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.****

***Please contact us by email ( or phone (919-348-3642 - no text messages please) to discuss ant sales.  Please make an appointment to come by our Raleigh location.***

March 2018 Colonies currently available(only for NC residents):


Aphaenogaster lamellidens colonies:  These colonies are small colonies recently caught from under loose bark during our searching for Camponotus spp. queens that fly during this time of year.   These ants are very rare to come across but we have a few available and moving them into various habitats immediately.  Contact us at to reserve your colony of these great pet ant colonies!  The coloration on these ants is among the most attractive we have here in North Carolina.  Colonies will be bundled with current habitats (XL Mini Hearth, Fortress, or Fallen Fortress, etc.).  $180+

Camponotus chromaiodes $100-$125 (15-20 workers and sizeable brood piles)

These are 2nd year colonies.  Add $40 for a colony already in a Mini Hearth Formicarium with museum glass.  We have a handful of these available and ready for pickup immediately.  We also have several colonies in Devolve Chambers that are ready to move into a habitat of your choosing.  We can do this in the shop while you wait!  Why the price increase from 1st year colonies?  The queens are much stronger and colony success of older colonies is more certain.  The time and money put into feeding and caring for older colonies is considerable compared to a founding queen and a small group of workers in the 1st year.

Camponotus castaneus SOLD OUT

We hope to have some later this summer.

Formica subsericea $80 (4-10 workers plus brood pile)

Our Formica subsericea are all awake now and producing eggs.  Many already have pupae.  These colonies will grow in size quickly and are ready to move into a formicarium from their Genesis Test Tube Habitats.

Aphaenogaster rudis (colonies of various sizes) $100-$150.  

All of our current Aphaenogaster colonies are in Mini Hearth Habitats with museum glass.  These are 3rd year colonies and have high levels of activity foraging.  They are ready for a good home! 



 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 accompany you, but North Carolina ID is required at the time of the exchange.

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.