Carebara affinis (Asian Marauder Ant)
A notoriously aggressive and fast growing species of Marauder Ant hailing from the tropics of South East Asia. Often confused with Carebara diversa, these require the same keeping parameters but tend to be lighter in colouration. Like C.diversa this species is highly polymorphic and the size difference between a solider and a minor worker is astounding! You wouldn't believe that they are from the same species, let alone same colony.
Carebara affinis is not a species for the faint hearted as their ability to grow into super colonies is not something to be taken lightly. In order to raise colonies successfuly, frequent feeding & protein-laden foods are key.
Their ability to grow at such a high speed is due to the short & fast stages of growth in between their brood cycles. Did you know that it only takes about 7-9 days for a young larvae to pupate?
In order to sustain the many hungry larvae, it is important to offer the colony a variety of freshly killed insects. This is especially important as worker ants of this species do not live very long and therefore, need to replenished efficiently by the colony to thrive succesfully.
Whilst these girls are known for the predatory and swarming prowess, it is important to not neglect other food sources such as seeds high in lipid content (fatty seeds to you and I) ; i.e. chia seeds | walnuts | peanuts | amaranthus seeds.
In terms of a suitable captive environment, this species tends to do best in a natural, bioactive setup that replicates the forest floor which they are normally found in. The reason for this is because it tends to promote the right temperature & humidity parameters of a tropical environment.
That being said, C.affinis will adapt well to plaster/concrete based formicariums too.
Due to their susceptibility to mites, it is imperative that ventilation is accomodated for as well as frequent cleaning of uneaten foods.
If you're looking to be kept on your toes with a new addition to your collection, look no further. With polygynous colonies too, you surely will be left in awe as to how many eggs this species can actually produce.
It is illegal and strictly frowned upon to release any non-native ants into the wild.