top of page

Messor Barbarus Geographical Distribution: This species is found in southern Europe and North Africa, mainly in the Mediterranean basin. Monogyne species that can sometimes practice pleometrosis. Description of Individuals:

Queen: Measures between 13 and 14 mm, black with shades of brick red. Workers: Size of 7 to 9 mm, black. Soldier (Major): Size of 10 to 14 mm, black with a brick-red head. Male: Measures approximately 9 mm and is black.

Diet: Mainly granivorous, feeds on various seeds as well as small insects such as mealworms, flies, mosquitoes, and crickets. a source of water is necessary for ant bread production. Environmental Conditions:

Humidity: Foraging area should have a humidity of 30 to 50%, the nest between 50 and 70%. Temperature: The foraging area should be maintained between 25 and 30°C, the nest between 23 and 28°C. Hibernation: Yes, from mid-November to early March at temperatures of 9-13°C.

Nest Type: Colonies can be housed in plexiglass nests, nests with tubes, or nests made of reconstructed stone. Description: Messor Barbarus is primarily granivorous and is of particular interest for observing the production of ant bread to feed the brood. The colony consists of three distinct castes: minor workers, median workers, and soldiers (or majors), each with specific roles. When the colony becomes large, they become excellent hunters, making them an ideal species for beginners due to their robustness and tolerance to rearing mistakes. Foundation: Colony foundation is done claustrally (without external feeding), and the development from egg to worker takes about 45 days, depending on the temperature. Colony Size: A Messor Barbarus colony can consist of up to 50,000 individuals, and the queen can live up to 25 years.

Messors Barbarus

    bottom of page