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So i today i got ants and we know that they like specific things like syrup. But can the ants also eat/drink homemade syrup with just water and sugar? Those types of ants are called "Lasius Niger".
UR MOM GAY dont take it seriously

The only way to find out is to give it to them and see what happens. I doubt any ant would reject sugar in any form, it's practically free food that costs no energy for them to get.

But it's easy enough to get honey/syrup from the store as well.

  • Mike

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(moving to off topic)

We should get someone who knows more about it like Serafine to answer, but as far as I understand adult ants can survive well on a mainly sugar diet and require little in the way of protein - but they will need protein sources for their queen and pupae.

Let me just quote from the guide I'm currently writing for r/antkeeping...

Most ants can store food in their social stomachs or as lipoproteins (basically fat) to survive for extended periods, so if you forget to feed them for a few days it is unlikely they will be harmed in any way.
However most ants cannot survive without water for long and as such there should ALWAYS be a test tube with water in their outworld. This is especially important for ants that need a moist nest like Myrmica the water tube is essentially a backup nest that will ensure their survival if for some reason you forget to water their nest.
When you go out on a longer trip and cannot look for your ants better add a second water tube, just to be sure.
Some ants (like Messor species) also use water to moisten the substrate so they can build structures, these ants can consume massive amounts of water very quickly so make sure to give them an extra load when their consumption increases.

Most ants pick up carbohydrates in the form of sugars, like sugar water, honey, honey water, diluted maple syrup or other sweet liquids. Many ants will also happily consume fruits like apples, strawberries, bananas or passion fruit.
They should have access to sweet liquids at all times.

There are some species that gather seeds and chew them into a paste called "ant bread". These ants are usually referred to as harvester ants (they are not a monophyletic group though) and will eat all sorts of seeds from grass seeds to sunflower seeds. They don't need sweet liquids but sometimes take them anyway, especially if the colony is still small and doesn't have larger workers to crack big seeds.

Protein is what ant larvae require to build their bodies muscles, neurons, their exoskeletons. While adult ants need very little protein their larvae can't get enough of it.
Protein is usually consumed in the form of other arthropods like fruit flies, green bottle flies, mealworms, superworms, small spiders and various bugs. Some ants even eat cat or dog food and the occasional slice of ham but their main diet should still be dead insects.
Generally the larger a colony is the larger the food items they can process small colonies should best be fed with soft-skinned small (and dead) food items like fruit flies, small spiders and flies.

Most ants are scavengers that will happily take pre-killed or frozen food, some ants however (in particular ants of the genus Pheidole) are active predators and only really react to live food that still twitches at least. You shouldn't give live food to very small colonies though as ants might get injured or killed in the process and the ants generally rely on numbers to overwhelm living prey which obviously doesn't work if the entire colony only has twenty workers.

I'm working on a longer more detailed food guide but it's not done yet, so this has to do for now.

Personally I'm feeding my Camponotus ants diluted maple syrup (40% maple syrup, 60% water) and they love it. Protein is a diverse mixture of frozen critters (fruit flies, terflies, small spiders, flower chafer larvae, crickets, honey bee pupae, grasshoppers) and meat&fish cat food with an occasional piece of ham or a shrimp (because they're more salty than the average food they get).
The Lasius niger I caught last summer only made it to about 200 workers before they started hibernating and mostly fed on diluted maple syrup, fruit flies and bee brood but Lasius niger aren't very picky and should eat pretty much all insects.

- but they will need protein sources for their queen and pupae.
Larvae. Pupae don't consume any food.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2018, 07:01:38 PM by Serafine »