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Kiedeerk's parasitic Lasius Journals

aphidicola interjectus murphyi lasius parasite

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#1 Offline kiedeerk - Posted August 14 2022 - 1:25 PM

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Lasius Aphidicola

 

 

  • These queens usually fly in the late summer/fall however you can find them under rocks and in rotten logs throughout the winter. In the spring they usually come out of diapause and start looking for hosts. I found a few of these queens in the spring around Late marsh/April 2022. I should have started a journal then but forgot. This is my first year keeping lasius parasites so had to learn a bit from more experienced ant keepers. These usually parasitize lasius americanus or neoniger. I kept the queens alive by giving them some sugar water until I was able to find hosts. It was actually harder to find hosts for them in the spring. Once the weather warmed up a bit, I was able to find lasius americanus hosts. Ideally you want to have lots of hosts 50+ with a good amount of pupae. I was not able to find these many hosts and end up with about 30 or so hosts and no pupae.
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  • I introduced hosts slowly a few at a time until the queen was not actively fighting them. Certain queens would fight to the death. A few dead workers is very common however it is queen dependent. Some queens were much more "friendly" and caused no host worker casualties.
  • I kept the queen and hosts inside a sealed test tube set up so they would be forced to interact with each other with no place to run. If you give them an outworld, the queen would just run away and hide in a corner and there would be no acceptance.
  • I fed them sugar water from time to time. No protein is needed at this stage since there are no brood to care for. Some queens were tolerated and accepted much quicker than other queens in my experience. Some queens never settled down and kept killing workers while others were accepted within a few days.
  • Then the waiting game until the queen produces eggs. Usually adult workers will live long enough to rear first generation of biological workers. At this time you can always find host pupae and add them so they will have constant supply of hosts. I did not add any pupae. Some ant keepers swear that the more hosts and pupae you give the faster the queen will lay eggs. It is probably true but also queen dependent. My colony had 30 host workers and no pupae and the queen started laying within 1 week or so after being accepted.
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  • The longest period was probably waiting for the eggs to hatch. I started giving proteins once eggs hatch. It took almost 2 months from egg to biological workers. These are quite small ants but it took quite a while to get workers. A few host workers did die but even after 3-4 months I still had quite a few hosts workers left now.
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  • Once biological workers, this colony is being kept like any other lasius colony. Another reason I started this colony was to be able to use them as hosts for other lasius parasites.
  • This is their current state. Overall, I was very successful with aphidicola, out of 3 queens I providede hosts to 2 of the queens successfully founded to biological workers.
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#2 Offline Wegmier - Posted August 14 2022 - 1:37 PM

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Love a parasitic Lasius success story
Looking forward to reading updates in this journal!


1 x Lasius niger -  https://www.formicul...-wegmier/page-6

1 x Lasius flavus - https://www.formicul...flavus-wegmier/

4 x Camponotus fedtschenkoi - https://www.formicul...-wegmier/page-2


#3 Offline kiedeerk - Posted August 14 2022 - 2:50 PM

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Lasius Interjectus

 

 

  • Once, I had biological aphidicola biological workers, I had the idea of using them as hosts for lasius interjectus. I caught two of these in june/july 2022. From other ant keepers and experience, I was told they specialize to parasitizing lasius claviger. I was told neoniger, americanus would also work. I thought maybe aphidicola could be an alternative to claviger. Therefore, I stole biological workers and pupae from my own aphidicola colony and added them to the interjectus queens. One of the interjectus queens died shortly after capture but the other was kept alive with sugar water until i figured out a plan.
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  • To my surprise, the interjectus queen did not really fight the aphidicola workers. One reason maybe because these were first or second generation nanitics and callow workers. Tolerance and acceptance was rather quick easily within the first week.
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  • Interjectus queen started laying eggs about 2-3 weeks after acceptance
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  • Egg pile continues to grow within the next few weeks.
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  • The egg to larva time have been quite long. It has been more than 1 month since the first eggs appeared. I am not sure if they are been eaten and relayed. I hope my queen is not infertile.

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Edited by kiedeerk, August 14 2022 - 2:54 PM.


#4 Offline kiedeerk - Posted August 14 2022 - 3:06 PM

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Lasius Murphyi

 

  • I caught a Murphyi queen 3 days ago on my walk. Because of my success with the other lasius parasite this year. I was going to try my luck with this queen also. Last fall, I caught a lasius neoniger queen with plan of using them as hosts. So I was planning ahead for when I catch latipes or murphyi. The neoniger colony got to about 40-50 workers so I stole their nanitic and callow workers and introduce them to the murphyi queen. I know they specifically use neoniger as hosts.
  • I introduce them slowly a few at a time and slowly added workers until about 30-40 host workers. Because my neoniger colony is rather young, i am constraint in the number of host I can provide them without killing off the neoniger colony entirely.
  • In the coming days, I will try to find wild neoniger pupae however it may be difficult
  • The murphyi queen was rather restless at the beginning when she was by herself. As soon as I added the host and increased their numbers, the murphyi queen settle down quite a bit. There was almost no fighting at all from the beginning as they use different strategies in the wild to infiltrate host colonies compared to interjectus and aphidicola.
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#5 Offline kiedeerk - Posted August 15 2022 - 1:26 PM

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Found a ton of neoniger pupae today and added to murphyi

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#6 Offline ANTdrew - Posted August 15 2022 - 3:12 PM

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I always wondered what ants you put in those cool nests. Nice work.
"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 AntsTopia - Posted August 15 2022 - 6:30 PM

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I have never personally brood boosted a parasitic queen because I just see it as difficult but you made it seem as though you're eating cotton candy. I'll try next spring. Thanks for the inspiration. I'll keep following this journal and see what happens to your parasitic colonies.
If all humans worked to together like ants the world would be like…SO MUCH BETTER

Keeper of: Camponotus Flordanius, Pogonomyrmex Occidentalis, Tetramorium Sp. E, Camponotus Vicinus, Pheidole bicaranata, Solenopsis Invicta, Pogonomyrmex Rugosus, Colobis Impressa, Lasius brevicornis, Brachymermex Patagonius, Myrmcoctysus Mendax

If I got some species names wrong, just know I can't spell some English words so what makes you think I can spell Latin words? :)

#8 Offline kiedeerk - Posted August 15 2022 - 7:17 PM

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I always wondered what ants you put in those cool nests. Nice work.


I have caught almost all the common and uncommon species here in the northeast. I do put my nest to use but still have way too many unused ones

#9 Offline kiedeerk - Posted August 15 2022 - 7:19 PM

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I have never personally brood boosted a parasitic queen because I just see it as difficult but you made it seem as though you're eating cotton candy. I'll try next spring. Thanks for the inspiration. I'll keep following this journal and see what happens to your parasitic colonies.


I wouldn’t consider this brood boosting. Technically it’s host boosting since the pupae will eclose and become hosts. These will keep the taking care of the parasitic queen and her brood until biological workers arrive

#10 Offline kiedeerk - Posted August 26 2022 - 2:39 PM

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Sadly the murphyi queen died. With the initial workers there wasn’t any fighting but once the pupae I found started eclosing the new workers started fighting the queen. She lasted about two weeks so she was being kept alive but the workers did not end up accepting her.

My Interjectus queen is laying eggs but they don’t seem to be hatching. Unsure whether the queen is infertile or they just need long time to hatch.

Aphidicola colony doing very well and continuing to grow.
Interjectus eggs

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#11 Offline BDantsalberta - Posted December 7 2022 - 3:48 PM

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Very nice. Update?



#12 Offline kiedeerk - Posted December 7 2022 - 5:43 PM

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Very nice. Update?


Aphidicola are in diapause. Interjectus I suspect was not fertile as the eggs never developed

Aphidicola is by far the easiest parasitic lasius species. The others are more challenging and specialized
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#13 Offline BDantsalberta - Posted December 23 2022 - 10:44 PM

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I currently have claviger, interjectus, latipes, and 2 subumbratus queens. The latipes and interjectus queens have very small larvae and the claviger doesn't have any brood at all, and my subumbratus queen both have medium size larvae and stated laying eggs again. I have kept aphidicola before, but just got unlucky it seems. So far with me, subumbratus is the most all round best parasitic lasius species out there.







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: aphidicola, interjectus, murphyi, lasius, parasite

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