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acorn ants?


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7 replies to this topic

#1 Offline acorns - Posted August 17 2022 - 6:34 AM

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I'd really like to get some ants but first I'm trying to learn more about them. I've heard acorn ants are ok for beginners and I definitely really like them, so that's the option I'm considering! I'm thinking Themnothorax cassispinus or nylanderi. I found one care sheet from Googling but if anyone has more, that would be really helpful! I'm trying to learn about what's best for their outerworld, etc.. I've searched the forum but most people seem to keep other species and I don't know if their needs are the same.

 

It seems like one of their foods of choice are small dead animals. I don't really have the ability to raise a feeder colony right now, I don't think, so I'm wondering if there's any alternatives that could be used (like packaged foods I could buy online).

 

Thank you!

 

 



#2 Offline Serafine - Posted August 17 2022 - 7:54 AM

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They are nice ants, just be aware that they grow incredibly slow for ants of such a small size.

 

 

Preny?


We should respect all forms of consciousness. The body is just a vessel, a mere hull.

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#3 Offline acorns - Posted August 17 2022 - 8:17 AM

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They are nice ants, just be aware that they grow incredibly slow for ants of such a small size.

 

 

Preny?

Thanks for the heads up! I don't really mind the slow growth and the tiny size (I actually like the idea)



#4 Offline Serafine - Posted August 17 2022 - 8:32 AM

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Not sure what caresheet you found but chances are it's mine.

 

I never actually kept them (although i'd like to do at some point) but i do know quite a few people who did. They don't express a lot of behaviors typical for other ants (like they don't do ant trails at all, just tandem-running) and while they generally seem rather chill and sluggish they are fairly fast in their own way, quickly gathering around food items and chewing on them even if they are still half-frozen.

 

Soil or sand-clay-mix with a layer of leaf-litter on top makes a great substrate (if you want to keep them dry) but they can also be kept in a little miniature greenhouse.


We should respect all forms of consciousness. The body is just a vessel, a mere hull.

Welcome to Lazy Tube - My Camponotus Journal


#5 Offline acorns - Posted August 17 2022 - 9:35 AM

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Not sure what caresheet you found but chances are it's mine.

 

I never actually kept them (although i'd like to do at some point) but i do know quite a few people who did. They don't express a lot of behaviors typical for other ants (like they don't do ant trails at all, just tandem-running) and while they generally seem rather chill and sluggish they are fairly fast in their own way, quickly gathering around food items and chewing on them even if they are still half-frozen.

 

Soil or sand-clay-mix with a layer of leaf-litter on top makes a great substrate (if you want to keep them dry) but they can also be kept in a little miniature greenhouse.

 

You're right, it's yours! I just checked. I feel better about it now, I was worried about reliability when I didn't know if it was from good source or not.

 

I never thought about a little miniature greenhouse for keeping ants, that sounds nice! I was thinking about getting some kind of terrarium with acorns and stuff around for them to nest in, even if it means I don't get to see inside. Or at least placing a small nest inside the outer world, so they can move around more easily and explore.

 

Do you know where to get them in the EU? I might not be able to get them right away but it would be good to have an idea of things like what the best time for shipping etc. is. I know some people seem to just catch them in the wild, but I'd be afraid of accidentally getting some random other species I might not have the right setup for. :)

 

Also, do you know what the differences between the different temnothorax species are? It sounds like they engage in slightly different behaviours. I'm inclined towards nylanderi, but I should probably make sure first.

 

Thank you so much for being patient and answering my questions!



#6 Offline FinWins - Posted August 17 2022 - 1:48 PM

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Not sure what caresheet you found but chances are it's mine.

 

I never actually kept them (although i'd like to do at some point) but i do know quite a few people who did. They don't express a lot of behaviors typical for other ants (like they don't do ant trails at all, just tandem-running) and while they generally seem rather chill and sluggish they are fairly fast in their own way, quickly gathering around food items and chewing on them even if they are still half-frozen.

 

Soil or sand-clay-mix with a layer of leaf-litter on top makes a great substrate (if you want to keep them dry) but they can also be kept in a little miniature greenhouse.

 

You're right, it's yours! I just checked. I feel better about it now, I was worried about reliability when I didn't know if it was from good source or not.

 

I never thought about a little miniature greenhouse for keeping ants, that sounds nice! I was thinking about getting some kind of terrarium with acorns and stuff around for them to nest in, even if it means I don't get to see inside. Or at least placing a small nest inside the outer world, so they can move around more easily and explore.

 

Do you know where to get them in the EU? I might not be able to get them right away but it would be good to have an idea of things like what the best time for shipping etc. is. I know some people seem to just catch them in the wild, but I'd be afraid of accidentally getting some random other species I might not have the right setup for. :)

 

Also, do you know what the differences between the different temnothorax species are? It sounds like they engage in slightly different behaviours. I'm inclined towards nylanderi, but I should probably make sure first.

 

Thank you so much for being patient and answering my questions!

 

I know that some temnothorax species are parasitic to other temnothorax species 


I keep: C. modoc, C. sansabeanus  :D, C. maritimus, Formica argentea, M. mexicanus  :D, Odontomachus brunneus :D, Pogonomyrmex californicus, Pogonomyrmex rugosus, 

 


#7 Offline acorns - Posted August 17 2022 - 2:29 PM

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Hm, it sounds like nylanderi are pretty aggressive? How's crassispinus (for example) by comparison?

 

 

 

 

Not sure what caresheet you found but chances are it's mine.

 

I never actually kept them (although i'd like to do at some point) but i do know quite a few people who did. They don't express a lot of behaviors typical for other ants (like they don't do ant trails at all, just tandem-running) and while they generally seem rather chill and sluggish they are fairly fast in their own way, quickly gathering around food items and chewing on them even if they are still half-frozen.

 

Soil or sand-clay-mix with a layer of leaf-litter on top makes a great substrate (if you want to keep them dry) but they can also be kept in a little miniature greenhouse.

 

You're right, it's yours! I just checked. I feel better about it now, I was worried about reliability when I didn't know if it was from good source or not.

 

I never thought about a little miniature greenhouse for keeping ants, that sounds nice! I was thinking about getting some kind of terrarium with acorns and stuff around for them to nest in, even if it means I don't get to see inside. Or at least placing a small nest inside the outer world, so they can move around more easily and explore.

 

Do you know where to get them in the EU? I might not be able to get them right away but it would be good to have an idea of things like what the best time for shipping etc. is. I know some people seem to just catch them in the wild, but I'd be afraid of accidentally getting some random other species I might not have the right setup for. :)

 

Also, do you know what the differences between the different temnothorax species are? It sounds like they engage in slightly different behaviours. I'm inclined towards nylanderi, but I should probably make sure first.

 

Thank you so much for being patient and answering my questions!

 

I know that some temnothorax species are parasitic to other temnothorax species 

 

 


Thanks! I'm not planning on keeping more than one species so that should be ok :) I'm mainly asking about differences (how they behave, needs, etc.) to make sure I'm choosing the right species for me.


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#8 Offline rptraut - Posted August 17 2022 - 7:01 PM

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I have four acorn ant colonies (curvispinosis), originally collected from the wild, and two colonies that I have raised from queens that I purchased (one curvispinosis and one longispinosis).  First of all, they were very easy for me to find in the wild, I simply collected old acorns with holes in them from an oak/maple woodlot, took them home and opened them enough to know there were ants inside and put each one in it's own very small formicarium, still in their acorn.  I also found small colonies of Lasius and Myrmica ants that I find much more interesting than the acorn ants.  From my experience, acorn ants don't seem to raise a lot of brood, only three or four larvae at different stages at any one time.  I have never seen them do any active foraging by a number of workers or swarming of food items,  usually one or two ants collect enough for the colony and then they seem to be quite happy to stay home and raise brood.  To be honest, they don't really provide a lot of "entertainment" for me.  Perhaps if I could see inside the acorns, there would be more to see, but my impression is that they do a lot of hanging out while not actually doing very much (similar to many other types of ants).  I enjoy my small Lasius colonies much more, although they can also be quite shy and seem to collect enough food to last for a couple of days and then retreat to the security of the nest until they need food again.   Only when the colony gets to be fairly large do I see a lot of outworld activity.  This might also be true for acorn ants.


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My father always said I had ants in my pants.




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