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 Crimz23432
#18810
Hey everyone

I remember reading a few years back about captive breeding queen ants, is it possible and has anyone here done it? Or know someone who has? If so how?

Thanks guys!


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User avatar
By 1000101010
#18812
if you connect two outworld above a ptfe layer with some tubing the alates might be able to meet without workers getting through but i've never really thought off the idea.
User avatar
By veektoor
#18814
From what I've read I think its hard to captive breed due to the fact that its extremely hard to recreate the environmental cues the ants need to start create viable alates. Also most species copulate in mid air during the nuptial flight so its hard to create an outworld big enough for the process to occur.

Haven't really looked into it though, that's what I've soaked up from general ant research. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable on the subject could be a bit more specific.

Veektoor.
User avatar
By ManicaLuca
#18817
There has been some success in the past using Formica cf. fusca. This involved a greenhouse, brood boosted alate pupa, artificial humidity (by misting) and HPS lamps. This was only achievable because Formica fusca do not necessarily mate on the wing.

This method could potentially be expanded to other species but i'm not sure a sufficiently large enough netted area could be created for those that mate in the air.

Definitely an area deserving additional experimentation though. The biggest issue is the fact that it's still seasonal as triggering the production of alates by synthetic methods has not been extensively studied.
andavane liked this
User avatar
By formica123
#18818
I made a thread about this before, I've did lots of research and tried it myself lots of times with much success.
Up to date I've captive bred Formica Rufa queens, Monomorium Minimum queens, Temnothorax Nylanderi queens, Myrmica sp. queens and Formica (fusca?) queens, I'll try and find the videos I posted before later. It's actually very easy depending on the species. I find there's two techniques of mating with ants.
1. In the air
2. On the ground in a 'ball'.
User avatar
By Crimz23432
#18821
Thanks for all the feedback guys I was generally looking for non native uk species or potentially uk species I was thinking captive breeding rarer ants such as pogos etc. Formica 123 please send me a link to the videos would be great!


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By Benjiwuf
#18824
I've read posts by one Californian who has successfully bred Pogonomyrmex species. I never got the full details on how, but he seems to be quite successful as he supplies one other with queens sometimes.
User avatar
By Crimz23432
#18830
formica123 wrote:Here was the original thread:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=1622

Hey Formica123

Thanks for the info very useful would be amazing if you could write a guide for your captive breeding and with what species etc and equipment:)


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User avatar
By Crimz23432
#18831
Benjiwuf wrote:I've read posts by one Californian who has successfully bred Pogonomyrmex species. I never got the full details on how, but he seems to be quite successful as he supplies one other with queens sometimes.

Do you have his contact details or name?


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By Sirnight
#18833
If the Californian guy was named Apex he has scammed multiple people (including me) so watch out :P
By Sirnight
#18844
Let's just say he took 2 colonies from me :)
User avatar
By Benjiwuf
#18847
no, his username was Retroman I believe (99% sure). However I could never buy from them in California as US laws prohibit transport across states.
User avatar
By Occultus
#18851
It's certainly possible but time and space are the issue.
Youd need atleast two large colonies of the same species, side by side with open top arenas. Place them inside a small(escape proof) room like a greenhouse or conservatory . Have appropriate lighting and appropriate humidity and you'll easily create a nuptial flight.

I've triggered 5 nuptial flights from inside my home.
Some invasive species readily interbreed in captivity: Monomorium pharoanis, Paratrechina longicornis, Anoplolepis gracilipes, Lasius neglectus Linepithema humile, Solenopsis sp etc. Carebara diversa can also interbreed in captivity.

Scientists have used artificial insemination to fertilise queens. Controversial topic though.
User avatar
By andavane
#18854
ManicaLuca wrote:There has been some success in the past using Formica cf. fusca. This involved a greenhouse, brood boosted alate pupa, artificial humidity (by misting) and HPS lamps. This was only achievable because Formica fusca do not necessarily ...uld be created for those that mate in the air.

Definitely an area deserving additional experimentation though. The biggest issue is the fact that it's still seasonal as triggering the production of alates by synthetic methods has not been extensively studied.

Here in India there is quite a drought atm, at least in this part (120 mile west of Chennai). Sometimes there's a storm and we may get a good rain or sometimes only a spattering. 20 days ago there wasn't much, just a bit of rain but it was enough to trigger mating in some species of ants. Not sure about the nuptial flights, but for sure some of the ants carried on their mating on the ground. At least that's what this 13-year-old boy told me. Sadly the Queen he caught died, either due to rough handling or to chilling in the fridge.
I'm lucky that I have 2 Queens left. One is a whopper with a small amount of eggs. She's rather aggressive.
The other one is smaller and has lots of eggs. After just 13 days she has a ball of eggs nearly as big as a Q-tip.
User avatar
By Crimz23432
#18867
Occultus wrote:It's certainly possible but time and space are the issue.
Youd need atleast two large colonies of the same species, side by side with open top arenas. Place them inside a small(escape proof) room like a greenhouse or conservatory . Have appropriate lighting and appropriate humidity and you'll easily create a nuptial flight.

I've triggered 5 nuptial flights from inside my home.
Some invasive species readily interbreed in captivity: Monomorium pharoanis, Paratrechina longicornis, Anoplolepis gracilipes, Lasius neglectus Linepithema humile, Solenopsis sp etc. Carebara diversa can also interbreed in captivity.

Scientists have used artificial insemination to fertilise queens. Controversial topic though.

Nice! What species did you breed in captivity? I think it would be a big project for sure requiring big spaces


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User avatar
By formica123
#18871
I bred all my ants in small pétri dishes and it worked perfectly, I don't think space is an issue at all as long as the conditions are right
User avatar
By Crimz23432
#18875
formica123 wrote:I bred all my ants in small pétri dishes and it worked perfectly, I don't think space is an issue at all as long as the conditions are right

Wow that's amazing and how did you mimic the conditions what did you do? I am assuming you can't do that with queens that mate on the wing?


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User avatar
By formica123
#18876
Crimz23432 wrote:
formica123 wrote:I bred all my ants in small pétri dishes and it worked perfectly, I don't think space is an issue at all as long as the conditions are right

Wow that's amazing and how did you mimic the conditions what did you do? I am assuming you can't do that with queens that mate on the wing?


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Yes only with ponerine ants. I just put heatmats underneath and sprayed the Petri dishes beforehand so humidity was really high, when the water had all condensates took the lids off and got rid of excess water and put the queens and makes in, the drying, warm atmosphere is irresistible for any male ant
User avatar
By andavane
#18885
formica123 wrote:I made a thread about this before, I've did lots of research and tried it myself lots of times with much success.
Up to date I've captive bred Formica Rufa queens, Monomorium Minimum queens, Temnothorax Nylanderi queens, Myrmica sp. queens and Formica (fusca?) queens, I'll try and find the videos I posted before later. It's actually very easy depending on the species. I find there's two techniques of mating with ants.
1. In the air
2. On the ground in a 'ball'.

Fascinating, @formica123.
Pls dig out as much info as you can! :)
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