Bundle offer including an ant colony Messor barbarus (queen + 11-25 workers), a starter kit for Messor spec. with Formicarium pads and a jar of our special Cricket Jam (Moist Protein).
Only while stocks last.
Messor barbarus is a distinctly granivorous (granivorous) ant species from the Mediterranean region. It belongs to the so-called harvester ants and is one of the beginner species for ant keepers due to its relatively simple demands on climate and food. Due to its color and the formation of minor, media as well as major workers (smaller and larger) it is very exciting to observe.
Messor barbarus eats mainly grains in the wild and makes “ant bread” from them, but also sweet fruits and dead insects are gladly accepted. Messor barbarus covers a large part of their moisture needs through the grains and the rest through insects. In the formicarium grains can be given and additionally as needed honey, protein food, very small insects or jellies. Honey water is accepted only when there is a lack of liquid. Since Messor genera tend to plunge into open water sources, these should always be covered with small stones or absorbent cotton.
Messor barbarus hibernates from about the end of November to the end of February. However, unlike e.g. Lasius Niger, this is only a period of greatly reduced activity. The hibernation should be spent at about 15°C, because in regions where Messor barbarus comes from, temperatures are very rarely lower even in winter. For this purpose you can simply place the ants in an unheated room. There are also reports from keepers who keep Messor barbarus without hibernation. However, this can lead to a shortened life span of the colony or slow down the development of the brood. During hibernation the animals need only little feeding. However, you should check the humidity regularly and watch for mold!
Harvest ants need a slightly moist nest area for brood and a dry nest area to store their collected grains (dry to prevent mold or germination). This is best done with two separate nests, which are included in our starter set. This will last at least 1-2 years. After that, both nest and arena area should be expanded.
The optimal climatic conditions for Messor barbarus are as follows:
Arena: 30 – 50% Nest area: 50 – 70%.
Arena: 25 – 30°C Nest area: 21- 26°C
The most suitable nesting material is our Digfix. 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-clay mixtures. Due to their strong jaws, Major workers can also easily eat through Ytong over time. Therefore, glass nests with Digfix insert are the best and safest way to keep Messor barbarus.
1x Messor barbarus (queen + 11-25 workers)
1x Cricket Jam 25g
1x Formicarium pad – 20x20cm
2x Formicarium pad – 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 – standing
2x ant farm cover
4x Formicarium plug 4mm
2x ANTCUBE – Digfix plate 20×20 – M
1x 1m tube transparent 14/10 mm
2x ANTCUBE – Red foil 20×20 – self-adhesive
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 connector B-27 and S-10-16 mm M25 – set
1x Feed dispenser 2ml – dosing
1x drinker 2ml – 360 degrees
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 Food Mix Set – for grain collectors (10 parts)
1x foam wiper 150x18x2,5mm
1x Photo back wall – desert – 20×10
Description Starter Set:
This starter set is specially designed for various species of the Messor genus. One of the two farms is intended for the storage of the grains and ant bread and should therefore be kept completely dry to prevent grains/seeds stored there by the ants from germinating or becoming moldy.
The “Digfix plates” can be inserted into the fully transparent farms. Alternatively, however, the “Substrate – Desert” can be used to fill the farms. Additional modules can be connected via the 50mm holes in the cover if required, such as the separately available foggers, fans or lights. Alternatively, matching grid inserts are included to close the openings. Depending on your preference, the formicarium can also be operated open by simply placing the removable frame on top and applying ant escape protection oil to its rim. The “Drinking trough 2ml – 360 degrees” is intended for water, the “Food dispenser 2ml – dosable” for the grain mixtures as well as carbohydrate and protein powders. The “Mini Thermo- Hygrometer” can be attached to the frame or the cover and shows the climate values.
Important: Please moisten the substrate before use so that the mixture can bind and develop a firm hold in the ant farm. In addition, too dry and dusty substrate can lead to blocking the respiratory tract of the ants and in the worst case the animals suffocate.
Recommendation: We recommend a soil layer of 2 mm height, so that the animals cannot burrow into the arena and instead use the farm provided for them. We also recommend lightly pricking the nesting material in the farm (sand/clay, digfix, etc.) at one point to make it easier for the animals to dig in.
Notes on production
The glass is cut according to DIN 1249 with a tolerance of +/- 1mm. In case of extremely small ants an additional breakout protection is essential.
Note on the farm
When attaching or detaching hoses, please note the following:
If the tubing is very difficult to fit onto the connector bushing, the bushing should be lightly rubbed with a drop of our breakout protection oil or powder. The hose should then be pushed onto the bushing by twisting or screwing movements without stressing the bushing with up and down movements. The same applies when removing the hoses from the connection socket of the farm. Please do not simply pull them off!
Note on Digfix:
The natural color shade can vary between green / gray-brown and earth-brown. The shade does not affect the quality.
– 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 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 included crickets (Acheta domesticus) have been gently cooked to ensure that nutritional value, flavor and aroma are preserved. In addition, the chitinous shell of the insects is softened in this way, making it easier to digest. The compounds of the collagenous 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 (primordial ants) such as Harpegnathos or Odontomachus).
Guaranteed free of mites
Portionable and dilutable with water
Sterilized and vacuumized
Crickets from sustainable pure organic breeding, fed with organic waste
Once opened, keeps for about four days in the refrigerator. Longer shelf life if frozen.
Attention: Portion first, then freeze.