Starter Colony of the Common Black Garden Ant (Lasius niger).
You will receive one mated Queen with workers (depending on your selection). All colonies start in mid to late summer with a single queen and the workers you will receive have been produced by the queen of your colony.
The Black Garden ant is the most commonly kept ant species for beginners and is very easy to keep in any sand or soil based habitat (do not use gel based habitats).
Lasius niger Species Details:
Queen: 9 mm black
Workers: 3 – 5 mm black, small
Nests: Nests often in the ground, commom under stones, but also in rotten deadwood
Nutrition: Honey, sugar solution, small insects, aphids (for their honeydew)
Temperature: Nest Temperature 20 – 24 C Feeding Tank: 18 – 28 C (hibernate during winter from late October to late March in a cool place such as a garage, shed or outbuilding at 5 C.)
Humidity: Nest 50 – 60%, Feeding Tank 30 – 50%
Overall time from egg to adult ant – 6 to 8 weeks
Egg to larvae – 10 to 12 days
Larvae to pupa – 10 – 15 days
Pupae to adult ant – 10 – 25 days
Active – April to October
Approx Queen life span – usually 10 years although it has been claimed that some have lived for up to 30 years.
Live Arrival Guarantee
We guarantee live arrival on all livestock (applies to Queens only for colonies, not workers). A replacement will be sent should livestock fail to survive the journey. In some instances we may request you return the perished insect or provide a photograph. Please note that the guarantee is only valid for UK and Ireland deliveries, orders outside these destinations are at the customers own risk.
Once you have received your livestock Ants UK (Edu-Sci Ltd) will offer a replacement should livestock perish within 24 hours of arrival. After this initial period we are unable to replace any insects which may perish due to us having no control over the environmental conditions in with the insects are being kept. It is the responsibility of the purchaser to ensure they have undertaken enough research to be able to look after the insects properly and provide them with the correct conditions. By purchasing from us you are agreeing to these terms of trade.
A care sheet is available below, please note that this only covers basic aspects of ant care. Following it does not guarantee success and further research should be undertaken.
Ant Care Sheet
Feeding your ants
Ants feed on a wide variety of foods. Sugar and nectars are required by the adult ants and protein is needed for the ant larvae to develop. A varied diet should be provided and old food should be removed before mould develops.
Sugar, Honey, Jam, Nectar, Protein Jelly, Worms, Shrimp, Flies, Caterpillars, Crickets, Snails, Meal Worms
Housing your ants
Native ants such as Black, Red and Meadow species do no need heated habitats and can be kept at room temperature. Habitats are usually made of plastic or glass and should be 2/3rds filled with a sand loam mixture. The sand should be regularly dampened to ensure the nest structure holds together. Nest tanks of 10cm x 20cm can house a colony for 2-3 years, additional tanks can be connected as the colony grows.
Hints and Tips
Keep your ants out of direct sunlight to avoid over-heating
Feed your ants every 2-3 days
Do Not mix ants from different colonies as the ants will fight
Do not tap the ant habitat as you could cause the nest to collapse
Be patient, colonies take time to grow and establish themselves
If the temperature becomes low during Autumn ant may enter hibernation until the spring.
Gel habitats are not suitable for UK ant species
Do further reading and research on ants. This is only a guide to the basics.
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