Classroom Ants

Discussions about the care and keeping of ants

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Rexxor
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:35 am
Location: Florida, USA

Classroom Ants

Post: # 51094Post Rexxor
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:46 am

My wife's classroom has been requesting pets but she doesn't want to responsibility of daily care added to her plate. Happened across the youtube channel and thought ants may be an interesting alternative for the kids while also teaching them to care for the ants. We live in central florida. Would anyone be willing to recommend a type of ant for me to research and possibly a recommended enclosure for them? The only real requirement would be non stinging in case of escape, some kids have allergies. Easy to care for and active during the day would also be a big bonuses. Thank you for your time and help!

AntsDakota
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Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:22 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Classroom Ants

Post: # 51144Post AntsDakota
Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:58 pm

Rexxor wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:46 am
My wife's classroom has been requesting pets but she doesn't want to responsibility of daily care added to her plate. Happened across the youtube channel and thought ants may be an interesting alternative for the kids while also teaching them to care for the ants. We live in central florida. Would anyone be willing to recommend a type of ant for me to research and possibly a recommended enclosure for them? The only real requirement would be non stinging in case of escape, some kids have allergies. Easy to care for and active during the day would also be a big bonuses. Thank you for your time and help!
Camponotus ants are very large and easy to keep, but I'm not sure if your wife's school would allow carpenter ants..... Nylanderia fulva (raspberry/tawny crazy ants) are also common in Florida, and don't sting. They are called crazy ants because of their extrordinary speed. If you catch a red queen, check with the forum because she is most likely Solenopsis invicta (red imported fire ant). Their sting ranks #9 in the most painful insects on earth.
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

Rexxor
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:35 am
Location: Florida, USA

Re: Classroom Ants

Post: # 51155Post Rexxor
Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:39 pm

Thank you so much! It's hard to narrow down species as a newbie. I'll start learning about these two.

AntsLuxembourg
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Location: Niederfeulen, Luxembourg
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Re: Classroom Ants

Post: # 51170Post AntsLuxembourg
Fri Sep 21, 2018 1:02 am

If you ask questions here you could actually learn from people with experience. I can only share some of my knowledge about ants but not much about many different species. I would recommend carpenter ants but your wife would also have to make it clear to the kids in class not to disturb them too often or expose them to light. Ants are usually not very happy with light and the queens usually die from all the stress. So it would be best if she made that clear. Perhaps you could ask a local GAN Farmer for a colony so you could have a try with your private one to see how it goes. It help you a lot to learn about them and to see how often you should care about them.

You could actually get the book from AntsCanada to read about them. I got a free copy and haven't checked it out yet but I am sure it got loads of tips. :D

The carpenter ants would also be much easier for the kids to see because they are a bit bigger. If you were from Europe I would have sugguested maybe Lasius Niger, since it's very common arround here, or Messor Barbarus which would be interesting to watch after the colony had grown for year. Btw a young colony will definetly take a lot of time to get a good size but you could try to get a bigger colony so there is actually something to see with an outworld.

There is a lot of responsibility which comes with ants so you have to be sure that you are up for that. :D
It would also be interesting to work out a plan for a good setup but I don't know what that setup should look like. I think that will definetly depend on what species you choose and what that colonies needs are.

Just ask us anything you want and we will try to help you as a community with your questions. :D
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony. After the research you can still go and fetsh a colony from one of your local GAN-Farmers.

Founding colonies:
10 - Lasius Niger Colony
1 - Messor Barbarus

Rexxor
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 9:35 am
Location: Florida, USA

Re: Classroom Ants

Post: # 51184Post Rexxor
Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:24 am

Thank you for your reply, it is greatly appreciated. I personally like the carpenter ants. However that might be a home endeavor due to the colony's very slow growth. I feel the raspberry crazy ants may be more of a match for a 9/10yr old classroom energy. I'm currently have some trouble finding much info on them though. If it is out there its buried under mountains of info on how to get rid of them. I've taken to learning about black and yellow crazy ant care as I expect them to be similar. Is that a correct assumption? Any info on raspberry crazy ants care would be amazing.

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idahoantgirl
Posts: 1513
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:52 am
Location: Idaho, USA

Re: Classroom Ants

Post: # 51187Post idahoantgirl
Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:45 am

Here is a link to a site with a bit of info on them

https://www.reddit.com/r/antkeeping/comments/83vbsa/catching_a_crazy_raspberry_ant_queen/

But in reality unless you have a gan farmer in your area, your going to have to catch a queen, in which case you get what you get. I would not reccomend Campo. for a classroom because of the high stress environment, and the fact that it can take 3 years to get them to a point where their nest is big enough to be observed for long periods of time. As for setup, while the hybrids are tailored to individual species and work great, the omni's are more pleasing to the eye for a classroom.
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

AntsLuxembourg
Posts: 210
Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:17 am
Location: Niederfeulen, Luxembourg
Contact:

Re: Classroom Ants

Post: # 51313Post AntsLuxembourg
Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:00 am

True. It might take years for the colony to grow big enough to show them but I assume you would much rather have them ready until next year. :/

It would also be a good idea to have the main nest just attached to an outworld and hidden inside a cupboard or some place which is out of reach. The workers will still be pretty busy in the outworld if you place some food there for them to forage. :D

But yeah it will take probably years to start from just a fertile queen or even a small colony with a couple of workers. The raspberry ants probably count as house pests which is why you only find ways and informations on how to get ride of them. Perhaps if someone would provide you with the exact name like "Messor Barbarus" or "Lasius Niger" you could be able to find something. Usually people just call them ants or fireants but they got a biological name which is of great use for antkeepers and usually everyone here refers to them with those names. You can call them seed farming ants (Messor Barbarus) but that would lead you into a much bigger field of possible informations and/or missinformations. :/

Perhaps have a look here. http://www.antwiki.org/wiki/Category:Regional_Taxon_List
Choose your area or country and then check the list. They got some basic informations about the ants and you could pick some names to find out which ones might be suitable and which ones aren't. Just have a look and continue your research. We will of course help you with any further questions. :)
Doing some proper research is the best way to start an antcolony. After the research you can still go and fetsh a colony from one of your local GAN-Farmers.

Founding colonies:
10 - Lasius Niger Colony
1 - Messor Barbarus

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idahoantgirl
Posts: 1513
Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:52 am
Location: Idaho, USA

Re: Classroom Ants

Post: # 51337Post idahoantgirl
Mon Sep 24, 2018 10:37 am

Scientific name: Nylanderia fulva
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

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