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Preferred Food by Species

feeding food eat preferred

78 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Crystals - Posted September 25 2013 - 12:13 PM

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I have copied this list from a few other sites.

We can keep updating it.

 

Keep in mind that some foods are more readily accepted depending on the season and how much brood the colony has, as well as the stage of the brood.

 

 

 Acromyrmex versicolor (diet only consists of Leucoagaricus gongylophorus fungus, but likes various substrate to use as fertilizer)

 

Likes (used as fungus fertilizer):

  • Oat meal

  • Various cereals

  • Fish pellets

  • Sunflower petals

  • Poppy seeds

  • Ironwood leaves and flower petals

  • Rose petals

 

 Aphaenogaster fulva

 

Likes:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Mealworms
  • Apples
  • Crickets
  • Honey
  • Small Flies

 

Aphaenogaster lamellidans

 

Likes:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Mealworms
  • Apples
  • Crickets
  • Honey
  • Small Flies
  • Dislikes:
  • Honey
  • Maple syrup

 

 Aphaenogaster occidentalis

 

Likes:

  • Crickets
  • Meal worms
  • Fruit flies
  • Apple
  • Nectarine
  • Egg yolk
  • Cake
  • Small Flies

Dislikes:

  • Honey
  • Maple syrup

 

Aphaenogaster rudis

 

Likes:

  • Scrambled eggs
  • Apples
  • Crickets
  • Honey
  • Fruit flies
  • Subterranean termites
  • Small, dead spiders
  • Pure sugar sprinkles (big pink/purple ones)
  • Cockroaches

Dislikes:

  • Various carpet beetle larvae
  • Jumping bristletails
  • Crane fly larvae
  • Wireworms

May like:

  • Mealworms

 

Camponotus americanus

Likes:

  • Honey / Water
  • Maple Syrup / Water
  • Sugar / Water
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Termites
  • Mealworms 
  • Fruits
  • Crickets
  • Spiders
  • Small Flies

 

Camponotus castaneus

 

Likes:

  • Apples
  • Spiders
  • Syrup/water
  • Honey
  • Cave crickets
  • Cherries
  • Red grapes
  • Fruti Flies

May like:

  • Oranges

 

Camponotus chromaiodes

Likes:

  • Syrup water
  • Crickets
  • Spiders
  • Water
  • Sugar water
  • Mealworms
  • Super worms
  • Beetle larvae
  • Beetles
  • Fruit Flies
  • Greasy chicken
  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Other fruits
  • Cherries

Dislikes:

  • Jello

May like:

  • Bananas

 

Camponotus herculeanus

Likes:

  • Hummingbird Nectar
  • Crickets
  • Spiders
  • Sugar water
  • Mealworms
  • Fruit Flies
  • Greasy chicken
  • Maggots

 

Camponotus nicobarensis

Likes: 

  • Crickets
  • Flies
  • Cockroaches
  • Small 'crispy' insects
  • Sugar water

Dislikes: 

  • Butterfly/moth larvae
  • Other 'wet' insects

 

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Likes:

  • Crickets
  • Syrup water
  • Honey water
  • Chocolate whey protein shake
  • Apple
  • Cicadas
  • Termites
  • Preserved pineapple
  • Fruit fly
  • Spider
  • House fly
  • Red grapes
  • Cherries

Dislikes:

  • Mealworms
  • Honey bee
  • Canned tuna
  • Fish food
  • Cooked chicken
  • Thawed out frozen brine shrimp
  • Thawed out frozen bloodworm
  • Raisin
  • Banana chips
  • Pupperoni

 

Camponotus tortuganus

 

Likes:

  • Honey
  • Sugar water
  • Crickets
  • Fruit flies
  • House flies
  • House fly maggots
  • Spiders
  • Flowers blossoming with nectar
  • Caterpillars
  • Few day old wet cat food

Dislikes:

  • Egg
  • Strawberry
  • Banana
  • Grapes
  • Maple syrup

May like:

  • Aphids
  • Wax worm moths

 

Camponotus vicinus

Likes:

  • Sliced mealworms (preferably ones that have been killed only recently)
  • Honey water
  • Maple syrup water
  • Honey water mixed with whey protein powder
  • Fruit Flies

Dislikes:

  • Crickets
  • Most types of insects

May like:

  • Egg yolk

 

Crematogaster cerasi

Likes:

  • Earwigs
  • Honey
  • Sugar water
  • Crickets
  • Spiders
  • Grasshoppers
  • Flies
  • Moths
  • Beetles
  • Tuna

Doesn't like:

  • Bread
  • Wasps
  • Fruit
  • Raw honey
  • Store-bought humingbird nectar

 

Crematogaster scutellaris

Likes:

  • Centipedes
  • Honey
  • Sausage
  • Bread
  • Larval stages in general
  • Mealworms (frozen or fresh)
  • Flies
  • Boiled egg
  • Chicken

Dislikes:

  • D. melanogaster (fruit fly species)
  • Crickets

 

Forelius pruinosus/mccooki

 

Likes: 

  • Termites
  • Crickets (prefer small crickets, but will go after the medium/large ones)
  • Honey
  • Cooked chicken
  • Cooked beef
  • Crushed cat food
  • Dried brine shrimp
  • Crushed cashews

Dislikes:

  • Raw chicken
  • Raw Beef
  • Wet catfood
  • Crushed walnuts
  • Crushed peanuts
  • Watermelon

 

Formica cunicularia

 

 Likes:

  • Spiders 
  • Small and medium crickets
  • Fruit fly
  • Apple
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Cooked chicken, eggs with sugar

 Doesn't like: 

  • Millipedes
  • Mealworms
  • Hairy bees
  • Banana
  • Pears
  • Kiwi
  • Carnivorous fish  food with honey
  • Tuna fish

 

Formica fusca

 

Likes:

  • Any fresh insect
  • Honey
  • Sugar/water
  • Boiled egg
  • Cooked Chicken
  • Syrup/water with whey protein powder
  • Jello

 

Formica podzolica

 

Likes:

  • Hummingbird nectar
  • Fruit flies
  • Most small soft insects
  • Cooked Chicken
  • Mealworms

 

Lasius niger 

Likes: 

  • Freeze Dried Tubifex Worms
  • Cooked Chicken
  • Mosquito Larva
  • Moths
  • Honey Water
  • Pear
  • Strawberries
  • Honey
  • Flies
  • Mealworms
  • Boiled egg
  • Aquarium snails
  • Fruit flies

Dislikes:

  • Beetle Jelly
  • Brown sugar water
  • Bluebottle Flies
  • Banana
  • Chocolate
  • Raw chicken
  • Kiwi

May like:

  • Honey water
  • Gammarus
  • Pork Jelly from pies
  • Spiders (Has to be fresh)
  • Earwigs
  • Crickets
  • Maggots
  • Hummingbird nectar

 

 Linepithema humile

 

Likes:

  • Drosophila melanogaster (fruit fly species)
  • Housefly
  • Crickets
  • Honey
  • Larval stages in general

Dislikes:

  • Centipedes
  • Orange
  • Bread
  • Sausage
  • Other ants
  • Slugs
  • Apple 
  • Spaghetti

 

Messor barbarus

 

Likes:

  • Most seeds
  • Freshly dead flies
  • Fruit flies
  • Crickets
  • Mealworms
  • Boiled egg
  • Chicken

Dislikes:

  • Honey
  • Spiders

May like:

  • Sugar/water

 

Myrmica sp.

 

Likes:

  • Mealworms
  • Crickets
  • Mango
  • Banana, squished with added water
  • Spiders
  • Hummingbird nectar
  • Fruit flies
  • Some aquarium snails
  • Microworms
  • Formica pupae
  • Small moths
  • Fruit flies
  • Hummingbird nectar
  • Maggots

Dislikes:

  • Frozen krill
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Fish pellets
  • Pond snails
  • Dog food
  • Cat food
  • Dandelion seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Niter seeds
  • Oriole nectar

May like:

  • Grasshopper
  • Earthworm
  • Dried tubifex
  • Honey/water
  • Honey

 

Pheidole hyatti

Likes:

  • Honey
  • Termites
  • Small crickets
  • Cooked chicken
  • Cooked beef
  • Dried cat food
  • Peanuts

Dislikes:

  • Dried brine shrimp
  • Dried cat food (my current colony completely ignored it, but that may change as the colony gets older. I had previous colonies that liked it.)
  • Wet cat food
  • Raw chicken
  • Raw beef
  • Watermelon
  • Medium/large sized crickets

 

Pheidole indica

 

Likes:

  • Any sort of insects
  • Fruits
  • Small seeds
  • Chicken

Dislikes:

  • Honey
  • Sugar/water

 

Pheidole pallidula

 

Likes:

  • Any kind of freshly dead insect
  • Some small seeds (niger seed)
  • Boiled egg
  • Chicken
  • Dead crickets
  • Dead locusts
  • Dead flies

Dislikes:

  • Honey
  • Sugar/water
  • Maple syrup
  • Chocolate
  • Fruits

 

Pogonomyrmex badius

 

Likes:

  • Honey
  • Grasshoppers
  • Mealworms
  • Canary grass seeds
  • Groat oats

 

Pogonomyrmex californicus

 

Likes:

 

Seeds: 

  • Thistle
  • Millet
  • Flax (Blue)
  • Rapeseed (Rapa)
  • Burmuda grass
  • Buffalo Grass
  • Kentucky Blue Grass
  • Prairie Aster
  • Desert Marigold
  • Farewell to spring
  • Plains coreopsis
  • California poppy
  • Mexican gold poppy
  • Indian Blanket
  • Bird's Eyes
  • Tidy Tips
  • Arizona Lupine
  • Arroyo Lupine
  • Blazing Star
  • Five Spot
  • White Evening Primrose
  • Snowy Pink Ev. Primrose
  • California Bluebell
  • Mexican Hat

Other:

  • Flies
  • Darkling Beetles
  • Mealworms (darkling beetle larvae)
  • Moths
  • Crickets
  • Dubia roaches

 

Prenolepis imparis

 

 Likes:

  • Crickets
  • Bananas

 

Solenopsis molesta

 

Likes:

  • P. californicus pupae
  • Fruit flies

 

Temnothorax curvispinosus

Likes:

  • Maple Syrup / water
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Termites (beheaded)

May like:

  • Mealworms (sliced)

 

Tetramorium caespitum 

Likes: 

  • Cooked Chicken
  • Any kind of fresh insects
  • Frozen thawed insects
  • Sugar/water
  • Dried sun flower seeds without husks
  • Dried pumpkin seeds
  • Chopped up almonds
  • Chopped up hazelnuts
  • Various seeds from birds seed mix
  • Boiled egg
  • Dark rye bread
  • Dried cat food

Dislikes:

  • Seeds and nuts with hard husks

 

Trachymyrmex septentrionalis (diet only consists of Leucoagaricus gongylophorus fungus, but likes various substrate to use as fertilizer)

 

Likes (used as fungus fertilizer):

  • Honey
  • Rabbit feces
  • Rose petals
  • Various leaves
  • Juice consisting of sugar, carbs, and fats

May like:

  • Crickets

Edited by dspdrew, June 2 2015 - 1:58 PM.
Fixed some formatting

  • Gregory2455, AntGuySA, Huch and 2 others like this

"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

List of Handy Links   (pinned in the General section)

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#2 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 25 2013 - 12:45 PM

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Good idea. I'll keep this pinned.



#3 Offline Mercutia - Posted September 25 2013 - 2:06 PM

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Just based on reading and personal experience, I find a lot of Formicas like chicken/turkey.

 

My F. subsericeas go crazy for it.



#4 Offline wook - Posted September 26 2013 - 5:58 AM

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I've noticed that my all Formica (cinerea, cunicularia and rufibarbis) ants are crazy about chicken.

Camponotus are not that much.


gallery_6_3_34111.png


#5 Offline Crystals - Posted September 26 2013 - 6:12 AM

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How funny, my Camponotus herculeanus went completely bonkers over greasy cooked chicken.  My one queen even left for formicarium, went down an 8" tube and into the outworld to drag it in because her workers weren't bringing it fast enough.  I have never seen her leave the formicarium before so I was quite surprised.


"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

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#6 Offline wook - Posted September 26 2013 - 6:28 AM

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My Formica cinerea, 3 queens went out tube to eat chicken.

I guess carpenters are preparing for sleep...


gallery_6_3_34111.png


#7 Offline napaeozapus - Posted September 26 2013 - 6:53 AM

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I haven't researched this in depth, but my understanding is some species can shift from foraging for protein-rich foods (meats, insects, etc.) to energy ladened foods high in carbohydrates (honey, hummingbird nectar, fruits, etc.). Assumably, this shift would match the needs of the colony for these resources and are thought to be communicated by the queen to the rest of the colony through some sort of chemical signal. Obviously, activities such as intense periods of egg laying require higher amounts of protein than say a colony preparing to overwinter, where there may be a need to store up enough energy to tide the colony over until spring. Which is not to say this list does not have value. Knowing what foods a species has been know to eat is very helpful. Just be aware the food preferences of a colony may shift both seasonally and over the life cycle of the colony itself. I might have to dig into the scientific literature to see if I can learn more about this phenomenon. Pest control professionals have known about this behavior for quite some time. In fact, there is one commercially available ant bait station which utilizes two separate baits, one sugar based, the other a protein base.

#8 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 26 2013 - 7:01 AM

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@napaeozapus That's a good point. I have definitely noticed this with my colonies. What people should do when testing different types of food, is continue to test it out for an entire year; I think then you would get a more accurate idea of what's preferred by the colony. Another thing that would be good to do, is when documenting food preference, also include information about the colony and the time of year.



#9 Offline Crystals - Posted September 26 2013 - 8:04 AM

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I have seen this in my own colonies. 

That was why I included "Keep in mind that some foods are more readily accepted depending on the season and how much brood the colony has, as well as the stage of the brood." at the top of the list.


"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astound the rest." -- Samuel Clemens

 

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#10 Offline dspdrew - Posted September 26 2013 - 8:36 AM

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I have seen this in my own colonies. 

That was why I included "Keep in mind that some foods are more readily accepted depending on the season and how much brood the colony has, as well as the stage of the brood." at the top of the list.

Ah yes. Well done. :)



#11 Offline dean_k - Posted October 19 2014 - 8:27 PM

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A question. How do you give them cooked chicken? Make it pellet? Would they accept KFC chicken? :D KFC is my fav.



#12 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted October 19 2014 - 8:28 PM

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Nothing with spices.



#13 Offline dspdrew - Posted October 20 2014 - 5:57 AM

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I give ants my leftover chicken sometimes. They usually like it a lot as long as it's rather plain.



#14 Offline Tpro4 - Posted October 20 2014 - 6:08 AM

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You forgot the obvious, acromyremex verisicolor likes fungus and dislikes everything else, unless it helps the fungus
Remember Dragon Warrior, anything is possible when you have inner peace. - Master Shifu

Current Queens:
1 Unknown Pogomyemex
1 Solenopsis Xyloni

#15 Offline dspdrew - Posted October 20 2014 - 6:14 AM

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Haha. Well, this is more of a list of preferences, not requirements, but it would be a good place to keep the scientific name of the fungus species documented though. I'll add it just for that reason. Usually when information about ant diet is listed, it excludes any of the specialty ants, but adding them to a list of specific species and what they eat I think would make sense.

 

Edit: I see one fungus grower was already on the list, with the preferred substrate they use to fertilize their fungus. I added Acromyrmex versicolor the same way, but noted that they only actually eat Leucoagaricus gongylophorus fungus.



#16 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted October 23 2014 - 10:20 PM

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Just about all my species that I have journals on like Drosophila melanogaster, Drosophila hydei, crickets, and hummingbird nectar. I will experiment with more food in the coming winter as the colonies that do not hibernate continent to grow. :)



#17 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted October 24 2014 - 6:38 AM

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My Lasius neoniger likes about any insect, so far. And they like sugar, sugar water, honey, syrup, corn syrup, and anything sugary.



#18 Offline dean_k - Posted October 28 2014 - 10:01 AM

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I like to chime in for Myrmica food preference.

 

They did not show any interest in honey and honey water. They showed mild interest in earthworms & apple juice. They do like bees and absolutely loved cooked mealworms from Zoomeds.


Edited by dean_k, October 28 2014 - 10:04 AM.


#19 Offline Gregory2455 - Posted December 4 2014 - 10:16 PM

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Add walnuts to Solenopsis molesta, my pest colony that is living in my walls will hunt down a bag of walnuts, get inside, and turn the bag's contents into dust. Also I dropped a walnut a few days ago, and I just discovered a small pile of walnut dust with the Solenopsis molesta trailing onto it from two directions, right where I dropped it...



#20 Offline Tpro4 - Posted December 5 2014 - 6:45 AM

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Add walnuts to Solenopsis molesta, my pest colony that is living in my walls will hunt down a bag of walnuts, get inside, and turn the bag's contents into dust. Also I dropped a walnut a few days ago, and I just discovered a small pile of walnut dust with the Solenopsis molesta trailing onto it from two directions, right where I dropped it...


You gonna catch s. Molesta queen next year?
Remember Dragon Warrior, anything is possible when you have inner peace. - Master Shifu

Current Queens:
1 Unknown Pogomyemex
1 Solenopsis Xyloni





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