The kinds of the type Cataglyphis are exclusively ground inhabitants. In adaptation to their way of life as a ground hunter they have nearly lost the ability to climb up at plain surfaces like panes of glass. They do this only under the greatest efforts and undertake such excursion only at food storage, at concerns or lack of space. As an inhabitant of subtropic areas this ant needs a rest, like the hibernation of local kinds. A cool down of the terrarium on 15 to 18 degrees for 1 to 2 months in the winter is enough to interrupt the brood activity and to give the colony time to regenerate. Also offer enough fodder in the form of carbohydrates now.
* Taxonomy: Subfamily Formicinae, Tribe Formicini
* Distribution: Mediterranean countries, north africa
* Characteristics: polymorph
* Appearence of the queen: head and thorax matt red, gaster matt black, bottom side of the gaster shiny black, very long legs
* Appearance of the workers: Head and thorax matt red, gaster matt black, bottom side of the gaster shiny black, very long legs
* Size: Queen about 16 mm, Workers: 6 - 16 mm
* Breed-time: fast (4 - 6 weeks)
* Nest building: soil nests
* Nutrition: living insects self-hunted, also fresh-dead insects and other invertebrates, honey- and sugar water, always fresh water in a drank. (The kind is not excessively demanding, but needs, sufficient care and constant supplies of animal protein during the summer period)
* Temperature: warm (25 - 30 °C), in the deeper nest area there should be cooler areas.
* Air humidity: in the deeper nest area there should be areas with higher air humidity. besides dry, occasional spraying of the runout area with water.
* Number of basins: 1 basin is adequate, but with a base as lage as possible.
* Dimensions of basin: at least 40 x 30 x 30 cm (depending of colony-size), with a possibility to clean up the nest
* Soil conditions: sand, loam, stones. Design the fittings from steppes to dessert-like, some dry branches increase the runout surface.
* Planting: Plantation with mediterranean plants is advantageous. Hydrocultures with havy little stones are advisable, because for the big and strong ants it is impossible then to put on twig nests in the damp root area.
* Accessories: an infrared heating lamp for heating the nest. Terrarium lighting with clock timer.
* Keeping level: middle
Have just finished setting up their new formicarium very excited to be getting these ants, Cataglyphis are my favorite ants
Particuly because of there aggression and hunting capabilities, and theyr eye sight is good to, which was the first thing i learnt about them from c.bicolors
This is a fairly simple setup, i cut out a ytong nest, it has 3 sides of tunnels and chambers, and one exit up into the desert floor. A fairly large basin supplies water to the nest, and a drinking source for the ants, very important as this setup will be kept between 27-30C. The 'pond' also has a plant pot carved into the ytong with a couple of tropical plants in, and theres a cactus in the dry side
Used 30% yellow sand, 10% white sand, 20% red sand and 40% loam, to try and make a sarahan desert color, didnt work to well, but looks nice enough
for heating i have a 20w lamp in the roof, focusing on the 'dry' side of the formicarium, and a 25w heat mat on the back left side of the tank, tempreture has held at 24C for today, not warm enough, so I'm going to change the mat to a 40w and the bulb to 25w, which will hopefully be better
bulb is on a 12/12 timer
now i just have to wait for the ants to arrive, once the temprture has stablized i'll introduce them and post sum pics