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Much ado about the founding of Lasius temporary social parasites


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#61 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted December 6 2017 - 7:37 PM

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I currently have two Lasius claviger queens and one Lasius umbratus queen in the fridge because I don't know what to do with them. I don't have any host workers. There are Prenolepis imparis all over here, but they aren't a host species. The closest I have is a founding Lasius flavus queen. I know that there has to be a host species around here somewhere, as their mother colony had to have a host, but I don't know where to find them. I used to have a Lasius alienus queen, but she died right before the first workers arrived. And I didn't even find her near here. I found her at a summer camp I went to that's a four hour drive from my house. What should I do? I really want to raise a colony of parasitic Lasius.

#62 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted December 7 2017 - 9:23 AM

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Any lasius species will work, as long as callows are provided. Surprisingly, I even managed to get some Formica subseriscea callows to accept a Lasius subumbratus queen. They're chilling in hibernation right now.


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#63 Offline Batspiderfish - Posted December 7 2017 - 7:17 PM

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-) Very good post.. But I want to share my point of view about these queens. You write "queens are not capable of caring for brood or opening pupae before they have host workers" 
This is not true.. For example the Lasius fuliginosus queen is actively involved in caring for her eggs or larvae, and if only Lasius slaves are provided. sp. (as does the Lasius umbratus group too) helps herself the first workers. The problem with these ants is that they are not able to care for the offspring but have chosen a different growing strategy. The parasite queen DOES NOT LAY if there are not a "tot" number of worker. I am keeping colonies of L. fuliginosus, Lasius meridionalis, L. distinendus and the behavior is the same. Even the Polyergus queens open the cocoons.
:-)
I don't know how to post here pic of my queens sorry

Hello! I'm aware that Lasius social parasites are capable of opening cocoons, but experimental evidence seems to indicate that queens given only brood will perish without sufficient brood care to eclose callow workers. Can you link us to documentation of such a founding? I would be interested to learn more.

Edited by Batspiderfish, December 7 2017 - 7:29 PM.

If you've enjoyed using my expertise and identifications, please do not create undue ecological risk by releasing your ants. The environment which we keep our pet insects is alien and oftentimes unsanitary, so ensure that wild populations stay safe by giving your ants the best care you can manage for the rest of their lives, as we must do with any other pet.

 

Exotic ants are for those who think that vibrant diversity is something you need to pay money to see. It is illegal to transport live ants across state lines.

 

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Black lives still matter.


#64 Offline Batspiderfish - Posted December 7 2017 - 7:23 PM

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that's’s the b st post I’ve ever seen on temporary parasitic ant species. Would you be able to make something similar for slave ants? That would be really interesting.


Raiding ants are not really proper to raise in captivity since they depend on a host species and generally do not do anything useful nor interesting within the nest. There are exceptions such as the odd Formica species (i.e. F. aserva, F. sanguinea) which do conduct raids but are otherwise independent. If you see a raiding ant species doing anything outside of the nest except raiding, and they are doing other nest tasks throughout the year, then it is safe to assume these can be kept by hobbyists.

Formica social parasites are extremely easy to start, since they only require 6-10 pupae which the queen will care for. More dependent raiding species will benefit from the same methods listed in the original post.

Edited by Batspiderfish, December 7 2017 - 7:27 PM.

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If you've enjoyed using my expertise and identifications, please do not create undue ecological risk by releasing your ants. The environment which we keep our pet insects is alien and oftentimes unsanitary, so ensure that wild populations stay safe by giving your ants the best care you can manage for the rest of their lives, as we must do with any other pet.

 

Exotic ants are for those who think that vibrant diversity is something you need to pay money to see. It is illegal to transport live ants across state lines.

 

----

Black lives still matter.


#65 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted December 26 2017 - 1:36 AM

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Any lasius species will work, as long as callows are provided. Surprisingly, I even managed to get some Formica subseriscea callows to accept a Lasius subumbratus queen. They're chilling in hibernation right now.


Actually, I do have two F. subsericea colonies.


Edited by Mettcollsuss, December 26 2017 - 1:39 PM.


#66 Offline Batspiderfish - Posted December 26 2017 - 11:42 AM

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Callow workers will imprint upon any colony which does not kill them. This does not mean that Formica workers are capable of caring for Lasius brood. In likelihood, those Formica workers will die young because they are, more or less, alone.


Edited by Batspiderfish, December 26 2017 - 11:43 AM.

If you've enjoyed using my expertise and identifications, please do not create undue ecological risk by releasing your ants. The environment which we keep our pet insects is alien and oftentimes unsanitary, so ensure that wild populations stay safe by giving your ants the best care you can manage for the rest of their lives, as we must do with any other pet.

 

Exotic ants are for those who think that vibrant diversity is something you need to pay money to see. It is illegal to transport live ants across state lines.

 

----

Black lives still matter.


#67 Offline MegaMyrmex - Posted January 24 2018 - 9:11 PM

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Do formica parasite species need to have a continuous supply of brood like polyrgus sp.? There is a huge formica paraite colony near me but I can't identify the species but in general do mature colonies need a constant supply of brood from other formica colonies?
Spoiler

#68 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted January 25 2018 - 4:33 AM

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Do formica parasite species need to have a continuous supply of brood like polyrgus sp.? There is a huge formica paraite colony near me but I can't identify the species but in general do mature colonies need a constant supply of brood from other formica colonies?

That depends on the species. Catch a worker and make an ID thread for it. Once you know the species, then you can research its habits.



#69 Offline Batspiderfish - Posted January 25 2018 - 5:17 AM

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Do formica parasite species need to have a continuous supply of brood like polyrgus sp.? There is a huge formica paraite colony near me but I can't identify the species but in general do mature colonies need a constant supply of brood from other formica colonies?

 

Only most members of the sanguinea group require the constant presence of their host species (F. aserva in North America and F. sanguinea in Eurasia are two exceptions.) The exsectoides, microgyna, and rufa groups are all temporary social parasites which quickly become independent.

 

Unlike Lasius social parasites, Formica queens will eclose pupae quite effectively and are often hostile towards mature workers. Oftentimes, though, I will see a queen-eclosed worker with bits of membrane binding parts of their legs together -- if these are not promptly removed with surgical precision, it is likely that the worker will be permanently handicapped.


Edited by Batspiderfish, January 25 2018 - 5:51 AM.

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If you've enjoyed using my expertise and identifications, please do not create undue ecological risk by releasing your ants. The environment which we keep our pet insects is alien and oftentimes unsanitary, so ensure that wild populations stay safe by giving your ants the best care you can manage for the rest of their lives, as we must do with any other pet.

 

Exotic ants are for those who think that vibrant diversity is something you need to pay money to see. It is illegal to transport live ants across state lines.

 

----

Black lives still matter.


#70 Offline Jamiesname - Posted February 9 2018 - 5:36 PM

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I just wanted to post an update regarding my Lasius Latipes queen, or I should say her brood; most have hatched and have turned into decent sized larvae so I can verify now with 100% certainty that she is in fact fertile. My only worry now is to keep them alive through hibernation.



Well folks, it's been just a tick over two months and I've decided to pull these guys out of diapause early. I was worried that the colony, being only partially established, was not strong enough to make it another two months.
I pulled them out a week and a half ago and they're still thriving.

Oddly, only a third to half of the larvae are left. I don't know where the rest went, perhaps they ate some? There's no adult Lasius Latipes workers running around so I know they didn't somehow mature during diapause. The remainder of the larvae are healthy and look great. Also, I just noticed a HUGE pile of fresh eggs today, which weren't there three days ago so that's exciting.

I'll hold off posting again until my first non-host worker(s) arrive and I have pics to show off.
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#71 Offline Mettcollsuss - Posted February 11 2018 - 5:26 PM

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I currently have two Lasius cf. claviger queens in hibernation because I don't have a host colony for them at the moment. During the warmer months, there are trails of L. neoniger on trees. I could quite easily catch several of these workers to act as a host colony. I know that you should also have host brood, too, but I can't find the L. neoniger nests. Is having host brood mandatory, or could I raise parasitic queens without it?



#72 Offline Jamiesname - Posted February 11 2018 - 6:29 PM

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I currently have two Lasius cf. claviger queens in hibernation because I don't have a host colony for them at the moment. During the warmer months, there are trails of L. neoniger on trees. I could quite easily catch several of these workers to act as a host colony. I know that you should also have host brood, too, but I can't find the L. neoniger nests. Is having host brood mandatory, or could I raise parasitic queens without it?


You don't need brood, but In my very limited experience, I've found that it helps. Your queen can use the pheromones on the brood to mask herself and there's no risk of them fighting back. At the very least the brood will provide something to do for the host workers, other than spending time near the queen where they may figure out that she's an imposter during the early stages. They will also replenish worker numbers if/when host workers die. As with any ant colony the chances of success increases with every adult worker to help out around the nest. Having said that, you can't have too many host workers and your odds of success will be higher with more. However, be very careful how you introduce them to the queen. There's a ton of info in this thread regarding the safest ways to do so.

Edited by Jamiesname, February 11 2018 - 6:32 PM.

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#73 Offline Jamiesname - Posted March 5 2018 - 3:25 PM

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Just wanted to post an update on my Lasius Latipes colony. I know I said I'd wait to post until the new parasitic workers arrived, but I'm just too damn excited to wait that long. Here's a pic taken today with the queen, a huge pile of eggs underneath her, the host workers, one pupa and a couple dozen larvae just opposite the queen.

Latipes w/ brood

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#74 Offline Canadian anter - Posted March 5 2018 - 8:28 PM

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Just wanted to post an update on my Lasius Latipes colony. I know I said I'd wait to post until the new parasitic workers arrived, but I'm just too damn excited to wait that long. Here's a pic taken today with the queen, a huge pile of eggs underneath her, the host workers, one pupa and a couple dozen larvae just opposite the queen.
 

Nice Job! It reminds me of my old parasitic Lasius colony. I've always failed using normal methods, any idea how not to make the queens kill the workers or have them treat each other as other workers?



#75 Offline Jamiesname - Posted March 7 2018 - 5:42 PM

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Just wanted to post an update on my Lasius Latipes colony. I know I said I'd wait to post until the new parasitic workers arrived, but I'm just too damn excited to wait that long. Here's a pic taken today with the queen, a huge pile of eggs underneath her, the host workers, one pupa and a couple dozen larvae just opposite the queen.

Nice Job! It reminds me of my old parasitic Lasius colony. I've always failed using normal methods, any idea how not to make the queens kill the workers or have them treat each other as other workers?

I suggest flipping stones/bricks until you find an established Lasius colony under one. They like to keep their pupae under the bricks to keep warm in the afternoon on mild summer days. Capture these pupae and some of the workers scrambling around and keep your parasitic queen in with the pupae. Keep the host workers separate. After a few hours try introducing one worker to the queen at a time. If they accept her add another, etc. If they fight her, remove the worker for a few more hours and repeat the process.

As a last resort, and after you've tried the original methods mentioned in this thread and/or you can't find any pupae to use, capture a bunch (the more the better) of lasius workers and kill six or so and keep the parasitic queen in with them for the same results as the pupae and pick up the same process as above from here by introducing one worker at a time.

Edited by Jamiesname, March 7 2018 - 5:44 PM.

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#76 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted March 9 2018 - 10:30 AM

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My Lasius murphyi colony is doing okay in hibernation (3 normal workers, 1 murphyi larva), I just hope that they survive!


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#77 Offline Jamiesname - Posted March 30 2018 - 5:06 PM

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Well folks, it kills me to admit this, but I think my L. Latipes queen is infertile. One of the pupae enclosed today and it was a male alate. Maybe it was a fluke, I'll have to wait for more to eclose. I had really high hopes for this colony so I'll keep my fingers crossed.


On the plus side - if there is one, I'll have a huge supply of food (alates) for my other lasius and camponotus ants. There's about to be a huge explosion in the Latipes population here in a couple more weeks. I'll have males (hopefully worker females though) overflowing in their formicarium.

Edited by Jamiesname, March 30 2018 - 5:09 PM.


#78 Offline Jamiesname - Posted April 1 2018 - 3:58 PM

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I checked on the L. Latipes today and there she was! The first worker has enclosed! My queen isn't infertile like I had thought - not completely anyways. I'm just hoping the male a late was a fluke, or was simply from a bad batch of eggs or something. Hoping for more workers! I've been very excited for this colony and I'd hate to have to wait until fall to collect new queens and start over.


She's hard to see, but she's just to the left of the center of this pic.


20180401 194318

Edited by Jamiesname, April 2 2018 - 3:15 AM.

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#79 Offline CNewton - Posted April 20 2018 - 1:50 PM

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I just found a pile of umbrius queens, going to try my hand at this.

#80 Offline Jamiesname - Posted April 20 2018 - 3:49 PM

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I just found a pile of umbrius queens, going to try my hand at this.


Awesome. Make sure to take lots of pics and keep us updated!




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