Harpegnathos venator (Primitive Asian Jumping Ant)
Visually striking species of tropical ant due to its large size and peculiar set of elongated mandibles. Additionally, its large pronounced eyes in combination with its ability to jump when threatened or conversely, hunting for its prey, make it obvious as to why this is a hugely popular species of Ponerine ant kept in the hobby.
H.venator is naturally found throughout South and S.East Asia, particularly amongst hot & humid habitats such as ravine forests or rubber plantations. They typically create very 'simplistic' nesting infrastructure that is comrpised of single large tunnels connected often to a a limited series of large chambers.
Interestingly, scientists have discovered that amongst other species of ants, this particular type of hunting ant, is one of the natural enemies of termite colonies and quite often, worker ants will forage and target termite workers with their long mandibles and sharp sting.
In terms of captive keeping, these ants require a high level of humidity (70-80%) and temperatures of 22-26C for optimum growth and development. They commonly do best in bioactive/naturalistic setups where cocoa peat and clay is often used as a substrate.
Whilst these ants will feed from sugary substances, as most other ants of the Ponerinae subfamily, they depend mostly on protein sources, i.e. live insects such as crickets or roaches.
All in all, a very interesting species of ant to keep that doesn't require a large space and relatively easy to keep.
It is illegal and strictly frowned upon to release any non-native ants into the wild.