I wouldn't recommend Solenopsis invicta or geminata to a beginner. These ants sting incredibly painful, are a real danger to other pets as well as any children and they have a RIDICULOUS growth rate. A queen of these species can bump out over 11.000 eggs PER WEEK if well-fed and temperated. That's essentially a an AC omni nest full of ants. Per week. They will also consume enormous amounts of food and water and their workers only live for 3-4 months which means huge piles of garbage and dead workers.
They're also known to be escape artists (and are by default semi-nomadic) and if these ants escape you have a serious problem.
They're also invasive (especially invicta) with a bad habit to hunt, kill and entirely eradicate native species. There's areas where invicta is pretty much the only ant left (or is left competing with other invasive ants such as Argentine ants and the bigheaded ants Pheidole megacephalia).
There's a few monogynous ants in Europe that have good growth rates (most notably Tetramorium which can also found colonies of multiple queens although all but one will killed later on by the workers) and some highly polygynous species (Formica sp, Solenopsis fugax) that can also dish out impressive amounts of brood pretty quickly, plus some exotics that aren't too hard to get from a shop (like Pheidole species or if you want large ants with an acceptable growth speed Camponotus nicobarensis).
Actually even some Camponotus ants (barbaricus, herculeanus, ligniperdus) can grow really really large colonies, they just grow very slowly in the first 2-3 years then they pick up with most other species in a sudden population explosion.
Edited by Serafine, March 29 2017 - 9:09 AM.