Aphaenogaster Rudis (Funnel Ants) – Care Sheet

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The Aphaenogaster Rudis is sometimes referred to as the “Funnel Ant”. This species is very similar to the closely related Aphaenogaster Picea. This species is very common and widespread in the middle and east of North America. The colonies can be found in all kinds of places such as wood, under rocks, but also in bottles or cans that were trashed in the forest.

In spring, the Aphaenogaster Rudis is one of the first species to be active after the winter pause. They are extremely cold tolerant compared to other species. 


Aphaenogaster Rudis are scavengers and prey on small invertebrates and parts of insects that they find. They are important seed dispersers in forests. 

Aphaenogaster Rudis do also like liquid food, but they can only store tiny amounts in their body, therefore they would use absorbent materials to be able to carry the liquids back to their nests.


The Aphaenogaster Rudis is tolerant to very cold and very hot temperatures, but the best temperature for them in a formicarium is between 21° C (= approx. 70° F) and 27° C (= approx. 80,6° F). 

In spring, the Aphaenogaster Rudis is one of the very first ant species that can be seen crawling around in forests. They don’t mind temporary cold temperatures and adapt easily by moving to a different nest that is either deeper in the ground if it gets colder, or closer to the surface when the temperatures rise.

Even though the Aphaenogaster Rudis is tolerant to different temperatures, the formicarium should never be placed in a spot with direct sunlight to avoid sudden and extreme temperature increases.


This species does best with a normal humidity of around 30% – 50% which is just about the normal room temperature in most houses.


The Aphaenogaster Rudis colors can range from light brown to dark brown and even shades of dark red. The queen is usually around 10 mm big, while the workers are around 6-7 mm.


The Aphaenogaster Rudis has a winter diapause that usually starts during October, depending on the weather and temperature conditions. The ants will move to their underground winter nests and stay there until early spring.

Queen – Reproduction

New colonies start with a single queen. This monogynous species grows slowly to medium.

Nuptial Flights

The nuptial flights usually take place in July and August.


The Aphaenogaster Rudis is native to the middle and eastern US and eastern Canada (Ontario, Quebec).

The ants live in thickets and forests, and can also be seen in urban parks, campuses, and cemeteries. They will nests anywhere such as in soil, under rocks, in wood, and even in human disposals such as cans, bottles, or other trash that was thrown away in the woods. 

The Aphaenogaster Rudis has different nests for their winter pause and for the rest of the year. The ants stay in their winter nests during the cold months but abandon these nests in spring for a new nest that is closer to the ground surface. 

Overall Difficulty Rating

The Aphaenogaster Rudis is closely related to the Aphaenogaster Picea. Both ant species make great beginner pets. They are easy to keep and can nest almost everywhere. 

The Aphaenogster Picea is known for eating the skin of many seeds and dropping the rest of the seeds at their disposal, where the seeds can grow into new plants. 

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