Jump to content

  • Chat
  •  
  •  



Welcome to Formiculture.com!

This is a website for anyone interested in Myrmecology and all aspects of finding, keeping, and studying ants. The site and forum are free to use. Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation points to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!

Photo
* * * * * 2 votes

LaTuns Lasius niger Journal

lasius european gardenant

  • Please log in to reply
28 replies to this topic

#1 Offline LaTun - Posted May 15 2020 - 12:15 PM

LaTun

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 41 posts
  • LocationLeipzig, Germany

Hi Guys

this journal will feature another colony of mine, my young but very active Lasius niger colony.
 

This species is the species that got me into ant keeping and will always have a special place in my heart.

Just a few Infos about this species:

 

queen: usually one per colony, 8-9mm long and black with a brownish shine
workers: 3-5mm large, black or dark brown

colony size: around 50.000, large colonies are very aggressive and will often attack and kill other colonies in their territory
habitat: open meadows, especially abundant in city areas, often nest under sidewalk plates and stones

diet: insects(large colonies are very successful hunters), Carian, Honeydew in captivity sugar/honey water are a good substitute

 

 

I got this colony from a friend of mine ho sadly had to give up ant keeping. I gladly took them. 
They are currently being kept in a small plastic container with a test-tube and 8cm of sand.
Attached File  IMG_7986.JPG   276.87KB   1 downloads

 

They keep some of their brood in the test tube and some (mostly bigger larvae) in the dirt nest.
I am not really a fan of this setup so I plan to move them into a homemade plaster nest with a glass outworld. First I am going to let the sand dry out, so the ants will move all of their brood into the test tube which I am then going to put into the new setup, once it's finished. I am still in the planning phase and waiting on a few packages from AntStore.

 But now need to rush since the colony is thriving right now and as you can see the queen is laying loads of eggs.

Attached File  IMG_7985.JPG   255.78KB   0 downloads

 

 

All this brood needs to feed too, so they have quite an appetite.
This is the normal recruitment whenever I give them something to eat.

Attached File  IMG_8020.JPG   287.08KB   1 downloads

 

 

I mostly feed them flies, red runner roaches, mealworms as well as crickets. For carbohydrates, they have 24/7 access to diluted maple syrup which they really like.

 

This colonie is really fun to keep and quickly captured my heart. This really takes me back to the roots, to when I first started ant keeping.

The next update will probably follow once I have their new setup build and a better overview of how large the colony is.

 

 

 

 


  • Barristan, AntsMaryland, AntsDakota and 2 others like this

#2 Offline AntsDakota - Posted May 15 2020 - 12:23 PM

AntsDakota

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,803 posts
  • LocationSioux Falls, South Dakota

I still can't believe how many eggs that queen laid...............  :o Fascinating species.


  • AntsMaryland, Ants_Dakota and LaTun like this

"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#3 Offline LaTun - Posted May 16 2020 - 6:24 AM

LaTun

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 41 posts
  • LocationLeipzig, Germany

Yes, they are awesome. Sadly here in Germany, they have kind of a bad reputation as a boring starter species which does them a total disservice.


  • AntsDakota likes this

#4 Offline AntsDakota - Posted May 16 2020 - 6:29 AM

AntsDakota

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,803 posts
  • LocationSioux Falls, South Dakota

Yes, they are awesome. Sadly here in Germany, they have kind of a bad reputation as a boring starter species which does them a total disservice.

It's the same here. Lasius neoniger and americanus are super common around here, yet are also considered boring starter species. Yet I just love how large they grow. In the right areas, I can flip over rocks, and there are thousands of workers and brood underneath. Yesterday I took advantage of this and got a massive amount of workers for my parasitic colony. And another thing, I love how their queens get physogastric:

 

wPWoyxT.jpg?1


  • Ants_Dakota and LaTun like this

"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#5 Offline LaTun - Posted May 16 2020 - 6:49 AM

LaTun

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 41 posts
  • LocationLeipzig, Germany

I love that about them too.
Good luck with your parasitic colony.

 

Today I feed them a small cricket. Not their favourite food but they still drag it into their tunnels.

Attached File  IMG_8031.JPG   348.51KB   0 downloads

 

Flys are still their preferred food.

 

I also switched out their maple syrup (it started to leak) with some invert sugar for now just a drop. Once I clean out the ByFormica Feeder it will get filled up with that stuff.

 

 


  • AntsDakota likes this

#6 Offline ANTdrew - Posted May 16 2020 - 7:58 AM

ANTdrew

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,650 posts
  • LocationAlexandria, VA
Seems like my kinda ants to keep! Very cool.
  • AntsDakota and LaTun like this

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#7 Offline Canadant - Posted May 16 2020 - 3:13 PM

Canadant

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 443 posts
  • LocationNova Scotia, Canada
Lasius just doesnt seem to get the love on here. They're very common where I'm from but I always have a hard time getting them through the winter.
  • LaTun likes this
"You don't get what you want. You get what you deserve".

#8 Offline AntsDakota - Posted May 30 2020 - 10:24 AM

AntsDakota

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 3,803 posts
  • LocationSioux Falls, South Dakota

I still can't believe how many eggs that queen laid...............  :o Fascinating species.

I actually just stumbled upon a Lasius americanus colony, which is more niger-like. Hoping she’ll be as productive as yours. If you wish you can read more about them in my journal.
  • Canadant, LaTun and wallaby like this

"God made..... all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. (including ants) And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 NIV version


#9 Offline LaTun - Posted May 30 2020 - 11:22 AM

LaTun

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 41 posts
  • LocationLeipzig, Germany

 

I still can't believe how many eggs that queen laid...............  :o Fascinating species.

I actually just stumbled upon a Lasius americanus colony, which is more niger-like. Hoping she’ll be as productive as yours. If you wish you can read more about them in my journal.

 

I am definitely going to follow that journal. Good luck with her.

 

 

Update Time.

 

The colony has now moved out of their old setup into a new 3d printed nest. Its a bit too large for them but I am sure they will fill it up quickly.

They have been consuming loads of insects (mostly mealworms and crickets) and sugar water. The brood pile is growing on a steady rate and new workers are emerging almost daily.

 

However I am still waiting on their new glass outworld, but once that arrives I will present the complete setup.

 

Attached File  IMG_8120.JPG   129.82KB   0 downloads

A small pile of pupae with a new worker, they have more but those are hidden under condensation.

 

Attached File  IMG_8125.JPG   131.04KB   0 downloads

And a few larvae, still more hidden behind condensation.

 

 

 


 


  • Canadant, ANTdrew, AntsDakota and 2 others like this

#10 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted May 30 2020 - 3:58 PM

Ants_Dakota

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,876 posts
  • LocationSioux Falls, South Dakota

And I still can't get over the number of eggs in that first picture!!!


  • LaTun likes this

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

My Journals

General Journal

Camponotus novaeboracensis Journal

My Shop Here

Attention Ant-Keepers in South Dakota! Join the SoDak(Society Of Dakotan Ant Keepers)

Learn about our website AntsDakota, and help us develop and publish it

Join ouDiscord, where you can discuss your anting ideas in peace, and learn more about AntsDakota.com


#11 Offline LaTun - Posted June 3 2020 - 8:08 AM

LaTun

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 41 posts
  • LocationLeipzig, Germany

Well, today they finally got their new outworld. For now, it is a 30cm * 20cm * 20cm tank, which was originally intended for my Camponotus cruentatus but those have no need for it anymore.

 

Attached File  IMG_8147.JPG   292.84KB   0 downloads

 

 

The nest is attached via about 25cm of tubing, the ants really use the extra space and ts so interesting to watch them drag prey through the tubes.

 

Attached File  IMG_8148.JPG   189.65KB   0 downloads

 

 


  • ANTdrew, AntsDakota and Thunder_Birds like this

#12 Offline LaTun - Posted June 27 2020 - 3:51 AM

LaTun

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 41 posts
  • LocationLeipzig, Germany

Update time:

 

The colony is growing extremely fast due to the warm temperatures in my room (about 28°C).
They hit the 100+ mark and are now more aggressive than ever. They even started taking live food (not on purpose) a fly landed in their outworld near the sugar water test tube and the ants quickly swarmed the fly and took it down in a matter of seconds.

 

The queen slowed down a bit with egg production so most of their brood are now pupae.

 

Attached File  IMG-8300.jpg   129.47KB   0 downloads

 

 

 


  • Canadant, AntsDakota, DDD101DDD and 1 other like this

#13 Offline ANTdrew - Posted June 27 2020 - 5:06 AM

ANTdrew

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,650 posts
  • LocationAlexandria, VA
Awesome!

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#14 Offline LaTun - Posted August 1 2020 - 8:12 AM

LaTun

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 41 posts
  • LocationLeipzig, Germany

01.08.2020
 

Time for an Update!!

The colonie is doing great, they´re growth slowed down ab it since I was on vacation for two weeks. During this time they only got proteins once a week, but now that I'm back they will be fed daily again.

They are very ravenous, eating a small dubia roach + 4-5 flies daily.

 

I'll try and get some pictures this week.



#15 Offline LaTun - Posted August 11 2020 - 1:03 PM

LaTun

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 41 posts
  • LocationLeipzig, Germany

11.08.2020

My little murder dwarfs are doing great.
They have been hungry as always and take anything I throw in there be it flies, roaches, crickets or mealworms.
Their recruitment is really fast and great usually around 50-60 come rushing out to defend their food source. Recently when I gave them some beetle jelly, a wasp came in through a open window looking for an easy snack, landed next to the jelly and the ants lost their [censored]. Three chased it away again and again while 2 ran back to get support. A few seconds later about 60 ants rushed out of the nest and quickly swarmed the wasp. Sadly the light was really bad so I didn't get any good pictures.

However, of what I did get pictures off was their reaction to an adult dubia male.
Attached File  IMG_8636.jpg   234.57KB   0 downloads
They knawed on this for about 12 hours after that is was completely hollowed out and all the legs cut off.
After that, they were completely full for two days and had no activity in the outworld.

 

But dubias aren't the only thing they go for, they really like cut-up mealworms.
Attached File  IMG_8594.jpg   377.32KB   0 downloads

 

 

Of course, proteins aren't the only thing they crave. I finally got around to order some more BYFormica Feeders so they now have better access to their sugar water.

Attached File  IMG_8648.jpg   304.17KB   0 downloads
This is the usual activity at the feeder, there are always some ants gorging themselves and then stumbling back into the nest only to return a few minutes later to fill themselves up again.


That's it for today, so until next time

 


  • ANTdrew, AntsDakota and Antkid12 like this

#16 Offline ANTdrew - Posted August 11 2020 - 2:02 PM

ANTdrew

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,650 posts
  • LocationAlexandria, VA
I love it.
  • LaTun likes this

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.


#17 Offline Antkid12 - Posted August 11 2020 - 2:24 PM

Antkid12

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,009 posts
  • LocationFairfax, Virginia

I want some non-parasitic lasius.  :(


  • LaTun likes this

Ants I have: Tapinoma sessile(2 queen colony). RED MORPH Camponotus neacticus(now has pupae!), Tetramorium immigrans (x3), Aphaenogaster sp, Temnothorax sp, Brachymyrmex sp.   possibly infertile   :(,  Ponera pennsylvanica, and Pheidole morrisi!  :yahoo: 

 

Other insects: Polistes sp. Queen

                    

Ants I need: Pheidole sp., Trachymyrmex sp., Crematogaster cerasi , Dorymyrmex sp. Most wanted: Pheidole morrisii

 

                    

                   

 

 


#18 Offline BlueLance213 - Posted August 11 2020 - 4:27 PM

BlueLance213

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 120 posts

I want some non-parasitic lasius.  :(

Come to Scotland XD Lasius Niger are still flying about right now, I kinda went mad catching a lot of them, but I had no idea what the survival rates would be. So far pretty high.


  • ANTdrew, LaTun and Antkid12 like this

#19 Offline LaTun - Posted September 17 2020 - 12:19 PM

LaTun

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 41 posts
  • LocationLeipzig, Germany

Update time.

17.09.2020

These girls are still going strong and make no signs of slowing down for winter.
There is still loads of activity in the outworld, they are as hungry as ever.
 

They empty these small ByFormica Feeders within 3-4 days, I definitely need to upgrade those next year. I only use them for sugar water, with normal water they wouldn't last two days. They get they're drinking water from a small test tube laying int the outworld, this lasts them about 2 weeks

Attached File  IMG_8867.jpg   249.21KB   0 downloads

For proteins, they now get mostly red runner roaches (1 male per day), frozen and the cut-up. As well as the occasional annoying fly or mosquito.
They still try their best to drag those into the nest but often fail at the connector so they just cut off limbs and hollow out the rest.
Attached File  IMG_8796.jpg   303.31KB   0 downloads


All that food is getting put to good use, the queen has produced two large egg piles with several hundred eggs per pile.

Attached File  IMG_8856.jpg   201.4KB   0 downloads

Attached File  IMG_8855.jpg   178.73KB   0 downloads


The colony has grown a lot, I didn't have the patience to count all the workers so I just estimated the amount, my guess is that there are around 800.
They are starting to fill up the nest. There is brood in every chamber, over hibernation they are also getting an Upgrade.

An interesting behaviour I noticed is that they don't like to lay their larvae on the steel mesh and actively avoid it.
Attached File  IMG_8839.jpg   310.66KB   0 downloads

 

it pains me to think about that their active season is coming to a close, at the end of September I'm gonna reduce temperature and food so that they will be in hibernation mode by mid-October.
Then they will put into the fridge and left alone until Easter apart from a few short checkups to ensure that their nest is still moist.

Until then, have a great time


  • Barristan, ANTdrew, AntsDakota and 2 others like this

#20 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 17 2020 - 12:39 PM

ANTdrew

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,650 posts
  • LocationAlexandria, VA
Great work with the colony! Couldn’t you take them out sooner than Easter if you miss them?

"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25  

Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: lasius, european, gardenant

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users