Worm to Ant Keeper.

Questions from those who are just starting or considering getting into the ant keeping hobby. If you’re intimidated or confused by the in-depth posts of the other sections of this forum, feel free to post here, and we'll start from square one!

Moderator: ooper01

Post Reply
User avatar
NeroParasite
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:27 am
Location: South Africa

Worm to Ant Keeper.

Post: # 46687Post NeroParasite
Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:01 am

Hope you're having a wonderful day. Love AntsCanada.

Can anyone offer some advice on starting up a Silver Desert (Sahara Desert) Ant Colony (with perhaps some Antlion larvae for population control) and Spotted Sugar Ant Colony? My local university has offered several queens I'd much like to take in. However a desert themed vivarium, although it sounds easy, may pose a bit of a challenge for me, but my excitement exceeds my caution. Would really appreciate some pointers.

I also have a colony of Driver Ants (I have yet to specifically identify) that have somehow continuously made it past the baby powder + rubbing alcohol barrier with some very impressive teamwork. There is a moat surrounding the paludarium that is too wide for the small number of ants in the colony, however I fear as the colony gets bigger, they'll find a way to bridge the gap. Any other suggestions other than adding a lid to an already irregular shaped case.

Just to clarify, I've only been ant keeping for less than a year and have mostly been winging it.
First colony was Pavement ants I took over from a younger sibling who "got bored" with them, they disappeared when winter started in early June.
I've had the Driver Ant Colony for about two months, still going strong.
I've been keeping Silk Worms and Mealworms for about seven years. Beatles and moths are clearly a completely different practice to keeping ants.

Any advice would be greatly apreciated.

User avatar
idahoantgirl
Posts: 1515
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:52 am
Location: Idaho, USA

Re: Worm to Ant Keeper.

Post: # 46697Post idahoantgirl
Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:13 am

I have always found that my tetramorium could cross over baby powder +alcohol really easy. They can't cross over plain baby powder though. Just take a dry cotton ball and dip it into dry babypowder and dab it on the sides of the outworld. Works great
Proverbs 6:6-8

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

Keeping Tetramorium immigrans, Tapinoma Sessile

ClashOwenBash
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2018 1:58 am
Location: Oxfordshire, England

Re: Worm to Ant Keeper.

Post: # 46702Post ClashOwenBash
Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:36 am

Baby powder also works for me. Just remember to top the barrier up as it does get worn down if the ants are constantly trying to escape.
Hibernating Lasius Niger, Lasius Flavus, and Myrmica Rubra. Zzz..

User avatar
NeroParasite
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:27 am
Location: South Africa

Re: Worm to Ant Keeper.

Post: # 46772Post NeroParasite
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:13 am

I appreciate the responses however i have tried just plain baby powder. Simply put, they seem to always wear down a single stream of about 1-2 cm wide in the same spot within a day or two. These little guys are crafty and tenacious. They want out... I may look into rehousing them into another enclosure and hopefully that calms them for a few months.

User avatar
idahoantgirl
Posts: 1515
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:52 am
Location: Idaho, USA

Re: Worm to Ant Keeper.

Post: # 46773Post idahoantgirl
Tue Aug 07, 2018 12:32 am

The best barrier is PTFE (liquid fluon) ( insectaslip) You might give it a try.
Proverbs 6:6-8

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
and gathers its food at harvest.

Keeping Tetramorium immigrans, Tapinoma Sessile

User avatar
NeroParasite
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:27 am
Location: South Africa

Re: Worm to Ant Keeper.

Post: # 46789Post NeroParasite
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:20 am

I will try the liquid fluon, though it's a bit hard to source.

Thanks for the advice :)

User avatar
NeroParasite
Posts: 4
Joined: Mon Aug 06, 2018 4:27 am
Location: South Africa

Re: Worm to Ant Keeper.

Post: # 49489Post NeroParasite
Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:44 am

Well... I tried the Fluon and it works great, apart from being hard to source that is. However the ants have now practically doubled in population and have started using the same spot, where they used to try to escape, as a graveyard. I've tried slightly moving removing the remains as best as possible in hopes that they would relocating their grave site but they insist on using that space. I believe my ants know something I don't. Anyway, i'm planning on moving them to a bigger set up with antlion larvae to experiment a bit.

However I've noticed a fuzz growing at a low point in the setup which i think is mold or some sort of fungus (not moss, i checked) but it hasn't spread beyond a large roughly 15 cm^2 patch for at least two weeks now and it doesn't seem to be affecting the ants. In fact i think they're keeping it clean as some leaf litter does tend to brush over into the patch and within a few hours the clutter is moved. Any idea why this is? I haven't seen the colony benefit from this in any way yet (eating or otherwise) but they seem dedicated to keep it clean.

A few notes:
* The mold/fungi patch is several shades of green with a few white patches near the center.
* I spray a mist of water into the setup once every morning.
* There is a moat surrounding the small island the ants inhabit in a 'U' shape so there's plenty of water.
* The moat has a regular water change though no aquatic life at the moment. It does flow.
* I feed them meal worms.
* There are springtails and a few earthworms I have spotted in the set up.
* The plants are local though I can't be too sure if they had any signs of carrying fungi or mold.
* There are 3 known entrances to the nest, 2 of which pop out very close to the fungus/mold spot, which is worrying.
* I've seen the queen gallivanting around the surface for reasons unknown at least thrice in the last two weeks, which is also worrying.
* The ants eat regularly, there's a good amount of brood I presume, no signs of population decline or any sickness.
* The colony isn't as aggressive as when I first got them. Perhaps they've associated my hand with food or some other reason but they seem to be very passive and will explore my hand when I place it in their territory, as oppose to swarming and biting aggressively like they used to when I first got them. But they will still aggressively ravage food when placed in.
* I don't see any signs to presume my ants are unhappy apart from the foresight that the population will outgrow their current space.

Should I leave the mold/fungi patch and try to find out what it is (very little luck so far), or should I have already removed it by now.
I'm convinced they know something I don't but myself and the Entomology (Bio-Sci) students at the university have grown really fond of these guys. I'd hate to lose them or have them go through some major crisis I could've avoided.

Apologies for the longer post and thanks in advance.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests