Recommended for beginners. This ant species is claustral, easy to keep and have just a single queen (monogyn). It is widespread in the Middle East and Africa. Both the queen and workers are black, while the smaller workers have a slightly reddish-brown color. They dig their nests into the soil, usually under larger stones, where they create several larger chambers for themselves. They prefer warm, sunny, open habitats.
Similar to other Messor species, this species is also seed collector (harvester ant). They store various seeds in their tunnels and consume them later. They tolerate dry conditions well, keep their environment clean, that makes them an ideal species for any type of ant farms. They can be kept in a relatively dry environment with a few watering spots, to prevent the growth of mites. Messors accumulate waste, usually in the warmest and driest corner of their enclosure. They are polymorphic, have three different worker castes (minor, media, major). Major workers are strong and robust, they can move larger seeds, hunt and neutralize prey. Minor workers are small, assist in raising the brood and do other tasks around the nest. Their stingers are undeveloped, harmless to humans, and they usually neutralize their prey with their strong mandibles. They are not aggressive but highly territorial, do not tolerate any other insects their territory. Keep them under stable lighting conditions and protect them from vibrations, because they are sensitive to them, it cause stress to the colony. These ants are active all time, that makes them fascinating to observe. Workers mainly look for food at ground level. The expected lifespan of the queen can reach up to 20-25 years.
Food: Seeds (seed mix + oily seeds like walnuts or peanuts) and insects.
Reproduction: They reproduce rapidly in warm conditions. In the first year, they may raise 40-70 workers, and by the second year, they can reach a few hundred workers. Mature colonies have a few thousand workers. Typically, Messor species develop without pupa, so the pupal form is white and ant-shaped.
Hibernation: They require mediterranean hibernation, keep them a temperature of 15°C from November to February.