Best insect for feeding L. Niger??

Posts and questions relating to ant diet & nutrition. Let us know what you’re feeding your ants.

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DCheezi
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:27 am
Location: UK

Best insect for feeding L. Niger??

Post: # 64899Post DCheezi
Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:41 am

I've been watching ant videos for years and I've ordered a L. Niger queen, workers and brood online, and an acrylic farm for them. It's got a decent sized feeding arena on it, so I'm not too worried about the size of food, but it looks like everyone feeds them something different :? Here's a list of what I've seen-
Dubia roaches
Mealworms
Crickets
Curly-wing fruit flies
Spiders(???)
What do you feed your L. Nigers? I'm completely lost, the ants aren't coming for a few days and it looks like they come with a cricket head but I would like to get protein sorted for when I move them in. I'm 17 so I can't buy something very expensive like a starter colony of morio worms
Keeper of founding L. Niger colony (~10 workers)
Keeper of founding M. Barbarus colony (20-30 media and minor workers) :)

LasiusSapien
Posts: 274
Joined: Tue Jul 16, 2019 2:37 pm
Location: Bristol

Re: Best insect for feeding L. Niger??

Post: # 64900Post LasiusSapien
Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:48 am

mario worms didn't go down so well with my lasius tbh i'd leave worms until the colony is in the hundreds as worms are quite fatty and will congeal with in a few hours, what i do feed them and pretty much all my ants are, small to medium sized crickets,grasshoppers as well as spiders, fruit flys, crane fly(when they were around) and woodlice too, i would avoid beetles unless you don't mind crushing them up as there armor is far to tough also any wild caught insects could possible have diseases and or parasites in them so i'd suggest freezing them to kill any nasty they might be carrying
1x Lasius Niger - early forging stage - 60-100 workers
1x Messor Barbarus - founding stage - <20 workers
1x Camponotus Turkestanus - claustral stage - 1 nanitic + brood
1x Odontoponera Transversa - semi-claustral stage - no eggs

DCheezi
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:27 am
Location: UK

Re: Best insect for feeding L. Niger??

Post: # 64902Post DCheezi
Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:31 am

LasiusSapien wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:48 am
mario worms didn't go down so well with my lasius tbh i'd leave worms until the colony is in the hundreds as worms are quite fatty and will congeal with in a few hours, what i do feed them and pretty much all my ants are, small to medium sized crickets,grasshoppers as well as spiders, fruit flys, crane fly(when they were around) and woodlice too, i would avoid beetles unless you don't mind crushing them up as there armor is far to tough also any wild caught insects could possible have diseases and or parasites in them so i'd suggest freezing them to kill any nasty they might be carrying
That's great to hear! There's a jollyes near me that sells small tiny crickets, and I reckon they'll fit well in the feeding arena. Also I didn't know that about the beetles, I was about to pull the trigger on dubia roaches before I remembered the forum. How often do you feed your lasius?
Keeper of founding L. Niger colony (~10 workers)
Keeper of founding M. Barbarus colony (20-30 media and minor workers) :)

Hawkeye
Posts: 1053
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Best insect for feeding L. Niger??

Post: # 64907Post Hawkeye
Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:03 am

DCheezi wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:31 am

That's great to hear! There's a jollyes near me that sells small tiny crickets, and I reckon they'll fit well in the feeding arena. Also I didn't know that about the beetles, I was about to pull the trigger on dubia roaches before I remembered the forum. How often do you feed your lasius?
Hey there!

You can probably feed them anything you like, as long as you take a hard exoskeleton into account (pre-cut) and the speed at which the food decays (like the worms.) I'd say it's a bit of trial and error to find out what your colony likes. As to how often, that depends on the size of your colony and how hungry they are really. Keep an eye on how interested they are in the food. If it is gone within a day, you will want to feed again soon. If it is still there after 3 days, remove the food and wait for a couple of days to feed again. (They likely have pieces of food stored in their nest and will have full (social) stomachs, so there's no need to feed them)

Definitely listen to Lasius:
LasiusSapien wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:48 am
Any wild-caught insects could possibly have diseases and or parasites in them so I'd suggest freezing them to kill any nasty they might be carrying.
You wouldn't want your fledgeling colony to be infected if you can avoid it.

DCheezi
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2019 5:27 am
Location: UK

Re: Best insect for feeding L. Niger??

Post: # 64909Post DCheezi
Sun Oct 20, 2019 1:09 pm

Hawkeye wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:03 am

Hey there!

You can probably feed them anything you like, as long as you take a hard exoskeleton into account (pre-cut) and the speed at which the food decays (like the worms.) I'd say it's a bit of trial and error to find out what your colony likes. As to how often, that depends on the size of your colony and how hungry they are really. Keep an eye on how interested they are in the food. If it is gone within a day, you will want to feed again soon. If it is still there after 3 days, remove the food and wait for a couple of days to feed again. (They likely have pieces of food stored in their nest and will have full (social) stomachs, so there's no need to feed them)

Definitely listen to Lasius:
LasiusSapien wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:48 am
Any wild-caught insects could possibly have diseases and or parasites in them so I'd suggest freezing them to kill any nasty they might be carrying.
You wouldn't want your fledgeling colony to be infected if you can avoid it.
Okok, I'll keep the feeding times in mind. And yeah, I'd be gutted if they ended up catching any nasties and died, I'm going to stick to store-brought for now. I'm glad I came here! Crickets seem like a decent choice for me at the start
Keeper of founding L. Niger colony (~10 workers)
Keeper of founding M. Barbarus colony (20-30 media and minor workers) :)

Vincex
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:22 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Best insect for feeding L. Niger??

Post: # 64912Post Vincex
Sun Oct 20, 2019 2:38 pm

Small flyless fruitflys are perfect I find just pop two or 3 into freezer for 10 mins and give to them ! They never refuse them
Keeper of
1 lasius niger
1 pheidole pallidula
1 myrmica rubra
1 camponotus ligniperda

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