Cataglyphis aenescens (Long Legged Desert Ant)
This Central European and Asian species is rather rarely seen for sale in the ant keeping hobby due to its nesting habits being in rural undisturbed sandy fields. These are typically very warm regions and therefore, the ant has adapted to high surface temperatures by having a rather interesting physiology. Large eyes and long lengs!
These ants are able to withstand scorching surface temperatures of 35C+ through rapid skittish movement which is enabled by their long legs (upto 5mm in length!). Whilst they may seem shy at the beginning, once the colony begins to grow, they really become quite a fun species to observe as everything seems to be done in a rush! Quite amusing stuff.
In the wild, nests are often found amongst low lying shrubs and ground dwelling plants. These shiny black ants are a polymorphic species, meaning you will find a diverse range of sizes as the colony matures, from 2mm workers all the way to 10mm workers!
They are a generally a shy species of ant that is suitable for beginners looking to get into exotic ant species or more experienced enthusiasts alike. In terms of growth they are quite fast to develop once the colony reaches 40 workers and over. Due to the nature of their natural environment, these ants are active throughout the entire year, thus not requiring hibernation.
It is illegal and strictly frowned upon to release any non-native ants into the wild.