- What's a Test Tube Insert?
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Solenopsis geminata, the red tropical fire ant, is the now-infamous cousin of the red invasive fire ant, Solenopsis invicta. However, it does not have the same invasive tendencies, as it requires hot temperatures to grow. These ants are unable to survive temperatures of 10 degrees Celsius for any extended period of time.
Solenopsis geminata broadly comes in two different forms: a form native to North America, with brown workers, the ability to have multiple queens, and larger soldiers, and an invasive form, a red, monogynous, and less polymorphic variety.
Here, we stock the native variety hailing from Southern Florida. These ants are not for beginners due to their high heat requirements and explosive growth speed.
Wild pictures come from TheWildMartin
|Scientific Name:||Solenopsis geminata|
|Common Name:||Red Tropical Fire Ant|
|Taxonomy:||Kingdom: Animalia | Phylum: Arthropoda | Class: insecta | Order: Hymenotera | Family: Formicidae | Subfamily: Myrmeicinae | Genus: Solenopsis | Species: S. geminata|
|Care Difficulty:||Solenopsis geminata is an intermidate leved species|
|Distribution:||This species is an extremely invasive and destructive ant species. Solenopsis geminata has been widely distributed throughout many countries via hitch hiking on human transportation such as planes, boats, etc. Originally native to southren parts of USA , Mexico, and most of South America, this species has managed to make its way to many continent such as Westren Africa and Southren Africa, Australia, and Southren Asia. This species can also be found in areas with cold winters. They are able to survive by living within greenhouses and heated structures.Here in Canada, there has only been one record of Solenopsis geminata. This record was found in a grrenhouse in Manitoba.|
|Habitat||Solenopsis geminata is normally found within soil, sand, or a mix of both.|
|Colony form:||Solenopsis geminata broadly comes in two different forms: a form native to North America, with brown workers, the ability to have multiple queens, and larger soldiers, and an invasive form, a red, monogynous, and less polymorphic variety.|
|Queen:||Queens of this species are around 6-10 mm in size.|
|Worker:||Solenopsis geminata workers range from 3-6 mm in size|
|Soldier:||Soldiers in this species will often range in size. Soldiers from this species are around 4-6 mms in size.|
|Males:||There are no size recorded for males of this species but males are suspected to be similar in size to queens (around 5 mm)|
|Nutrition:||Solenopsis geminata will eat almost anything. They will easily take most carbohydrates without issue, this includes: honey, sugar water, honey water, and sunburst ant nectar. When it comes to proteins, Solenopsis geminata 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, crickets, mealworms, superworms, surinam roaches, and discoid roaches.|
|Air humidity:||It is recommended to keep the species at around 50-80% humidity.|
|Temperature:||This species is a tropical species meaning that it will do a lot better with additional heat provided. It is recommended to use a heat pad or another heating device for optimal growth. This species enjoys temperature from 27-30C. Less heat will result in eggs taking longer to hatch into workers.|
|Hibernation:||Hibernation for Solenopsis geminata should not be done. This species is extremely cold sensitive and keeping them below 10C can result in their death. Colonies should be heated all year long.|
|Nesting Habits:||Nests are often made in soil. Colonies can be found living in most areas with soil.|
|Kind of Formicaria:||Solenopsis geminata is a very destructive species. Colonies will be able to chew through most materials meaning that they will need a nest of high durability. Nests such as the Buckeye Myrmecology acrylic nests will work for founding colonies but it is likely that colonies will out grow a nest of that size in no time because of their fast growth speed. Most Tarheel Ants products will be able to contain Solenopsis geminata but it is recommended to connect another nest as soon as they start to fill up the current nest. This is because Solenopsis geminata will chew through things once there is no longer an adequate amount of space.|
|Formicaria size:||Solenopsis geminata is an extremely fast growing species. It is recommended to keep them in a standard test tube until it is relatively full. Always keep this species in a nest a bit larger then the colony itself. Once the nest looks adequately full connect another nest to provide extra space.|
|Description:||Solenopsis geminata is an intermidate to advanced leved species. This species is extremely fast growing being able to get thousands of workers in just a few months. It is recommended to use an outworld with a tight lid and a fluon barrier because of their ability to brute force their way through things. This species has a sting which can be a bit painful so it is recommended to use tongs or tweezers when doing maintenance. Solenopsis geminata is extremely aggressive and will be able to kill most things given to them via swarming and stinging. Overall, this species is great for someone who wants a fast growing, vibrant colored, and aggressive species.|
|Development:||This species has been recorded to fly in both April and May. Queens will often fly in mass.|
Solenopsis geminata "dark": Queen, Queen + 1-5 workers, Queen + 5-10 workers, Queen + 10-25 workers, Queen + 25-50 workers, Queen + 50-100 workers.
Solenopsis geminata "red": 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.
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