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How can I feed ants?

I know that ants have the instinct to bring all of the food they find to the Queen, so if I put ants in an ant farm-type-of-setting, will the ants even eat the food I give to them or will they not eat it and starve? 

I know ants like sugary foods and dead bugs, but I need to feed them with a plant that I can grow. I am doing this for a Science Fair, and I am testing the effects of a chemical on a plant, which is in turn being fed to the ants. I need a plant that my ants will eat. Any ideas? And I have about three weeks to a month to grow this plant, and it is Winter, which makes it even harder, but I am planning on growing it inside. Any ideas on a plant to feed ants with?

I am dealing with the large ants that live near my home in Gilbert, Arizona if that helps. There are two types of ants that I can tell and I am dealing with the big ones (if that makes any sense). They might be fire ants, but I have a hard time telling. The picture below is not one I took, it's from google, so it's not exact, but something like that.

Thank you!

Picture of How can I feed ants?
iproberry15 years ago
try here
Thermionic5 years ago
With very very tiny spoons and forks.
Burf5 years ago
You're going to need to identify the species of ant you wish to study to determine what it feeds on.
I know that Gilbert, Az. is not far from Arizona State University, I suggest you contact an Entomologist at the university, explain your project and ask him or her for some help. It has been my experience that if you explain yourself well, most universities are more than happy to assist citizens and especially students, who are in need of information. Many of the grad students often receive credit for doing just this sort of thing.