top of page

Introduction & Overview

In my experience with Aphaenogaster rudis, this species is extremely hardy and queens lay many eggs. They can be found nesting under rocks, in leaf litter, in logs, and can also make mounds. Since this species has an underdeveloped social stomach, workers must bring food back to the nest for consumption. I have only seen max size colonies of around 3-400 workers but some sources say that this species can reach 2,000 workers.

Common Name

Winnow Ants

Queen Size

8 mm

Worker Size

5 mm


Beginner Friendly
Fully Claustral

🛠️ Help Requested

Help text

Queen Identification

This can depend on the state but Aphaenogaster rudis queens can be confused with many other species in the Aphaenogaster fulva-rudis-texana complex and other species of Aphaenogaster.


1. Aphaenogaster rudis does not have lobes at the base of the antennae, eliminating A. treatae and A. ashmeadi

2. Aphaenogaster rudis has a proportionally large gaster, eliminating the social parasites A. tennesseensis and A. mariae

3. Aphaenogaster rudis is red-brown colored, eliminating A. flemingi, A. umphreyi, A. floridana, A. miamiana, and A. picea.

4. Aphaenogaster rudis has a smooth mesopleuron, eliminating A. fulva

5. Aphaenogaster rudis has proportionally smaller legs than N16, eliminating the morphotaxon

6. Depending on the state, the options left are N22b, rudis (N22a), N19 (present in MO and likely most of the Mississippi Basin), and carolinensis (N20). It is extremely difficult to differentiate without workers and karyotyping, however. Those experienced with the complex (Dr. Umphrey) may be able to differentiate each morphotaxon by eye and habitat.

Founding setup

no special care required


Around 80F with a gradient



They do not like heat but it is important to give these ants a gradient so they can choose what temperature and humidity they prefer for best and safest growth.

Time to first workers

6 weeks heated, 7 weeks unheated

Sensitivity concerns


These ants are very opportunistic in nesting sites and will do fine as long as there is a decent amount of humidity.

Tubs and tubes

They will take all sorts of feeder insects and are voracious eaters. They do not need sugars, but you can provide them sugar water and other sources of carbohydrates.


no special care required


Final Thoughts

Thank you for reading!

Aphaenogaster rudis

bottom of page