|First of all Don't touch the ants! They
can inflict a painful sting. Horned lizards have some immunity to it at
least. The sting normally causes pain and swelling. If you are ever
stung apply ice to the area until the pain subsides. If symptoms
persist call your physician. Persons who are allergic to insect stings
should be especially careful as they may require emergency medical
attention in the event of an allergic reaction.
|How do I keep the ants?
|The easiest way is to just leave them in the shipping conatiner and store them in a Refrigerator. The cold will slow the ants way down and they may even go into hibernation. This makes it easy to keep them and easy to take ants out when it's time for feeding to your lizard. As the ants warm up they will start to move around faster again. It's a good idea to check the temperature of your fridge. 40 to 45 degrees is optimal.
If you are not able to keep them in a refrigerator, you can set up a different type of home for the ants.
You can use plastic tubs that are about 2 feet by 3 feet by 6 inches deep or something similar. You will want a lid on top with about 10 small air holes in it. Harvester ants are not good climbers and should not be able to climb up smooth glass or plastic so aquariums or other similar habitats can be used as well. Cover the bottom of the habitat with a few inches of sand. Play box sand, beach sand, or landscaping sand works fine. Spray the sand with a little water (a spray bottle works reall well for this) to get the sand a little moist before placing your ants into the container.
|What do I feed the ants?
|Harvester ants will eat almost anything but their favorite foods are
fresh vegetables and fruits. Feed them small pieces of celery, apple,
lettuce, carrot, etc... Feed them small pieces about every other day.
If some of the food is not eaten after 2 days remove it from the ant
"house" as it can get moldy and be harmful to the ants.
|What about water for the ants?
|Using a spray bottle, spray a mist of water onto the ants and sand
once a day to keep the sand a little moist and give the ants some
water. Don't spray too much or the ants may start to drown in the
|How do I feed the ants to my lizard?
|You will only want to feed a few ants at a time to your lizard. We
recommend about 5 ants at a time. Once those are eaten keep putting
more ants in for the lizard until it is full (stops eating). A good
tool to get is a large plastic funnel. A couple of plastic spoons or
scoops are also useful. You can use the scoops or spoons and the funnel
to transfer ants out of their "house" into a jar or other container at
feeding time. Ants are cold blooded just like the lizards so try
putting them in the refrigerator (not the freezer) for about 5 minutes
to slow them down before feeding them to your pet(s).
|How long will the ants live?
|They will normally last 2 weeks to a month.
|Other tips for keeping ants
|Your ants will live longer if kept in a cool place. They are cold
blooded just like reptiles. In fact, if you store them in a
refrigerator or cooler they will go into hibernation and can be stored
that way for months. Be sure to check the temperature of your cooler or
refrigerator before doing this. If it is below 40 degrees they could
freeze to death. 45 degrees is probably best. If you can't keep them in
a cooler or refrigerator try to keep them in a cool room out of the
|How Many Ants Do I need?
|Generally adult horned lizards will eat around 20 to 60 ants per day.
You may be able to supplement your lizard's diet with crickets and if
so you won't need as many ants. Juveniles will need less ants.
|Not all Horned Lizards Eat Harvester Ants
|To the best of our knowledge there are 14 species of Horned Lizards
in North America. Most of these depend on Harvester Ants as their
staple diet. If your Lizard comes from a cold, high altitude climate
(for example Wyoming, Colorado, or Utah high country) or if your lizard
is young, it may not eat Harvester Ants. If your Lizard comes from
these areas or is young, you should try just a few Harvester Ants at
first. If the Lizard does not eat them - you should remove the ants as
quickly as possible so that they do not harm your Lizard. We have only
had a very few cases where people caught Lizards from these areas and
they did not eat Harvester Ants. Lizards from these areas should not be
kept because it is too difficult to obtain the right type of ants for
them. Young lizards should be fed baby crickets or smaller ants if they
are not able to eat harvester ants very well yet.
|Ask other questions via Email
or call toll free: 1-877-864-2207.