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Reader Question: Ants for Ant Farms in Australia

Just had a question come in from a young ant enthusiast (edited):

If you have heard of an Ant-O-Sphere(eight pods) I’m trying to make a colony in there but so far the bulldog ants are too big and the Argentine ants are too small.

I don’t know what other ants I can find in Australia (where I live) Victoria Mornington.

I wonder is there an ant shop in Victoria?

I'm not familar with Australian ants at all, so I'm going to put this out to you the reader. Do you have any helpful suggestions?

It is easy to imagine that neither bull ants nor Argentine ants would be really the best choices for an ant farm. It also seems likely the Argentine ants are probably chasing out the local species of ants (see reference below), like they have done in California.

Does anyone out there have any ideas of suitable Australian ants that might be available and good for use in an ant farm?

References:

Argentine ants give weeds a boost at ABC Science

Ants of Australia

5 thoughts on “Reader Question: Ants for Ant Farms in Australia

  1. Markus Kollmann

    How about a smaller species of sugar ants? Most Camponotus species are sturdy ants and suitable for beginners. And the workers differ noticeable in size which may even be a plus factor.
    Meat ants, Iridomyrmex may also be suitable, but colonies of most species grow to an enormous size in very short time. So better not.
    Rhytidoponera like the beautiful R. metallica are found all over Australia and are quite easy to keep, but they can´t climb on smooth surfaces like glass. Makes it easy to keep them in, but thereby they may not be suitable for an Ant-O-Sphere.

  2. Roberta

    Haylee,

    Yes ants can survive the winter. They either go into a hibernation state (in cold areas) or go deep into the soil, or both. Here's something I wrote about ants in winter http://blog.wildaboutants.com/2010/04/17/where-do-ants-go-in-the-winter/

    The queen ant usually lays the most eggs that hatch into babies. Some queens lay only a few eggs, and have say 500 babies. Others may millions.

    Ants can definitely bite. Some kinds of ants have stingers, and can sting, too.

  3. Tamika

    Well, My school class is doing a project on ants. I need to catch some bull ants for the project. I need to know:
    1. What dirt/soil do they live in?
    2. How do you get a queen?

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