Good Starter Species

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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Artiosas
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:38 pm
Location: North Carolina

Good Starter Species

Post: # 73517Post Artiosas
Tue Sep 01, 2020 8:43 pm

Well as the title entails im curious what recommendations for good beginner ant species are in the East Coast of the USA. I frequently see carpenter ants, and asian needle ants (though they are invasive as of the 1930's and I worry about ecological impacts) and wondered what good choices there were. I dont particularly think fire ants which I see frequently would be the best choice, as I am quite new to this. (Though I have harbored a love for insects for most of my life) I have never kept a colony. Thanks for the input!

chart225
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Nov 26, 2020 4:29 pm
Location: Port Saint Lucie

Re: Good Starter Species

Post: # 74637Post chart225
Thu Nov 26, 2020 5:45 pm

most ants in Florida are invasive, only a few native species. 4 different species of fire ant and they have been around since the late 40's. i think fire ants would be the best to try to keep. they have a super long nuptial flight season.

Alaydia
Posts: 49
Joined: Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:23 pm
Location: PA

Re: Good Starter Species

Post: # 74649Post Alaydia
Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:16 pm

I have, and highly recommend, native carpenter ants. My reasons: First, invasive ants need no help from us. We should be trying to control their spread. Second, carpenters are big and easier to contain, unlike smaller species that can slip through cracks you don't even notice. Third, when you get elates, you can take your setup outside and help the population of native ants by letting your elates fly off. Finally, if something happens where you can't or don't want to care for your ants, and we never know what the future brings, native species are fine to be released into the wild. Other benefits - you don't have to worry too much about climate control because the ants are already used to the climate in your area, food for them is readily available, they're easy to catch, and you know exactly what you're getting into. Cannot ever recommend fire ants unless they're a native species. Anything invasive, you're risking ecological disaster if they ever get loose.
Si hoc legere scis nimium eruditiones habes

Main interest is C. Pennsylvanicus, interested in most native ants to my area.

NKantsalberta
Posts: 136
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 6:48 pm
Location: Sherwood Park, Alberta
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Re: Good Starter Species

Post: # 74654Post NKantsalberta
Sun Nov 29, 2020 7:52 pm

Alaydia wrote:
Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:16 pm
I have, and highly recommend, native carpenter ants. My reasons: First, invasive ants need no help from us. We should be trying to control their spread. Second, carpenters are big and easier to contain, unlike smaller species that can slip through cracks you don't even notice. Third, when you get elates, you can take your setup outside and help the population of native ants by letting your elates fly off. Finally, if something happens where you can't or don't want to care for your ants, and we never know what the future brings, native species are fine to be released into the wild. Other benefits - you don't have to worry too much about climate control because the ants are already used to the climate in your area, food for them is readily available, they're easy to catch, and you know exactly what you're getting into. Cannot ever recommend fire ants unless they're a native species. Anything invasive, you're risking ecological disaster if they ever get loose.
I second your comments, and fire ants really aren't a good starter species. Their population explosion overwhelms anyone not ready to take on such a task. Carpenter ants are slow and steady growers, giving you ample time to expand as needed, and they won't try to melt your skin if they get out...
Raising 3x Camponotus novaeboracensis, 2x Formica podzolica, 2x Lasius neoniger.

Facebook/Instagram : @NKantsalberta

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AM1C39
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Jul 29, 2020 12:17 pm
Location: Canada, ON

Re: Good Starter Species

Post: # 74713Post AM1C39
Mon Dec 07, 2020 12:52 pm

And carpenter queens are easy to find because their so big.
If you're wondering what my profile picture is: its a fish hook ant. 8-)

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