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Crematogaster Cerasi, more commonly known as acrobat ants or cherry ants, are energetic ants with exciting traits like their flattened heart-shaped abdomen or little golden hairs, which are more noticeable on queens. Another attractive trait about these curious little ants is their different colour morphs, which go from deep black to having a lightly red thorax or very red thorax (usually seen only on workers).


Acrobat Ants are named for their ability to raise their abdomen over their thorax and head, especially when disturbed, which is a unique and interesting behaviour.


Cerasi ants are voracious eaters and eat anything from plants and seeds to insects and sweet liquids since they are omnivorous. Apart from being good eaters, they also grow relatively fast when provided heat; they are still pretty easy to keep and are a species suitable for most people beginning in the hobby. Workers are way smaller than the queen and can escape quickly if not properly contained.

Queens are monogynous (one queen per colony) and fully claustral (do not need to forage during the initial egg-laying period). Colonies can grow rapidly, with populations reaching over 10,000 workers under optimal conditions.


Acrobat ant queens must go through their first diapause cycle to lay eggs. This period of dormancy is crucial for initiating their reproductive process and ensuring the successful establishment of the colony.


You can customize or enhance the test tube your queen and colony will ship in; head over to the "Live Queen Ants" page to read the details on each item.


Live ants ONLY SHIP within CANADA.

Crematogaster Cerasi (Acrobat Ant)

PriceFrom C$25.00
  • Scientific name: Crematogaster Cerasi 


    Geographical distribution: Found in Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, British Columbia (Dubious), and almost all USA to some parts of Mexico.


    Queen size: 7 to 9 mm long


    Worker size: 3 to 5 mm long 


    Drone (males) size: 2 to 5 mm long Worker size: 2 to 4 mm long


    Natural habitat: Usually in logs, stumps, or under bark/leaf litter. They can also nest under rocks and are usually found inside forests, grasslands, and sometimes in little pieces of forest in the city. They are potentially seen inside houses or buildings in tight spaces.


    Circadian activity: Crematogaster Cerasi usually tends to forage out for food whenever the sun is out, thus being diurnal, but they can go out to finish tasks at night too.


    Mating flight periods:  The acrobat ant has a considerable flying period from early August to late September, usually around 14h to 17h after significant rain.



    Queen founding method: Cherry ant queens are fully claustral, meaning the gynes do not require food to raise their first generation of workers (nanitics). In addition, the newly mates queens will need to go through a diapause ("dormancy" period) to lay the first eggs.


    Polygynous or monogynous: Crematogaster is olygynous, meaning they start with multiple queens but usually end up killing each other once workers arrive, meaning they are primarily monogynous. Sometimes, various queens will survive after the massacre meaning they can also be polygynous (very rarely, and it's not recommended to try!).


    Average time from egg to worker: 

    Egg to larvae: 5-14days

    Larvae to pupae: 10-30 days

    Pupae to a worker: 6-20 days

    Average total for the first batch of brood, right after getting out of diapause (26-27 °C): 3-5 weeks. Consider that the subsequent batches of brood might take less time to hatch than the first ones. Therefore, it is essential to provide them with heat for fast and proper development. 


    Average colony size: Couple thousand individuals (not commonly seen with over 15-20k workers) for wild colonies but the most prominent colonies in captivity get up to 3-10k, which takes some years


    Nesting preferences: They don't like wet nests; keep around 50 to 65% RH (relative humidity) inside the nest. They prefer rather tight nests that leave enough room to grow, but enough to not keep them stressed, so keep in mind that. For a good idea, we recommend you keep the acrobat ants in a test tube or small founding nest until they reach about 15-30 workers. So basically, most ant nests with an adequate water system that keeps the nest evenly moist but not over 70-75% of RH can be acceptable.


    Recommended temperature:  The cherry ant loves temperatures of 25 °C (77 °F) to 29 °C (80-82 °F) as it's their sweet spot for a boom in egg production and brood growth. The outworld shall remain at similar temperatures to the nest.


    Recommended Humidity: For the outworld, try aiming for a 25-50% humidity (except for terraria, it's another story!). Inside the nest, keep humidity at 50-65% or up to 70% (ideally with good ventilation to prevent fungus growth).


    Food preferences:  These ants are generalist hunters, so they will eat most invertebrates, including pet store feeders (avoid crickets OR make sure they come from a reputable source so they don't come with any fungus, pathogens, or bacteria that might be harmful to the ants). Cerasi ants usually like smaller feeders, fruit flies, mosquitoes, etc., but they can also take on larger prey (depending on the colony size). They also eat some fruits and love honey (usually mixed with water) and sugary water.


    Feeding schedule: Starting colonies will need a weekly feeding of protein and carbohydrates (sugars/fruits). When the colony is moved from the test tube or founding nest to a larger nest, you can feed more often and keep the quantities pretty small. Adapt your portions and feedings according to how big the colony is, and try to balance how fast you want the colony to grow and their minimal feeding needs. In larger colonies (50+ individuals), workers (including the queen) will look pretty skinny and try to escape when hungry. In extreme cases, they'll eat their brood!


    Hibernation (Diapause) details: Crematogaster Cerasi setups usually stay at -5°C or above. It is recommended to stay above freezing point in captivity as we cannot easily duplicate the slow cool down into freezing temperatures. Hibernation is recommended between 39F (4°C) - 50F (10°C)


    Escape barrier:  Fluon and talcum powder + isopropyl alcohol methods work fine. Apply a barrier along the top edges in a circular motion covering several centimetres.


    Difficulty rating:  I love Crematogaster ants as they have such lovely personalities and always have crazy feeding responses; I love how they will put their abdomens up whenever they feel in danger. They also grow too fast, so starting from one queen is easy and can end up with 50 workers in the first growing season. They can grow out of control sometimes, so they lose some points there, and the workers are small and are escape artists, so it may be harder to contain them as they grow. But except for that and the fact that they need diapause, I give these ants a solid 8.5/10!


    Bite/Sting rate: The ants are too small to inflict significant pain but produce formic acid, which can be painful if many ants inflict it.


    Description (description from Antweb): 1-5 long ***flexuous***, erect hairs on each pronotal shoulder, and shallow to robust scabrous-lineolate sculpturing on the dorsum of the mesosoma.

    Special care or notes: It's normal if the workers or even the queen put their abdomens up, and it's as if they had a tiny sword over their heads, haha! So don't worry about it; that behaviour means they're stressed/scared, but it should pass after some minutes (often during feedings).

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