[beginner] questions about messor barbarus.

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!

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nickvaes
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 5:05 am
Location: limburg

[beginner] questions about messor barbarus.

Post: # 7313Post nickvaes
Sat Jun 11, 2016 4:22 am

Hi ant lovers!

I'm a new keeper and i had some (a lot) of questions about some ants more specific messor barbarus. Afther watching a lot of youtube videos from
the ant canada Youtube i have a basic knowledge of ant keeping. But i still remain with some questions about the ants i'm willing to keep: Messor barbarus.

So to start with, how fast do they grow? what i actuattly whant to know is, how big of a formicarium should i buy to start with? (i'm looking at expandable formicarium)

So based on what i know now i would be looking into one of the 2, which one do you preffer and why? these are from a dutch website, just look at the pictures or feel free to link better one's from antscanda.

http://www.mierenboerderij.nl/acryl-nest-40x20-cm-inclusief-arena.html

Can they eat through gypsum? because this one is made of gypsum
http://www.mierenboerderij.nl/mierenboerderij-messor-barbarus.html


Second: What do you feed them? i have read that you should feed them some small insects aswell as some seeds is this correct or what do you guys suggest?

third: Should i get a heating cable / heating plate? my home is normaly arround 20 - 22 celcius, and in the winter i could move the ant setup to my second floor that should be around 15 -20 celsius in the winter.

fourth: At how many workers +- should i release them in the formicarium (depending on the size ofcourse)

five: Is there a way to slow down / stop the increase in colony size? since they grow faster than other ants (lasius niger) i might not whant them to be a +80.000 ant colony since they can become large ants, because it would take a lot of space (theoretically)

six: how long can the queen / workers actuatly live? i tried to google it but i didn't really find an answer

Thanks for reading and helping me out,
if you have any does / don'ts on this species PLZ share them with me aswell as some tips / tricks.

my appologies if my english was a bit bad i know i probably have made some typo's and mistakes in sentence.

Best regards
Nick

Solenopsisace

Re: [beginner] questions about messor barbarus.

Post: # 7316Post Solenopsisace
Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:37 am

nickvaes wrote:Hi ant lovers!

I'm a new keeper and i had some (a lot) of questions about some ants more specific messor barbarus. Afther watching a lot of youtube videos from
the ant canada Youtube i have a basic knowledge of ant keeping. But i still remain with some questions about the ants i'm willing to keep: Messor barbarus.

So to start with, how fast do they grow? what i actuattly whant to know is, how big of a formicarium should i buy to start with? (i'm looking at expandable formicarium)

So based on what i know now i would be looking into one of the 2, which one do you preffer and why? these are from a dutch website, just look at the pictures or feel free to link better one's from antscanda.

http://www.mierenboerderij.nl/acryl-nest-40x20-cm-inclusief-arena.html

Can they eat through gypsum? because this one is made of gypsum
http://www.mierenboerderij.nl/mierenboerderij-messor-barbarus.html


Second: What do you feed them? i have read that you should feed them some small insects aswell as some seeds is this correct or what do you guys suggest?

third: Should i get a heating cable / heating plate? my home is normaly arround 20 - 22 celcius, and in the winter i could move the ant setup to my second floor that should be around 15 -20 celsius in the winter.

fourth: At how many workers +- should i release them in the formicarium (depending on the size ofcourse)

five: Is there a way to slow down / stop the increase in colony size? since they grow faster than other ants (lasius niger) i might not whant them to be a +80.000 ant colony since they can become large ants, because it would take a lot of space (theoretically)

six: how long can the queen / workers actuatly live? i tried to google it but i didn't really find an answer

Thanks for reading and helping me out,
if you have any does / don'ts on this species PLZ share them with me aswell as some tips / tricks.

my appologies if my english was a bit bad i know i probably have made some typo's and mistakes in sentence.

Best regards
Nick
#1 if you want expandable formicarium both would do. But seeing how the second one comes with test tube,outworld, and it's already a large formicarium and
all. You could really go either way on that one you could buy the smaller one and then by the time you need a bigger one they might have a newer better model. Or you could just buy the one large formicarium fill the rest with dirt( you don't want to starter colony having too much room they'll get lost) and then by the time you need an expansion for that they might have a new or even bigger model :D .
#2 you have to remember that these are women =). They could want crickets one day and then ice cream with pickles on top of it the next. It depends my solenopsis even get picky and they eat mostly everything. But if I bring them out on crickets for 3 weeks straight. They will stop touching them so I start to throw in termites. It's not hard to find variety of bugs your harvester ants pretty much eat anything to.
#3 I wouldn't really know about that I live in Florida I don't have that problem. Also I've never kept those kind of ants you have. You will either have to dig harder on the internet or wait for another person to find your form. My best guess would be no as long as you don't let your house get under 50 degrees they should be find. As for wanting them to produce more brood and quiker. You probably want some heat and humidity. Like I said I'm in Florida I don't have to worry about that is always hot and humid here :) .
#4 correct depending on the size of the fort but carrying is when you should release them from their test tube. Now if you start off with a large formicarium and you have only twenty workers I would just put half of that formicarium under dirt if not have the whole thing just leave one chamber for them to start digging from. That way you can see firsthand for yourself how many chambers they need per how many workers they will only expand so big until their colony gets bigger. But yes to start off in a small formicarium I would wait till 20-30 workers just to be safe. I build my own formicarium and I usually start them off and like a little 5 by 7 I made that has like 6 or 7 Chambers in it when they have 20 workers. I've never bought the store bought formicarium so I couldn't tell you from personal experience.

Solenopsisace

Re: [beginner] questions about messor barbarus.

Post: # 7317Post Solenopsisace
Sat Jun 11, 2016 7:43 am

#5 Well you could usually do one or two things. You could release them when the colony gets too big or during feeding time when a bunch of them is in the outworld dump it outside that way you still have your queen. Other than that I wouldn't say kill them or take the queen out of the Colony for any period of time . That could turn ugly. #6There are I think there was a solenopsis lived to be 17 or 13. I think the longest Queen Ant to live was 25 years old and I think it was a lasius or something., as for your species I am not too sure. But they are a Hardie ant so I'm sure it's at least double digits if not right up there. Now that's just for the queen there are worker ants that can last for a month up to 3 months depending on species and conditions. Hopefully I helped you with your questions and save you a lot of hours of doing homework online for this LOL. And welcome to the world of antkeeper . You're starting off on the right track I can tell by your questions. Take it easy

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