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  • Formica rufa are rare species of Formica that is not often sold in the UK and other parts of the world. They are famous for their super colonies in which mounds of multiple queen nest work together like a super organism as observed by David Attenborough in his documentary “The Empire of Ants”. After a Nuptial flight in the wild Formica rufa seek out established colonies such as Formica fusca and try and reach the queen before she is killed and plans her nest take over, multiple rufa queens can do this together. In the wild they generally build nest mounds usually composed of pine needles or leaf litter.  Their main diet is honey dew and insects they are excellent farmers of aphids. There care is similar to other formica species.



    Keeping difficulty: Moderate (Kept at least 1 or more European colonies)

    Colonyform: Monogyne and Polygyne

    Queen size: 11-12mm

    Worker’s size: 5-10mm black gaster with red thorax and red/brown head

    Food: honey water and insects and seeds

    Temp: 18-26°C

    Humidity: 50-60%

    Founding: claustral without feeding

    Colonysize: 1-100,000 workers

    Hibernation: November until end of February at 15°C

    You will receive:

    1x queen mated queen with eggs/brood or workers depending on your selection

    1x protein shake

    1x pipette


    Live arrival guarantee:

    We guarantee the live arrival of your Queen they come well packed in our jiffy bags which have two-sided padding as well as an additional layer of bubble wrap around our test tubes. We are the only company in the United Kingdom to offer our live arrival guarantee of your queen as well as an additional 14 days guarantee if the colony if kept in the original test tube for all our European species. Why do we do this? We are confident with our colony’s health and our packaging process as well as our care guides, we also believe in our customers and making sure they have a good ant keeping experience.


    Be aware of sellers only using the Live arrival guarantee and not the 14-day additional warranty on European ant species it might be slightly cheaper but could end up paying more in the long run, also all our products are sold as starter kits including food and a pipette.

    We do require photographic evidence of the queen in the original test tube for validating the guarantee once outside the test tube and in a nest the environment is outside of our control.

    It is illegal to release non-native species of ants into the wild and could damage the local ecosystem so bare this in mind we have a duty to our environment.


    Live arrival guarantee we ensure the live arrival of the queen only upon delivery contact us within 24-48 hours of receiving the Queen dead on arrival with a picture of the dead queen and the original workers. DO NOT TRANSFER THE DEAD QUEEN OR WORKERS TO A NEST AS THIS VOIDS YOUR WARRNTY. For our additional 14-day guarantee for European species the Queen and workers must be kept in the original test tube sealed with the cotton and care sheet instructions followed if you want to keep this additional guarantee do not transfer to a nest or your warranty is VOIDED (we recommend you keep the 14-day warranty).


    We have no control over the environment outside the test tube and have no influence in the conditions the responsibility once placed outside the test tube within the 14-day period the responsibility is with the buyer. 9 times out of 10 colonies die in the nest due to lack of water access, food, temperature, oxygen or stress due to vibrations or exposure to excess light. If your colony does fail inside a nest contact us, we can advise what went wrong but it is up to you to buy another ant colony, you will succeed but sometimes it does not work the first time. Research is key to success with ant keeping and follow our guides.

    Formica rufa (red wood ants) Starter kit

    PriceFrom £29.99
    Out of Stock
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