Just caught a colony of ~200 workers and tons of brood, was wondering what they readily eat.
They are almost completely insectivorous. Workers will occasionally sip at some honey or sugar water, but they lack a social stomach so they can't bring it back to the nest. Due to this, the colony runs almost entirely, if not entirely on insects (even workers' main dietary staple is insects).
My 40 worker colony runs on a medium mealworm every three to four days and in between mealworm feedings, I occasionally sprinkle in 6-12 fruit flies (live or pre-killed). I mostly judge what I feed them based on how many larvae I see and then add a little extra for the workers and queen. I'd also leave a sugar-water feeder or small dish of honey in the outworld just in case the workers want an extra nibble.
I find the feeding habits of Aphaenogaster interesting to watch. They drag the prey item into the nest and place the larvae on top of it and allow them to eat it themselves. The larvae are also are capable of eating the solids, like the exoskeleton, so very little goes to waste. The larvae also sometimes take the solid food and semi-digest it into a mush then feed it to the workers and queen.
Edited by Mettcollsuss, April 28 2018 - 2:44 PM.