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!

* * * * * 1 votes

Steelplant's UK Ants

myrmica lasius niger lasius flavus lasius umbratus

  • Please log in to reply
1 reply to this topic

#1 Offline steelplant - Posted February 19 2021 - 6:23 AM


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 146 posts

Featuring Myrmica species (most likely rubra), Lasius niger, Lasius flavus and Lasius umbratus. I'll add the ants to the journal as they come out of hibernation. 


Myrmica sp. 1 queen, 3 workers, a few grubs (one big one). This is my first ever ant queen, caught nearly a year ago. I noticed a swarm of black garden ants, looked more closely and saw they were chasing a red queen. She ran into a test tube and the good folks here on FC identified her. I made so many errors with her and she still didn't have any workers after a few months, so I grabbed her 3 pupae from a wild nest at my allotment (vegetable plot). I didn't dig them up (too invasive for me) but just lifted a bit of cardboard and sucked them up with a homemade aspirator. We use the "no dig" method at the allotment, which is great for ants as it doesn't disturb the underground world. I always feed wild colonies I've raided for brood, and several others as well. 


This queen was always a fussy eater and would only take flies, but now the boosted workers are doing the foraging, they're happy with mealworms and crickets. I gave them cricket eggs for the first time the other day. This colony is living in a test tube connected to a small homemade outworld with a plaster cave. 




Myrmica sp. 6 queen founding colony. I walked into a nuptial flight last August in a church graveyard under a giant redwood tree (sequoia). Redwoods are a rare sight in the UK as they're not native, and usually found singly, planted in the last century or two, so still small for redwoods. I lived in northern California for a while and fell in love with them. This was my dream day. The light was otherworldly and everything so still, clouds of ants glowing in these red golden glades. I caught 6, though I fear 2 might be unmated, as they've never been as settled. They're in 3 tubes in a tubs n tubes set up, so they can choose whether to be together or separate. They were two separate 3Q colonies until the other day, when I merged them. They're now all in the middle tube.



  • ANTdrew, Swirlysnowflake, Fatatoille and 1 other like this

#2 Offline steelplant - Posted March 2 2021 - 3:42 AM


    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 146 posts

1Q 3W: We had some sunny days last week and I caught a fly for this colony, as the queen loves flies. Sure enough they took the fly into the nest, so the grubs must be eating well. 


6Q: These ants weren't as settled as I thought. I witnessed a few acts of aggression on one queen, who was desperately trying tp leave, so I took her out. Things calmed down. On further inspection, 4 queens were in one test tube, huddled up together around a stack of eggs. The remaining queen was by herself in the other tube, no eggs, so I took her out too. So now it's a 4Q colony with eggs. I've offered the colony to my friend whose Myrmica didn't make it through hibernation, but she hasn't decided yet.


I put the two left over queens into a new tub and tubes, with a tube each, and am keeping a close eye. No aggression so far. I hope they pair up, but if they don't then they'll have a chance at single founding. 


I did catch them in a 4 then a bit later a 2, so maybe they're all back with their original flight mates. 


Will try to get some photos soon.

  • KitsAntVa likes this

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: myrmica, lasius niger, lasius flavus, lasius umbratus

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users