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Mealworm/Superworm your thoughts? and Isopods


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5 replies to this topic

#1 Offline AntsMAN - Posted May 7 2016 - 12:53 PM


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I've heard that feeding just one type of insect is not good for a colony. I have had no problems so far with just meal worms and super worms. I also heard meal worms are not a good source of protein for them, this is coming from the person I trust most when it comes to ants. I'd like you guys to give me your thoughts on this please.


My thoughts are that they seem to be doing fine and love to eat them, and I thought meal worms were a great source of protein.


Question: Are Isopods/salbugs a good feeder insect for ants? I'm going to try catching some wild insects to feed one colony as an experiment. I don't live near anything that use's pesticides, so we'll see which colony does better. I'm going to use a Camponotus sp. 


Also where can I fond some of those springtail insects that eat waste.

Current queens/colonies

Camponotus novaeboracensis x2

Camponotus pennsylvanicus x2

Camponotus herculeanus x1

Formica sp. x1

Lasius americanus x1  (Lasius alienus)

Lasius neoniger x1

Crematogastor cerasi x1

Myrmica sp. x1









#2 Offline dermy - Posted May 7 2016 - 5:40 PM


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mealworms and superworms work, just freeze them and cut them up. [Breeding them is a cinch! although Superworms require a little extra maintence seeing as they won't pupuate in a "colony" setting like mealworms]


Isopods, I'm not too sure.... seem a little hard [exoskeleton]

#3 Offline Roachant - Posted May 9 2016 - 1:54 AM


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I use Isopods with my Tetramorium and they go nuts over them and carve them up so I think they're ok.

#4 Offline kellakk - Posted May 9 2016 - 11:45 AM


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I use Isopods with my Tetramorium and they go nuts over them and carve them up so I think they're ok.


Interesting. I've always assumed that almost nothing eats isopods besides certain spiders, and whenever I've tried to feed an isopod to my ants they've ignored it.


Mealworms and superworms are great as a staple protein source as long as you mix it up from time to time with other insects.

Current Species:
Pogonomyrmex montanus


Reticulitermes hesperus

#5 Offline drtrmiller - Posted May 9 2016 - 1:18 PM



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I've heard that feeding just one type of insect is not good for a colony.


Feeding a single type of food is only detrimental if the food is terribly imbalanced. In an ant colony, you have many stomachs—let's call them buckets.


An article on colony-level macronutrient regulation proposes that there may be a number of macronutrients workers may need to collect independent of one another in order to grow and function, as both worker ants and the queen and developing larvae each have their own nutrient requirements.  In the most simple terms, the workers require mostly carbohydrates, while the queen and developing larvae require proteins—though in reality there are many micronutrients that affect colony health.


As a particular food goes into the colony's many stomachs, or buckets, certain nutrient buckets fill up.  As the colony goes about growing and foraging, other buckets become depleted.  If ants only have access to an imbalanced diet (as is sometimes the case in captivity), then certain buckets will fill up and overflow, while other buckets will dry up.  This explains certain situations where antkeepers report foraging ants that reject any number of foods, including some insects or sugar water they once readily accepted—the ants are simply seeking some nutrient that isn't being offered, in order to refill a bucket that has run completely dry.


byFormica Sunburst Ant Nectar is loaded with electrolytes that aim to correct this imbalance, enabling many ants in captivity to accept a wider range of foods.  Over the past year of testing, I've experienced no problems feeding a single protein source, so long as it is supplemented with byFormica Sunburst Ant Nectar.  The ants have never tired of either.

Edited by drtrmiller, September 3 2018 - 3:24 AM.

byFormica® is the manufacturer of the iconic nectar feeders and Sunburst Ant Nectar.
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#6 Offline Crystals - Posted May 9 2016 - 5:12 PM


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I found that most insects are accepted, especially if cut up.


Here is a list of some common, and some not so common, feeders that can be cultured at home: http://www.formicult...ts-and-feeders/


I often buy and freeze mealworms, crickets, etc.  I am in the country, so I can catch a lot of wild insects as well.

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