Harvester Ant (Messor Structor) — queen + eggs + ants of 20

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Name:

 

Messor Structor or Harvester Ant.

 

Maintenance difficulty:

 

Beginner.

 

Colony type:

 

Monogamy.

 

Size of the queen:

 

11-12mm.

 

Size of the worker/soldier:

 

3-5mm. The soldier is 5-9mm.

 

Feeding:

 

Plant seeds, protein foods, including insects (insects are very good fodder flies). For a family with a small size of up to 100 individuals, fodder insects must be killed.

 

Humidity:

 

Arena — 30-50%; Formicarium — 50-60%.

 

Temperature:

 

Arena — 20-30°C; Formicarium — 21-26°C.

 

Wintering:

 

Not needed.

 

Type of formicarium:

 

Acrylic, sand, gypsum, ytong.

 

Substrate in the arena:

 

Large or small sand, large stones, natural dry material.

 

Description:

 

When buying a queen with brood complete with an ant farm must necessarily to hold it in the incubator for 20-40 days until the full appearance of the young offspring. It is known that the more in the colony of worker ants, the fewer insects will litter in an anthill.

 

Messor Structor is the largest species of ants living in our climatic zone. Previously called M.clivorum, belongs to the family Myrmiciane. It should be said that Messors are giant among their family, as well as other subspecies of ants. The size of the worker ant can reach 4-9 mm, and the size of the queen is 11-12 mm.

 

Features of the Messor Structor

 

This species of ants has a well-developed polymorphism, in the colony there are workers and soldiers, as well as transitional forms. Ants feed on plant seeds. The large square head of a soldier ant speaks of a well-developed occipital muscle that drives the jaw.

 

Strong jaws are necessary for ants in order to grind hard seeds into small pieces. Further, ordinary worker ants are connected to the work, which grind the seeds into flour, moisten it with saliva and form a puree or as it is also known “ant bread”. Such food is an excellent not only for larvae, but for the whole family.

 

A similar situation obtains of the working process in leaf-cutting ants, which do the same with the leaves of plants. Messors can eat not only plants, but also actively consume animal proteins, which they receive by eating dead insects and fruits.

 

Ant colony: the method of residence

 

Each family of ants is a small state in which the hierarchy reigns. The family does not exceed 5000 individuals. They live in nests, to which are built aboveground structures. Typically, this is a small-sized hill on which lies the husk from the processed seeds. The vertical tunnel has a different number of rooms. In a larger nest, there may be 2 to 3 sections with separate outputs, called a polysection nest.

 

An anthill can be found at once several queens, but in the end there is always one queen who will rule. Everyone else is either expelled or eaten. The late stage of development may imply the separation of the colony. In this case, one colony with the queen, larvae and part of the ants remains, and the other leaves and multiplies again, basing its nest.

 

Harvester ants

 

This species usually lives in deserts and steppes. They breed in the spring, so that by the summer they can to create new colonies. Messors have a little bit different strategy they are able to breed both in August and in May. Flying ants spend winter in an anthill, and in April fly away. If most of the ants have a queen in a larval state, the Messors already raise their young generation. This is due to the fact that in the deserts and steppes the most favorable conditions for the reproduction of insects, because the daily temperature is not high, and the humidity is acceptable for reproduction.


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