THESE QUEENS FLEW IN MID-SPRING 2021. THEY ARE ALL STRONG QUEENS AND HAVE STARTED LAYING EGGS!
Formica Sanguinea is one of the most colourful wood ant species found in Canada, with Formica Integra and Formica Pacifica close behind. The queens of this species are social parasites meaning that right after their nuptial flights, they go out and search for newly founded Formica queens like Formica Neorufibarbis and Formica Podzolica. They will kill the original queen and cover themselves in the original queen's scent thereby tricking the workers into thinking that she was always the original queen.
This species can be considered more difficult to keep and care for, so one should practice caution before purchasing and do research and be prepared to provide for them to ensure they can thrive.
Queen of Formica Sanguinea are found in most regions of southern-western Canada. These ants dwarf the average wood ant species like Formica Subsericea and they certainly are more colourful. These slave-making wood ant queens have a shiny red head and thorax with a beautiful pattern of redish-black colouration lining their thorax, gaster and legs. The colours are most visible under the sun or bright light, the workers are extremely eye-catching too.
Formica species from the group "Sanguinea" are often always "Slave Raiders" meaning the queen will perform temporary parasitic behaviour on a host colony and begin laying eggs. However, her own biological workers may struggle at performing "housekeeping" tasks like taking care of brood, foraging and more. So they require a constant supply of fresh host workers to do those chores for them. Meaning it is recommended to supply your colony with host pupae every once in a while to ensure these ants will thrive.
This behaviour is widely studied and marveled upon, with many documentaries and stories written about it. Which often includes red ants stealing black ant babies, it is fascinating and absolutely an honour to be able to observe species that exhibit this behaviour in captivity.
At Insect Supplies Canada, we sell live wood ant queens, small colonies and even some large colonies of Formica Sanguinea. They are considered an intermediate/ advanced species to keep as their stings are quite painful and they are escape artists.
Formica Sanguinea Queens are normally around 12-15mm while workers from 5-12mm
The colonies of these slave-making wood ants can grow very large, they are very active and will live in their logs and develop until they are a force and can start reproducing more alates!
Overall, Formica Sanguinea is a very satisfying ant to raise from a single queen into a large colony, the brood develops at a steady pace so it wouldn't be long until you would have a beautiful young colony of these gorgeous wood ants!