|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?
|If you are keeping the ants in the fridge they won't
need much food or water. We ship a little food in the
container with the ants.
If you are not keeping the ants in the fridge you will need to feed and
water them regularly. Harvester ants will eat almost anything
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?
|If you are keeping the ants in the fridge you probably
won't need to worry about giving them water. If you aren't
keeping the ants in the fridge they will need water every day.
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
|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
|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. If you can't
keep them in a cooler or refrigerator try to keep them in a cool room
out of the sun.
|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
baby crickets and other insects and if so you won't need as many ants.
Juveniles will need less ants.
|Hibernating Horned Lizards During Winter
|Wherever it is cold enough in the wild Horned Lizards
during winter by tunneling underground. You may want to
your lizard(s) during winter. They will need several inches
sand to tunnel into. You will need to research how to best
your pet(s) hibernate. Here is a place to start: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100120162645AAnjt7h
Hibernating your lizard(s) will help us here at Life Studies as it is
more difficult to supply ants during winter.
|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.
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