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live feedings

feeding live feeding tetramorium

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#1 Offline AntTitan - Posted November 22 2021 - 1:05 PM

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I have a two small colonies of tetramorium immigrans, they have too many ants to count but they are on the smaller side (more than 50 but not too much more) since I only collected the queens earlier this year during this nuptial flight season. I have previously only feed them cut up mealworms, but I want to try and feed them some live food for a change, but I don't know what feeder insects I should use since tetramorium immigrans is a smaller species and while there is a decent amount of ants, only 15-20 go out of the test tube at a once MAX when I put some sugar water or chopped up insects. Should I try fruit fly's, fly's in general, waxworms etc. try and stay on the more inexpensive side though if you can. Below are my two colonies

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Edited by AntTitan, November 22 2021 - 1:25 PM.


#2 Offline Antkeeper01 - Posted November 22 2021 - 1:18 PM

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I have a two small colonies of tetramorium immigrans, they have too many ants to count but they are on the smaller side (more than 50 but not too much more) since I only collected the queens earlier this year during this nuptial flight season. I have previously only feed them cut up mealworms, but I want to try and feed them some live food for a change, but I don't know what feeder insects I should use since tetramorium immigrans is a smaller species and while there is a decent amount of ants, only 15-20 go out of the test tube at a once MAX when I put some sugar water or chopped up insects. Should I try fruit fly's, fly's in general, waxworms etc. try and stay on the more inexpensive side though if you can.

I would try flies only if they act normal but there's still a chance they could have parasites, but the best one on that list would be fruit flies preferably the flightless variety but those can be hard to care for


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#3 Offline ANTdrew - Posted November 22 2021 - 2:18 PM

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There is no reason to do live feeding. It is unnecessary and potentially inhumane.

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

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#4 Offline Manitobant - Posted November 22 2021 - 5:11 PM

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I wouldn’t do live feedings until your colony is mature or close to mature. For Tetramorium, I’d wait until at least 1000 workers.
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#5 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted November 22 2021 - 7:25 PM

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In my opinion, prekilling is only of benefit to the ants, and in certain cases the keeper (I.E. freezing crickets so you don't need to bother keeping them alive). With mealworms, as you said you use, the exoskeleton is very dense and difficult for ants to get through. This not only makes the worm difficult to kill, but also takes far more effort to actually access the meat inside. This not only means your colony could fail to kill the worm outright, but also that the workers need to eat more to replenish the extra energy expended, rather than going to the queen or larvae.

The most common feeder to feed live is fruit flies. Fruit flies are easy for ants to pin down, and have a soft exoskeleton. In my opinion, there is no downside to feeding fruit flies to your ants live, with pretty much any colony size, as even an individual worker can effectively hunt a live fruit fly. The same can be said with other soft-bodied feeders, assuming your colony is large enough to effectively kill them. I personally feed crickets live, on occasion, to my larger colonies. Termites are another feeder I routinely feed live, as there is no downside for the ants.

So, in my opinion, there is no notable downside to feeding colonies live prey IF:
1: The prey is easy for your ants to effectively kill
2: The meat of the prey is easy for your ants to access after it is killed


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#6 Offline Leo - Posted November 22 2021 - 7:31 PM

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Live feeding is generally not reccomended, however, some species may refuse to take food if pre killed, but those are exceptions.


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#7 Offline AntTitan - Posted November 23 2021 - 12:18 PM

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ok, ill take note of all this, thank you all for your guys insight

 

when I do, do live feedings when they get bigger though, I should do insects like, fruitflies, termities, and crickets. However would other insects like waxworms, and aphids work too? other that that, what are other soft bodied insects that would be easy for my colony's to take down?



#8 Offline AntaholicAnonymous - Posted November 26 2021 - 3:13 AM

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It wasn't your question but when my colonies reach a certain size I like feeding them raw or cooked chicken breast, tuna, and egg yolk.
It always depends on the species of course but my ants all love it and it's always around at home. I'd make sure the chicken is dead before you feed it tho. lol
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