Laboratory colonies – Department of Biology - University of Copenhagen

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Because of the small size of ant workers, ants can often easily be kept in rearing rooms or incubators, despite colonies often containing thousands of workers. Laboratory rearing regimes normally involve a constant temperature and humidity and feeding with fresh leaves and rice (leaf-cutting ants) or frozen insects and synthetic diet (other ants). Honeybee hives are normally kept outdoors in apiaries and are more laborious to maintain.

What are they used for?

We use laboratory colonies of fungus-growing ants, Myrmica ants and Monomorium Pharaoh ants for laboratory experiments. This allows us to test specific evolutionary hypotheses under controlled conditions.


Bacterial symbionts; Formica Wood ants; Fungus-growing antsHoney beesLycaenid butterflies; Megalomyrmex antsPathogenic fungi; Pharaoh ants; Symbiotic fungiCarpenter ants; Garden ants; Pachycondyla ants