- What's a Test Tube Insert?
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Monomorium floricola, the Flower Ant, is truly a worldwide tramp species, found across tropical regions and heated buildings in temperate regions (Canada included!) Interestingly, queens of Monomorium floricola don't actually have wings, and thus spread much more slowly than their more aggressive counterpart, the Pharoah ant. Being a tramp species, Monomorium floricola is one of the most hardy species, being able to survive in almost all conditions. Just remember to keep them contained!
Monomorium floricola is an inbreeding supercolonial species, and a colony of these ants will produce more queens given proper conditions.
As far as we know, we are the only legal suppliers of the species, as it is illegal to import them without a permit.
Special Thanks to Max Hike for letting us use his images
|Scientific Name:||Monomorium floricola|
|Common Name:||Bicoloured trailing ant/Flower ant|
|Taxonomy:||Family: Formicidae | Subfamily: Myrmicinae | Genus Monomorium | Species: M. floricola|
|Care Difficulty:||Monomorium floricola is considered as a intermidate leved species.|
|Distribution:||Originally native to Southren Asia, this species has been introduced to many countries as an invasive, although not as destructive as it's widespread family member (Monomorium pharaonis) it has still wreaked havoc throughout many countries. Currently this species has been found in many continents primarily in Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America. More specifically, it can be found in the southren most parts of USA such as Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Arizona, and Utah. It can also be found throughout most parts of South America, southren area of Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, turkey, southren parts of Africa, most southren parts of asia, and Nothren parts of Oceania. Here in Canada, there is only one recorded record of Monomorium floricola. This record was found in Quebec but it is suspected that there are a lot more colonies wide spread throughout Canada residing within greenhouses and other heated structures.|
|Habitat:||In it's original habitat, they can often be found living in almost anywhere, either within tree bark, under rocks, or within a house, this species is highly adaptive. Records show that most wild colonies were found under tree bark scales or hollowed branches.|
|Colony form:||This species is highly polygynous often living with many queens in one colony.|
|Queen:||The size of queens in this species hasn't been properly recorded yet but sizes will range from around 2.5-3.5 mm long.|
|Worker:||Worker sizes haven't been properly reocrded yet but it is estimated that worker sizes will range from 1.5-2 mm long.|
|Soldier:||There are no soldiers in the species Monomorium floricola.|
|Males:||There are no size recordings of Monomorium floricola males but it is suspected that they are very similar in size to workers.|
|Nutrition:||Monomorium floricola is very non picky species when it comes to food. They will easily take most carbohydrates without issue, this includes: honey, sugar water, honey water, and sunburst ant nectar. When it comes to proteins, it is recommended to serve this species pre killed food items as the workers will have issues taking down live food due to their small size. Monomorium floricola will take almost any protein source, this incluides dog food, fish food, any meats, and most feeder insects. Some feeder insect recommendations would be fruit flies, mealworms, superworms, crickets, surinam roaches, and discoid roaches.|
|Air humidity:||It is generally recommeneded to keep this species damp because of their tropical orgins but they will do fine without lots of humidity. Colonies can be kept at 30-50% humidity but will survive with up to 80% humidity. A normal test tube setup will provide this species with the adequate amount of humidity.|
|Temperature:||This species typically prefers warmer conditions. Colonies will do fine in room tempreture but will do better in warm conditions. Monomorium floricola will be able to survive any where from 15-35C. Optimal conditions for fast growth would be around 27-30C. This temperature is perfect for the fastest egg to worker speed.|
|Hibernation:||Hibernation for the species Monomorium floricola is not recommended at all. Hibernating this species will most likely result in the loss of the entire colony or a large portion of it. Colonies will grow all year long without issues.|
|Nesting Habits:||Monomorium floricola is typically found in tree bark or hollow twigs in the wild. They can also be found under rocks and other areas outside but indoors they live in areas such as greenhouses, heated building, and houses. Inside these structures you can find them living in anywhere but you are most likely to find them in damp areas with heat.|
|Kind of Formicaria:||Monomorium floricola are typically extremely hard to house due to their tendancy to escape things. Due to their small size, any formicarium with even the smallest gaps are not recommended. Typically most arylic nests will work but some have had success with keeping them in the Tarheel Ants Inception Chamber. Any nest from the Buckeye Myrmecology line should be able to contain Monomorium floricola.|
|Formicaria size:||This species is extremely fast growing due to their ability to inbreed but because of their small workers size, any small nest from the Buckeye Myrmecology line will work fine. Due to their frequent inbreeding, it is recommended to get the next size up from the Buckeye Myrmecology line when you see all chambers adequately full.|
|Description:||Monomorium floricola is an intermediate level species. Care wise this species is extremely easy because of how non picky they can be with almost anything. Containment of this species is very hard. It is recommended to use an airtight outworld with fluon to prevent escapes. As for nest types, it is recommeneded to use a Buckeye Myrmecology nest as they are able to contain them relatively well. Colonies of the species Monomorium floricola can inbreed within the nests which often results in colonies having hundreds of queens if the correct care is provided. This species is extremely fast growing because of their ability to have multiple queens and their fast egg to worker growth rate (3-4 weeks). This species is good for relatively experienced ant keepers who are looking for a fast growing, easy to care for species, and pretty species to keep.|
|Development:||Monomorium floricola queens lack wings meaning that they don't have nuptial flights. Queens of this species will inbreed within the nest and create new colonies via "budding". This process is when a queen mates with a male and moves away from the main colony taking a few workers with her. In captivity, colonies will inbreed and keep all newly mated queens which will result in colonies having many egg producing queens.|
|Offering quantity:||Queen + 5-10 workers | 2 Queens + 10-20 workers | 3 Queens + 15-30 workers | 5 Queens + 30-50 workers|
Test tube inserts are upgrades to the test tube setups provided. If purchased, they come with a dark hood to lower light levels for the colony, an insert which provides a living space, and a feeding insert to provide food for the colony.
Ungrouted inserts are a blank plastic insert which helps provide a more suitable space for the ants to grip (as opposed to glass tubes), while grouted inserts are bedded with a substrate which helps distribute humidity more evenly throughout the test tube, and helps certain ants create their cocoons more easily. Overall, grouted inserts are more comfortable for the ants.
You will NOT need an insert for colonies in test tubes, but it does help for certain species. IF you are moving the ants into a nest immediately, do NOT get a test tube insert.
This species comes from more tropical areas than Canada, and are not cold-tolerant. Thus, we will not ship them in the winter
Just a warning, we will NOT ship live ants into the US unless the receiver has a permit. If such an order is made, it will be refunded, minus a 10% processing fee and restocking fee
This product is from Canada Ant Colony. The full catalogue, including all variants, can be found at https://canada-ant-colony.com