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Has anyone tried using wild ants as food?


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9 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Nawor3565 - Posted May 16 2019 - 9:13 AM

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Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but I can't find *any* information about this on Google or otherwise. I had a thought yesterday, instead of keeping live feeder insects, there's a huge carpenter ant colony next to my driveway. There's probably dozens of them running across the pavement at any time, and it'd be super easy to pluck some up, freeze them, and use them as food. Ignoring the ethics of feeding a colony with it's own species, would this be a suitable alternative? The main concerns would be 1- parasites or other infections transferring to my ants, but from what I read freezing them for at least 48 hours should take care of this. 2- outdoor insects in general might have pesticides on them, but considering no one near me uses pesticides, it *shouldn't* be a problem. And 3- that they would react badly to an ant from a different colony, and might attack it and/or not eat it. This is what sounds like the biggest roadblock to me.

 

Again, I assume that since I never hear people mention this as a possibility, there's probably a reason no one does it, but since I can't find any info on it, I'm curious to hear what people think.


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#2 Offline rbarreto - Posted May 16 2019 - 9:33 AM

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Feeding your colony workers is not a good idea as they are not very nutritious. Queens on the other hand are a very high quality food source. I find that a lot of my queens are infected with parasitic flies. When they die I just give the bodies to one of my colonies.

My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

Lasius sp. (black workers)

Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

Prenolepis imparis

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#3 Online ANTdrew - Posted May 16 2019 - 10:34 AM

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Depending on your yard, I think better choices for wild insects are earwigs and crickets. I have an almost infinite supply of both of these. If you grow common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), even better; earwigs always hide out in the newly forming leaves up at the top of the plants for some reason, so it's like a natural "trap." 


"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#4 Offline Nawor3565 - Posted May 16 2019 - 11:17 AM

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Feeding your colony workers is not a good idea as they are not very nutritious. Queens on the other hand are a very high quality food source. I find that a lot of my queens are infected with parasitic flies. When they die I just give the bodies to one of my colonies.

 

Ah, interesting. I have a bunch of queens I caught a few weeks ago, and I know that not all of them are fertile, so once I know for sure I'll probably give them to my colonies.

 

Depending on your yard, I think better choices for wild insects are earwigs and crickets. I have an almost infinite supply of both of these. If you grow common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), even better; earwigs always hide out in the newly forming leaves up at the top of the plants for some reason, so it's like a natural "trap." 

 

I haven't seen any of these guys yet this year, but I haven't seen much of any wild insects since it's been very cold and rainy so far. When it gets warmer and the crickets come out, I'll probably catch some.



#5 Offline 123LordOfAnts123 - Posted May 16 2019 - 11:51 AM

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Solenopsis invicta queens make great feeders due to their large size and abundance in some spots after a flight. I freeze extras.

#6 Offline StopSpazzing - Posted May 16 2019 - 12:10 PM

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All ants are wild. I believe you mean captive and free.


  • Ant_Dude2908 likes this

> Have you been to the Ant Keeping Wiki?

 

> Ants I keep/kept

 

> Adopt my ants
 
> Legality of shipping & transporting ants in US

 

It is illegal on a boat. It is illegal in your coat.
It is illegal in a plane, car, and train. Why must you be such a pain?
I do not care if it is in your hair. Do not put your queen ants there!


#7 Offline ponerinecat - Posted May 16 2019 - 2:13 PM

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Depending on your yard, I think better choices for wild insects are earwigs and crickets. I have an almost infinite supply of both of these. If you grow common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), even better; earwigs always hide out in the newly forming leaves up at the top of the plants for some reason, so it's like a natural "trap." 

roses too


Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but I can't find *any* information about this on Google or otherwise. I had a thought yesterday, instead of keeping live feeder insects, there's a huge carpenter ant colony next to my driveway. There's probably dozens of them running across the pavement at any time, and it'd be super easy to pluck some up, freeze them, and use them as food. Ignoring the ethics of feeding a colony with it's own species, would this be a suitable alternative? The main concerns would be 1- parasites or other infections transferring to my ants, but from what I read freezing them for at least 48 hours should take care of this. 2- outdoor insects in general might have pesticides on them, but considering no one near me uses pesticides, it *shouldn't* be a problem. And 3- that they would react badly to an ant from a different colony, and might attack it and/or not eat it. This is what sounds like the biggest roadblock to me.

 

Again, I assume that since I never hear people mention this as a possibility, there's probably a reason no one does it, but since I can't find any info on it, I'm curious to hear what people think.

 

some ants are specialists on other ants


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#8 Online ANTdrew - Posted May 16 2019 - 2:14 PM

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Good tip on the roses. I’ll check mine tonight.

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25


#9 Offline Canadian anter - Posted May 16 2019 - 2:27 PM

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I frequently will take alate brood to feed my ants

#10 Offline ponerinecat - Posted Yesterday, 4:39 PM

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I frequently will take alate brood to feed my ants

I use argentine ant queens.






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