Bundle offer including a Messor barbarus ant colony (queen + 5-10 workers + brood), a starter set for Messor spec. with 3x formicarium mats and a jar of our special Cricket Jam (moist protein).
Only while stocks last.
Everything you need for a Messor barbarus ant colony
This bundle contains everything you need to successfully get a colony of Messor barbarus through the first few months. It is flexibly expandable and explicitly suitable for beginners in ant keeping.
Messor barbarus ant species:
Messor barbarus is a distinctly granivorous (grain-eating) ant species from the Mediterranean region. It belongs to the so-called harvester ants and is one of the entry-level species for ant keepers due to its relatively simple requirements in terms of climate and food. Due to its color and the formation of minor, media and major workers (smaller and larger), it is very exciting to observe.
Food for Messor barbarus
In the wild, Messor barbarus mainly eats grains and uses them to make “ant bread”, but sweet fruits and dead insects are also readily accepted. Messor barbarus covers a large part of its moisture requirements with grains and the rest with insects. In the formicarium, grains and, if required, honey, protein food, very small insects or jelly can be given. Honey water is only accepted if there is a lack of liquid. As Messor species tend to plunge into open water sources, these should always be covered with stones or absorbent cotton.
Messor barbarus hibernates from around the end of November to the end of February. However, unlike Lasius niger, for example, this is a period of greatly reduced activity. The hibernation period should be spent at around 15°C, as the temperatures in the regions where Messor barbarus originates are very rarely lower, even in winter. You can simply place the ants in an unheated room for this purpose. There are also reports from keepers who keep Messor barbarus without hibernation. However, this can lead to a shortened lifespan of the colony or slow down the development of the brood. During hibernation, the animals only need to be fed a little. However, you should check the humidity regularly and look out for mold!
Formicarium for Messor barbarus
Harvester ants need a slightly damp nest area for the brood and a dry nest area to store their collected grains (dry, so that no mold forms). This works best with two separate nests, which are included in our starter set. This will last for at least 1-2 years. After that, both the nest and arena areas should be extended.
The optimum climatic conditions for Messor barbarus are as follows:
Arena: 30 – 50% Nest area: 50 – 70%
Arena: 25 – 30°C Nest area: 21 – 26°C
Our Digfix is the most suitable nesting material. It is very resistant to moisture and ensures that the view into the nest and the chambers and passages inside is not disturbed by substrate residues as with sand-loam mixtures. Thanks to their strong jaws, Major workers can also eat their way through Ytong over time without any problems. Glass nests with Digfix inserts are therefore the best and safest way to keep Messor barbarus.
1x Messor barbarus (queen + 5-10 workers + brood)
1x Cricket Jam 25g
1x Grain food minor 100g
1x Formicarium base – 20x20cm
2x Formicarium base – 20x6cm
1x ANTCUBE – arena 20x20x10 – flat
1x ant arena frame 20×20
1x ant arena cover 20×20
4x fixing point for arena cover
2x ANTCUBE – Ant farm – M – 20×20 – upright
2x ANTCUBE – Digfix plate 20×20 – M
1x 1m tube transparent 14/10 mm
2x ANTCUBE – Red foil 20×20 – filter
2x adhesive clamps – transparent 2 pcs.
1x substrate – desert – 1 kg
2x grid insert – 50mm – stainless steel
1x grid insert – 27mm – stainless steel
1x grid cap – 10mm – stainless steel
1x tank hose connector 27-14,16,20 mm – transparent
1x feed dispenser 2ml – dosable
1x drinking trough clear 20ml – sponge
1x bowl clear 1×20 – sponge
1x Mini thermo-hygrometer analog – display – hanging
1x Ant escape protection oil 10ml
1x Tweezers spring steel – wide – soft
1x Tweezers plastic transparent
1x plastic pipette 3ml
1x hand magnifier – 2x – 30mm
1x foam wiper 150x18x2,5mm
1x photo back – desert – 20×10
Description Starter Set:
This starter set is especially suitable for various species of the genus Messor. One of the two farms is intended for storing the seeds and ant bread and should therefore be kept completely dry to prevent the seeds/grains stored there by the ants from germinating or becoming moldy.
The “Digfix plates” can be inserted into the fully transparent farms. Alternatively, however, you can also use the “Soil – Desert” to fill the farms. If required, additional modules can be connected via the 50 mm holes in the cover, e.g. the separately available foggers, fans or lights. Alternatively, suitable grid inserts to close the openings are included in the scope of delivery. If desired, the formicarium can also be operated open by simply attaching the removable frame and applying ant escape protection oil to the edge.
Important: Please moisten the substrate before use so that the mixture can bond and develop a firm hold in the ant farm. In addition, if the substrate is too dry and dusty, the ants’ airways may be blocked and, in the worst case, the animals may suffocate.
Recommendation: We recommend a substrate layer of 2 mm in height so that the animals cannot burrow into the arena and instead use the farm provided for this purpose. We also recommend that the nesting material in the farm (sand/clay, Digfix, etc.) is slightly pricked in one place to make it easier for the animals to dig.
Notes on production
The glass is cut to size according to DIN 1249 with a tolerance of +/- 1 mm. Additional escape protection is essential for extremely small ant species.
Notes on the farm
Please note the following when attaching or removing hoses:
If the tube is very difficult to fit onto the connection socket, the socket should be lightly rubbed with a drop of our break-out protection oil or powder. The hose should then be pushed onto the socket using twisting or screwing movements without straining the socket with up and down movements. The same applies when removing the hoses from the farm connection socket. Please do not simply pull it off!
Note on Digfix: The natural color can vary between green/grey-brown and earth-brown. The color tone has no influence on the quality.
Instructions: (Version 2023, the updated version for 2024 will be available by 04/2024 at the latest)
– DE Gebrauchsanweisung Starter Set Ernteameisen (PDF 2,50 MB)
– EN Instructions for use – Starter Set for Harvester Ants (PDF 2,50 MB)
– ES Manual de instrucciones – Set de inicio para las hormigas de la cosecha _ messor (PDF 2,50 MB)
– FR Manuel d’instruction – Kit de démarrage pour les fourmis moissonneuses_ Messor (PDF 2,50 MB)
Notes on the Cricket Jam:
Our Cricket Jam is an easy way to provide your ants with freshly preserved protein food without having to feed live insects. The contained crickets (Acheta domesticus) have been gently cooked to ensure that nutritional values, taste and aroma are preserved. In addition, the chitinous shell of the insects is softened in this way so that it can be digested more easily. The bonds of the collagen proteins are broken down so that the ants can utilize them better. Canned Acheta domesticus has the same nutritional value as live crickets, but is easier to digest.
The Cricket Jam is not suitable for hunting ant species that require live food. (e.g. ponerines (great ants) such as Harpegnathos or Odontomachus)
Can be portioned and diluted with water
Sterilized and vacuum-packed
Crickets from sustainable, purely organic breeding, fed with organic waste
Can be kept in the fridge for about four days after opening. Longer shelf life if frozen.
Attention: First portion, then freeze.