• Pogonomyrmex barbatus Colony(20-25 workers, Queen)(Ants Only)

    Tar Heel Ants

  • $ 69.99 $ 74.99

  • 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.  

    Pogonomyrmex barbatus is available to ship from Tar Heel Ants to the following states: (we send you the permit with your order) 

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

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

    ***Read the following regarding shipping!!!!  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?

    -Each time we ship a colony, we choose the best colony at that time in terms of worker count and healthiest brood piles.  You are receiving the best colony we have out of many.

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

    -Raised on organic Dandelion Seeds


    -Guaranteed Live Arrival - If they arrive in another condition, take a photo of them, and send us an email at tarheelants@gmail.com.  This must be done immediately after receiving them.

    -Package Options Available ---- We use the Mini Hearth as the favorite founding setup but have many more options on our website.  See the Package Queens For Options that include a formicarium and everything else you need to get started with this species.

    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 all shipped specimens of this species 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 making the stinging ability much easier to avoid (we recommend to not leave the tops of your foraging areas regardless, other animals and insects can enter your habitats and harm your colony). 

    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 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.  This is perhaps true more than many other commonly kept ant species with better capabilities of storage inside their larger bodies such as Camponotus and Formica species.  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.


    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).

    Habitat Recommendations:

    Formicaria recommendations for founding colonies are Mini Hearths, Inception Chambers, 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. 

    Warranty:  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 recommendations and care sheet to aid in care for your new ant colony.  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 immediately.  Warranty is voided if left in outside for more than one hour after arrival at your address.

    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.




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