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The degree-constrained minimum spanning tree (DCMST) problem is the problem of finding the minimum cost spanning tree in an edge weighted complete graph such that each vertex in the spanning tree has degree ≤ d for some d ≥ 2. The DCMST problem is known to be NP-hard. This paper presents an ant-based algorithm to find low cost degree-constrained spanning trees (DCST). The algorithm employs a set of ants which traverse the graph and identify a set of candidate edges, from which a DCST is constructed. Local optimization algorithms are then used to further improve the DCST. Extensive experiments using 612 problem instances show many improvements over existing algorithms.