Ants for ant farm

Learn how to obtain ant colonies for your formicariums or sell your ant colonies locally in a legal and ecologically-friendly manner through the GAN Project.

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michaelc
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:51 pm
Location: Halifax

Ants for ant farm

Post: # 40135Post michaelc
Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:54 pm

Hello - I am looking to obtain red harvester ants for my daughter's ant farms. No queen needed. Can you advise where I can buy in Canada - on the east coast in particular? Thanks

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Batspiderfish
Posts: 3345
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Ants for ant farm

Post: # 40142Post Batspiderfish
Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:32 pm

I think you will have trouble finding Pogonomyrmex harvester ants outside of the companies which are licensed to export their workers. You could simply fill it with native ants that you gather yourself. If the setup allows for adequate care necessary and becoming of a pet, then this time of year would be perfect for finding a queen.
If you enjoy my expertise and identifications, please do not put wild populations at risk of disease by releasing pet colonies. We are responsible to give our pets the best care we can manage for the rest of their lives.

michaelc
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:51 pm
Location: Halifax

Re: Ants for ant farm

Post: # 40149Post michaelc
Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:11 pm

Thanks very much for your reply! My daughters were given the "gel" ant farms as a present. Are these suitable for native worker ants we gather ourselves? I've heard only harvester ants work well in the "gel" environment. I also assume it's not a good setup for a queen correct?

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Batspiderfish
Posts: 3345
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Ants for ant farm

Post: # 40154Post Batspiderfish
Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:41 pm

Sadly it's not really a good setup for any kind of ant. The gel is designed after NASA experiments on how ants tunnel in microgravity, so it's good for viewing and will keep ants alive for a short period of time, but it was not developed with the health of the ants in mind. It's only some kind of agarose/gel substance mixed with sugar and antimicrobials, so most ants will have an equal shot at surviving it. You could ditch the gel and fill it with sand like a conventional ant farm, and while slightly less fun, it would be a little more like what ants want to live in. Otherwise, it is a nostalgic but inhospitable home for a pet, much like a goldfish bowl -- I guess it depends on what you are looking for.

If you go for the naturalistic option, the ants will just need a little bit of hydration every couple of days, an occasional Q-tip soaked in sugar water, and a very occasional dead insect to eat (since there is no queen, there is very little need for protein).
If you enjoy my expertise and identifications, please do not put wild populations at risk of disease by releasing pet colonies. We are responsible to give our pets the best care we can manage for the rest of their lives.

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