from some one. (I know I shouldn't anwser my own questions.) Indeed a cool idea.
 

Weapon-X

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 19, 2002
Messages
774
re

try this site antcolony.org i plan on building a formicarium soon , i had already built one but the plaster was to wet and it fell apart, i plan on digging up a carpenter ant nest this spring or summer in search of a queen / workers/ pupae, i think ants rock, i've been considering getting a few colonys going now for a while i did see a place online selling atta leafcutter complete colonys with the enclosues before, you could even order colonys up to or over a 1000 in it , i'll go look to see if i can find it again and get it to you toan, crazy thing is i talked to a guy who can get bullet ants from someone in britain, but i would'nt even try that extremly dangerous and very illegal--Jeff heres some other ant sites i can remember off the top of my head antcam.com, mymercology.com, i think antcam.com sells the plaster/glass nests and also shows you how to build them.
 

Bob the thief

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
285
That site that had 1000 or more was from the Uk its only site around that sells colonys.
 

toan

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 27, 2002
Messages
76
Indeed, that *is* a UK site. too bad.

as far as enclosures, I plan on building a 3ft wide by 2 ft high traditonal farm style with tubes running to a oil "moated" feeding area and a watering jar. It's not worth the time to make just one so I'll probably make 2 or 3 for myself. If anyone wants one, I might be able to make one for you. Pay me just the material cost and shipping which might be $40 or so (no promises for now though since I don't know if I will).

t

jeff, I'll check them sites out.
 

Bob the thief

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
285
Be extremely careful with moats ,ive seen ants cross them with ease useing food or something they drop near it that eventually falls into the moat making a bridge
 

danread

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 5, 2002
Messages
1,717
the website is easyexotics.com, and you're right, it is British. I'm seriously tempted to get one once the whether warms up, it would be fascinating to be able to watch an ant colony. Although it doesn't bear thinking about if they were to escape somehow......

Dan.
 

Bob the thief

Arachnoknight
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 29, 2002
Messages
285
Originally posted by danread
the website is easyexotics.com, and you're right, it is British. I'm seriously tempted to get one once the whether warms up, it would be fascinating to be able to watch an ant colony. Although it doesn't bear thinking about if they were to escape somehow......

Dan.
Yea just keep in mind if there is ANY flaw the ants will exploit it. No matter how small.
 

tigeri69

Arachnopeon
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
5
need a queen!

Yes it *is* illegal to transport queens from state to state. Importing south american leaf cutters, like Wade suggested, is certianly not a good idea, even if you are sure you will not get caught. Unless we live in NY or alaska, the pontential agricultural destruction would probably be beyond our imagination.

I'm still looking for someone interested queen ants this comming spring. Anyone?

Toan
im interested in a queen!!--let me kno asap if ur serious!!
 

Rob4

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jan 23, 2011
Messages
2
I'd love to exchange info on this subject

I'm currently working on an excavation project of the ant Pogonamyrmex rugosus, have dug a 10ft trench around the colony, and have dug up 1000 ants thus far. I'm starting a colonial farm with a well established nest instead of waiting the extra 2 months just to start the process from scratch with the prenuptial flights. There will soon be a new market niche for insect sales and the first to fill it will be the ones who make bank. All it takes is a bug lover with imagination and a thirst for adventure. I can't elaborate quite yet, but start a good healthy formicarium and I would love to have a friend whom I can share my scientifically backed secrets with.

From my understanding, queen ants can only be purchased from a vendor who sells a species naturally found in your area. My best effort would be to Google the name of whatever state you live in followed by the words "queen ant vendor" If that doesn't work, then no one sells to your area and you may have to wait for the 'chika-chika bowow' flights in spring.

---------- Post added at 03:10 AM ---------- Previous post was at 02:59 AM ----------

Actually, Arizona has two leaf cutter ant species that specialize on the the Mysquite tree varieties. These ants can only handle very hot and very arid environments closer to sea level. As long as you live in an area where the average winter temprature dips down to 32%F and the humidity is anything more then nill, you can easily house these indoors and never have to worry about eco oblivion. Might still be illegal, but it would be completely safe.

---------- Post added at 03:12 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:10 AM ----------

Actually, Arizona has two leaf cutter ant species that specialize on the the Mysquite tree varieties. These ants can only handle very hot and very arid environments closer to sea level. As long as you live in an area where the average winter temprature dips down to 32%F and the humidity is anything more then nill, you can easily house these indoors and never have to worry about eco oblivion. Might still be illegal, but it would be completely safe.

---------- Post added at 03:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 03:12 AM ----------

Actually, Arizona has two leaf cutter ant species that specialize on the the Mysquite tree varieties. These ants can only handle very hot and very arid environments closer to sea level. As long as you live in an area where the average winter temprature dips down to 32%F and the humidity is anything more then nill, you can easily house these indoors and never have to worry about eco oblivion. Might still be illegal, but it would be completely safe.
 
Top