Have You Ever Considered Cultivating Springtails?
If you're serious about keeping ants, you should probably consider being serious about keeping springtails as well.
The little creature in the photo above is a springtail. It's forked tail sits up under its body locked and loaded ready to fling the little guy out of trouble. If you Google "springtails" you will see they come in all shapes and sizes but none exceed 6mm. They eat all sorts of things but the most important part of their diet to ant keepers is mould, and they even eat bacteria.
I have finally come up with a simple trap that works for anyone to catch their own, and start a culture of these wonderful little hexapods.
Simply put some baker's yeast onto a sturdy leaf and put it under some cardboard with some weight on it somewhere partly shady in the yard. Sprinkle it with some water and wait a couple of days. Springtails aren't all that sturdy underfoot so simply tapping the leaf on the side of a receptacle will collect a good amount to start a culture.
The culture is made up of a container with some peat, coals or both and water. Add some yeast to feed and take the lid off daily to remove carbon dioxide build-up.
Apparently a culture can live like this indefinitely.
In part 2 we are looking at the various food options within each food group.
In the first part of this two part series we take a look at ant food.
In Part 3 we take a look at identifying the species.
In Part 2 we take a look at identifying a queen.