Keeping ants

antinous

Pamphopharaoh
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
1,464
Does anyone here keep any ants? I'm looking to start a formicarium sometime in the future. But before that, I need to find a queen and identify the species. I've never gone queen hunting and I've heard the best time to go is after it rains, so I think I'll just wait till then. However, I plan on collecting some ants here and there to add to my 'library' so I can get familiar with the species.

But anyways, back on topic, who here keeps them? What species? What size is your formicarium?

I'm planning to keep mine pretty small, just one smallish forimicarium that's kept at lowish temps and fed a low protein diet (high in sugars and carbs).
 

14pokies

Arachnoprince
Joined
Oct 25, 2014
Messages
1,722
I want to get into keeping ants.. Its such a hassle though... I watch alot of videos put out by Ants Canada.. His weaver colony is a amazing! That's the other main reason I haven't started a formicarium, it's illegal to keep any non native species.. The urge to keep tropical ants would be too hard to resist..
 

Ceymann

Arachnosquire
Joined
Jul 3, 2016
Messages
124
I want to get into keeping ants.. Its such a hassle though... I watch alot of videos put out by Ants Canada.. His weaver colony is a amazing! That's the other main reason I haven't started a formicarium, it's illegal to keep any non native species.. The urge to keep tropical ants would be too hard to resist..
Never have but I have wanted too, didn't know it was illegal to keep non native species though, I too would be interested in tropicals. Shucks!
 

Malhavoc's

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 12, 2003
Messages
2,828
Illegal to take them across state lines s well if I recall,

My large Camponotus colony passed last year after 8 good years of growth. I located a new queen this spring and she is already bck up to 20 or so workers and doing well.

As to your question of when to find them, Early mornings and just before night fall, or in the are of a white light at night is the best time to find new queens that sai I think it is a little late in the year ( at least here it is) to be locating new queens as most have flown already
 

antinous

Pamphopharaoh
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
1,464
I want to get into keeping ants.. Its such a hassle though... I watch alot of videos put out by Ants Canada.. His weaver colony is a amazing! That's the other main reason I haven't started a formicarium, it's illegal to keep any non native species.. The urge to keep tropical ants would be too hard to resist..
I've been watching them too as well as pestering Mikey with questions haha. But there are plenty of other interesting species you can keep!

Never have but I have wanted too, didn't know it was illegal to keep non native species though, I too would be interested in tropicals. Shucks!
Even though it sounds like it would be awesome, it would be a bit of a pain. You'd have to do maintenance every day, so if you go on vacation, it can all tumble down.

Illegal to take them across state lines s well if I recall,

My large Camponotus colony passed last year after 8 good years of growth. I located a new queen this spring and she is already bck up to 20 or so workers and doing well.

As to your question of when to find them, Early mornings and just before night fall, or in the are of a white light at night is the best time to find new queens that sai I think it is a little late in the year ( at least here it is) to be locating new queens as most have flown already
You're correct, it's illegal to bring them across state lines.

Very nice! Do you have any photos? How large was it? What did you use as a formicarium and out world?

It's pretty late for most species, however Lasius niger are still having their nuptial flight (also known as labor day ants). I'm planning to make my own formicarium and outworld out of a firebrick and sterilite tub. I'll post some photos depending on if I find a queen or not!
 

nepenthe

Arachnopeon
Joined
Jun 25, 2016
Messages
24
I saw a some Dorymyrmex alates just a couple of days ago, so it's not impossible! I work in an ant lab and we just dig up colonies we need. It's too much time and energy to raise a queen from a winged reproductive for our purposes, though I've kept a carpenter ant queen in a jar and she just started laying by herself with no issues.

If you want to excavate a colony, try to dig up a species that is polygynous (multiple queens per colony) to increase your odds of capturing a queen. If you want to wait till next year you can find tons of Tetramorium caespitum colonies just hanging out on the pavement when the weather starts getting warm. Just grab your aspirator and suck up the whole pile! I've never tried looking for a queen in the pile of workers but she's probably in there somewhere...

Oh and fyi, it is illegal to ship queens across state borders without a permit but as far as I know workers are okay to ship within the US.
 

antinous

Pamphopharaoh
Joined
Mar 28, 2013
Messages
1,464
I saw a some Dorymyrmex alates just a couple of days ago, so it's not impossible! I work in an ant lab and we just dig up colonies we need. It's too much time and energy to raise a queen from a winged reproductive for our purposes, though I've kept a carpenter ant queen in a jar and she just started laying by herself with no issues.

If you want to excavate a colony, try to dig up a species that is polygynous (multiple queens per colony) to increase your odds of capturing a queen. If you want to wait till next year you can find tons of Tetramorium caespitum colonies just hanging out on the pavement when the weather starts getting warm. Just grab your aspirator and suck up the whole pile! I've never tried looking for a queen in the pile of workers but she's probably in there somewhere...

Oh and fyi, it is illegal to ship queens across state borders without a permit but as far as I know workers are okay to ship within the US.
Sent you a PM!
 

Malhavoc's

Arachnoking
Old Timer
Joined
Jul 12, 2003
Messages
2,828
I've been watching them too as well as pestering Mikey with questions haha. But there are plenty of other interesting species you can keep!



Even though it sounds like it would be awesome, it would be a bit of a pain. You'd have to do maintenance every day, so if you go on vacation, it can all tumble down.



You're correct, it's illegal to bring them across state lines.

Very nice! Do you have any photos? How large was it? What did you use as a formicarium and out world?

It's pretty late for most species, however Lasius niger are still having their nuptial flight (also known as labor day ants). I'm planning to make my own formicarium and outworld out of a firebrick and sterilite tub. I'll post some photos depending on if I find a queen or not!

Unfortunatly My hard drive crashed so I do not have photos, for a Formica I used a mixture of things as they developed. They started in a tic tac container then Graduated to a candy dish, From there I ended up connecting 2l Pepsi bottles ( I loved these for out worlds, Easy to connect/disconnect, and can contain a variation of items, from debris and leaf litter to sugary treats and food items plus you can really set up a row of them to make a maze. I recently bought a custom Formica from Tarheel ants a bit pricey but museum quality and really nice work on it. I will see about getting picture of the new nest going, Right now it is a test tube set up placed within a slightly larger plastic container for out world, I have a sense of humor though as the test tube was the container for a nano bug robot I had previously Ha!
 
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