Ant Guide

There are more than 12,000 ant species in the world. However, people with ant expertise say that more than 10,000 ant species might not have been discovered yet. Ants are fascinating to watch, as each species displays different traits and lifestyles. Even the shapes and sizes of ants differ depending on the environment. For example, ants with large heads usually live in harsh areas. The large head helps to combat rough weather and harsh competition.

 If you are just beginning your ant watching hobby, you need to start with a nonaggressive ant species. Choose something that will not expose your environment to risk. Pheidole ants are a good option, as they are small and therefore cannot bite.

 Ants lead a complex life. Each species exhibits different political and social structures, which has amazed many ant specialists. Some ants act as immoral slave traders. These ants capture larvae from growing neighboring colonies and force them to work in their own colony.

 Some ant species form mega colonies with populations the size of an entire state or even a country. These ants can be found in California, Europe and Japan. Considered “global,” these adaptive ants will kill other colonies to survive and to expand their own colony.

Due to this versatile nature of ants, many people like to keep an ant colony at their home. If you explore, you will find people sharing fond memories of their ant colonies and of being able to watch them grow into cosmopolitan cities. Regardless of your profession or background, you can keep ants at your home and watch the colony expand.

You will be able to watch the ants scavenge for food, which is an extremely methodic act. Ants are intelligent creatures. When they find food, they create a trail as they make their way back to the colony to inform the other ants that food is available at the end of the trail.

If you have watched ants dismantle a dead creature, like a cricket, you will know how fascinating the act is. It is also shocking to watch the event take place under the war-like alertness of the ants.


Ant-Keeping Equipment

A test tube is great for keeping ants at the initial stage. However, later on when the colony expands, you might have to shift the ants to a bigger colony. Tweezers can be used for the purpose of food handling and waste removal.


What the Ants Need

This is a question you need to ask if you are considering creating an ant colony. For an ant colony to survive and expand, you need some important equipment like a formicarium. These come in different sizes. You need to find the one that suits your need and purpose. When buying a formicarium, you need to pay attention to the temperature and humidity. It must have both moist and dry areas.

 Moisture plays a big role in ant survival. However, you need to remember that overwatering can lead to mold formation inside the formicarium and hamper the ant survival.


The Right Ants

 If this is your first ant experience, you need to find ants that are not large or dangerous to have around. The ants should not be temperamental. You need to think of the surrounding environment. A good species to start with is Iridomyrmex bicknelli. Although they can bite, these ants are not venomous. This makes this species a good choice for children.

 However, if you choose this type of ant, you need to remember that because of the size, some might escape. You need to monitor the colony all the time. Also, keep in mind that you need to mimic the right environment for the ants. Creating the right environment for ants means a lot of effort. You need to consider the challenges that come along with such en environment.


Catching the Queen

 This can be a difficult task if you don’t want to buy the queen ant. Yes, queen ants are available in the market. You can buy one to start you ant colony. However, you might want to create the colony natural way. To catch a queen, you need to keep an eye on her ant nest. The timing must be right. It takes wet soil and wind for the queen ant to come out of the nest. Don’t go catching a lot of queens, though. Two queen ants will be sufficient for the colony to grow.

 Keeping pet ants is an interesting hobby. However, you need to have the right information and knowledge of ants to keep it fun and long-lasting. Experts can help you in this regard.