Messor Barbarus is a beautiful easy to keep species from Southwest-Europe.

Messor barbarus

  • Messor Barbarus is a common seed harvesting ants from the southwest-europe.  Very common in the warmer European countries because these ants like the heat. 

    They nest under rocks and sandy areas. These ants feed on seeds and harvest mainly grass and plant seeds. Bigger colonies do eat smaller insects to aquire protein. The seeds get stores in huge chambers for later consumption.

    Messor Barbarus is monogyne meaning their can only be one egg laying queen in the colony. Colonies can grow up to 10,000 workers! Messor Barbarus has different casts. They can have majors and soldier up to 14mm! These majors are used to break open the hard seeds collected by the workers. 

    These ants have nuptial flights from September until November. A nuptial flight is a fenonamon where new ant queens (alates) fly out of the nest to meet and breed with ants from other colonies.

    Workers get around 3 to 9 mm long,the queen is around 14 to 18 mm long and the soldiers can grow up to 14mm. This species is medium size for an European species.

    Source: AntWiki