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.
User avatar
By formica123
#12969
As a lot of you know, captive breeding is a very hard thing to do. The conditions have to be just right, there has to be a large space (unless it's a very small species like temnothorax) and judging whether or not a queen has actually mated can be quite hard - as they remove their wings after a period of time anyway.
I've recently been researching captive breeding - as when I was younger I remember having a large Lasius Flavus colony and successfully producing queens. I've found that species of myrmicaine seem to be the easiest to captive breed due to their aggressive nature. With species like Myrmica rubra and Myrmica sabbuleti, I've found that they don't even fly but rather the males just doing on to the queen and 'bear hug' her until they've successfully mated. I've kept Temnothorax in the past up to the point of breeding in an aquarium, they too go through the same mating procedure.
So what am I trying to say?
Well, I think it could be very possible to breed smaller and more aggressive species of ant. And, in some cases, even very large species of ant like pheidologeton, as you can see in the series of videos I've linked these ants don't 'fly' but rather 'bear hug'. I'll be attempting my own captive breeding experiment with a Temnothorax colony I got from AntKit a while back.

Species of ant mating in captivity:




Examples of 'bear hugging':


Occultus liked this
User avatar
By formica123
#13001
Today I collected Formica rufa alates at the mating flight, I put the males into one Petri dish, the queens in another. Then I introduced 1 queen to the male, and they instantly started to get excited. After about 20 seconds a male made a bear hug with the queen and I saw a connection. The queen is now trying to drop her wings and we'll see what happens from here
User avatar
By Alex white
#13008
formica123 wrote:Today I collected Formica rufa alates at the mating flight, I put the males into one Petri dish, the queens in another. Then I introduced 1 queen to the male, and they instantly started to get excited. After about 20 seconds a male made a bear hug with the queen and I saw a connection. The queen is now trying to drop her wings and we'll see what happens from here


Where did you collect the Formica geographically?
User avatar
By formica123
#13009
It was actually my step-brother who found them, he put them in a pot for me with some workers that he found off the top of a mound in Wyre Forest
User avatar
By Alex white
#13010
Very nice. A bit too far north for me. I don't think I will have too much time to go ant hunting as my Alevel exams start soon :-( Still a very good find :-)

Hello, Would like to know more about your set-up. […]

Hi

@Hyperion found one