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How many antkeepers actually are there?

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#1 Offline Leptomyrmx - Posted July 27 2022 - 10:19 PM

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How many antkeepers actually are there?

It's something I always wonder about, does anyone know what percentage of people keep ants, or is there a way to find out?

 

Not much else to add, thanks for reading!


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My Ants:

Colonies: Camponotus humilior 1w, Opisthopsis rufithorax 11w, Aphaenogaster longiceps ~5w, Pheidole sp. ~235w ~15m, Iridomyrmex sp. 2q 1w, Brachyponera lutea 6w, Crematogaster sp. ~20w, Podomyrma sp. 1w

Queens: Polyrhachis cf. robinsoni, Polyrhachis (Campomyrma) sp. (likely infertile)

Previously Kept: Colobopsis gasseri, Technomyrmex sp., Rhytidoponera victorae, Nylanderia cf. rosae, Myrmecia brevinoda/forficata, Polyrhachis australis, Solenopsis/Monomorium

Key: Q = Queen, W = Worker, M = Major

Youtube Channel: Ants of Sydney - YouTube

Patreon (for YouTube channel): https://www.patreon.com/antsofsydney


#2 Offline futurebird - Posted July 28 2022 - 12:53 AM

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Depends on what you mean by "antkeeper" If you count kids who have caught some ants in a jar this summer... ants that won't make it to December... ? I'd guess like half a million in the USA.

But if you mean people who have (or will) stick with the hobby for years? I bet it's like 80,000-120,000 in the USA and maybe a million globally. Basing this on vague gut feelings and numbers for hobbies like keeping lizards. (3% of people have a pet lizard in the USA. They are pretty popular. That's 3,900,000 pet lizards. Spiders are hard to find numbers for. And with some spiders and ants you run into the issue of people either collecting queens or breeding their own.) 

Antscanda* is the biggest "ant media producer" with the exception of documentaries. The channel has 4,500,000 subscribers. Most never try keeping ants. But I bet 1/10 might. Maybe 1/50 become serious ant keepers. That's 90,000 new keepers, mostly in english-speaking countries. But most keepers didn't start because of that channel. It just gives a sense of the scale. 

A million globally seems totally possible. It's a "strange" pet, but not expensive. (UNLESS YOU WANT IT TO BE) I bet before the internet (not just ant youTube... the information made it possible for me. I didn't know how to start!) it was more like 100,000 globally... maybe some old ones can say how they feel the hobby has grown in the past 20 years. Does it "feel" ten times bigger than it was in the 90s/00s?

It's at the point where people aren't totally confused when I say I have pet ants. They are more like "oh I think I've heard of that..." I've never had someone say "oh I know someone who does that" when people start saying THAT it will be closer to a million in the US alone. 

Another random sign. This joke about pets included ants.

HWLtYfD.png

But I had to fix it. 

FU3xBCN.jpg

 

People understand ants can be pets. But they are the weirdest pet ... except for a dragon. 

These are just me guessing. I am pretty good at guessing these kinda of numbers, but I'm also working with no solid information. It'd be interesting to do a poll. But it'd need to be on the scale of polls done for presidential elections AND sample people under 18 so ... hard to conduct. Interested to find out what others think the number could be. 

*let's not start OK?


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Starting this July I'm posting videos of my ants every week on youTube.

I like to make relaxing videos that capture the joy of watching ants.

If that sounds like your kind of thing... follow me >here<


#3 Offline GyneNoob - Posted July 28 2022 - 6:05 AM

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I've always had a fascination with bugs all my life, and always thought there was only one ant farm on the market and that was the only way to keep them as pets. After finding the antscanada YouTube channel I found out about formicariums, out world's, clear tubing..mind blown. I want this! So now I have two colonies of pet ants, and 9 starting colonies. So I am actually here cuz of mikey.
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#4 Offline FinWins - Posted July 28 2022 - 7:14 AM

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I've always had a fascination with bugs all my life, and always thought there was only one ant farm on the market and that was the only way to keep them as pets. After finding the antscanada YouTube channel I found out about formicariums, out world's, clear tubing..mind blown. I want this! So now I have two colonies of pet ants, and 9 starting colonies. So I am actually here cuz of mikey.

I have a very similar story I got in to ant keeping because of an AntsCanada video, and once I saw all of the cool stuff ant keeping has I knew it was for me.
I keep:
Camponotus modoc (colony)
Camponotus sansabeanus (queen)
Pogonomyrmex rugosus (colony)
Pogonomyrmex californicus 2x(2 queen poly)
Pogonomyrmex magnacanthus 2x(queen)
My Pogonomyrmex rugosus journal: https://www.formicul...us/#entry215040
I’m looking for: (Stigmatomma sp.), (Pseudomyrmex sp.), (Odontomachus sp.), (Myrmecocystus mexicanus or mendex), (Formica sp.), (Polyergus sp.)

#5 Offline ZTYguy - Posted July 28 2022 - 10:28 AM

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Being an equestrian and having 2 horses of my own I would put horses as way more effort than fun. Don’t get me wrong it’s an amazing thing but holy crap it’s a lot of work.


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Ant Keeping Since June 2018
Currently Keeping:
A. versicolor, C. vicinus, C. us-ca02, C. clarithorax, C. yogi, C. sansabeanus, C. semitestaceus, C. laevigatus, M. mimicus, M. mexicanus, M. navajo, M. placodops 01, M. placodops 02, M. mendax, P. californicus, P. subniditus, P. rugosus, V. andrei, V. pergandei, V. stoddardi,  N. cockerelli, P. hyatti, P. desertorum, P. cerebrosior, P. californica, D. bicolor, C. sp cf6, C. sp na, S. “molesta”

 

GO CHECK OUT ANTSEMPORIUM HERE: https://antsemporium.com/


#6 Offline FloridaAnts - Posted July 28 2022 - 10:42 AM

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Being an equestrian and having 2 horses of my own I would put horses as way more effort than fun. Don’t get me wrong it’s an amazing thing but holy crap it’s a lot of work.


Also move turtles. I kept them for a time and they stunk so bad. Even in you clean everything it still stinks. They need tank cleanings every few days…

Parakeets need to be on the lesser effort. Honestly an ant colony is more work than 2 parakeets.
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Check out my Camponotus socius journal!
https://www.formicul...socius-journal/
Check out my Florida Carpenter Ant journal!(Camponotus floridanus, and Camponotus tortoganus)
https://www.formicul...naltwo-species/
Check out my Odontomachus ruginodis(Trap-Jaw ants) journal!
https://www.formicul...urnal/?p=215735
Check out my Trachymyrmex septrionalis(Fungus farmers) journal!
https://www.formicul...onalis-journal/

#7 Offline MysticNanitic - Posted July 29 2022 - 11:31 AM

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I especially enjoy the inclusion of babies, dragons, and "your friend's dog" in this chart.  Also, thank you for fixing it.  



#8 Offline benxixi - Posted August 2 2022 - 5:05 PM

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what is the sea monkey ? :D


A not very professional photographer ,welcome to visit my gallery!

Pogonomyrmex californicus  1

 

 


#9 Offline lazyant - Posted August 2 2022 - 6:46 PM

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what is the sea monkey ? :D

A tiny crustacean in the Genus Artemia, the one commercially sold is artemia nyos

Also known as Brine shrimp.


Edited by lazyant, August 2 2022 - 6:47 PM.


#10 Offline futurebird - Posted August 3 2022 - 7:26 AM

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I feel like I kinda derailed the topic of this thread (although brine shrimp are very cool!)

I am curious about the number of ant-keepers and if anyone else had thoughts on this.


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Starting this July I'm posting videos of my ants every week on youTube.

I like to make relaxing videos that capture the joy of watching ants.

If that sounds like your kind of thing... follow me >here<


#11 Offline AntsDakota - Posted August 3 2022 - 12:42 PM

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Personally I think ant keeping would be much more popular if most ant keepers didn't keep to themselves so much. There aren't very many people who would actively and openly declare their passion for a common household pest to as many people as they humanly can, and usually stay confined to close friends, family, and social media. I myself am guilty of this; when asked about some of my hobbies, I tend to exclude ant keeping, even though it is the only true hobby that I actually care about. On a first date, I wouldn't risk bringing my ants up, or else that might be the last date, depending on the type of person they are. But if ant keepers weren't so shy and really tried to make ant keeping at least something everyone's heard of before, the hobby would at least not be so ambiguous and quite possibly a lot larger.


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"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#12 Offline FloridaAnts - Posted August 3 2022 - 5:31 PM

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Personally I think ant keeping would be much more popular if most ant keepers didn't keep to themselves so much. There aren't very many people who would actively and openly declare their passion for a common household pest to as many people as they humanly can, and usually stay confined to close friends, family, and social media. I myself am guilty of this; when asked about some of my hobbies, I tend to exclude ant keeping, even though it is the only true hobby that I actually care about. On a first date, I wouldn't risk bringing my ants up, or else that might be the last date, depending on the type of person they are. But if ant keepers weren't so shy and really tried to make ant keeping at least something everyone's heard of before, the hobby would at least not be so ambiguous and quite possibly a lot larger.


I don’t go out and declare it, but if someone ask me what my hobbies are, it almost always includes Antkeeping. I do agree with you though. You don’t want to talk about it 100% of the time, because then people think you are a lunatic and weird, but I think most people go “Whatever” and it doesn’t affect their opinion of you much because it’s like someone who has fish, except fish aren’t pest in homes and are more popular. If someone ask what so special about keeping ants I almost always say “It’s like fish. You watch them thrive, grow, reproduce, and die. It’s a journey that makes you pay much more attention to detail, appreciate nature, and teaches you quite a bit.”

Edited by FloridaAnts, August 3 2022 - 5:34 PM.

Check out my Camponotus socius journal!
https://www.formicul...socius-journal/
Check out my Florida Carpenter Ant journal!(Camponotus floridanus, and Camponotus tortoganus)
https://www.formicul...naltwo-species/
Check out my Odontomachus ruginodis(Trap-Jaw ants) journal!
https://www.formicul...urnal/?p=215735
Check out my Trachymyrmex septrionalis(Fungus farmers) journal!
https://www.formicul...onalis-journal/

#13 Offline Leptomyrmx - Posted August 3 2022 - 10:57 PM

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Pretty much whenever one of my friends introduces me to someone (I never introduce myself to anyone because I'm shy and antisocial and don't know how to have a proper conversation and-)  the first thing they say is 'he likes ants'.

 

 

You don’t want to talk about it 100% of the time, because then people think you are a lunatic and weird,

 

 

I let them because everyone already thinks I'm a lunatic and weird.
B)


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My Ants:

Colonies: Camponotus humilior 1w, Opisthopsis rufithorax 11w, Aphaenogaster longiceps ~5w, Pheidole sp. ~235w ~15m, Iridomyrmex sp. 2q 1w, Brachyponera lutea 6w, Crematogaster sp. ~20w, Podomyrma sp. 1w

Queens: Polyrhachis cf. robinsoni, Polyrhachis (Campomyrma) sp. (likely infertile)

Previously Kept: Colobopsis gasseri, Technomyrmex sp., Rhytidoponera victorae, Nylanderia cf. rosae, Myrmecia brevinoda/forficata, Polyrhachis australis, Solenopsis/Monomorium

Key: Q = Queen, W = Worker, M = Major

Youtube Channel: Ants of Sydney - YouTube

Patreon (for YouTube channel): https://www.patreon.com/antsofsydney


#14 Offline NickAnter - Posted August 4 2022 - 12:09 PM

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I think that all the hobby growing to such a large extent would do is bring excessive government regulation. As it is now, I think that the number is much lower than 100k, at least halve that, in the United States.


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Species being kept:

 

 Solenopsis "plebeius", Camponotus maritimus, Formica cf. subaenescens, Formica cf. aerata, Lasius cf. americanus, Lasius aphidicola, Lasius brevicornis, Lasius nr claviger, Nylanderia vividula, Temnothorax nevadensis, Solenopsis validiuscula, Solenopsis truncorum, Solenopsis xyloni, Formica perpilosa, Formica lasiodes, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex salinus, and Myrmecocystus testaceus!!!!

 

Hoping to find this year:

Myrmecocystus, Liometopum occidentale, Camponotus essigi, Camponotus fragilis, Manica bradleyi, Formica perpilosa, Pheidole hyatti, and a Parasitic Formica sp.

 

People are stupid. It explains a lot...


#15 Offline NicholasP - Posted August 4 2022 - 1:12 PM

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The antkeeping hobby is very quickly growing. I have antkeeping friends that have setup a booth in the past at a reptile expo to sell leafcutter ants. I will be following in their path too soon by purchasing a booth at some expo that I find here in Michigan. I may not have a lot of ants right now, but I do have a lot of ant nests I'm making.


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