Monomorium minimum (Little Black Ant)

Monomorium minimum (Little Black Ant)

Canada Ant Colony
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Monomorium minimum, The Little Black Ant, is one of the most common ants in North America. One of the most prolific species, this species requires relatively hot areas. In Canada, they seem to be only present in the hot sandy soils at the south of Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. Workers range from 1 to 1.5 mm and queens range in size from 3.5 to 4.5 mm. As a small species, Monomorium minimum should be kept at high temperatures of above 26 degrees Celsius and humidity levels above 65%.

As a whole, these ants are a pleasure to keep, so long as you're willing to spend some effort on containment.

Scientific Name: Monomorium minimum
Common Name: Little black ant
Taxonomy: Family: Formicidae | Subfamily: Myrmicinae | Genus Monomorium | Species: M. minimum
Care Difficulty: Monomorium minimum is an intermediate level species.
Distribution: This species can be found throughout North America. Unlike it's destructive counter parts (Monomorium pharaonis and Monomorium floricola) this species is non invasive and lives in many parts of both USA and Canada. Here in Canada, there has been recorded records in Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.
Habitat: According to, Monomorium minimun can be found in "essentially all habitats, ranging from arid grasslands and shrubs to pinyon-juniper forests to ponderosa pine-riparian sites. It is found most often in open areas." It has been recorded that Monomorium minimum mostly nests in sandy soils.
Colony form: Colonies of the species Monomorium minimum are highly polygynous often containing more then one queen.
Queen: Monomorium minimum queens have been recorded to be around 4-5 mm long.
Worker: Workers of this species have been recorded to be around 1-2 mm long.
Soldier: There are no soldiers in the species Monomorium minimum.
Males: There are no recorded measurements of males in the species Monomorium minimum but males are relatively close in size to queens often only a bit smaller in size.
Nutrition: Monomorium minimum 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 minimum 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, crickets, superworms, surinam roaches, and discoid roaches.
Air humidity: This species can survive well with humidity ranging anywhere from 35-70%. This humidity can be acquired by keeping them in a standard test tube set up.
Temperature: This species will survive any where from 5-35C. Monomorium minimum can survive perfectly fine in room temperature but it is recommended to provide them with extra heating to shorten the egg to worker time. Additional heat can also premote queens to lay more eggs. 27-30C is the best temperature to premote extra and faster growth.
Hibernation: Colonies native to Canada are able to hibernate anywhere from 5-10C. Although you can hibernate them, they can survive perfectly fine without hibernation and will grow all year long. Monomorium minimum colonies imported from areas with consistent temperature (i.e some parts of USA) do not possess the ability to hibernate. Hibernating a Monomorium minimum colony obtained from an area with consistant temperatures all year long can result in the death of the colony or the loss of many workers. It is generally not recommeneded to hibernate Monomrium minimum due to this fact. When purchasing a colony you won't be able to know if ti was obtained from Canada or USA.
Nesting Habits: Wild Monomorium minimum colonies have been recorded nesting in wood, soil, and under rocks and logs. Colonies generally make shallow nests which are usually less then 10 cm deep.
Kind of Formicaria: Monomorium minimum are typically hard to house due to their tendancy to escape things. Although they aren't as bad as their destructive counter parts (Monomorium floricola and Monomorium pharaonis) they will still need a formicarium with no gaps because of 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 and the Tarheel Ants Mini Hearth. Any nest from the Buckeye Myrmecology line should be able to contain Monomorium minimum.
Formicaria size: Like most species within the Genus Monomorium, they are extremely fast growing due to their ability to inbreed and their short egg to worker time. You might think that this means you will need a large nest 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 minimum 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 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 minimum 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 new or experienced ant keepers who are looking for a fast growing, easy to care for species to keep.
Development: Monomorium minimum will have nuptial flights recorded in march. In captivity this species will be able to either mate within the outworld or within the nest.
Offering quantity: Queen, Queen + 1-5 workers, Queen + 5-10 workers, Queen + 10-25 workers, Queen + 25-50 workers, Queen + 50-100 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.

Hey! This is a live product. If you are purchasing ants during the winter months, please remember to purchase the "Winter Shipping (Live Guarantee) (72 hour heat pack + 1 inch foam cushion)" in order to guarantee the order. 

Live Guarantee Policy

If live insects arrive cold or flooded please handle with care. Many of these colonies typically pop back up within a few hours. All DOA claims must be made within 24 hours after receiving your insects. Any order with a unacceptable mortality rate, but with a viable colony (e.g. less workers than in the range advertised, less queens or workers than advertised) can be compensated with store credit equal to the loss of value in the shipment, including shipping and extra packaging. Any order with DOAs, but which do not fall out of the initially advertised/promised range of workers will NOT be compensated.

DOA claims which are a total loss will be re-shipped 1 more time FREE of charge with photographic evidence. Orders where shipping is more than 30% of the total value of the order will be refunded proportionally to the loss of value in the shipment, INCLUDING test tube inserts which are purchased with the colony.

We guarantee live arrival on Xpresspost and priority shipments, as well as pickup and local delivery. Only orders that are accepted on the first delivery attempt will be eligible for DOA credit, no exceptions.

Live guarantee is VOID if you choose expedited shipping. In the winter, it is VOID if no extra packing is purchased. Fertility guarantee claims or live guarantee claims made within the month after arrival must be made with a timestamped photo of BOTH the queen alive upon arrival AND a timestamped photo of the dead specimens.

Expedited shipping can be a budget friendly method but does not always have the best results. If your order is going to be in transit more than 3 business days please do not choose this method or choose at your own risk.


Please note that orders to outdoor community mail boxes, or other outdoor locations void our live guarantee. If your address consists of an outdoor mail box or location, please make arrangements to have the order delivered to a friends house, or to your place of employment.

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

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