Myrmicaria natalensis (Natal Droptail Ant)

 

The Natal Droptail Ant of East & South Africa, is a fairly large predaceous species of ant which aggresively competes with any neighbouring colonies. Colonies are often found at the base of Afrotropical mountainous regiones whereby humidity levels are high. Additionally, due to the harsh nature of such habitats, this species of ant is very hardy and adapts very well to most captive environments.

 

Similarly to its Asian counterpart, it also has a "droptail" phyisological characteristic which makes it seem almost as if they are constantly dragging their gaster. When workers are agitated, they will release formic acid from the gaster.

 

This species is also known to local scientists as the 'soil dumping' ant as interestingly, they have developed a very specific behaviour in which they will, excessively dig into the soil to then be able to use the substrate to cover and smother neighbouring ant species which are in competition. Talk about military strategies!

 

During foundation, queens typically raise a large clutch of eggs. Half of these will be used for consumption whilst the others hatch and become young worker ants.

 

This ant thrives best at temperatures of 22-26C and relatively high humidity of 50-60%.

 

It is illegal and strictly frowned upon to release any non-native ants in to the wild.

Myrmicaria natalensis

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