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

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Post: # 39640Post antimony
Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:18 am

Are ants able to form associations with insects that give them honeydew if they had not passed that behavior on from a previous colony? I heard queen alates will sometimes carry these insects during nuptial flight. My question more specifically is: Is the association learned, pheromonal, spontaneous or other?
Just to clarify in case my question isnt clear...
In general do ants who form associations with aphids for example learn this behavior from a past colony who also had this behavior passed on? Can ants learn this behavior generations removed from aphid keeping ancestors by just stumbling on the aphids?
I appreciate any links to information about the subject, I bet its very complicated. I'm curious if someone keeping ants who are just eating what the keeper feeds them can learn to "farm" aphids in captivity.
Thanks for your time!

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Post: # 39705Post DictaruraSrl
Tue Jul 03, 2018 1:56 pm

Interesting question. If they farm this aphids for milions of years i think it is an instinct. I personaly never heard of any ant keepers that have aphids for the ant colony to farm. I think it would be hard to mentain the aphids.

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Post: # 39764Post antimony
Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:41 am

DictaruraSrl thank you for your response. I should mention that I did read that aphids can release pheromones that the ants can sense and helps them determine which aphids they will choose to associate with. That’s interesting to hear that you haven’t seen aphids kept in captivity with ants. I remember on AntsCanada YouTube he showed aphids in his formicarium but the ants didn’t seem to be associating with them.

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Post: # 40729Post Hunter36o
Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:39 pm

Hey AntsCanada's youtube has a video on his yellow crazy ants who had aphids in their terrarium and they slowly catch on to it starting with only going to the honeydew and not the aphids directly. Then they slowly came around to tending them later on in the vids. So i do not see why your ants would not do the same.
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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Post: # 40817Post antnest8
Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:01 pm

the only problem with having aphids in your formicarium is that you need live plants for that and a lot of ant keepers don't have time or colonies big enough for a formicarium that can sustain tons of plant life
keeper of
3 tetremorium queens
2 C. pennsylvanicus
1 C novaeboracensis
1 tapinoma sessile colony

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