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Faster growing colonies

Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:40 pm
by Anteaters
I’m looking for an ant species medium to large in size (over 3mm workers), with a fast colony grow rate (priority over size). Was planning to get carpenter ants but they reproduce quite slowly (up to 2 years to get a 20-50 colony). I’m planning to get local ants if possible (North Colorado, USA), so leaf cutters may not be an option. Hope you can help me out 😁

Re: Faster growing colonies

Posted: Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:08 pm
by idahoantgirl
Anteaters wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:40 pm
I’m looking for an ant species medium to large in size (over 3mm workers), with a fast colony grow rate (priority over size). Was planning to get carpenter ants but they reproduce quite slowly (up to 2 years to get a 20-50 colony). I’m planning to get local ants if possible (North Colorado, USA), so leaf cutters may not be an option. Hope you can help me out 😁
we kind of take what we get in ant keeping. if you find a queen, you keep it.Also,just to let you know, your only option is to keep local ants. It is illegal to transport queens across state lines, so anyone trying to sell ants outside of your state is operating illegally. Please check the Gan program if you cannot catch a queen.

Re: Faster growing colonies

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:49 am
by MadVampy
idahoantgirl wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 11:08 pm
Anteaters wrote:
Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:40 pm
I’m looking for an ant species medium to large in size (over 3mm workers), with a fast colony grow rate (priority over size). Was planning to get carpenter ants but they reproduce quite slowly (up to 2 years to get a 20-50 colony). I’m planning to get local ants if possible (North Colorado, USA), so leaf cutters may not be an option. Hope you can help me out 😁
we kind of take what we get in ant keeping. if you find a queen, you keep it.Also,just to let you know, your only option is to keep local ants. It is illegal to transport queens across state lines, so anyone trying to sell ants outside of your state is operating illegally. Please check the Gan program if you cannot catch a queen.
Thank you idahoantgirl for pointing that out. As she stated it's illegal to take ants between states even if they are already established in a neighboring state. You can check to see if there is a GAN Farmer for your state and what species they may have on the AntsCanada website ---> http://www.AntsCanada.com/queen-ants-for-sale/

Re: Faster growing colonies

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 10:28 am
by Anteaters
Thank you both, what I meant by local was “North Colorado”. I’m aware of the law, I mention the state for you to get an idea of the ant species in the state. As for taking what we can, I am quite skilled at finding queens but I don’t keep them all 😂. I want to be smart and start a colony I will like instead of having tons of colonies I won’t. So back to my question I think I am down to either field ants (Formica), harvester ants(Pogonomyrmex) or fire ants (Solenopsis). To my knowledge those would be some of the bigger ants besides carpenter ants (all of which I can find in Colorado)and yes we have leaf cutter ants but that’s south Colorado 😅 plus they are harder to keep... which ant colony would grow faster??

Re: Faster growing colonies

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:00 pm
by CherrieEvolved
Generally smaller ant colonies grow faster. Carpenter ants are the slowest by far, formica are quite a bit quicker. If you want quick colonies, move to Florida or something and get some crazy ants/fire ants. Sadly you wont get anything nearly that fast in non-tropical areas due to hibernation/heat/humidity/etc. Formica would be a good one, relatively easy to raise and grow ~twice as fast as carpenter ants to my knowledge. They will still need to hibernate though, knocking 3-6 months of colony growth out per year.

Re: Faster growing colonies

Posted: Thu Feb 22, 2018 12:40 pm
by MadVampy
I agree that Formica would be a good ant to meet your needs. Solenopsis is a tropical ant meaning they prefer warm temps 90* of the time. Where I am I don't have to hibernate my Solenopsis ants at all.

Re: Faster growing colonies

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 11:52 am
by Anteaters
I just thought of another solution and that would be raising 2 or more carpenter ant queens together. But I don’t know if carpenter ants form colonies with more than one queen(super colonies?). Is there even a small chance this may work?

Re: Faster growing colonies

Posted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 6:58 pm
by CherrieEvolved
Here is a list of species that can commonly have multiple queens. Wont always work through. And this is definitely not a full list. However I have never heard of a multi-queen carpenter ant colony.
Brachymyrmex spp.
Carebara affinis
Carebara diversus
Formica cinerea
Formica balcanina
Formica lugubris
Formica sanguinea
Formica ulkei
Lasius flavus
Linepithema humile
Monomorium ergatogyna
Monomorium pharaonis
Myrmica (some species, like rubra)
Nylanderia spp.
Odontomachus spp
Pheidole megacephala
Solenopsis fugax
Solenopsis molesta
Solenopsis richteri
Tapinoma melanocephalum
Tapinoma sessile
Tetramorium (most species)