Queen Ants and Ant Colonies For Sale

Click Here To Order Ants


We are looking for the following species for trade (store credit) or cash transactions:

  • Formica subsericea
  • Camponotus pennsylvanicus and Camponotus novaeboracensis
  • Pogonomyrmex rugosus
  • Novomessor cockerelli
  • Myrmecocystus navajo and mendax

We are always willing to talk to serious-minded folks who are willing to collect queen ants(absolutely no wild caught colonies, only queens!) in parts of the country we cannot easily access on our own (western U.S., northern U.S. mainly).  Permits are a big part of the process of obtaining ants from others for us as a business, so you must be willing and able to include a permit in the box we mail to you.  You do not need your own permit for this!

If you have any questions please call us at 919-348-3642 or email tarheelants@gmail.com.



Available Species For 2024 

Formica subsericea

(Available Now)

Formica subsericea queen is the mother of our largest and oldest colony of 12 years (15k+ workers), and we have learned a lot from her and her daughters.  They have a wide range of appetites for feeder insects, fruits, and sweet liquids and are very forgiving on limited choices compared to other ants we have kept.  The colonies can get into tens of thousands over time, and heating beyond room temperature is not required (but still helpful).

Camponotus chromaiodes(Summer 2024)

Camponotus chromaiodes are a black carpenter ant with red highlights in varying proportions of red highlights from colony to colony.  Some of them like our 6 year old colony have entirely red thorax and legs, while others have red mainly under the body and legs.  They can grow into the many thousands over time, and do extremely well on a diet of fruit flies, apple slices, and honey-water.  We also feed them generous portions of our ant juice to round out their diet.  Many other foods will do just as well, but do not leave out the fruit flies (or find an equivalent)!

Camponotus castaneus(Summer 2024)

 Large, gorgeous red carpenter ants.  Their visual appearance makes them one of the top targets for ant keepers in the Eastern U.S. as a pet ant colony.

Camponotus pennsylvanicus (Available Now-limited)

(email us for options at tarheelants@gmail.com)


Pogonomyrmex barbatus (Available Now)

Notes: Range from 15-20 workers with healthy brood piles.  Shipping only to native range, email us for more information about our permits. 

Packages Available Now, (Click Here To Browse Packages)


Pogonomyrmex occidentalis (Available Now)

Shipping Available to all lower 48 states except Florida.  Colony sizes range from 20-40.  Inquire with us via email for larger colony sizes above the packages on our Ants For Sale Pages.  California residents must fill out small questionnaire with the California Department of Agriculture.'

Pogonomyrmex rugosus (Available Now)

Myrmecocystus spp. 

(5 different species available) -  See Our Ants For Sale Pages For Packages and Details.

Others - contact us through email or phone for ordering if these are not listed on our Ants For Sale Pages

Tetramorium immigrans

Lasius neoniger

Crematogaster cerasi

 (Click Here To Browse Packages).

For a full list of ants we have available for your state, contact us at tarheelants@gmail.com or call 919-348-3642


Click Here To Order Ants


More Information On Pogonomyrmex occidentalis:

***All Colonies Come With the ORIGINAL Queen.  This queen is mother to all ants in the colony.***

***These colonies have been raised in our shop located in Raleigh, NC.   Pogonomyrmex occidentalis is the only species legal to ship across state lines (excluding Florida) inside the lower 48 states.****




Click Here To Order

Other recommended products with ant colonies

Zoo Med Heating Cable 

Dandelion Seeds

Watch Our newest video on Pogonomyrmex occidentalis here:



Appointment Availability Update:

Please call 919-348-3642 For Appointments.  We open our showroom for visitors through appointment only.  Our hours are flexible, so call now!

1. Online ordering - PLEASE READ THE PRODUCT PAGES FOR ANTS CAREFULLY FOR THE LIST OF STATES WE CAN SHIP THEM TO.  EACH SPECIES HAS A DIFFERENT RANGE OF LOCATIONS (U.S. States) WHERE WE CAN SHIP THEM.  WHERE NECESSARY WE PROVIDE PERMITS WITH EACH SHIPMENT.  Pogonomyrmex occidentalis does not require permits unless you live in California (Florida does not allow this species at all).

 Federal and state laws prohibit the transport of reproductive queens outside the state without a permit (except Pogonomyrmex occidentalis, noted above).  We abide by all laws 100% and reserve the right to refuse this service to anyone should concerns arise.  Proof of residence may be required.  Visitors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a guardian at all times in the store!****

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

 Tar Heel Ants owner, Mack Pridgen, as part of Tar Heel Ants founded in 2011, has been involved in raising queen ants and researching new methods and habitats for over 12 years. 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 purchased 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.  We have been an approved NCDA seller of live ant colonies for 12 years! (and USDA licensed beginning in 2019). Since 2011 we have been researching queen ant care and have developed our care regiment from our experiences raising local species.  Our focus initially was on raising and caring for local species, but has in the past several years expanded (with the changes from the USDA involving permits) to species across the U.S.  We will be provide a maintenance and care sheet with your purchase.

1. Buyers must be 18 or have a parent or guardian approve the transaction.

2. Ants are only shipped where legal to do so.   We will NOT ship ants if we suspect (due to weather forecasts or our own judgement) that the ants will not survive the transport!  We will also not sell if the ants are expected to be sold illegally (without proper permits) as a result of our initial transfer to you through sale.

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

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.  Therefore we cannot sell ants in our storefront that are not accompanied by the proper permits.  We provide permits when shipping ants out of state, but this service is not available for picking up.  You must have your own permits for picking up ants that are not native to North Carolina!

5. Never release captive colonies back into the wild. The main reason for this suggestion is to protect the natural environment from the introduction of harmful pathogens or pests that joined the colony during captivity (your house).

6. Ants must be cared for to the best of your ability.  We are available for advice on care at tarheelants@gmail.com or by phone at 919-348-3642.   We also have a YouTube channel and FAQ section on our website with additional information on raising ants as pets.

7. Fees for adopting are to cover time spent raising, storage, collecting, and for food expense during their time with us.