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#1 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted May 17 2018 - 7:40 PM


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If you keep/have kept Aphaenogaster spp., then you probably know that they aren't big fans of sweets.


Aphaenogaster is almost completely insectivorous, even workers consume insects. For my colony of A. rudis, I feed them mostly on insects but try to give them sugar in the form of honey or sugar-water about every week or so. They never seem to accept it. I know that they can survive almost completely on insects, I still sometimes get nervous that their lack of sweets will catch up to them.


Today, I tried giving them some hummingbird nectar for a change. For once, they accepted it. There were workers constantly drinking until it dried out. Then they began to break off small chunks from the dried droplet and dragging them into the nest where several ants would cluster around it.


I'm not sure if I've found a sugar source that all Aphaenogaster will accept, or if it's just my colony. If anyone else has Aphaenogaster, feel free to try this and see if it works.


Just thought I'd share my small discovery.

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#2 Offline AntsAreUs - Posted May 17 2018 - 8:00 PM


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I feed mine various kinds of seeds and almonds. 



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#3 Offline noebl1 - Posted May 18 2018 - 3:46 AM


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I've been seeing people using bluegrass seeds for other ants, thinking of trying it.  I had not thought of almonds though.  


I noticed when my Aphaenogaster were young (like a queen and a single nanitic), they seemed to take Sunburst nectar.  However as soon as they got to more then a worker or two, that stopped.  I was suspecting it was related to them starting to take protein at this time, and got the nutrients from the insects they were getting.


Isn't hummingbird nectar sold in stores basically sugar and water?

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#4 Offline MegaMyrmex - Posted May 18 2018 - 3:59 AM


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I fed mine a small piece of cantoloupe and they drank from it fora few hours then left it alone
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Proverbs 6:6-8 New International Version (NIV)

Go to the ant, you sluggard;
    consider its ways and be wise!
It has no commander,
    no overseer or ruler,
yet it stores its provisions in summer
    and gathers its food at harvest.


#5 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted May 18 2018 - 3:59 AM


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My old Aphaenogaster rudis colony always accepted honey if given in low doses at infrequent intervals. Otherwise, they would take any sort of insect flesh mixed with honey water.


If I remember correctly, I did see A. picea tending aphids in my yard. Maybe try putting an aphid infested plant in the outworld.

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#6 Offline anttics - Posted May 18 2018 - 7:56 AM


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I had a novomessot cockerelli. They love sun flower seeds covered with hum. Bird nectar. I believe the less protein they take. The longer they live.

#7 Offline noebl1 - Posted May 19 2018 - 4:06 PM


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So I I had some of this stuff mixed up in the freezer and thawed it out, and my A. picea are accepting it and bringing it back to the nest:



I did a mix of powdered sugar instead of nectar mix as well.

Edited by noebl1, May 19 2018 - 4:08 PM.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: aphaenogaster, aphaenogaster rudis, diet, food, feeding, ants, sweets, carbs, carbohydrates, honey, sugar-water, hummingbird nectar, picky, insectivorous, insectivore, colony, myrmicinae, antkeeping, ant-keeping, discovery

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