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Formica sanguinea (Slave Maker Ant) care

The Formica sanguinea, also known as the Slave Maker Ants, is an intriguing and unique species that is sure to captivate any ant enthusiast. With their stunning red and black colouration, these ants stand out in any ant colony. This species is particularly fascinating for its behaviour of raiding and enslaving other ant colonies, making it a truly remarkable addition to any collection. These ants require a well-ventilated and structured habitat with plenty of space as these ants spray formic acid which can endanger the colony. As they are highly social insects, providing a diverse diet and ample space for their intricate network of tunnels and chambers is essential for their well-being. Polygenys ant species - multiple queens per colony. Not suitable for beginner antkeepers.


Habitat and Distribution

The species boasts a wide distribution throughout Europe. Formica sanguinea ants show a preference for nesting in the ground with sand-loam soil under stones or in rotten wood.

Physical Characteristics and Identification

The size of the worker caste ranges from 6 to 9 mm, while queens are larger, measuring between 9 to 11 mm with the head and thorax in lovely red and black gaster.


Their diet is quite varied, including insects such as fruit flies, mealworms, crickets, locusts etc.

Hibernation: Yes

From October till March at 7-10 degrees Celsius.

Habitat requirements

Air humidity: outworld: 50% (normal room humidity in the UK) and in the nest: 60 - 70%;

Temperature: outworld: overnight 18 and maximum daily temperature 28°C. In the nest area: 20 - 25°C.

Nesting and Colony Structure:

The social structure within Formica sanguinea colonies is intricate, with nests starting from a single queen and potentially growing to include two or three queens with 500-1000 or more workers.


Egg to adult ant - around 10 weeks.

Formica sanguinea (Slave Maker Ants)

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