Formica oreas, affectionately known as "oreos", are one of the coolest ants in Canada. They are large ants in large colonies, and build mounds of up to 10 feet wide (depending on species, many of them stop at around 2-3 feet wide). These mounds are made to regulate temperature and often thatched with local grasses and pine needles.
Remarkably, many of these species line their nests with tree resins, which when mixed with the Formic acid they secrete, creates an antibiotic to protect them disease.
Formica oreas are one of the largest variety of Formica which live in Canada. These are some of the largest of Formica with queens from 10-13 mm and workers from 6-8 mm. Mature colonies will accept new queens, becoming polygynous and allowing them to grow extremely large colonies up to 100,000 workers in 10+ 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 oreas are the most dominant ants in their area, hunting down other species and consuming large amounts of biomass. We get many of these each year, though the numbers are variable. Note that this species requires good ventilation, or their formic acid spray may become an issue.
This product includes Formica planipilis, Formica obscuriventris, Formica prociliata, Formica dakotensis, Formica integra, Formica fossaceps, and several other Formica species in the rufa-group,
**Note: F. oreas colonies here were caught as small wild caught colonies unless stated otherwise
***We offer polygynous colonies of this species, which can be bought on special request.