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Solenopsis invicta Red Imported Fire Ants care

Oh, the fascinating world of ant keeping, especially when it comes to the Solenopsis invicta, commonly known as the red imported fire ant! These little critters are truly nature's engineers, and caring for them can be a thrilling adventure that provides an up-close and personal look at the complex social structures, behaviours, and survival strategies of one of the planet's most successful species. They are native to South America along with their less distributed sisters, Solenopsis geminata.

Solenopsis invicta care is a captivating interest that requires a keen sense of observation and a fair bit of dedication. These ants are not your ordinary backyard species; they are an aggressive and invasive kind that has adapted remarkably well in various environments, which makes their care all the more intriguing! They are known for their fiery sting, hence the name 'fire ants.' But don't let that deter you. With the right precautions and respect for these hardworking creatures, it becomes a unique experience to care for them. Please note, that they will only sting if you threaten the queen or squish them in between your fingers and put their life in danger.

To ensure proper Solenopsis invicta care, one must provide them with a suitable habitat that mimics their natural environment. They prefer sandy loamy soil where they construct their intricate mounds. A balanced carbs and protein diet are also essential; these ants are omnivorous and love a good mix of sweets and animal matter (live food), they love fruit flies, crickets, and roaches. The best available substitution for balanced feeding is the protein jelly. Keep a keen eye on their water intake as well; humidity plays a crucial role in their lifecycle so keep it on the high end, around 80%. The daily temperature in the ant farm should be around 24-26°C and 24-26°C overnight.

Observing these industrious and resilient ants as they navigate their daily routines, from foraging for food to defending their colonies, is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Their complex social structure is a marvel of nature that can offer valuable insights into the realm of teamwork and survival. So, for anyone with an interest in entomology or simply a love for nature’s marvels, caring for Solenopsis Invicta provides an unmatched hands-on experience. So get ready to dive into this fascinating world of fire ants!

Colonies are polygenous (multiple queens) and can reach up to 250.000 workers in nature. We started a colony of these ants with 5 queens and around 50 workers in April 2014. Until November same year we had around 5000 workers. I gave up at the same time and a fella ant keeper kept them for the next two years. He reported the colony size had increased to 10,000 workers one year later and to double that number two years later in October 2016. Their growth rate is truly astonishing. Fresh queens are fully claustral (do not need feeding until first workers) but we suggest treating them well in captivity so protein jelly once a week is recommended. The queen's size is around 8-10mm and workers are relatively small, 4-6mm.

Solenopsis invicta ants bite and sting!

Not suitable for beginners. Solenopsis invicta are smart and very well-organised ants and will try to escape 24/7, and we can assure you they will escape if they need more fresh water, food or extra space. An ant escape prevention liquid is a must!

Find out more about these little conquerors in our Blog: Discover the Most Unique Ants: A Comprehensive Guide on Ant Types


Solenopsis invicta (Red Imported Fire Ants)

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