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Much ado about the founding of Lasius temporary social parasites


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#81 Online rbarreto - Posted April 25 2018 - 11:51 AM

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I recently found three Lasius claviger queens huddled together under a rock. I managed to grab them all (they were quite sluggish) and placed them together in a test tube. They have been nothing but friendly with each other and I was wondering if I should just keep them in the same set up as I attempt to introduce some host workers and brood. 


My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

Lasius sp. (black workers)

Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

Prenolepis imparis

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#82 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted April 25 2018 - 1:02 PM

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You should probably separate them. When they find a host colony, the workers will become hostile to all but one (the main) queen (at least that's what happened with my L. latipes)


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#83 Offline Jamiesname - Posted April 25 2018 - 5:51 PM

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You should probably separate them. When they find a host colony, the workers will become hostile to all but one (the main) queen (at least that's what happened with my L. latipes)


He's correct. Keep them seperate if you want to be successful. If you get host workers for all three you're almost guaranteed that one will make it. I recommend 20+ host workers plus pupae from the same colony as the workers (for each). Put the pupae in with the queen first and wait a couple days, then try putting in a worker and watch how it goes. You'll know what to do after that.

Edited by Jamiesname, April 25 2018 - 5:53 PM.

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#84 Offline disasterants - Posted April 28 2018 - 6:58 PM

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thank you so much! I just found a lasius umbratus queen under a rock and am planning on doing the active naturalistic induction of the pre killed worker variant. wish me luck guys!

 




#85 Offline Skwiggledork - Posted April 29 2018 - 7:47 PM

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I'm not sure if I should start a new thread for this question or just post it here. Has anyone successfully founded a L.umbratus on workers/brood from L.flavus or L.claviger? I caught an umbratus queen on the 27th, but didn't have any other Lasius colonies, so I went out looking to raid some wild colonies and all I found was a colony of small yellow ants under a rock. Haven't had them identified, but to my knowledge there aren't too many other small yellow ants near me(NY). Either way it was what I could find, and I didn't want to not try and found the colony since I have the queen, so I'm giving it a try. Got the queen and a single worker in the fridge overnight currently. Going to try and introduce more tomorrow if all goes well. I wasn't able to find any reference to umbratus invading flavus/claviger colonies, but there was a picture of a queen with a yellow worker in it's mandibles.



#86 Online rbarreto - Posted May 3 2018 - 4:10 PM

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Hi guys, My L. claviger queen has taken some L. flavus brood, will she open the cocoon on her own or do I need to introduce some workers as well?


My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

Lasius sp. (black workers)

Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

Prenolepis imparis

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#87 Offline Jamiesname - Posted May 3 2018 - 5:17 PM

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Hi guys, My L. claviger queen has taken some L. flavus brood, will she open the cocoon on her own or do I need to introduce some workers as well?


You should have some workers in there with her regardless.

To he honest, I don't know if parasitic queens will open cocoons or not, but I'm willing to bet that they won't. The only thing they do is lay eggs. They don't even feed themselves if workers are present, which is another reason to have workers with her. At the very least they will keep her from starving to death. Put 20 or so workers and a small pile of pupae in with her and you should be good to go. Make sure they're all from the same colony, and let her have the pupae for at least 24 hours before you introduce the workers. Introduce 1 worker at first to test their responses.
Then it's simply a waiting game for several weeks. Keep her in a dark, warm and quiet place and do your best to on only check on her every couple days if you can.
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#88 Online rbarreto - Posted May 3 2018 - 5:59 PM

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Hi guys, My L. claviger queen has taken some L. flavus brood, will she open the cocoon on her own or do I need to introduce some workers as well?


You should have some workers in there with her regardless.

To he honest, I don't know if parasitic queens will open cocoons or not, but I'm willing to bet that they won't. The only thing they do is lay eggs. They don't even feed themselves if workers are present, which is another reason to have workers with her. At the very least they will keep her from starving to death. Put 20 or so workers and a small pile of pupae in with her and you should be good to go. Make sure they're all from the same colony, and let her have the pupae for at least 24 hours before you introduce the workers. Introduce 1 worker at first to test their responses.
Then it's simply a waiting game for several weeks. Keep her in a dark, warm and quiet place and do your best to on only check on her every couple days if you can.

 

Thanks for the advice! Should I leave some sort of protein and sugar for them or does the queen have enough stored to feed them for a while (her gaster is quite small)?


My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

Lasius sp. (black workers)

Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

Prenolepis imparis

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#89 Offline Jamiesname - Posted May 3 2018 - 6:21 PM

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Hi guys, My L. claviger queen has taken some L. flavus brood, will she open the cocoon on her own or do I need to introduce some workers as well?


You should have some workers in there with her regardless.
To he honest, I don't know if parasitic queens will open cocoons or not, but I'm willing to bet that they won't. The only thing they do is lay eggs. They don't even feed themselves if workers are present, which is another reason to have workers with her. At the very least they will keep her from starving to death. Put 20 or so workers and a small pile of pupae in with her and you should be good to go. Make sure they're all from the same colony, and let her have the pupae for at least 24 hours before you introduce the workers. Introduce 1 worker at first to test their responses.
Then it's simply a waiting game for several weeks. Keep her in a dark, warm and quiet place and do your best to on only check on her every couple days if you can.
Thanks for the advice! Should I leave some sort of protein and sugar for them or does the queen have enough stored to feed them for a while (her gaster is quite small)?

Put some honey, honey water, liquid hummingbird nectar or sugar water in with them. Just a drop on a piece of foil. Try those I listed above until you see them eating from one. You might need to alternate foods, they tend to get bored with some foods and need different things to eat. Also put a cricket leg, spider leg, fruit fly or even a chunk of cooked chicken on a piece of foil too. They probably won't eat it, but it won't hurt either. You'd rather keep your bases covered.

#90 Offline Jamiesname - Posted May 11 2018 - 1:32 PM

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I caught a couple more parasitic queens hiding under some bricks earlier this spring, and threw in a few callow L. Neoniger workers with the queens to see if they would lay eggs. It took about three weeks, but one did. I'm still waiting on the other one. I'm not sure if this is L. Clavigar or L. Umbratus, but here's a pic with a worker carrying the pile of eggs.

If/when the first workers eclose I plan on putting them up for sale, so if you have any ant keeping friends in Michigan spread the word 😉.


20180511 172451


20180511 172439


#91 Offline Canadian anter - Posted May 11 2018 - 2:28 PM

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Acanthomyops queens, as far as we know don't open cocoons (because we don't have many records of rearing them). Cthonolasius have been observed doing it but very rarely. I would recommend putting workers if it is a parasitic Lasius. Formica should not recerive workers though. 


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#92 Online rbarreto - Posted May 17 2018 - 3:18 PM

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My L. claviger queen has laid eggs! A bunch of them (can't even get a picture of all of them). These ladies are so calm too, they aren't scared of anything. I think I IDed the host species as L. Flavus but I now think its L. nearcticus.

 

2Flrx9Dl.jpg

 

They seem to love honey but haven't accepted protein yet (makes sense). Anyone know what kinds of proteins they do eat? Also how long from egg-larvae-brood?


Edited by rbarreto, May 18 2018 - 12:14 PM.

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My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

Lasius sp. (black workers)

Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

Prenolepis imparis

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#93 Offline Jamiesname - Posted May 17 2018 - 5:00 PM

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My L. claviger queen has laid eggs! A bunch of them too.
 
2Flrx9Dl.jpg
 
They seem to love honey but haven't accepted protein yet (makes sense). Anyone know what kinds of proteins they do eat? Also how long from egg-larvae-brood?



Awesome! They will take any common insect (crickets, spiders, flies, grasshoppers, etc.). Just break off a leg or something and place it on a piece of foil and slide it in there. They probably won't eat it until the eggs form into larvae, but it's better to have it available and them not need it than the alternative. Replace it every couple days so it doesn't mold, and clean up any old remnants with tweezers.

As far as the length of the different stages of growth, somebody else will need to answer that because I unfortunately don't know. I do know that it might take up to six weeks from egg to adult worker, chances are it will go quicker, but don't be alarmed if it doesn't.
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#94 Online rbarreto - Posted May 24 2018 - 4:16 AM

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Would L. claviger or umbratus do better in a dirt set up? I know they are subterranean but would they come to the surface to forage? I have never seen any of these species above ground. 


My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

Lasius sp. (black workers)

Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

Prenolepis imparis

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#95 Offline Canadian anter - Posted May 24 2018 - 4:32 AM

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Lasius umbrarus will forage above ground. We don't know about Acanthomyops though.



#96 Online rbarreto - Posted May 24 2018 - 4:54 AM

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Well I have one of Drews dirt shacks #7, maybe I'll give it a go. Although they are doing just fine in a test tube.


My journal featuring:

Aphaenogaster picea

Lasius claviger

Lasius umbratus

Lasius sp. (black workers)

Lasius sp. (yellow/orange workers)

Formica pallidefulva (northern color form)

Prenolepis imparis

Camponotus pennsylvanicus

Camponotus novaeboracensis

Temnothorax cf. curvispinosus

Tetramorium immigrans ( 2 polygynous, 1 monogynous)

 


#97 Offline AntsAreCool55 - Posted June 18 2018 - 8:52 AM

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Yesterday I found a Lasius fuliginosus queen running in my backyard. I almost didn't bother to check because she looked like a male ant from far away,so small and skinny legs and gaster.

I have put her into test tube setup and left her overnight. Next morning (today) I have taken 20-30 pupae and 5-6 callow workers from one of the wild Lasius niger colonies in my backyard (fliping flat stones is really easy way to find pupae). First I added all the pupae with the queen,and few hours later started adding callow workers 1 by 1. To my suprise,there was almost no agression towards the queen and it seems that they settled nicely. I also noticed workers and queen sharing food,which may be a good sign.

First time trying to keep social parasites,if I succeed I will make sure to create a journal for them.

#98 Offline Jamiesname - Posted June 18 2018 - 2:43 PM

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Yesterday I found a Lasius fuliginosus queen running in my backyard. I almost didn't bother to check because she looked like a male ant from far away,so small and skinny legs and gaster.
I have put her into test tube setup and left her overnight. Next morning (today) I have taken 20-30 pupae and 5-6 callow workers from one of the wild Lasius niger colonies in my backyard (fliping flat stones is really easy way to find pupae). First I added all the pupae with the queen,and few hours later started adding callow workers 1 by 1. To my suprise,there was almost no agression towards the queen and it seems that they settled nicely. I also noticed workers and queen sharing food,which may be a good sign.
First time trying to keep social parasites,if I succeed I will make sure to create a journal for them.



Awesome! Sounds like all that you need to do is watch and wait now. Keep us posted.

#99 Offline AntsAreCool55 - Posted June 20 2018 - 7:44 AM

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The queen now has 10 host workers with another 20 pupae soon to become workers. Will that be enough of a work force for her to start laying?
Still no signs of agression,queen and workers have had their first honey meal and seem to be sharing food constantly.

#100 Offline Batspiderfish - Posted July 6 2018 - 1:05 PM

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Pleased to announce that after almost two years of waiting, my Lasius latipes queen finally got her first worker.

42339765745_8d93bedda7_k.jpg

 

Cigars and sugar water all around.


Edited by Batspiderfish, July 6 2018 - 1:08 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.

 

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