Messor Barbarus mated queen Red head with eggs/brood and workers (starter pack)

Messor Barbarus mated queen Red head with eggs/brood and workers (starter pack)

Messor Barbarus are a form of European harvesters they have amazing colour variations of workers, some will have red heads the colour variations are highly variable, smaller workers can be almost black whereas the major workers will have a mixture of red heads and thorax with various sizes.

They are called harvester ants because of their relationship with seeds like other Messor species, they extensively collect seeds from various areas in the wild forming various lines heading back to the nest with the seeds and other food sources. It’s an amazing sight to watch and I am always fascinated by watching them on my trips to Spain.


The harvesting process involves process involves removing the outer shell of the seed exposing the seed pulp and chewing it with the ant’s mandibles to an ant bread which is fed to queen, workers and young brood. Up to 60 percent or more of a Messor species diet is seeds.


They are commonly found in countries such as Spain and Portugal in various environments, such as olive plantations, in mountains or hilly areas on the outskirts of cities or in parks.

They are a very beginner orientated species and my favourite European species due to various colorations and sizes or workers as well as their love for seeds.


Keeping difficulty: Easy (beginner friendly)

Colonyform: Monogyne (Polymorph workers)

Queen size: 14-18mm

Workers size: 4-16mm black/red, majours can have red heads!

Food: honey water and insects and seeds

Temp: 18-26°C

Humidity: 50-60%

Founding: claustral without feeding

Colonysize: 1-10,000 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 seeds

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.

    PriceFrom £9.99