• Pogonomyrmex barbatus Colony (20-25 workers, Queen)w/ Mini Hearth XL

    Tar Heel Ants

  • $ 99.99 $ 109.99

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  • Description

    Pogonomyrmex barbatus are among the largest harvester ants in the world.  These ants have a deep red coloration, grow very fast when well-maintained, and are some of the most active ants I have kept. 

    They are almost always doing tasks such as disposing of trash, peeling seeds, feeding larvae, drinking water, etc.  Pogonomyrmex spp. in general are very beginner-friendly ants.  Seeds is the mainstay of their natural diet, but other sources of protein are accepted in the forms of various feeder insects.  They must have a heat source targeting some portion of their formicarium in order to grow.  

    Tar Heel Ants has permits to ship Pogonomyrmex barbatus to the following states (where these ants are native):

    Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, Arkansas

    ***Please Read the Information on the link (here) on our Live Arrival Guarantee.***

    ***This listing includes queens/colonies of Pogonomyrmex barbatus found in 2023. *** 

    ***This Bundle Package consists of an ant colony (named in the title) and a Mini Hearth XL formicarium.  Please use the options to modify your package.***

    Read the following!!!!  Shipping takes place during the first part of the week, typically Monday, Tuesday and again on Saturday.  We do not ship towards the end of the week due to carriers not delivering on Sunday.  Ants are only shipped during weather conditions that are deemed safe for them to survive, so please keep that in mind as you wait on your ants to be mailed.  Each colony must be moved to a shipping container which takes 2-3 days.  Having said this, ants do not ship the same day they are ordered.  Contact us at tarheelants@gmail.com with any other questions regarding shipping.  

    Why buy from Tar Heel Ants?

    -Queens are hand picked from dozens of queens to be the strongest in number of brood and most actively producing queens.

    -Founded in specialized founding habitats; Genesis test tube Insert system for feeding and maintenance.

    -Raised on organic Dandelion Seeds (by far their most preferred founding stage seed)

    -All shipped colonies are deemed to be in excellent condition at the time of shipping.  

    -Guaranteed Live Arrival -  See Below

    Options Available:

    Seed Boost (Optional)

    Mini Hearth XL  - All the Mini Hearth and Mini Hearth XL connect to each other with magnets.

    Heating Cable

    Nestmate Additions - 

    These Ants Are Notorious for clogging up water sources, this option includes two additional nestmates and a stopper for switching them out quickly.  Cleaning once every two weeks with hot water is recommended.  

      Click this link to see Mini Hearth Options and Explanations  

      The Mini Hearth part of this bundle takes approximately 10-14 days to make from scratch.  We do have some Ready To Ship versions available (premade).  These can be found at this link here.  If you want one of these versions used in your bundle, please indicate this by using the comments box when checking out and type in the model number from the Ready To Ship pages.  If there are additional charges for the specific version you choose, we will contact you by email or phone prior to shipping.  

      ***If you do not make a note in the comments, you can email us after the order is made to let us know what model you want.  Otherwise we will make them as quick as possible, with the 10-14 day time period needed to make them from scratch.  Thank you!

      General Information

      Species Name: Pogonomyrex barbatus

      Distribution: Western United States and Mexico

      (This informational section is a continuous work in progress as we study, receive feedback, and learn more about these ants)

      Natural Behavior and Habitat: Pogonomyrmex barbatus is a large ant species, over ½” in length for the larger workers and queens and has a painful sting.  Like other members of the Pogonomyrmex genus, these ants are poor climbers and cannot climb sheer smooth surfaces including acrylic and glass.  They are aggressive when threatened or disturbed and have the capacity to inflict a painful bite in addition to the sting.  Colonies in the wild can grow to a size of 10,000 workers or larger, and thrive on a diet heavily consisting of grass seeds and other seeds found near their nests.  They do take in protein sources from dead insects and animals as well when available.

      Care Recommendations: Grass seeds, dandelion seeds, and other seeds that are organic or untreated.  Smaller seeds should be offered primarily for founding colonies, and a variety is important if you are unsure if a certain seed is preferred as a food source.  Dandelion seeds and Kentucky Blue Grass Seeds are confirmed, and we will update this page with more information on additional food sources as time goes on.  Fruit flies or small dubia roaches are also recommended in cases where seeds are not available, as they are small food items, high in nutrients, and the trash is easily removed from the nest as well.

      Water is extremely important to these ants.  A constant supply of clean drinking water is a must to keep this species thriving.  One of the signs of not enough drinking water is a diminishing or constantly small brood pile.  The use of the nestmate is important for the Mini Hearth habitat to function as intended!

      Heating these ants with artificial heat sources such as heat cables, lamps, or pads is a must.  A minimum recommended temperature is 78 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 90 or more is acceptable.  At higher temperatures, it is recommended to rotate warm and cooler periods is also recommended (to simulate day and night temperatures).

      Formicaria recommendations for founding colonies are Mini Hearths, Fallen Fortress, Lair formicaria, and and other well ventilated formicaria with a substrate coating.  This is important in case of accidental flooding inside their nest.  The seeds they store must be kept dry constantly or they will spoil.

      These ants can experience a normal diapause, or they can also be kept warm year-round.  Much of the species primary habitat is in areas of the Southern U.S. and Mexico with extremely mild winters. 

       What comes in the package? With each queen comes a small supply of seeds (our choice of Kentucky Blue Grass, Dandelion, Chia, or others), a test tube and insert, and packaging materials.  Options are available in the drop down menus for habitat and other accessories.

      Warranty Information:  The delivery of these ants alive is guaranteed.  Having said that, you are expected to make arrangements to be available to receive your ants if the temperature is too warm or too cold on the day of arrival.    If there is any problem with delivery you must contact us immediately by email or phone.  After the ants arrive we cannot guarantee their survival but have prepared a guide and a couple of videos to serve as tutorials to aid in getting your queen and colony setup properly  We have put significant time and energy into putting together advice on how to best raise them so please read this PDF thoroughly.  Email us at tarheelants@gmail.com with comments or questions.

      If your queen does not arrive alive please be prepared to provide evidence (unfortunately this is required for replacement) and answer a few short questions so we can try to understand what may have gone wrong during shipping.  Problems are very rare but when they do occur contact us by email or phone (919) 348-3642.

      How are they shipped? 

      There are several layers of protection to help protect your queen(s) during shipping.  In all cases they are shipped inside our proprietary genesis inserts to keep them safe from drowning and protect their brood during shipping.   During warm conditions we will ship them ice packs.  They come inside a puncture resistant tube as well.


       ***PLEASE READ BEFORE ORDERING - The ants being ordered on this page require being transferred to another habitat within a few days after receiving them.  They are shipped in safe conditions for the mail but have no access to food or water inside their shipping containers.  They can live for quite a long time in these conditions, the humidity inside the shipping container is very high and prevents loss of moisture.  Please do not leave them in these shipping setups after they arrive for more than a few days, they need food and water to continue to grow as a healthy colony!

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