Discuss keeping ants in here. Including what to feed them, hydration, development, disease and everything in between.
New members should post your questions in here.
#12650
ZSL, The Zoological Society of London has written that Formica rufibarbus is probably the UK's rarest animal. Some good folks are breeding colonies of this beautiful and rare creature as part of a rescue program.
Has any member of this forum been involved, or ever had this species? I feel sure that beyond the world of company models and hobbies, all members of this forum, buyers sellers and enthusiasts of all the spectrum would applaud conservation in general, and especially the protection and re-establishment of the Red Barbed Ant.
https://www.zsl.org/conservation/regions/uk-europe/protecting-native-invertebrates
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#12675
I'm unsure about that Dan, they are found for sale in Europe, rarely though. I'd love to get involved with some conservation schemes if there were any open to the public which required you to keep the ants.
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#12683
Thanks Dan, I'll drop him a line.
I only discovered this recently so don't know too much about it, but I imagine that this species can be bred up by individuals, but only as part of a controlled program which I guess would be tightly regulated.
After all, great care would needs to be taken that the species does not get used for commercial purposes.
I am fortunate that as a graduate from Cambridge University many departments are open to me, so I'll give the Zoology Department a call and make a few enquiries concerning myrmecology projects.
#12710
Dan wrote:Here's a conservation project report from 2008:
F rufibarbis tech report.pdf
F rufibarbis tech report.pdf

Brilliant Dan, I have been most absorbed in this.
On reading it I have realised that it isn't just a matter of breeding some up and then releasing them to boost numbers. There are protocols for sample gathering, what to use as bait and if taken, the Queens have to be placed into ZSL issue tubes (or some such), careful procedures for everything and before release samples need to be genetically screened.
On top of all this, wild nest sites need careful monitoring as some colonies are bred to produce males, and some females.
Must be a pheromonal directive by the Queen or some such.
The more you look at it all, the more fascinating it becomes.
Deeper and deeper Down The Rabbit Hole!
#12712
Dan wrote:
Alex white wrote:Many. I saw them for sale yesterday but I can't remember where :-)


Edit: It was world of ants

They're also available on Antstore for €29.90 (Queen and 1-4 workers).

Makes me want to order one to study it!
#14996
I have ordered a colony of these and am expecting them tomorrow or Wednesday. Looking forward to getting them, from what I have learnt they are similar to Formica Fusca. Anyone know what happened with the conservation programme zsl was doing ? Can't seem to find any up to date info on it.
#15004
Ideally the species native will grow rather than introduction of new colonies of the species from abroad. Only after the native population of Formica rufibarbis has gone in my opinion should we seek a discussiom about possible reintroduction though in my opinion I feel I would most likely disagree with a reintroduction.
#15017
I don't think the colony in the wild is producing queens only males. I heard there was only one colony left and if it's only producing males then the queen may well be dead. People are skeptikal about introducing colonies from Europe but I don't see why not.
#15438
I received my colony, they only have 7 workers but have settled and are eating honey and protein. I have ordered another colony so will get them this week too. I have also read the report, I feel they released the colonies too early. Sounds like they are doomed as there is no up to date info and people involved in the project don't answer emails. Maybe as a community would could try revive them! I am first to volunteer for another project.
#15442
I dont want to sound against the motive or good intentions but do feel there must be channels you have to go through in order to release a foreign colony otherwise you may find issues with the legality. I personally don't know about laws surrounding the issue I just think that it has to maybe be done under certain circumstances in a coordinated and proper conservation effort.
#15445
scarletAsh wrote:I dont want to sound against the motive or good intentions but do feel there must be channels you have to go through in order to release a foreign colony otherwise you may find issues with the legality. I personally don't know about laws surrounding the issue I just think that it has to maybe be done under certain circumstances in a coordinated and proper conservation effort.


Yes you are probably right. Doesn't mean we cant try though. Maybe if I set out a written project and try get the backing of experts etc. I'll have to try get some funding too. Nothing is impossible!

As far as I am aware releasing species that are native is not illegal. The environmental impacts and morals are questionable though.
#15450
Sounds like the way to go.
As a graduate from Cambridge, I could call the Zoology Dept to find if there's anything going on in this area.
I keep meaning to do it.
Now already, the Season's end is closer than we think! :(
#15452
andavane wrote:Sounds like the way to go.
As a graduate from Cambridge, I could call the Zoology Dept to find if there's anything going on in this area.
I keep meaning to do it.
Now already, the Season's end is closer than we think! :(


The more info you can gather the better thankyou. The season is nearly over but that gives more time to plan. I have 2 young colonies and I don't need to hibernate them this year. There is a Dutch guy on here that I need to speak to about obtaining some mated queens but I cant send private messages for some reason!
#15457
I live in an area with hundreds of Rufubarbis colonies, I keep seeing queens but ignoring them as to me they're quite boring. If you want queens next year, I can send you however many you want as long as you pay for postage :-)
#15460
formica123 wrote:I live in an area with hundreds of Rufubarbis colonies, I keep seeing queens but ignoring them as to me they're quite boring. If you want queens next year, I can send you however many you want as long as you pay for postage :-)


That would be ideal thankyou. If I raise some money ill pay for the queens also. Could you help by sending some brood this year?

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