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Frequently Asked Questions

General questions: 


I have just received my ants in their test tube, what should I do?

If it is a queen without workers with a cloistered foundation, it must be placed in a dark corner while respecting the temperature necessary for the proper development of its brood until the emergence of its first workers, it will then be necessary to feed. 

If it's a queen with workers, it's best to keep them in their test tube at first. If the test tube is too small to feed them directly into it, put them in a collection area. To do this, you must prepare a box and apply an anti-escape agent to it. You must then open the tube and feed the colony. 


When should I move my ants to a nest?

To move ants into a nest, it is best to wait until you have between 10 and 50 workers depending on the species. The smaller the species, the longer it is preferable to keep them in the test tube. 


How do I move my ants? 

To move ants, there are several methods.

  They can be moved gently by opening the tube in the harvesting area and waiting for them to move on their own. For this method, it will then be necessary to light the test tube and cover the nest in order to encourage them to move there. 

They can also be moved abruptly, for this it suffices to pour the contents of the tube into the new installation. If brood remains at the bottom of the tube, it must be gently retrieved with flexible forceps or with a slightly damp brush. You also need to cover the nest to show them where to go. 


My ants are not eating, what should I do? 

Depending on the size of the colony, the ants eat more or less frequently, so it is possible that they eat but you do not see it. There are several ways to check it, you can observe if the ants are in physiogastry, that is to say with the swollen abdomen, so they have eaten recently in this case. You can also observe the brood. If brood is present at all stages and proportional to the size of the colony, this is also a sign that the colony is feeding. 

If these two observations are not conclusive, it is because the food distributed does not correspond to them at the given time. It is then necessary to try other insects or sweetened liquids. It is possible for a colony to accept a food source for a while and then refuse it, depending on the difficulty of the species. 


How do I prevent my ants from escaping? 

There are several substances to apply to its harvesting area in order to prevent escapes. You can apply talc, it has the advantage of not drying out unlike liquid anti-escape but it withdraws as the ants try to escape, so it will have to be renewed when the barrier reduces. It is easy to find, you can buy it in pharmacies or supermarkets. It is necessary to take an unscented talc to avoid any intoxication.

You can also apply paraffin oil. It is an effective chemical anti-escape, it will nevertheless be necessary to renew it when it is dry. You can find it in pharmacies. For the most escapable species, you can apply liquid Teflon or a 70-degree alcohol mixture with talc, calledtalcohol. Although unattractive, these anti-escape devices are the most effective. 


I have the impression that my ants are not growing, what should I do? 

You must check that your breeding conditions are correct. The temperature or humidity may not be suitable for their needs. Some species are more finicky than 


My ants do not come out of their nest, what should I do? 

When the colony is young, depending on the species, there is little activity in the harvesting area. However, you can check that your ants come out of the nest if the food has been consumed. 

The workers in my colony are dying, what should I do? 

The life expectancy of the workers varies between 1 month and 3 years according to the species and the caste. The first generation of workers live less long than the following generations. It is therefore normal that there are some losses from time to time, these losses must be compensated by the birth of workers. If the population of the colony decreases, it is necessary to check which parameter is not correct. If the queen dies, unfortunately it's the end of your colony (with some exceptions, please write to us).


How long do my ants live? 

It is difficult to estimate the life expectancy of a queen according to the species but in general the queens of rather primitive species of the Ponerinae type live between 3 and 10 years while the more evolved species of the Camponotus type live at least 15-20 years old. The record in captivity is currently 31 years for a Lasius niger queen but it is likely that queens live more than 40-50 years in the wild.  

How do I heat my ants? 

Depending on the species and the temperature of where you are raising your ants, you will need to provide them with a heat source in order to replicate the conditions of the queen harvest location. It is possible to heat the ants with a heating mat, a heating cable or even a heating lamp.


What insects can I give my ants? 

You can make one or more foster farms, this is preferable in order to avoid any proliferation of parasites. Mealworms, cockroaches and crickets are the most frequently reared insects. If you decide to collect insects from the wild, it is advisable to put them in the freezer for 48 hours to eliminate potential parasites.


What sugary liquids should I give my ants?

The simplest and most effective is water with sugar. Regarding the proportions, you need 1/3 of sugar for 2/3 of water. You can add other elements in your liquid like honey.

Why do some species grow faster than others? 

In general, the larger a species, the longer the development. Thus, small species of the Pheidole type need 3 to 4 weeks from egg to worker while large species of the Myrmecia type need 3 to 4 months from egg to worker. Some species escape the rule, small species with a slow metabolism may need 2 to 3 months from egg to worker.

Various questions: 


I am looking for a species not available on the site, what should I do? 

You can contact us via the Contact section, we will recommend a close species or we will tell you the availability period of the species you are looking for.


I don't want to raise ants anymore, what should I do? 

If the species is naturally present in your area, you can release them. If they are not present, we can buy your ants, you can contact us in the Contact section.


I have ants invading my house, how do I get rid of them?

If the ants are in your home, it is because they have an interest, often a source of food. It is therefore necessary to eliminate this interest, the ants will leave in a few days.


Terminology issues:


What do the terms polygynous and monogynous mean? 

Some species support only one queen, this is called monogyny. Some species support several queens, we speak of polygyny.

What is a gyne? 

A gyne is a fertilized queen ant.


What is the cloistered foundation and the non-cloistered foundation?

Some species have queens with enough food reserves to raise their first generation of workers without having to leave the nest, so their foundations are monastic. Queens with insufficient nutrient reserves must leave the nest to feed and nurture their first generation of larvae, so the foundation is non-cloistered.


What is dependent or independent foundation? 

Most species do not need to be accompanied by foundation workers, the foundation is independent. In nature, some species reproduce by cuttings (a group of workers with a young queen leaves the colony to found a new one) or parasitize colonies

What is brood? 
The brood represents all the stages of development before the ant becomes an adult, ie eggs, larvae, cocoons or nymphs and imago (the last stage before the chitin of the ant is in its final form).

What is diapause?

Diapause is the equivalent of hibernation. In captivity it must be carried out for species in a temperate climate with a drop in temperature compared to the rearing temperature for the rest of the year. The duration and temperature vary depending on where the queen was captured. 


Specific questions:


How do I move my Myrmecocystus?

The Myrmecocystus honeypot caste is very fragile. To move them, you have to open the nest, gently take the jars of honey with the pliers, hang them high up in their new nest, then when all the jars of honey and the gyne have moved, you can pour the rest of the colony into the new harvest area.

What leaves / flowers to give my leaf cutters?

This list is based on my personal experience, it is not exhaustive.

We do not take responsibility for possible poisoning.


Apricot, Anisodontea, Almond, Cherry, Chestnut, Rosehip, Forthysia, Lilac, Chestnut, Mulberry, Hazel, Passionflower, Peach, Dandelion, Pear, Apple, Prunius, Bramble, Rose, Roses, Privet.

How do I move my leafcutter ants?

If the tank is completely full of mushrooms and it is not possible to grab it, it is best to connect a new tank because the damage to the mushroom would be too great.
If the mushroom is grabbable, you can collect it directly by hand after washing your hands if it is not an Atta colony with large soldiers (they cut the skin in difficulty), otherwise you can use nitrile gloves.

My leafcutter ants are not cutting, what should I do? 

You will find below the edible plants for leafcutter ants, they do not produce fungicides or natural insecticides. Care must be taken not to collect plants from a treated area. If your ants do not cut a plant, you must try other kinds because in nature they do not always cut the same plant to preserve it.

The queen of my cutter ants is no longer visible, how do I know if she is alive? 

If you no longer see the queen but you see the mushroom growing and brood, the queen is probably still alive. If you have any doubts, you can check a month later while the brood is developing.

The queen of my leafcutter ants has stopped moving, what's going on?

Queen leafcutter ants are very immobile, so it is possible to see her frozen for a while. It is also possible to see it immobile in the position of a nymph during severe stress.
You can observe it after a few hours to see if it has moved but as long as it is on the mushroom, it is alive.

We tried toanswer most questionsthat few ask an ant breeder, if nevertheless the answer to your question is not found here, you canContact us.


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