Ant Queen and Colony Adoption


Stop by our new location at 3209 Gresham Lake Rd. (Unit 125) in Raleigh, NC 27615.  There you can speak with us in person, browse our ant colonies and discuss how best to get into the hobby of keeping ants as pets to suit your style.

****We can ship inside the state of North Carolina ONLY.  Please do not contact us for inquiries about shipping outside the state OR country.  Federal and state laws prohibit the transport of reproductive queens outside the state without a permit.  We abide by our local laws 100% in this activity and reserve the right to refuse this service to anyone should concerns arise.  Proof of residence may be required.****


Camponotus chromaiodes Colonies
Queen with 6-12 workers - $70 in test tube or Devolve Chamber. w/ Mini Hearth $95. 
 Queens guaranteed for 30 days after purchase.
Camponotus castaneus
- Founding colonies available!  These are beautiful, large ants (carpenter ants).  They have orange/red color.  Each between 5-10 workers, brood and queen.  $70
Formica subsericea - 
Queen with brood ($50)  - Queens are guaranteed for 30 days after purchase.
Aphaenogaster spp. -
Aphenogaster lamellidens colonies
Current colonies for sale:
Colony with 20-25 workers in Mini Hearth $120
These are larger ants for this genus and are very active foragers.  This genus of ants and particularly this species are much more rare to find queens during nuptial flights.  The colonies can grow into the thousands and are great for viewing activity.  This is definitely one of my favorite all time species.  Excellent beginning species as care is very simple for them.  Coloration of Aphaenogaster lamllediens is stunning, great for videos and photos!
Aphaenogaster rudis (colony sizes between 3-100 workers) in Mini Hearth Formicarium
These are active ants, red in color, and still large enough and quick enough to hunt live fruit flies in their habitats.  Queens have very beautiful coloration.  Excellent beginning species as care is very simple for them.  
$80 (includes Mini Hearth)
Aphaenogaster fulva (colony sizes between (2-100+ workers) in Mini Hearth Formicarium
These are a darker color Aphaenogaster sp., a very slender and graceful ant.  Colonies do not get quite as large as some other species of this genus and these are excellent beginning species as care is very simple for them.  
$75 (includes Mini Hearth)
Formica subsericea - 
Queen with 6-10 workers ($70)  - Queens are guaranteed for 30 days after purchase.
Solenopsis molesta 
Pickup only
"Thief Ants"
These ants are a light red color, very tiny!
Colonies are difficult to spot in the wild so these are rare to find queens on mating flights.  Queens fly in the summer months in the evenings but are notoriously difficult to get started into colonies. 
Colonies Available
Colony with several hundred workers and one queen.  $80
Colony with 40-50 workers, lots of brood, one queen.  $120.  This colony is already established in an Inception Chamber.
Colony with 9 queens, hundreds of eggs, 20-30 workers.  This is a founding colony from 2017 poised to explode in numbers this summer.  This colony is also already established in an Inception Chamber.  $160
Monomorium minimum $50-$100
These are tiny ants, but well worth the experience from an ant keeping viewpoint.  These colonies have multiple queens, as many as 20 in a couple of our current colonies.
More queens is better?  Yes, but having more workers initially would indicate a better current health of the colony.  Long-term, more queens would obviously mean potentially larger colonies and longer-life.  Your choice!  Most colonies in the wild have a large amount of queens.  A colony with only 1-3 queens would be more easily manageable in the short-term while population numbers from a colony with many more queens could see faster growth during periods of time of equal duration.

 Please read the rules of sales regarding these colonies below before contacting us.


 Tar Heel Ants owner, Mack Pridgen, has been involved in raising queen ants and researching new methods and habitats for over 7 years.  The colonies listed here for adoption are all from locally collected queens and small colonies.  We follow all state and federal regulations for the collection and sale of the colonies listed on these pages.  Tar Heel Ants has also gone a step further to ensure that colonies and queens sold or "adopted" out are in the best condition possible and only sell thriving colonies and queens in good health.

Approval was received by the NC department of Agriculture for local sales and shipping (within North Carolina) in 2011.  Since then we have been researching queen ant care and have developed our care regiment from our experiences raising local species.  Our focus is on local species such as Camponotus chomraiodes, Camponotus castaneus, Aphaenogaster lamellidens, Aphenogaster fulva, Aphaenogaster rudis, Brachymyrmex patagonicus, Monomorium minimum, Camponotus pennsylvanicus and many others!  We will be provide a maintenance and care sheet with your purchase.

1. Buyers must be 18.  A parent or guardian can cosign with you, but North Carolina ID is required at the time of the exchange.  Other proof of residence may be provided.

2. Ants are shipped through approved means only.  Currently this is FedEx.  Rates vary with the service agreed upon.  We will NOT ship ants if we suspect (due to weather forecasts or our own judgement) that the ants will not survive the transport!

3. NEW: You may pick ants up at our store in Raleigh, NC at 3209 Gresham Lake Rd. Unit 125.  Please call to make an appointment 919-348-3642.

3. Identification of the species will be provided (we will not just sell you "ants", but will provide colony history if desired and species name).

4. Buyers must follow all state and federal guidelines about transporting reproductive ants. This may vary from state to state.  Once purchased, it is up to you to follow federal guidelines about transporting ants.  In North Carolina it is not allowed to transport ants out of the state without a proper permit and it is also not allowed to bring ants into other states without permits as well.

5. Never release captive colonies back into the wild.

6. Ants must be cared for to the best of your ability.  We are available for advice on care at or you can browse topics on our blog on the subject.

7. Fees for adopting are to cover time spent raising, collecting, and for food expense during their time with us.  In some cases the habitat of the colony will be included in the price.  This detail will be included with the listing under each colony.



Up for Adoptions!

Want to list your ants here with us?  Drop an email at  You must be willing to follow all local and federal laws regarding the sale and transport of ants.