Aphaenogaster occidentalis is a reddish-brown coloured species found throughout western North America, they are fast-growing, aggressive, and very active. The workers of this species have a dark coloured head, lighter thorax, and very shiny and bright gasters. They look absolutely fantastic under the light!
Aphaenogaster occidentalis is a medium-sized ant with queens are normally around 7-10mm while workers range from 4-6mm
The colonies are slow to found but pick up speed if brood-boosted and have a few workers, they can grow very large very quickly and become quite aggressive and territorial, they are very active and will track down and hunt prey items to feed their fast-developing brood.
They have been found in the wild to nest alongside or even in the same piece of a log as Camponotus vincinus, which is a unique trait of theirs.
Overall, this species is a little bit challenging to raise from a single queen, so here at ISC, we are providing young colonies that have already endured through the hard part of the founding period and will develop quickly with the right care.
They are found in one of the warmest and most arid locations in Canada, the Okanagan valley, with summers easily reaching up to 35 degrees Celsius, so it's safe to say they can endure hot weather. They prefer around 28 degrees celsius in captivity and despite living in naturally arid conditions, they preferred the standard test tube set-up with a water reservoir and some substrate over bare test tubes without a reservoir like some Camponotus species do.
Care conditions: 25-28 degrees celsius
water feeder in outworld for bigger colonies, be prepared to change often since they like to bury it
Housing: simple test tube set-up with substrate, AAC nests, Acrylic nests, wood nests
Enjoy this fun, easy to keep, and wonderful species!