Formica sanguinea - Wood Ant - Intermediate


This truly remarkable species is found throughout Europe. "The Slave Maker" queens are ants known as social parasites. This means she will invade a nest of another formica species by tricking the workers into thinking she is one of them, then she kills the nests queen becoming the new queen.


Our Queens are placed with Serviformica brood and happily raise them as their slaves, that is what make this species interesting, they take part in nest raids during the summer months in which they raid other fomica nests to steal pupae which they raise as their own to boost numbers (Making-Slaves).  Once a foreign nest is found, scouts return to spread the word causing a raiding party hundreds strong to conduct the pupae mission.


In captivity your colony can survive just fine without host pupae, although she will begin with a few slaves. However, if desired, you can place other formica pupae into your setup and raise yourself a delightful multi-coloured colony.


Warning: This species has a potent formic acid which they spray. A stressed colony in an unvented setup could run into problems as they defensively spray their acid.


Colony Size

1,000-3,000 workers

Queen Age

10 to 15 years

Monogyne (single Queen per colony)


Room 20 to 26 degrees


Yes - October through March at 5 to 10 degrees.

Polymorphic (Different size casts)

No - Workers vary by a few mm but not considered polymorphic.


Spray formic acid - Caution in poorly ventilated outworlds.


Yes - a Pinch


Protein, Sugars, honey and Insects

Nest Type

Natural, Acrylic, Sand, Earth, Glass.  


Queen - 12mm

Worker - 4mm-9mm

Polymorphic - No


Egg to Adult Worker - 10 to 12 weeks



Formica Sanguinea - Slave Maker Ant

PriceFrom £20.99
  • Although you can release this species into the wild in the UK, it will be difficult and stressful for the ants to re-establish in the wild. Rather than letting them go, contact us and we can take them back for free.

  • we know sometimes you will need to change the test tube or get a closer look, so we provide you with these items to help you if you need them;

    • 1 x Test Tube
    • 1 x Organic Bamboo Cotton Wool Bud
    • 1 x Organic Cotton Wool Ball
    • 1 x Magnification Card (3x Magnification)
    • 1 x Species info sheet (so you have it to keep if we ever remove the species from our site when out of stock)