Myrmica ruginodis (European Red Ant)
This red species of ant, native to the UK and most parts of Northern Europe, is commonly known for its rather aggresive behaviour when provoked. Equipped with a stinger, these ants will not hesitate to sting prey or predator alike under most circumstances.
Typically, the severity and pain of the sting is often compared to that of a stinging nettle and usually subsides after 30 mins - 2 hrs, depending on the type of reaction your body has had to it.
This is a hardy & tolerant species, capable of thriving at large temperature ranges between 16C-25C. However, as they're commonly found in damp microhabitats (i.e. near peat bogs, meadows in proximity of rivers or inside rotten tree logs), a high humidity of 60-70% is recommended for this type of ant.
Myrmica ruginodis is a non polymorphic species, meaning that all workers will typically be of similar/identical size. Mature nests have been found during field studies, to contain upto 30-40 queens in some cases with an average of 5,000 - 10,000 individual worker ants. Unlike many other species of ant, the queen is not distinctively much larger and can often be distinguished by a larger, pronounced thorax and slightly bigger and quite often, darker gaster.
In terms of feeding, this ant will take a large variety of insects, from mealworms to locusts to roaches. They are also typically fond of sugary substances such as fruits or sugar/honey water.
All in all, an easy, active and colourful species to keep and recommended for beginners and amaterus alike.
It is illegal and strictly frowned upon to release any non-native ants into the wild.