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Harvester ant Messor ebeninus

Harvester ant Messor ebeninus


Messor Ebeninus is a unique and fascinating species of ants that will make a great addition to any ant colony collection. Also known as the Ebony Harvester Ant, this species is characterized by its dark colouration and large, robust size. Originating from the Middle East (e.g. Syria, Israel, Lebanon) region, the Messor Ebeninus prefers dry and warm environments, making them relatively low-maintenance and easy to care for. With their impressive strength and ability to harvest seeds, these ants are not only interesting to observe but also serve as efficient cleaners and foragers in their habitat. Bring home a colony of Messor Ebeninus and witness their captivating behaviour and communal organization firsthand.

These ants do not sting or spray formic acid.

Colony FormThe workers are very polymorphic and are of three main sizes, from just 3mm to up to 11mm.

HabitatMessor ants prefer to nest in sandy-loam soil and shrub areas.

Colony SizeTheir colonies can grow to about 10,000 workers and are a great choice for those looking to start their ant-keeping journey.

LifespanMessor orientalis queen ants' lifespan is up to 25 years and is 11-12mm and her body is shiny black. The workers will live for 1 to 2 years and aid in the growth and success of your colony. The bigger the worker the longer the egg development and the longer the lifespan accordingly.

NutritionTheir main food source is seeds, making them easy to feed and maintain. Our Messor orientalis ant colonies are healthy and mites-free, so you can feel confident in your purchase.

Messor ebeninus feeding:

Feed them into the outworld only! Harvester ant's main food is seed mix.

How to feed them and how much?

Does Messor ebeninus need insects?

You should also feed them protein-rich food and sweets once every two weeks. Give them organic honey or fruit (half a grape, a similar amount of a banana etc.) 

How much? Well, for a small colony with a queen ant and about fifty workers, the amount of the protein jelly must be similar to the size of a single rice grain. Regarding the live food, feed them mealworms, locusts, crickets or similar and do not forget to kill any possible microbes or mites the live food might be contaminated with.

How to feed your ants Organic Honey and Protein Jelly? Video instructions? Click HERE!

Suitable Ant Farm KitOnce your colony is large enough (10-20 workers) you can consider moving it into an ant farm. We would recommend the small-medium ant farm for a small colony of Messor ant species. The best options among our products are the A7 Plus, Antie or the A6 Ant Farm where you can enjoy watching them harvesting in the outworld.

Harvester ants need a higher temperature for their proper brood development so 25-26°C would be great. Temperature above 26°C will endanger the queen ant!

Ants' Escape PreventionHarvester ants are not the best climbers but if you do not want to deal with escaped ants, which is a common issue while you feed them, apply about an inch wide of our PTFE Fluon.


To remain healthy, your queen and worker ants require proper hibernation during the winter months, but it's not a must during your ant colony's first year.

Find out everything you need to know about the harvester ants on our Blog Page: Exploring the Fascinating World of Harvester Ants: Exploring the Fascinating World of Harvester Ants: A Comprehensive Guide

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