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Note: All ants for sale have a legal shipping range. Check the map to see if you're eligible to buy these ants!

Californian Harvester Ants (Pogonomyrmex californicus)

Californian Harvester Ants (Pogonomyrmex californicus)

Pogonomyrmex californicus is a medium-sized, beautifully orange species of harvester ant from the southwestern United States. They are known for forming large colonies which harvest seeds as their food source. These ants can sting. There is a variant of this species which is polygynous, meaning they can have many queens in a single colony.


STATES AVAILABLE TO BUY POGONOMYRMEX CALIFORNICUS: Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah

  • Species Info

    General: Pogonomyrmex californicus are medium, orange, grow quickly, enjoy heat, and harvest seeds as their main food source. Though these ants have a painful sting, they are lousy climbers and should generally be easy to avoid. All things considered, P. californicus are fair beginner ants!


    Founding: The founding stage (the stage in which a queen ant is beginning her colony by herself) is different with these ants than others. This species is considered semi-claustral, but can effectively be given a large amount of seeds to get them through the entirety of founding. They do need to be very hot, at least 84-85 degrees. Ensure there are always fresh seeds available, and founding is just a matter of patience!


    Polygyny and Variation: If ordering a colony with multiple queens, please keep in mind that those queens are likely a tiny bit smaller than a single-queen colony. This is not problematic and natural when queen ants cooperate (a process known as polygyny) for their entire lives!


    Diet: Californian Harvester Ants are known to harvest seeds as their main food source, but greatly benefit from insects and need them at least every once in a while. It is recommended to offer two or more species of seeds! These ants might drink liquid sugars but it is not recommended to feed them that.


    Seeds known to be eaten by P. californicus are:

    • Kentucky Bluegrass
    • Chia
    • Dandelion
    • Phacelia

    Our current seed mix (available with the ants) contains Dandelion, Phacelia, and Kentucky Bluegrass seeds.


    Temperature: Though still possible to overheat these ants, it would be rather difficult. These ants thrive when parts of the nest are around 95 degrees, but ensure that there is a much cooler part of the nest as well. If your ants are in a test tube, heat the entrance of the tube (not near the water reservoir).


    Diapause: These ants typically don't need diapause. If your ants seem to slow down during the fall or winter, simply take them off of the heat and let them be at room temperature or slightly below for about 4 weeks. If they do not show signs of faltering, just keep them growing! 


    Growth: Brood development takes around 4-6 weeks. Usually it will take about 5 weeks, if heated and fed properly. Colonies can likely hit 1000 within a year, but many will be in the hundreds.


    Queen size: 7-10mm

    Worker size: 4-7mm

  • Live Arrival Guaranteed

    If ants arrive in bad condition, contact us for help. Live arrival is guaranteed.


    Shipping happens from Monday-Wednesday. During the winter, shipping may cost more due to the need of a heat pack. 

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