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By Mallonje
#24456
I am completely new to the hobby.

I had made my own farm back when I was a kid - it was a cocktail olive jar inside a peanut butter jar with sand and about 40 or so worker sugar ants. I recall that setup lasted for almost a year. This led to an interest in keeping insects as pets: various stick bugs, tarantulas, scorpions, all culminating in the straw that broke my mother's back - madagascar hissing cockroaches.

I stumbled upon antscanada while surfing YouTube for science videos out of boredom and I'm now very interestested in raising local native species this summer. I figure I've got some time until the first nuptial flights in my area and any chance at finding queens, so I had better brush up.

Any advice is always accepted and would be greatly appreciated.
User avatar
By Antlove4ever
#24962
Hello Mallonje!

Raising Ants is an amazing thing, but if you don’t do your research on how to care for them properly then the colony can soon so die.

What would you like to find out about? Do you know the basics or would you like me to run you over them?


Kind regards
-Ella
(AntLove4Ever <3)
User avatar
By Mallonje
#25029
Hi Ella,

I think I've brushed up on the basics. But any advice you'd like to offer will be greatly appreciated.

The cold weather has prevented me from catching anything yet. I've seen one flight, and found half a dozen camponotus males, but no queens.

I was camping in Milton Ma. recently and turning over a rock to build a fire pit I discovered a beautiful colony of bright sunflower yellow ants. I think they were most likely Lasius claviger. But now I have a goal. They were gorgeous. I want them.

However they reside in heavily wooded areas so I don't think I'm likely to stumble across a Queen any time soon, but I'd feel horrible harvesting an established colony. I'm wondering if there's something I can do to "trap" a post flight queen - like maybe lay out a tarp with wet newspaper or leaf matter to and see if over time one will land there.
User avatar
By Antlove4ever
#25030
Dear mallonje,

I couldn’t find any way to “trap” a queen ant without human interaction. It’s likely that the cold weather has put these sunflower ants into hibernation, you won’t see much of them until it warms up. The more time you spend in or near the forest where you spotted them then the higher the chance of seeing one of them during nuptial flights.

If the nuptial flight that just passed was the one this species flies in, then you’d probably have to wait until next year to find a mated queen of this colony, however if you are desperate to find one this year, multiple online stores sell queen ants. This website has a buy/sell market for your specifications, just take into notice that these are live creatures and shouldn’t be shipped overseas or on long distances.

Try to look into this species and see what times of year they fly? Waiting by the nest you saw during this time of year and boring as it sounds, it’s probably the highest chance of you catching one by yourself.

Hope this helped

Kind regards
-Ella
(AntLove4Ever <3)
User avatar
By JavianSB
#25039
Patients and Preparation is one thing I’ve learned that really helped me, and I’m still and amateur keeper don’t get me wrong lol I still seek help from a lot of people on here but it’s best to have those traits as the hobby is slow at times especially when trying to find a queen.

I could never really look for a queen, I just would get lucky walking home or around the neighborhood to spot a big ant crossing a sidewalk and had to grab the nearest bottle to contain her..

Prepping a capture tube would be great a tube with just a cotton stopper to have at all times just in case.. Also getting materials for a test tube set up .. Also looking at the types of ants in your area and choose what species suits you. I like Camponotus because they grow slow but are active and generally big ants but you may like Lasius or Pheidole who are smaller, quickly growing active ants.. It’s just up to your personal preference and what you are able to accommodate.. TAKE IT SLOW LOL! But also keep in mind the future as far as upgrading nest size and tube changes.. Ants Russia, Ants Canada and , Tarheel Ants have some really neat nests and founding formicaria at many price ranges.

These are some things that helped me! Also create a designated ant space or room for your queen that’s less frequented maybe and insulated..

Congrats on your re-found hobby I can’t wait to see you catch your first queen


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Last edited by JavianSB on Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Antlove4ever
#25042
Dear users from this forum

As JavianSB stated, this hobby requires a lot of patience. Ranging from capturing a queen to waiting for her first eggs to raising her colony from a few workers. Some Queens can live to up to 10 years, so good care and perseverance is absolutely key.

Many people think antkeeping is easy, but it requires a specific kind of person to get the most out of a queen ant. You’ll have to be willing to study the diet, nest type, if she will allow multiple queens and much more. You’ll have to prepare test tubes and nests which will both have to be cleaned every so often.

If you’re thinking about purchasing a pre-founded colony from other people, then you’ll have to take into consideration that you’ll miss the key stages of founding, I personally like to see my colonies grow from a few workers to a grand metropolitan. Seeing her be moved into her first proper nest is so rewarding to watch.

This post is probably just a rant on how much I love ants and is probably no use whatsoever, but these creatures are remarkable and I’d like to spread the love!



Kind regards
-Ella
(AntLove4Ever <3)

I have just received a Lasius niger queen with egg[…]