Subfamily: Myrmicinae Tribe: Pheidolini
Messor species are from warmer regions of Europe such as Spain and Portugal. It is recommended that you keep your queen in the test tube she is supplied in, and store her in airing cupboard until her first workers hatch (remember to hibernate your queen if she hasn’t yet laid any eggs by the time winter arrives).
Messor ants primarily collect seeds from plants as their main food source hence the name harvester ant. A selection of seed should be provided, they particularly like grass seeds. Although Harvester ants prefer a dry climate it is recomended that the sand/soil is kept damp around the main nest chambers, care should be taken not to over dampen the seed storage area of the nest as it may cause germination or mould growth.
This species is a highly granivor ant which collects all kinds of small seeds and chews them into so-called antbread. Most of their water requirements are covered by seeds and insects. Honeywater is only accepted when there is a lack of moisture. Messor barbarus tends to drown in open water so it is necessary to cover waterplaces with little stones or cotton.
EASY – Suitable for beginners
Size: 15 – 18mm Colour: head reddish brown til black, Thorax black
Size: 3 – 14mm Colour: shiny black, Head reddish brown (Major- worker) black
Mostly seeds from different plants (also grass), sugar solution, insects
Arena: 25 – 30°C Nestpart: 21 – 26°C
Arena: 30 – 50% Nestpart: 50 – 70%
SIZE:M ANTCUBE or HEXANEST. Acrylic, glass, plaster, cork
Yes, from end of November until end of February at 15°C
up to 10,000 workers, up to 25 years
Nest: cork, softwood, digfix, plaster. Arena: sand-loam,
Size: 7 – 8mm Colour: black