Messor barbarus colony

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Messor barbarus are a harvester ant. They collect seeds and store them in a grainary within the nest. The larger ants will chew these seeds to make "ant bread" which is their primary food source. They also feed off dead insects. Messor barbarus will not normally feed on honey/sugar water.  They should have a supply of drinking water which must be protected from drowning. These ants thrive at room temperature (above 21 degrees C) but may need additional heat when the temperature is likely to fall below room temperature for an extended period of time. You should always hibernate this species, especially so if your queen has not yet laid any eggs.

Description of Queen: 6-10mm Long, Head Colour: Brown/Black (Sometimes Red)

Description of Workers: 2-8mm Long, Black / Dark Brown, Thorax Black - Shiny

Food requirements: Seeds (Harvester Ant) and Supplemental Protein (dead insects)

Humidity: 50% – 70% RH - Dry Seed Store Required

Temperature: 21 – 26 degrees C

Hibernation Required: Yes. Hibernate between November to Mid February at 15 degrees C (and always above freezing)

Minimum Tube / Connector Diameter: 9mm

Life span of Queen: 20 years +

Shipping Restrictions: We do not ship live specimens outside of Europe*

Guarantee: Queen guaranteed to be alive on arrival.


These ants are not native to the UK and is therefore illegal to release them into the wild. Please contact AntKit if you no longer wish to keep them and we will arrange for them to be collected from you at no cost.

*Due to shipping regulations and regional laws, we are unable to ship live specimens outside of Europe. Orders from outside the UK or EU will be supplied an empty test tube instead.