THESE QUEENS FLEW IN MID-SPRING 2021. THEY ARE ALL STRONG QUEENS AND HAVE STARTED LAYING EGGS!
Formica Integra is the most colourful wood ant species found in Canada, with Formica Neorufibarbis 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 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. The queens of this species will then start laying eggs, giving birth to workers of her own species and effectively creating a new colony.
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 Integra 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.
At Insect Supplies Canada, we sell live wood ant queens, small colonies and even some large colonies of Formica Integra. They are considered an intermediate/ advanced species to keep as their stings are quite painful and they are escape artists.
Formica Integra Queens are normally around 14-16mm while workers from 7-15mm
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 Integra 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 field ants!