Myrmica rubra - European Fire Ant Care

Frequently Asked Questions About Ants

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Myrmica rubra - European Fire Ant Care

Post: # 56752Post bcfcforever55
Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:40 pm

Hi All,

Thank you for allowing me to join this forum.

I am very excited and fascinated by ants. I'm looking at getting European Fire Ants, I haven't kept them before but I'm looking for basic advice. I was looking at getting 3 queens along with 30 workers each. I have many questions that need answering so please forgive me.

1. So you get the ants in a test tube, how do I feed and water them? Also how much do I need to feed them?

2. What kind of setup would be best for the ants? I'm not to fussed about watching them dig tunnels, I was looking at getting a big storage container or a acrylic setup like this one? Which would be better?

3. What is the best substrate I take it as a soil based?

4. With the numbers im buying 3/90 can I take them straight out the test tube and straight into the nest?

5. In terms of watering them do you guys just put out a cotton ball and put water in as needed?

6. When do I need to upgrade the ant farm, I would love a colony as big as the fire nation.

7. How do you stop the ants from climbing out the tank?

Thank you so much for all your help. If you have any other facts or care tips it would be greatly appreciated if you drop them in.

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Re: Myrmica rubra - European Fire Ant Care

Post: # 56759Post AntFarmer7
Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:52 am

Well, for starters, 3 queens could get out of hand quickly. Fire ants can have massive colonies so you might want to start with one.

1. When they're in the test tube, the best way to give them water is to put water in the end, with a cotton ball in front of it. That way the water soaks through the cotton and lets them drink without drowning them. And with food you only need to feed them a little.

2. I think the first link is the best setup. It looks pretty escape proof and easy to clean.

3. The first setup doesn't need substrate, for the second I think sand. It's clean and simple. Just make sure it's non-toxic!

4. Most likely. If the setup is too big then keep them in the test tube for a while.

5. A Cotton ball can work, you can also just put a test tube with water in the end.

6. Most ant farms will say the approximate size they can hold. Basically whenever it looks crowded.

7. Most have a lid, if they don't there are ant escape prevention gels, and homemade alternatives.(Baby powder and rubbing alcohol)

If the queens are separated when you get them, don't try putting them in the same habitat. They MIGHT get along or they MIGHT kill each other. :( Not a chance worth taking! :)

Hope this helps! :D
Keeping one colony of Lasius Niger

Ants are creatures of little strength,
yet they store up their food in the summer;
Proverbs 30:25

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Re: Myrmica rubra - European Fire Ant Care

Post: # 56768Post JoeHostile1
Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:50 am

You probably can combine the queens since this species would not naturally form a colony with only 1 queen. Combining 90 workers together probably has a 0% chance of working.
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

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Re: Myrmica rubra - European Fire Ant Care

Post: # 56827Post antnest8
Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:35 pm

I would try multiple queens, I tried twice with single queens, both failed.

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Re: Myrmica rubra - European Fire Ant Care

Post: # 56954Post Hunter36o
Tue Apr 02, 2019 4:50 pm

I am with antnest on this one. I had a single queen colony and she tried believe me but she did not survive sadly.

As for antfarmer, European fire ants are not actually fire ants at all. They are Myrmica ants and they naturally found new colonies and satellite nests with several queen's. 3 should be a good starting point and plan on starting my nest attempt with 3-5 depending on my luck this coming flight season.

One thing I will say is they hibernate WITH food not without.

Baby powder on its own or mixed with rubbing alcohol should do fine as a barrier.

Are you getting these as 3 separate colonies to mix into one? If so I am not 100% that will work. I know they can and mostly will accept new queen's into an existing colony as apparently although I cannot find accurate information on this. The queens do not have a big life span unlike other queen's from different species. But how workers will react to workers is an answer I really do not have.

Anywhere between 25-50 workers is a good time to add them to a nest so if you get these with 3 queen's and 90 workers already in a single colony you can move them to a nest immediately.

As for substrate you can expect a variety of answers to come from the members on this forum as we all tend to have our own preferences, some similar, many different. For me a 50-50 mixture of Coco fiber and indoor potting soil mix from the garden centre has yet to let me down and I use it for more then just my ants. But I am not listing that out again, sorry :lol:

Best of luck.
Research is important before during and even after you have established a colony. There is always time to learn and to listen to others experiences. Live by this and your ants will thrive. Fail to do so and your experience may be brief.

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