Cohabitating 3 ant species together..

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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Location: Chilliwack

Cohabitating 3 ant species together..

Post: # 55609Post Asylumental
Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:16 am

Hello, I'm from BC canada.. and I am new to this hobby. This study.. this interest. I was actually I aspired by AntsCanada on youtube... I clicked for the beetles but then watched hours of ants..

In my research to find what ant species I want to start with for my son and I, i of course wanted a really cool and unique species of ant, but quickly discovered it is both legal and most wise to raise ant colonies that are indigenous to your area..

So then I was looking up ant species local to BC canada, but the list i found in an article from University of BC, lists them all as their latin name...and most of them I dont recognize..

However I found it interesting that the Polyergus Breviceps are unable to properly forage and sustain their colonies so they enslave formica species, out here is seems often its formica neorufibarbis..
So then I thought how cool would it be if I could have 2 out worlds and 2 nests hooked to eachother and have a symbiotic relationship between these 2 species. Is this possible? Will the polygerus allow the formica to continue to reproduce so they can in turn continue to take slaves?

Since I'm a beginner, I figure I'll start out with just 1 of the ant species.. and then introduce the other.. I also assume that since formica will be enslaved, they should probably be the 1st and strongest colony right?

Now here is the interesting part...
+ solenopsis molesta
I read solenopsis will make tunnels to other colonies so they can continue to nurture their own colonies by stealing pupae and such..
Will solenopsis just kill out the entire other colony? Or will they allow the other colony to survive for their own self benefit?
If they will allow a colony to survive...

Would it be possible to have all 3 of these species living near eachother? With maybe 2 large out worlds for them?
I was thinking if the formica colony was raised to be the biggest, assuming theyre the main slaves and nourishment for the other 2 colonies... I then introduce the solenopsis into the same out world as the formica, and give them time to make their supply routes to the formica colony.
Then I would have the polygerus in it's own out world, and I would hook the 2 out worlds together and hopefully the polygerus will find the formica colony. And hopefully the solenopsis wont expand to the polygerus of they already have a bunch of implemented supply routes?

Anyways.. I know it was a big big post, please let me know what you think about this idea? Is it even possible?

Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:52 am
Location: Chilliwack

Re: Cohabitating 3 ant species together..

Post: # 55610Post Asylumental
Fri Feb 01, 2019 2:25 am

Also, if this idea is ludicrous...
Can someone suggest an exciting ant colony for my son and I?

"Cool" for us would be defined as typical boy stuff..
Predatorial ants that hunt, carnivorous ants..or unique in features of like... large mandibles or strange nesting practices like leaf cutter ants or army ants (I know army ants are not to be held I captivity).. those vampire ants were awesome.
But i have to be allowed to have them.. and that's where I'm having a bit of difficulty..

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Location: Canada

Re: Cohabitating 3 ant species together..

Post: # 55622Post JoeHostile1
Fri Feb 01, 2019 10:06 am

The problem is that colonies take years to get large enough where another species could steal brood or food from it while keeping both colonies alive. The second problem would be even acquiring the two species. Usually if you’re looking for queens yourself you raise whatever it is you end up finding. Or you can try and buy colonies locally, but they will be a queen plus a few workers. No where near ready to raid other nests.
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:52 am
Location: Chilliwack

Re: Cohabitating 3 ant species together..

Post: # 55626Post Asylumental
Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:43 pm

Okay I understand..
So if I gave each colony time to grow before I introduced them, would that work?
Could it work?

The species of ants that thought i could cohabitat together are all local to my area, according to a local university study.. so I was thinking it could be easy to obtain them.

When you say a colony wont be ready to raid another colony when I get it..because it's to small, it makes me wonder about the polyergus.
I read that they need to enslave another species to maintain their own colony. So then if I got a polyergus queen and a few workers, would they even be able to grow their colony without me introducing a species for them to enslave?

It seems like the solenopsis will be able to survive on their own without introducing them to another colony.. they just seem like apex scavengers..

If the formica are the ones who brood are being stolen by 2 other ant colonies, then only they need to be a large colony right?
Or would the formica go and destroy the polyergus colony if they were not populated enough to defend themselves?

In my mind, I'm imagining the formica as rather docile foragers.. unsuspecting and timid. Like they would have their brood taken from them and they would do nothing about it..

I'm uneducated it this, but it seems like polyergus and formica will cohabitate easily... but the introduction of the solenopsis is what would prove difficult..
If the solenopsis colony is too large, it will take too much brood from the formica. Or potentially they will discover the polyergus and will start taking brood from the polyergus...
These are my main concerns..

If this whole endeavor is too complex and not at all recommended .. then what would be an exciting ant colony that I could have? Which is local to my area?

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