These are fresh and live Harvester ants, from the same colonies I feed my own Horned Lizards (aka Horny Toads) everyday. Our rescued Horned Lizards eat most of them, but we usually have enough on hand to sell and help fund our efforts. Whether as food for Horned Lizards, or for ants farms, these are the most popular genus of ant.
Order from the people who actually keeps and understand horned lizards!
(To ensure delay free transaction please see TERMS before ordering or making inquiries.)
Winter 2016 - Official Collection Season is CLOSED.
Orders may be placed, but are subject to waiting list for availability!
First Class Shipping Included
1000ct: $20.00 shipped
Priority Mail Upgrade: $6.80 (actual USPS)
Express Mail Upgrade: $28.00 (Speeds transit, not processing)
*Shipping Insurance: $3.00 (Must be purchased here even if using Express or Priority. Insurance claim for replacement is only available for Express if you received on first delivery attempt, or for Priority if sent to a PO box. No First Class insurance at all or curbside Priority will be covered anymore.)
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You will notice some of our competitors do not include their shipping price until checkout. With us, shipping costs are included.
IF YOU RESIDE IN: TX, CA, OK, NM, CO - BE ADVISED THAT THESE STATES HAVE NATIVE SPECIES OF HORNED LIZARDS WHICH ARE PROTECTED BY LAW, AND WHICH ARE UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS WITHOUT PERMITS. IF YOU RESIDE IN ONE OF THESE STATES, A PICTURE FOR SPECIES ID MUST BE EMAILED ALONG WITH YOUR PAYMENT. IT IS ALSO WISE TO PROVIDE THIS PHOTO FOR HEALTH ASSESSMENT, AS NEARLY 100% OF ALL HORNED LIZARDS SOLD IN THE REPTILE TRADE ARE WILD COLLECTED AND NOT IN GOOD HEALTH AS SOLD.
Though objectionable to those of us involved in conservation, some horned lizards are still unfortunately legal in the pet trade. These are strip mined by the tens of thousands each year, and mostly traded on the east coast at trade expos. Most of them are destined to die from the stress or soon after purchase due to improper care. If you have purchased one, you may email a picture if you would like it identified and told what the sex is. Include a picture of the underside as well.
If you have captured a horned lizard from the wild, either to keep as a pet, or under the belief that you are "rescuing" it, then I would urge you to contact us for information on returning it to the wild before deciding to make a pet of it, justifying it as a "rescue", or attempting to relocate it on your own, which would typically be a death sentence for them.
1. We are an animal rescue, and funds from the sale of these ants go to support our efforts in animal rescue, public education, and wildlife conservation; including the Horned Lizard.
2. We use sustainable methods to gather our harvester ants, which causes less impact to the local ecosystem.
Our biggest competitors use methods such as complete colony excavation with backhoe tractors, or digging deep trenches and then using compressed gas to evacuate the ants from their nest by blowing them out by the tens of thousands. These methods destroy the colony, which might have been there for a decade or more, and this results in the loss of a possible food source for wild Horned Lizards which live in the immediate area. Since these methods destroy colonies, which may take years for a harvester ant queen to build up, these methods are not sustainable in the long run.
We gather harvester ants, using only vacuums on the ground surface. This ensures that not too many workers are taken from any one colony, and that the impact to the colony is minimal. The queen is quickly able to replace the lost workers without risking collapse of the colony, as would be the case with our competitor's methods.
When we discover a young winged queen or male drone in our vacuums, and we know where they came from, we make every effort to return them to their colony so that red harvester ants here will have the best chances of continuing on strong in the wild. These harvester ants not only serve as an important part of the ecosystem as a food source for "Horny Toads", but are one of the few natural deterrents to imported red fire ant invasion. Though they frequently lose to fire ants, harvester ants compete for resources with fire ants, and can help slow or stop the spread of that invasive pest species.
3. We are by far the most reasonably priced, whether you are looking for these ants as feeders or for an ant farm. We are routinely priced several dollars cheaper for the same quantity than our closest competition, and some suppliers even ask for the outrageous sum of $8 for a mere 30 ants!
Most Horned Lizard species are largely dependent on Harvester Ants as the main food item in their daily diet. The average adult Horned Lizard may eat 50-100 ants a day, or more, depending on size and species. The percentage of Harvester Ants in your Horned Lizard's natural wild diet varies with species. This could be anywhere from 60% to 90% of its natural diet. Most Horned Lizard species in captivity are Phrynosoma platyrhinos (Desert Horned Lizard), which are on the higher end of the scale, probably second only to the P. solare (Regal Horned Lizard) or P. mcallii (Flat Tail Horned Lizard) in the amount of ants they eat.
Harvester Ants contain formic acid, which as harvesters of plant matter, is taken up from plants which produce it as a by-product of oxidation of CO2. Formic acid is believed by many Horned Lizard experts, such as Dr. Richard Montanucci (Maintenance & Propagation of Horned Lizards in Captivity 1989), to aid in creating and maintaining proper pH levels and flora in the digestive tract of the lizard. This lower pH may provide anti-infective protection from certain gram negative bacteria (which cause common illnesses in reptiles), and is believed may also keep gastric parasites in check by providing a less hospitable pH environment.