"We are responsible for those whom we tamed", - this truth is known to every animal lover. Although ants often do not require special care (depending on the specific species, of course), but for them this statement is completely true: when you start breeding a colony at home, you need to be prepared to care for her, creating the conditions necessary for a comfortable life.
Even the most popular Messor take time to sprinkle seeds, shed insects, and wet the formicarium. If an ant species is difficult, you have to spend a lot of time with this colony, making titanic efforts to keep the animals alive and reproducing.
But there are no ants that ant growers cannot handle! Not only theory, but also practice helps to meet the most demanding needs of our six-legged friends. Sometimes, however, all the results achieved unexpectedly can turn to ashes. Especially in the absence of the guardian, this topic worries all ant lovers. This period may be our dream vacation and it is a time for us when we want to break away from our daily routine and work. And for ants, this is the time to survive without a guardian. How to prepare pets for this trial and not lose them during our rest?
First of all, some types of house ants have similar care requirements, so by preparing them for our absence, we can group animals together. We divide ants into several categories, we present them below and describe how to care for them.
1. Messor (reapers)
Perhaps they are the easiest ants to care for and easily tolerate our trips and absences. Being predominantly grain-eating, Messor create enormous stores of feed (seeds) which they slowly feed on later. All you need to do is sprinkle different seeds into the formicarium arena and put a drinker (the tube with the water incubator is a very important thing, we will discuss its functions later)
2. Camponotuses and others (Formica, Lasius, Polirachis etc.)
All these ants are predators and scavengers, protein feed plays an important role in their lives. However, no less important role in the diet is played by carbohydrates, which are not only a source of energy, but are also considered wholesome food for workers (protein is mainly used by the larvae). Many of these ants can absorb much more sugar solution than the colony needs and store it in their belly. This feature plays on our hand: before leaving, it is necessary to feed the ants with syrup. It will not be superfluous to give them several small dead cockroaches so that this food is also stored in the reserve. A fresh water tube will also not be superfluous. Half an apple or a pear (with the peel) will help your pets - eat them slowly, so Camponotus will have a carbohydrate rich juice to eat. On such a carbohydrate diet, they will wait for the owner to return.
3. Pheidole, Carebara, Solenopsis
These ants are very numerous, they develop rapidly and therefore remain dependent on protein feed. No protein - no development. The growth rate of the colony will be significantly reduced. In order for the colony to survive this term without care and feeding almost painlessly - feed them with insects, leaving a large pair of large dead cockroaches (Argentinian, Madagascar) in the arena. Like the previous ones - put a piece of apple on them. Sprinkle the little seeds, they will surely eat it when they are hungry. Remember - about the test tube with water.
Venator, Diacamma, Odontomachus and their other ancient relatives are a real headache for a myrmekeeper going on vacation. Ideally, they should receive protein food daily, but some species hardly pay attention to solid forage facilities. Therefore, they must be able to do what they love - hunting, so that the animals do not miss the owner. In order for the ants to live comfortably in your absence, you need a large spacious arena, with a substrate and decorations. The second condition that must be met is several dozen young Turkmen cockroaches. Why this particular kind? It's simple: cockroaches do not know how to crawl up walls, so they will hide among the scenery (branches, bark, stones), and ants will be able to hunt them just like in nature. Be sure to put two drinkers: a standard incubator and a saucer with open water. For Diakamma, you can additionally put half an apple or a pear. Thoroughly moisten the formicarium and all, a week or two, ants will wait for you.