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Just purchased my first formacarium in Minnesota

minnesota mn species id identify identification new noob starter starting help

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#1 Offline NoelDJones - Posted December 30 2016 - 1:45 AM



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I'm in Minnesota, long time fish keeper and breeder.  I'm currently in school for Ecology/Wildlife Biology and have always been interested in the creating little worlds to observe various lifeforms (plants, animals, bugs) in a controlled habitat.  I had an old Uncle Milton ant farm as a kid and have been interested getting amore advanced setup to truly observe an ant colony in action, so I finally broke down and purchased an AntsCanada Omninest system while they were on their holiday sale.


I'm looking forward to researching more about starting a colony, but first, I was wondering if anyone might be able to point me toward some resources to find out what species of ants I might encounter when I'm out looking for queens this coming summer.  I would like to have some idea of what species I should be preparing to keep.  I haven't been able to find anything useful in my cursory searches so far.


Thanks for your help... I'm looking forward to learning more and getting my outworld designed during these next 5 months or so before the ice thaws here in Minnesota and I can finally get down to the business of raising a colony.

#2 Offline Batspiderfish - Posted December 30 2016 - 6:17 AM


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Here you go: http://antmaps.org/

The "diversity view" offers a mostly accurate representation of local ant fauna (excluding introduced species).

If you've enjoyed using my expertise and identifications, please do not create undue ecological risk by releasing your ants. The environment which we keep our pet insects is alien and oftentimes unsanitary, so ensure that wild populations stay safe by giving your ants the best care you can manage for the rest of their lives, as we must do with any other pet.


Exotic ants are for those who think that vibrant diversity is something you need to pay money to see. It is illegal to transport live ants across state lines.



Black lives still matter.

#3 Offline dspdrew - Posted December 30 2016 - 6:31 AM

  • LocationSanta Ana, CA

Welcome. :)


This shows some, but it's not always complete.

#4 Offline T.C. - Posted December 30 2016 - 10:24 AM



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Hello, and welcome. Where about's in Minnesota are you located? I live in Wisconsin but kind of live right near the state line of Minnesota.


Also, I am a Packers fan, you better not be no Vikings fan. :D lol

#5 Offline Alabama Anter - Posted December 30 2016 - 10:31 AM

Alabama Anter

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Keeper of...

(2) Parakeets
(2) Peppered Corydoras
(4) Neon Tetras
(1) Hermit Crab
(100-300) Mealworms
(1) Tetramorium sp. E
(1) Dormymyrmex bicolor
(1) Dormymyrmex insanus
(1) Solenopsis invicta
(1) Formica fusca
(1) Lasius neoniger
(1) Crematogaster cerasi
(1) Myrmecocystus testacus

#6 Offline NoelDJones - Posted December 30 2016 - 10:39 AM



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Thanks for the resources, that will definitely be helpful!


@T.C.:  I'm in St. Cloud, so right in the center of the state, but I go down to the Stillwater/Hudson area...you somewhere around there?  And, I'm certainly no Vikings fan.  Couldn't care less about who wins a game, so feel free to stomp all over them.  ;)

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#7 Offline Serafine - Posted December 30 2016 - 11:14 AM


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Just a reminder that young ant colonies should NOT be put in a formicarium before they have at least 20-50 workers. Some ants can reach this quite fast once they start laying eggs (Solenopsis geminata takes like 6 weeks to produce 200+ workers), some take longer (certain Camponotus can take a YEAR for to grow to just over 30 workers).

Until that point the colony should house it a test tube (replace with a new one if it gets too moldy or dries out), preferably placed in an outworld so you don't have to disturb the colony every time you add food (you can actually use the integrated outworld of the omni nest for this).

Edited by Serafine, December 30 2016 - 11:26 AM.

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

Welcome to Lazy Tube - My Camponotus Journal

#8 Offline NoelDJones - Posted December 30 2016 - 10:39 PM



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Yep, I've got some test tubes and some containers to carry around to collect come spring.  Just getting anything I might need over the winter so I'm ready when the time comes.  Right now I'm just reading up on everything I can get ahold of, currently focusing on nuptial schedules and caring for queens and young colonies.  I just read about a species that may have queens emerge in early spring before full thaw, which would be a cool find as a Minnesotan and lover of winter myself.  Of course, I know I won't get to choose the species I find, but I'm hoping to get at least something...I do spend enough time outdoors already.  Last year I did see some alates hanging around their nest waiting to fly, and wanted to start collecting then, but didn't have any of the supplies ready, so I'm just getting prepared for this season.  So far this forum has been a good resource for my research.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: minnesota, mn, species, id, identify, identification, new, noob, starter, starting, help

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