The Red Breasted Reaper - Beginner (Heat Required)

formally known as Messor Denticulatus



Native to the Middle East we have the one of the most beautiful species of Messor that is available. The Red Breasted Reaper is exactly that, a crop harvester with a red/burgundy chest and a gloss like appearance. They vary in colour from ant to ant. Each being unique to them. As colonies mature the colouration develops.


Laboriosus are probably the most resilient of all of the Messors because of their native homes in sand environments. They can withstand extended periods of drought using seed moisture to survive, as well as the annual rains that flood the plains they live on. For this reason they make a great beginner species and are very forgiving to the novice keeper.


In addition to being pretty ants they are also rather slow and docile, a trait gained for conserving energy in hot climates with a less is more attitude.


Harvested seeds are eaten by the ants, using the large Majors jaws to de-shell them. They are then chewed into a protein rich food source known as "ant-bread". It is this ant-bread these ants get 90% of their nutrients from. Laboriosus like all Messors are polymorphic and have a wide range of casts from small nursery workers through to large majors


This species of Messor does not hibernate so can be enjoyed year-round although they will pause egg production periodically and take breaks while the queen makes a new batch.


Colony Size

Excess of 10,000 workers

Slow growth until 30 to 50 workers, colony will grow rapidly with the first Majors.


Age - Up to 30 years

Monogyne - One queen per nest

Fully Claustral - No food until first workers

Temperatue & Humidity

Nest 23 to 27 Degrees | Outworld 21 to 30 Degrees

Nest 50% to 60% | Seed Store 30% to 50%



Polymorphic (Different size casts)


Sting | Bite

Yes Majors can bite


Seeds, Nuts, Grains, Occasional Sugar, Occasional extra protein.

Nest Type

Natural, Acrylic, Sand, Earth, Glass


Queen - 14mm-16mm

Worker - 3mm-11mm

Major - 11 mm-15mm


Egg to Adult Worker - 10 to 12 weeks


Messor Laboriosus - Harvester

PriceFrom £16.99
  • It is illegal to release this colony into the wild in the UK, if you can no longer care for your colony please contact us immediately.

  • 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 Small bag of Organic Chia seeds
    • 1 x Species info sheet (so you have it to keep if we ever remove the species from our site when out of stock)