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.
These ants are quite common in America. They are known there as the red harvester ant and are pretty easily found. There is usually a lack of greenery around their nests, many skins of seeds cover the ground near their nests and they often use small pebbles to cover the entrances to their nests. You can often see several groups of ants doing various jobs; some patrol the area around the nest, some guard the entrance to the nest and others forage for food. It’s truly an interesting species with a fascinating hierarchy.
Size & colony type
Queen: aprox. 12mm – 14mm
Workers: aprox. 6mm – 10mm
Colony type: monogyne
Colony size: about 8,000 – 10,000 workers per colony
Keeping difficulty: Fairly easy.
Habitat: often found in sandy area’s
Natural nest: they often build their nests underground
Suitable formicaria: Ytong-, plaster-, 3D- and acrylicnests are all suitable for this species
Recommended humidity: 50% – 70%
Recommended temperature: 21°C – 26°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
Hibernation: yes, from the end of october till the end of march
Claustral: no, you will need to feed regularly
Matingflight period: september – august
Egg to worker: 7 to 9 weeks depending on how they are being kept