here is a detailed care guide on how a beginner can take care of Pheidole bicarinata, also known as big-headed ants:
Ant Housing: Big-headed ants need space to forage and nest. A good option is an ant farm made of acrylic, glass or plastic. You can also use a test tube setup, a formicarium, or a hybrid setup combining both. The container should have a lid to prevent escape and regulate humidity.
Nesting Material: Pheidole bicarinata prefers nesting in soil, so provide a soil layer in the formicarium. This can be a mixture of sand, clay, and soil. It's important to ensure the soil is moist but not wet. You can also add natural materials like leaves or twigs for them to move around and build their nests.
Feeding: Big-headed ants are omnivorous and require a mix of protein and carbohydrates in their diet. Feed them a variety of foods such as small insects, honey, fruit pieces, seeds, and nuts. You can also offer them sugar water, which is a good source of energy for them.
Temperature and Humidity: Pheidole bicarinata prefers a temperature range of 20-25°C (68-77°F) with humidity around 50-70%. Keep the container away from direct sunlight and drafty areas. To maintain humidity, mist the soil layer with distilled or dechlorinated water every few days.
Cleaning: Regular cleaning is essential to keep the colony healthy. Remove any uneaten food, dead ants, or waste. You can also clean the container and formicarium with a mild soap and water solution.
- Avoid using pesticides or harmful chemicals near the ants' habitat as they can be toxic to them.
- Handle the ants gently and avoid sudden movements or vibrations that may cause stress or harm to them.
- If you notice any health issues such as lethargy or decrease in activity, seek advice from an experienced ant keeper or a veterinarian.
- You can also provide a heat source or a cooling source depending on the environment you keep them in.
By following these guidelines, you can successfully take care of Pheidole bicarinata and enjoy the fascinating world of ant keeping.