Brachymyrmex depilis (Hairless Rover Ant)
Brachymyrmex depilis (Hairless Rover Ant) - Canada Ant Colony
Brachymyrmex depilis (Hairless Rover Ant) - Canada Ant Colony
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Brachymyrmex depilis (Hairless Rover Ant)

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Tap. Tap. Tap.

There's a drumming unaudible to the human ear coming from the soil. It is the drumming of the ant's antennae on the bodies of aphids to obtain a sugary substnace the ants live almost exclusively on-- honeydew. The aphids drink the sap from plants in order to gather nutrients. However, plant juices are light in lipids and other nutrients, so the aphids have to sift through tons and tons of sap. That sap comes out in the form of honeydew, a mix of the excess water and sugars the aphid collects, right into the jaws of a waiting ant.

Brachymyrmex depilis, also known as the rover ant, is almost completely dependent on honeydew in the wild. These ants are small, only a millimeter or two, and live across North America among the roots in humid, marshy areas, and probably in the wetter parts of your lawn as well. In captivity, they've been reared on sunburst and other sugar mixes, though they do appreciate dead insects on occasion.

They require 70-90% humidity and do best in 22-24 degrees Celsius. Their queens range from 4-5 mm and the workers range from 1-2.5 mm. They are fairly difficult to start up but grow at high speeds once they start going. This species is particularly vulnerable to drowning, and test tubes are often too dry. Thus, it is better to start them in founding formicaria or if provided a lot of substrate in their setup.

 Wild pictures come from Max Hike :) Follow him on Instagram at @maxhikephotography