New to the AC Family & Ant Keeeping

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Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:48 pm
Location: England

New to the AC Family & Ant Keeeping

Post: # 65886Post TheColonialist
Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:51 pm

As a kid i had a Lasius Niger Colony, I used to love watching their Numptual flights every year in the wild, i did all the research and eventually caught a mated queen, i kept my colony for a few years watching them grow until sadly i could no longer keep them and had to find them a new home.... from that moment until now there has been a small ant hole in my heart...

BUT! i finally managed to persaude my other half to allow me to follow my dreams and become an Ant hobbyist again!

So in my usual style ive gone in all guns blazing!

I have a Lasius Grandis Queen although i suspect she is a Lasius Niger Queen she is on the small side she has around 20 workers and a nice brood, she has successfully moved into my acrylic formicarium all in one with an outworld, i have been watching her progress through the last week, her workers have been happily feasting on fruit flys that i feed to my Orchid Mantis.
This is the current Formicarium i am keeping this Lasius Grandis (Niger) Colony in.

My other new colony is a Messor Barbarus Queen with 5 Niantics, her formicarium is still on route she is currently housed in the test tube placed within a plastic food container, im really excited about this colony, im slightly worried as she does not seem to have a brood i have observed one larva being carried around by a worker, i believe they may have been weaved into the wet cotton wool, Im new to keeping this species ant, im currently feeding on seeds and the occasional fruit fly which they seem to love.
This is the initial formicarium i have ordered to house my Messor Barbarus in.

Today my Lasius Niger Queen arrived - ive posted a blog regarding this colony they are in a dire situation, mould has completely consumed them, i was called out to work an hour after recieving the colony i have had no time to save them, luckily i had pre prepared a new test tube wrapped in red acetate, i have no idea if the queen is alive, on the short inspection i was able to give, it didnt look promising the queen looks as though she was submerged into the mould on the cotton wool, she has around 30+ workers all shrouded around her, only 3 workers breaking lose from the cluster and moving around the test tube, i will be taking pictures in the morning once im home, <---- i will be uploading here so you can follow their progress! pray to the Ant Gods for me!

Does anyone else keep a Messor Barbarus Colony that would like to share thier personal Do's & Dont's, what is your experience of this species? im excited due to their polymorphic nature, i know it will be a long while before they start producing major's!

Now i know #teamexoticants are frowned upon, i never intended to have a Messor Barbarus Queen in the UK as they are a Southern European species, so is the Lasius Grandis species, both were offered to me through my facebook network who had ordered them online and then realised they could not keep them, i think my Lasius Grandis Queen is infact a Lasius Niger Queen due to her size, they are usually larger but even compared to Lasius Niger Queens this Queen is really on the small side, i ordered a Lasius Niger Queen online my intention was only to keep native species, but i couldnt refuse taking on these ants that needed a home when i was sent a message regarding their predicament from a local ant keeper.
1 x Lasius Grandis - 20+ Workers
1 x Messor Barbarus - 5 Niantic's
1 x Lasius Niger - Critical Condition (New Colony)

Posts: 1473
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: New to the AC Family & Ant Keeeping

Post: # 65897Post Hawkeye
Thu Dec 05, 2019 12:45 am

Hi there,

We've got a colony of Messor Barbarus at our school as well, with about 30 workers. At the moment they still prefer their test tube setup over the formicarium with a small outworld. The store that send them to us, provided them with a number of seeds in their tube, so I don't expect them to move out very quickly as they don't really have a need to do so just yet.
It's an exotic species to the Netherlands as well. Obviously them not hibernating, but rather taking it easy during the winter months, is a pro in a classroom setting. Next to that, they're not a threat to native ants, as they wouldn't be able to survive our winters nor yours I assume.

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