Ants from the Solenopsis genus are more commonly known as Fire Ants. Whilst individually measuring less than 4mm in length, they may not seem like ruthless killers, swarming and devouring anything which dares to oppose them. Don’t let this put you off though! Successfully keeping Solenopsis species, and more specifically Solenopsis geminata & Solenopsis invicta, is undoubtedly a major achievement. They are known for their incredibly high growth rate and aggressive behaviour.
You can expect to grow a colony from first workers very quickly and as such, suitable and secure housing is mandatory. Not to mention that Solenopsis invicta is a highly invasive species and should never be allowed to enter the wild. In the UK it is illegal by law to release non-native organisms into the environment. Make sure you are prepared and have sufficient measures in place to deal with any issues that may arise.
We created the Solenopsis Proof (SP™) Acrylic Nests back in 2017 and they have proven to be most reliable method of containing Solenopsis colonies. They are specifically designed to house Solenopsis, with deep 15mm chambers to accommodate the large amount of workers and brood the colony produces. This results in a very high capacity nest which is a highly efficient method of containing them. The closed nature of the SP™ nests also allows high humidity to be maintained, which is essential to the development of brood – dehydration can kill a Solenopsis colony very quickly. We recommend using a PTFE barrier in the outworld to ensure the ants cannot escape from there.
Whilst keeping Solenopsis species appears a daunting task, they can provide you with much entertainment. You can be sure that with the correct equipment, you can keep a massive colony in captivity.