The Crematogaster ants are very active and aggressive ants that have a characteristical heart-shaped abdomen that can be moved around and raised when the ants feel threatened or excited. They are also sometimes referred to as “Cocktail Ants” or “Acrobat Ants” due to that behavior.
The Crematogaster Cerasiis a species of acrobat ants that is native to the Nearctic region.
Their beautiful heart-shaped gaster makes it easy to identify the Crematogaster species.
The Crematogaster Cerasi are omnivorous. They eat plants, seeds, and insects such as wasps, mealworms, fruit flies, and crickets. They enjoy sweet liquids such as nectar, sugar water, and a mixture of honey and water.
They can be considered generalists when it comes to their diet.
The Crematogaster Cerasi feels most comfortable at 20°C (=68° F) to 30° C (=86° F).
Their nest is usually around 21° C to 28° C.
The ants can hibernate from around 7° C to 8° C (around 46° F).
This species enjoys a “normal” room humidity of 30% to 50%. The humidity in the nest should be slightly higher at around 50% to 60%.
The most important characteristic of the Crematogaster species is their heart-shaped abdomen. The Crematogaster Cerasi worker ants can be identified by their long hair on the dorsum and on their shoulder area. They have only a few hairs and the bodies are unicolored in shades of light to very dark brown.
The queen usually has a completely black body with black or very dark brown legs. Her thorax is rather oval than heart-shaped with a pointy tip.
The queen is usually around 9mm in length, while the workers are around 4mm big.
The Crematogaster Cerasi do hibernate if they live in regions with cold winters. The Crematogaster Cerasi that live in hot regions such as California does not need to hibernate.
The winter pause for the hibernating ants is usually from the end of October to the end of March, highly depending on where they are located. During the hibernation period, the ants can be kept in a wine fridge where the temperature can be adjusted perfectly to their needs. A regular fridge is also fine as long as the temperature does not change too much.
Queen – Reproduction
The Crematogaster Cerasi is strictly monogynous which means that only one queen starts a new colony. They are also fully claustral, which means that the queens will stay in one place, and do not need food while she is producing the first bunch of eggs.
The species multiply very quickly and can go from only a few dozens in the first year to hundreds or even more than 1000 ants in the second year. The colonies can grow huge with several 10000 worker ants and usually live for 5 to 15 years.
The nuptial flights take place from August to early October, depending on the temperature and weather conditions.
Like most ants, the Crematogaster Cerasi will tend to fly on a warm and sunny day one or two days after rain. These are the perfect conditions for queens to find a good place for a new colony.
The Crematogaster Cerasi is native in the east of Canada, the most of northcentral and northeastern US, as well as in Mexico. They can be found in forests, parks, campuses, and beside sidewalks.
This species is very common and will nest in various locations such as in soil, under rocks and stones, in twigs, stumps, tree trunks, etc.
Overall Difficulty Rating
The Crematogaster Cerasi is recommended for beginners and can be classified as easy to intermediate to care for. The population size can explode if provided with a heat source above 25° C and enough protein. They are seen as some of the best beginner ants due to their activity, quick growth potential, and low requirements considering food, nest, temperature, and humidity.
The Crematogaster Cerasi is known for its vivid activities, pretty appearance, and quick growth. They are fun to keep and to watch. They do bite, but if they do so, it does not hurt too much. Due to their extreme growth, you can prepare to expand the formicarium very quickly.
The Crematogaster Cerasi and the Crematogaster Lineolata have very similar behavior and development and can be treated similarly when they are kept as pets.
Lisa is one of the two founders of Animal-Knowledge. She has been very interested in animals and insects from a very young age and has owned different kinds of pets such as snails, ants, fish, turtles, mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits, a dog, … you get the idea 🙂