These ants are granivores, meaning that the main part of their diet consists of seeds. They chew these seeds and mix it with moisture in order to make a kind of paste-like substance that people often refer to as ‘ant bread’. They get most of their required nutrients from their seeds, but because their seeds don’t contain enough protein it is recommended to give them feeder insects regularly to make up for that. A fresh water source is also highly recommended.
This species of the Messor genus is active all year round. Even though they are quite easy to keep, this particulier species tends to drown surprisingly easily, so be careful when you feed them things like sugar water, honey, jelly and other things that they might drown in. Make small drops or use a piece of cotton for them to drink from in order to prevent them from drowning.
Size & colony type
Queen: aprox. 11mm – 13mm
Workers: aprox. 3mm – 10mm
Colony type: monogyne
Colony size: about 7,000 – 9,000 workers per colony
Keeping difficulty: Fairly easy.
Distribution: Southern Europe, Asia, Middle East
Habitat: often found in sandy area’s
Natural nest: they often build their nests underground and under rocks
Suitable formicaria: Ytong-, plaster-, 3D- and acrylicnests are all suitable for this species
Recommended humidity: 50% – 70%
Recommended temperature: 22°C – 30°C
Nutrition: Mainly grass seeds and sometimes a protein source such as prey insects like crickets or fruitflies. Insect jelly is also a suitable feeder since it contains both sugar and protein and varius other beneficial components
Claustral: yes, no need to feed until the first workers arrive
Matingflight period: september – november
Egg to worker: 7 to 9 weeks depending on how they are being kept