Posts: 18,843 Country: England Pets: Ants, 1 Canary, 5 Finches, 2 dogs and 1 wife Favourite Ant: Formica rufa & Camponotus habereri I Like: Daleks, History and good movies. I Hate: Very spicy food and hot curry. I Am: A Senior Citizen Likes: 4,768
What a great video The jaws on that super-major are something I wouldn't fancy getting a nip from, and it is incredible to see most of the hard carrying work being done by the much smaller workers. I am envious at you having this species and enjoyed watching them at work on this video
If you are interested. I also sell this species for 100euro. It comes with 1 queen and at least 500 to 1000 workers. I have also written a manual about how to keep Pheidologeton diversus. You can find it here.
In their natural wild habitat super major workers serve as food reserve pods especially for times of heavy rain or days when the workers cannot forage and are crucial to the thriving of a young nest. Also these majors are often preyed on by lizards, frogs and birds including wild and domesticated chickens (that is the reason the minor workers ride on them).
Maybe in a kept environment you might need to cull them though I have never found that to be a necessity in the nests that I have kept over the years and no harm fell upon these nests. These majors and super majors served as crucial reserve that prevents the cannibalising of the brood especially in times when I am away for a prolong period and they are not fed.
I’m guessing that, after the colony has been transported across Europe and Asia, many of the minor workers have died resulting in maybe too few minors to feed the power hungry supermajors?
Another possibility is that people tend to feed their colony a lot of protein, resulting in too many majors being grown. In the wild their diet I think consists of not just protein, but mostly fruit and seeds. This would mean the colony has enough energy foods to sustain workers and not too many majors will be produced.