Common name: The Black Crazy Ant or Longhorn Crazy Ant.
This is a small dark brown / blackish ant that has a faint bluish flash in bright light. Its common name arises from its characteristic erratic and rapid movement. The workers are 3 mm in size and are notable for their very long legs and antennae. They don’t have a sting but bite and eject formic acid onto the wound. The queens are notably larger than the workers at about 6 mm and very prolific.
Colonies have multiple queens and usually build up to around 2,000 workers. Above this size they will split and form new colonies by budding. Workers are omnivorous, feeding on live and dead insects, seeds, honeydew, fruits, and many household foods. With its ability to breed quickly and utilize many different food sources it is able to invade and colonize new habitats very quickly and will out-compete other resident species of ant.
Crazy ants are highly adaptable in their nesting habits and can live in habitats that are very dry or relatively moist. Colonies are highly mobile and relocate when conditions become unfavorable. Outside they will nest in rotten wood, under fallen tree limbs, tree stumps, under stones, bricks and lumber. Most natural habitats seem to be acceptable to them and they can be found in gardens, coastal scrub land, lowland rainforest, dry deciduous forest and savannah. They have also adapted to and can be found in many man made environments from the top of tall buildings to ships.
Colonies increase in size quickly and will produce alates within a year. New females will mate just outside the nest and will be accepted back into the mother colony. These ants are able to mate with their siblings without showing any of the normal negative effects of inbreeding. Although the queen produces workers through normal means, the female alates are her genetic clones and the males are the genetic clones of her mate. The male and female gene pools thus remain completely separate and this has allowed the black crazy ant to increase its colonies very quickly and it has become a very effective invasive species and one of the most widespread species in the tropics.
Summery: It is a very adaptable species and easy to keep in captivity. They take well to any kind of artificial nest and will eat a wide range of food.
We have some good sized multi queen colonies ready now. Once settled down these will increase in size very quickly.