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.
By JunkratsLeftKnee
#25414
Hi hello I just joined this so if this is in the wrong place please don't yell at me.

Anyway I'm pretty into vulture culture and have tried looking into insects to clean bones for me, as much as I love my other methods it would be very helpful to have a colony of something to help. Dermestid beetles are great and all but I can't have them for other reasons, so what types of ants will eat carrion?

Thanks sorry for the weird post, I live in NC, USA btw
Last edited by JunkratsLeftKnee on Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Serafine
#25420
You do not want to keep any ants that clean your bones as these would mostly be species such as fire ants (the larger Solenopsis species like S. geminata and S. invicta) which have an extremely painful sting and their queens can lay over 11.000 eggs per week leading to an absolutely ridiculous growth rate that makes these ants unsustainable for most antkeepers (Austalian meat ants, Iridomymrex purpureus, are pretty much the same, except that their individual workers are much bigger and they take a bit longer to grow to their stupendously large adult colony size).

Carrion-eating beetles species are really the best you can get, any ant species that eats flesh will be far far more problematic.


Edit: Theoretically you could put the bones into a container (make sure coyotees or whatever big predators live in your area can't drag it away) and dump it on top of a fire ant nest. I'm not sure how well that works but in theory the ants should be able to dismantle any flesh from the bones within maybe a week. You can then drag the container away from the nest, spill some boiling water over it (to kill the remaining ants) and should be left with just the bones.
In theory this should work but no guarantees - I'd test it with some small bones before going all in.
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