This is an easy to keep ant species so it is recommended for beginners. They are claustral and monogyn (single queen) species. Worker’s heads is glossy black, thoraxes are red, expecially for the bigger major workers. They make their nest under the ground, usually under massive stones and form some bigger chambers and tunnels for themselves. Warm, sunny and open areas are popular for them.
They are seed collectors like other messor species, they store various seeds in their tunnels, and utilize them later. This ants tolerate drought well, keep their enviroment clean, that makes them an ideal species for any type of formicariums. They can be kept in dry conditions with some watering spots to prevent the growth of mites. Messors accumulate waste, usually in the warmest and driest corner of the enclosure. This species is polymorphic, have three different-sized worker castes (minor, media, major). Major workers are strong and resilient, can move harder seeds, and hunt for prey. Minor workers are smaller, they support the growth of brood and do other tasks around the nest. Their stingers are undeveloped and harmless to humans, they usually neutralize their prey with their strong mandibles. They are not particularly aggressive, but highly territorial, do not tolerate any other insects in their territory.
Food: Seeds (seed mix + oily seeds like walnuts or peanuts) and insects.
Reproduction: They reproduce rapidly in warmer conditions. In the first year they may raise 40-70 workers, but by the second year the colony can reach a few hundred of workers. A mature colony consists of a few thousand workers. The offspring develop without pupa so the pupal form is white and ant-shaped.
Hibernation: They need mediterranean hibernation, from November to February, at 15°C.
For more information check this video.