Tetramorium immigrans, or the pavement ant, is a common European species introduced to much of the United States, as well to parts of Canada, Chile, and Argentina. Pavement ants are small, brown, gregarious myrmicines, usually found in urban areas under stones and pavement, which have short legs and large, ridged heads. Their colonies are large and aggressive, pushing out native species and consuming foods, such as potato chips, that many ants would leave be. T. immigrans is widely regarded as one of the best species for hobbyists, beginners and veterans alike, as it is fast growing, active, common, and tolerant of a wide range of foods and conditions. They are so easy to care for, in fact, that the biggest danger might be missing the early morining nuptial flights. In its native Europe, Tetramorium immigrans coexists with numerous other closely related Tetramorium species, such as T. caespitum and T. impurum, which are practically impossible for hobbyists to tell apart. While pavement ant workers are easily confused with the related genus Myrmica, the queens are easily distinguished; Myrmica queens are rough and ridged, while Tetramorium queens are smooth and shiny.
- Nuptial Flight Time: June - July, 5:00 AM - 6:00 AM
- Founding Type: Fully-claustral
- *gynous: Monogynous, pleometrotic. Queens will found together, but will fight once workers appear.
- Brood Boostable: Yes, very.
- Hibernation: Preferred, but not needed for the first year.
- Feeding Requirements: Queens do not need food during the founding stage.
- Nanitics Appear After: 1 - 2 months
- Founding Stage Notes: Usually lays eggs within a few days of capture. Queens will often lay eggs even if infertile.
Every ant, even from same species may be temperamental to certain foods. Trial and error is best way to figure out she will eat. Compiled below is a list of likes and dislikes for this particular species.
- Fruit flies
- Sesame seeds
- Peanut butter
- Fish food
- Scrambled eggs
- Protein Jellies
- Difficulty: Easy. One of the best beginner species.
- Typical Colony Size: 10000.
- Polymorphic: No.
- Ant Length: Worker: 3mm, Queen: 7mm.
- Temperament: Aggressive.
- Suggested Feeding Schedule: Frequent.
- Hazards: Painful and numerous bites, may also sting.
- Colony Growth Rate: Fast.
- Egg To Worker: 1 month.
- Circadian Activity: Diurnal.
- Recommended Temperature: 72-85. Heat loving but resilient.
- Recommended Humidity: 20% - 40%.
- Heating Pad Required: No, but greatly appreciated.
- Can Climb Smooth Surfaces: Unreliably.
- When To Expand: When there is little/no room left in the test tube/formicarium.
- When Do Soldiers and Reproductives Appear: No soldiers in this species.
- Invasive/Pest: Naturalized invader, occasional pest.
- Farmers: Not usually.
- Native Location: Native to Europe, introduced to much of North America. Not found in the U.K.
- Natural Habitat: Typically found in urban and suburban areas.
- Preferred Nesting Medium: Not picky, but may chew through weaker materials such as Ytong.
- Scientific Information: antwiki.org
- Great starter colony
- Low maintenance