A lone small black worker with an orange thorax peaks its head out of the nest entrance. A black streak races by, surely a larger fusca-group Formica, and the small worker ducks back into the nest. Taking a few more brave steps, to the nest entrance, a red streak follows the black, perhaps a sanguinea-group Formica. This time, the small black worker runs back in and starts blocking off the entrance. Sanguniea-group Formica are slave-raiding species, and Formica limata is often the slave.
Formica limata is a species in the Formica neogagates group, which separate themselves from other Formica with their smaller size, more timid behaviour, and tendency to have colonies with many, many queens. In captivity, however, they seem to learn to be more aggressive in the absence of their larger counterparts. Formica limata is peculiar in that it starts out with black workers, and newer workers have orange thoraxes after several generations. We're able to sell polygynous colonies of this species on request.
Formica limata are again an ant that has no English Name. We've simply used a more-or-less direct translation to make it easier for people.
Formica limata are a small variety of Formica which live in throughout Canada. These are the smallest of Formica with queens from 7-8 mm and workers from 5-7mm. They grow large colonies up to 3000 workers in just 3 years. They prefer 22-26 Celsius and like around 50% humidity, though there is slight variation across species. They're more skittish than most ants, and so are of medium difficulty to start, but are extremely enthusiastic and fast growing once they break 50 workers. In the wild, Formica are some of the most dominant ants, hunting down other species and consuming large amounts of biomass. We get many of these each year, though the numbers are variable.
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