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Underrated Ant species

underrated ants

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#1 Offline antsriondel - Posted March 3 2023 - 7:50 AM

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I was wondering which ant species you as an Ant keeper find underrated. In summary, which species do you find does not get enough attention, or love. 


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#2 Offline aznphenom - Posted March 3 2023 - 8:17 AM

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Tetra. they're rarely on anyone's list because they're common and small. But after having a dozen species, A LOT of the "cool" ants that people want, I can say that I am happy with tetra. they're hardy. They don't even have a  humidity to their nest and still thriving. I like their feeding behavior. They stay in the tube until you drop food in and them come swarming out. Con - they are chewer and seems to not be tidy. 


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Keeps: Camponotus, Tetra
 

Wants (Please reach out if you have them for sale if you’re in the US): Acromyrmex Sp., Atta Sp., Cephalotes Sp., Myrmecocystus Sp (Prefer Mexicanus), Odontomachus Sp. (Prefer Desertorum), Pachycondyla Sp., Pheidole Sp (Prefer Rhea. The bigger the better. Not the tiny bicarinata), Pogonomyrmex Sp (Prefer Badius)., Pseudomyrmex Sp. (Prefer the cute yellow ones)

 


#3 Offline antsriondel - Posted March 3 2023 - 9:32 AM

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I find Liometopum extremely underrated.



#4 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 3 2023 - 11:28 AM

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Nylanderia vividula is a grossly underrated species. Even though they are small, they have a nice bicolored look to them. They grow really fast at first, but colonies cap at a very manageable size. They are easy to contain with Fluon and don’t do stupid things like flooding their liquid feeder. My colony of N. vividula is the only colony I’ve kept that has NEVER given me a problem of any kind. I love these ants.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#5 Offline FinWins - Posted March 3 2023 - 2:47 PM

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And now for the number 1 most underrated species (drum roll please)

Formica Fusca group! Not the slave making formica! (they get plenty of love)

These ants are not nearly appreciated enough, and to be honest when is first bought my colony of F. argentea I only bought them so that I could say that I keep formica. However as soon as I unboxed them I fell in love. I could not believe how little these ant are loved, and in the time since I have bought them they have grown to be one of my favorite colonies, right up there with my colony of Odontomachus brunneus and M. mexicanus. Because they are hardy, good eaters, very fun to watch, and grow at a rate the is good for their size. Also I love their shiny metallic colors which is the closest thing we have to polyrhachis in North America.


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

 


#6 Offline antsriondel - Posted March 3 2023 - 2:57 PM

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And now for the number 1 most underrated species (drum roll please)

Formica Fusca group! Not the slave making formica! (they get plenty of love)

These ants are not nearly appreciated enough, and to be honest when is first bought my colony of F. argentea I only bought them so that I could say that I keep formica. However as soon as I unboxed them I fell in love. I could not believe how little these ant are loved, and in the time since I have bought them they have grown to be one of my favorite colonies, right up there with my colony of Odontomachus brunneus and M. mexicanus. Because they are hardy, good eaters, very fun to watch, and grow at a rate the is good for their size. Also I love their shiny metallic colors which is the closest thing we have to polyrhachis in North America.

Yes! I have a colony of fusca group, and they are awesome! They are in their third year and still chugging along great.


Edited by antsriondel, March 3 2023 - 2:58 PM.

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#7 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 3 2023 - 2:58 PM

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And now for the number 1 most underrated species (drum roll please)
Formica Fusca group! Not the slave making formica! (they get plenty of love)
These ants are not nearly appreciated enough, and to be honest when is first bought my colony of F. argentea I only bought them so that I could say that I keep formica. However as soon as I unboxed them I fell in love. I could not believe how little these ant are loved, and in the time since I have bought them they have grown to be one of my favorite colonies, right up there with my colony of Odontomachus brunneus and M. mexicanus. Because they are hardy, good eaters, very fun to watch, and grow at a rate the is good for their size. Also I love their shiny metallic colors which is the closest thing we have to polyrhachis in North America.

I agree that Formica are awesome, but they’re not really underrated because everybody else I know loves them, too.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#8 Offline FinWins - Posted March 3 2023 - 5:00 PM

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And now for the number 1 most underrated species (drum roll please)
Formica Fusca group! Not the slave making formica! (they get plenty of love)
These ants are not nearly appreciated enough, and to be honest when is first bought my colony of F. argentea I only bought them so that I could say that I keep formica. However as soon as I unboxed them I fell in love. I could not believe how little these ant are loved, and in the time since I have bought them they have grown to be one of my favorite colonies, right up there with my colony of Odontomachus brunneus and M. mexicanus. Because they are hardy, good eaters, very fun to watch, and grow at a rate the is good for their size. Also I love their shiny metallic colors which is the closest thing we have to polyrhachis in North America.

I agree that Formica are awesome, but they’re not really underrated because everybody else I know loves them, too.

 

Yes, but they just don't as much attention as they should. I see a lot more journals on Camponotus and Lasius than I do for F. Fusca group. 


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

 


#9 Offline antperson24 - Posted March 3 2023 - 5:21 PM

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I was wondering which ant species you as an Ant keeper find underrated. In summary, which species do you find does not get enough attention, or love. 

Probably Aphaenogaster. I find Aphaenogaster really fun to keep/observe, but yet you rarely here them talked about. What do you guys think of Aphaenogsater? Also, my favorite species of ant is Aphaenogaster rudis.


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 Why keep ants that aren't found in your yard?

There are so many fascinating ants right were you live!

I disagree with the keeping/buying of ants that are not found in your area.

 


#10 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 3 2023 - 6:08 PM

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Aphaenogaster definitely deserve more love. They are very rewarding to keep.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#11 Offline AntsCali098 - Posted March 3 2023 - 9:06 PM

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YES! I have an aphaenogaster and I find them so interesting. They are active, clean, not picky, and just are generally really interesting to observe. There are also some species that allow multiple queens, and my colony has 4-6. My colony also loves to move around soil and build anthills and things like that, so I definitely recommend keeping them in a dirt setup or having substrate in an outworld.
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Interested buying in ants? Feel free to check out my shop

Feel free to read my journals, like this one.

 

Wishlist:

Atta sp (wish they were in CA), Crematogaster cerasi, Most Pheidole species

 

 


#12 Offline rptraut - Posted March 4 2023 - 2:26 AM

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Tapinoma sessile have got to be the most underrated ants for anyone to keep.  I would even say they are excellent ants for a beginner.  First of all, they are very easy to find and collect.  I have found entire colonies in things like an aluminum tent pole, hollow tomato stems, and even in a hollow rhubarb stem.  These weren't just workers, they included queens and brood and I found them in my own backyard and they are native to my area.   They aren't large ants, but they are large enough to see easily and they don't mind feeding in the open.  Colonies can have multiple queens, so they grow quickly but I don't think colonies get overly huge.  They eat almost anything, and mineral oil is very effective as an escape barrier.  Don't be frightened off by stories about how they smell, I didn't even know they smelled until I learned their common name, "Odorous House Ant".  Apparently, they smell if you crush them, something I try never to do as a matter of course anyway.  Some people are lucky enough to have these ants as pests in their homes and get to watch them collect sugary foods and other scraps as part of their daily routine.  I have to keep mine in captivity and can only dream of such pleasures........Antdrew I envy you!


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My father always said I had ants in my pants.

#13 Offline ANTdrew - Posted March 4 2023 - 3:41 AM

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Careful what you wish for!
I henceforth declare April 1st as Tapinoma sessile Appreciation Day.
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#14 Offline FinWins - Posted March 4 2023 - 10:50 AM

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Trachymyrmex 


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

 


#15 Offline Manitobant - Posted March 4 2023 - 11:18 AM

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Easily leptothorax, a genus most people think is trash and don’t even bother attempting to keep. They’re polygynous, tolerate very low humidity and essentially act like a mini myrmica. Much like temnothorax they naturally live in acorns and other small spaces, and are thus perfect for tiny formicariums like the THA atom. I also find they’re a lot more active and interesting to watch than temnothorax while still having that “acorn ant” appeal.
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#16 Offline bmb1bee - Posted March 6 2023 - 6:07 PM

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I'm probably going to get some opposition, but hear me out.

 

One, Brachymyrmex. They're pretty small and adorable, especially the little cocoons. They don't grow too rapidly, but definitely not slowly either. I'll have to get myself a few queens when their flights start. Speaking of which, they're sometimes polygynous, but that depends on the region and species. Pleometrosis is far more likely. By starting a colony with a decent amount of queens, it's easy to get to a high amount of workers in one founding.

 

Two, Hypoponera. These are also small ants, although not as extreme as in the case of Brachymyrmex. They (and Ponera) are basically micro-sized relatives of the Neoponera Texans love so much. Their colonies aren't that small, but don't get too large either, probably with a range of 50 to 500 workers in a colony. They're cryptic in nature, so watching them hunt springtails is pretty cool, given the right setup. Hypoponera also happen to be polygynous, so that's another plus. This might be a regional thing though. They also produce ergatoid males and females, which I find interesting.


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"Float like a butterfly sting like a bee, his eyes can't hit what the eyes can't see."
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Check out my shop and Camponotus journal! Discord user is bmb1bee if you'd like to chat.

Also check out my YouTube channel: https://youtube.com/...BPF-3Q_cgR3b88S

#17 Offline Ernteameise - Posted April 1 2023 - 2:15 PM

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I copied parts of this over from the favorites threat (which is about the be closed?).

Anyways.

Since I was a little kid, I loved the humble Myrmica rubra. The garden of my parents is full of plants and trees and they always had a range of different ant species in there, and I learned their names from an early age. We had Lasius niger, Lasius flavus and of course Myrmica rubra. Myrmica rubra was the most exciting one of these, of course, because it can sting. Yeah, I was a weird kid and I had a thing for animals that make other people run away. I also gave my grandma a near heartattack, because as a kid, I loved to let the hornets who were nesting in our orchard land on my hand. European hornets are actually very gentle and not very aggressive (if you do not disturb the nest) and I must have acted in a very non-threating way back then. So actually, my very first pet was some Myrmica rubra ants which I had put in a jar. As you might guess, this did not really work out.

I have only just stated out on the ant journey again, and one thing I can tell is, that for some reason, Myrmica rubra is a bit underrepresented on forums.

Maybe they are more difficult to keep?

Or people are afraid of the sting?

I actually debated with myself if I should just dig up a M. rubra colony from my parent's garden now that I started up again, but then I read that they are quite finicky for beginners and have more advanced needs concerning humidity and heating- and it is just a bit intimitating for someone starting out new. So I held back on these guys.

But they might be something I might come back to and try my luck on later when I have a bit more experience.


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#18 Offline rptraut - Posted April 1 2023 - 9:44 PM

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Careful what you wish for!
I henceforth declare April 1st as Tapinoma sessile Appreciation Day.

To celebrate Tapinoma Sessile Appreciation Day one of my colonies had its' nuptial flight in my workshop on April 1st.  Don't ask me to explain it, just another reason why they are one of my favourite ants.  


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My father always said I had ants in my pants.

#19 Offline ANTS_KL - Posted April 15 2023 - 8:35 PM

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Thread hasn't completely died yet. Nice. 
I'll share some species I think are underrated, overrated and why I think so.
Firstly, Tapinoma and Technomyrmex. I find these genera to not only be underrated, but also hated. I get that species like T. melanocephalum, T. sessile, T. albipes and T. difficilis (sorry rptraut, they're cool but pretty annoying) give these genera a bad reputation, but a TON of cool species are overlooked. Take Tapinoma annandalei and their cousins Tapinoma williamsi for example, these two are not only vibrantly colored (bright yellows and darker oranges), but they also have majors. Then there are species of Tapinoma and Technomyrmex like T. flavidum and T. lisae with HUGE heads, and species like Technomyrmex gaudens with a sleek elongated look. And it isn't just these two genera either, most of the Dolichoderinae that can be kept in captivity are very overlooked and underappreciated. C'mon guys, you need to give these ants some love!

Now for overrated genera. To start off on the list, I have Carebara (excluding Oligomyrmex, those are rarely even kept). Sure, Pheidolegeton spp. may be cool with their polymorphism and whatnot, and Carebara spp. may be cool for their weird looking queens and insane worker-queen size differences, but they just aren't suited for captivity. Queens of these ant species often suck at founding, and colonies will also die at the slightest mishap in their nest's humidity etc. Then, there are Oecophylla. I am going to get hated on when I say this, but they're way too overrated. First of all, queens die way too much during founding. A similar issue with Dinomyrmex gigas, the queens are often host to parasitic fungi. This makes colonies very hard to get started. Not only that, but us ant-keepers can't even provide the necessary space or food for colonies to reach their full potential. In the wild, colonies can grow to sizes of around half a million or more individual ants, occupying hundreds of basketball sized nests woven from leaves and silk. For anyone wishing to keep these ants, if you have other colonies that require lots of food and space, I suggest you don't keep Oecophylla. Even small colonies require your full attention and care, and when they start to take off and grow into the hundreds, their appetite becomes insatiable. Lastly, I have an entire subfamily of ants. Myrmeciinae. Sure, they're large and active, but even the smaller species take months upon months for their colonies to grow into only around 10-20 workers. It just isn't worth the time in my opinion, especially with ants like Iridomyrmex purpureus and lividus, Camponotus consobrinus and all the colorful and pretty Pheidole in Australia.


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Young ant keeper with a decent amount of knowledge on local ant species.

YouTube: https://m.youtube.co...uKsahGliSH7EqOQ (It's pretty dead. Might upload again soon, don't expect my voice to sound the same though.)

Currently kept ant species, favorites have a star in front of their names (NOT in alphabetical order, also may be outdated sometimes): Camponotus irritans inferior, Ooceraea biroi, Pheidole parva, Nylanderia sp., Paraparatrechina tapinomoides, Platythyrea sp., Anochetus sp., Colobopsis sp. (cylindrica group), Crematogaster ferrarii, Polyrhachis (Myrma) cf. pruinosa, Polyrhachis (Cyrtomyrma) laevissima, Tapinoma sp. (formerly Zatapinoma)

Death count: Probably over a hundred individual queens and colonies by now. I cannot recall whatsoever.

#20 Offline SYUTEO - Posted April 15 2023 - 11:51 PM

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Thread hasn't completely died yet. Nice. 
I'll share some species I think are underrated, overrated and why I think so.
Firstly, Tapinoma and Technomyrmex. I find these genera to not only be underrated, but also hated. I get that species like T. melanocephalum, T. sessile, T. albipes and T. difficilis (sorry rptraut, they're cool but pretty annoying) give these genera a bad reputation, but a TON of cool species are overlooked. Take Tapinoma annandalei and their cousins Tapinoma williamsi for example, these two are not only vibrantly colored (bright yellows and darker oranges), but they also have majors. Then there are species of Tapinoma and Technomyrmex like T. flavidum and T. lisae with HUGE heads, and species like Technomyrmex gaudens with a sleek elongated look. And it isn't just these two genera either, most of the Dolichoderinae that can be kept in captivity are very overlooked and underappreciated. C'mon guys, you need to give these ants some love!

Now for overrated genera. To start off on the list, I have Carebara (excluding Oligomyrmex, those are rarely even kept). Sure, Pheidolegeton spp. may be cool with their polymorphism and whatnot, and Carebara spp. may be cool for their weird looking queens and insane worker-queen size differences, but they just aren't suited for captivity. Queens of these ant species often suck at founding, and colonies will also die at the slightest mishap in their nest's humidity etc. Then, there are Oecophylla. I am going to get hated on when I say this, but they're way too overrated. First of all, queens die way too much during founding. A similar issue with Dinomyrmex gigas, the queens are often host to parasitic fungi. This makes colonies very hard to get started. Not only that, but us ant-keepers can't even provide the necessary space or food for colonies to reach their full potential. In the wild, colonies can grow to sizes of around half a million or more individual ants, occupying hundreds of basketball sized nests woven from leaves and silk. For anyone wishing to keep these ants, if you have other colonies that require lots of food and space, I suggest you don't keep Oecophylla. Even small colonies require your full attention and care, and when they start to take off and grow into the hundreds, their appetite becomes insatiable. Lastly, I have an entire subfamily of ants. Myrmeciinae. Sure, they're large and active, but even the smaller species take months upon months for their colonies to grow into only around 10-20 workers. It just isn't worth the time in my opinion, especially with ants like Iridomyrmex purpureus and lividus, Camponotus consobrinus and all the colorful and pretty Pheidole in Australia.

I quite agree with you for Oecophylla, young colonies are also so dang picky about their food!


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Began antkeeping in 2018  :)

 

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