Beginning of the colony
Since the mother herself founds the colony, the standard scenario of colony development is played out. The mother is placed in an incubator and hidden in a dark place until the first workers show up.
Incubator, Formicarium, Arena
A standard test tube or syringe incubator is used for the initial colony. Then, as the number increases, a feeding arena is added to the incubator. An additional dry tube for storing seeds can also be installed.
It is recommended that the reaper be stored in an acrylic and aerated concrete formicarium, preferably of a horizontal type, because of the need for large areas for storing grain. It can also be a cork formicarium. In formicaria of this type, a concentration of moisture is created - the ants will store the seeds in dry chambers. Seed germination occurs in humid chambers, most ants live in moderately humid chambers, and store seeds etc. The concentration of moisture is extremely important to reapers!
It is not recommended to use sand or soil as a substrate in the formicarium structure - ants are able to stick glass in the formicarium very quickly, reducing visibility almost to zero, and they will also regularly cover their entrance. You can just leave the plastic (glass) on or pour a thin layer of plaster over the arena.
Systematic cleaning of the arena is required! Reapers, given a special diet, produce a lot of organic trash (husks) which can rot and cause mold.
Place a water bottle in the arena.
The edges of the arena can be smeared with petroleum jelly (or a similar protective compound) and then opened. With some plastics, harvesters generally don't know how to walk upright.
This species has its own characteristics:
the ant farm is a very exciting project, but you should not light it up at night, shake it or bother the insects. This slows down the development of the colony, the ants are afraid;
high humidity causes the death of reaper ants;
these insects store large amounts of grain, a larger nest is needed than for other species;
by reducing the protein content of food, ants breed special food larvae, and it is better not to feed them with syrup.
- Non-standard protein - it's better to keep them on the grains themselves.
- Rough Handling - Reapers are fairly fragile despite their large heads and seemingly formidable appearance.