Leaf cutter ants (Atta/Acromyrmex) Experience

Discussions about the care and keeping of ants

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Rafinha1xD
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 09, 2020 8:18 pm
Location: São Paulo - Brasil

Leaf cutter ants (Atta/Acromyrmex) Experience

Post: # 69858Post Rafinha1xD
Sat May 09, 2020 9:10 pm

Greeting AC family!
I'm planning to raise an ant colony using my DIY formicarium (I'd love to have one of those oninests from AntsCanada, but, I cannot afford it right now).

The thing is: I'm a beginner ant keeper to be and, although I have made 5 ant nests for 5 public schools in my neighborhood, I'm a little bit scary, I'm from São Paulo, Brazil and the only queen ants I could encounter so far were Leaf cutter ants, Atta, to be more specific.
And I learned, by the experience in the public schools, that those ants require a lot of space, to harvest their fungus. The nests I built in the schools had to be transformed, because, the ants had occupied every single corner of their previous nest with their fungus, so I had to add more space for their fungus. I was very surprised and lucky to have a lot of ant loving children, teachers and even some parents in the school that wanted to help the ants by helping me to creating more space while saving a lot of workers, it was a really rewarding experience.

So, now I want to raise my own colony, of course, I'll be looking for a lot of different ant queen species, but by experience, the only sure ant queen to find will be the famous leaf cutter ant. That's why I need your help AC family. Can I "dictate" the size of the colony? Some times I think that in the schools the children are always feeding leafs to the ants, so their numbers wold increase right? But, at the same time, I know the ants eat their fungus, so I cannot "control" the colony size.

Someone can help me? Any tips on how to care for those ants without creating a colony that, eventually will become much larger than I can keep?


By the way, the school ants are doing great, some times I go visit them and when I get there the children run straight to me and start doing a lot of questions about the ants life and how they to could begin to raising their own colony, it's really a rewarding experience, I share a lot of knowledge I learned with AC family, sadly there are no videos in Brazil about this topic and they cannot understand English to watch the AC videos.

Thanks in advance, sorry for the giant post, I really had some questions, but I also wanted to share my ants experience with you. I got a lot of inspiration from the AC family YouTube channel.

Byee
Rafa

Hawkeye
Posts: 1470
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Leaf cutter ants (Atta/Acromyrmex) Experience

Post: # 71199Post Hawkeye
Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:50 am

Hi there!

How cool is it that you help out those schools! I am currently starting up a colony of pavement ants for the school I work at, but they don't require that much effort.

As for species of ants in Brazil check out https://antwiki.org/wiki/Brazil as there are hundreds of species it seems. So maybe change the location where you are scouting for them? There are 2 GAN farmers is Brazil, so maybe they can hook you up with a different species otherwise?

On your question on controlling the size of your colony, I guess the only way you can is by limiting their access to fresh leaves. Less leaves equals less food eventually and so fever brood. Then again this will probably fuel the attempts of your ants to break out and look for other lush territory to occupy.

Rafinha1xD
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat May 09, 2020 8:18 pm
Location: São Paulo - Brasil

Re: Leaf cutter ants (Atta/Acromyrmex) Experience

Post: # 71227Post Rafinha1xD
Mon Jun 08, 2020 4:05 pm

Thanks! I'll check this web site!

I'll try to find some photos of the School's nest and then I'll send them for you to see it!! I was hoping to send some pictures but, I couldn't find any in my phone, so I'll have to take more photos, I'm just waiting for the Covid-19 do subside.

Thank you very much for your answer, I'll be sure to post here more info about it.

As for the GEN farmers, they are all from other state, sadly.

byee

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