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Lasius claviger colony care


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#1 Online PurdueEntomology - Posted February 4 2024 - 12:39 AM

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If you have successfully kept Lasius claviger please share the diet you have/have been providing them.  

Thanks!

 

Any takers?


Edited by PurdueEntomology, February 4 2024 - 5:11 AM.


#2 Offline Artisan_Ants - Posted February 4 2024 - 12:34 PM

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I haven’t kept this species, (currently have an L. umbratus queen in hibernation) but I believe they’ll eat the same things as any other fully claustral Lasius species (like honey, honeydew, mealworm, e.t.c.). Just before hibernating my L. umbratus queen though, I gave her some honey and she ate some the next day since her gaster was full; That might help.

Edited by Artisan_Ants, February 4 2024 - 12:42 PM.


#3 Online PurdueEntomology - Posted February 4 2024 - 1:19 PM

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I haven’t kept this species, (currently have an L. umbratus queen in hibernation) but I believe they’ll eat the same things as any other fully claustral Lasius species (like honey, honeydew, mealworm, e.t.c.). Just before hibernating my L. umbratus queen though, I gave her some honey and she ate some the next day since her gaster was full; That might help.

I appreciate your input.  



#4 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted February 4 2024 - 3:18 PM

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My colony is fed regular sugar mixes and fruit flies. They seem to do well, but I am slowly becoming convinced that for the colony to succeed long-term, aphids could be necessary, in some way.


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#5 Offline Artisan_Ants - Posted February 4 2024 - 3:26 PM

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My colony is fed regular sugar mixes and fruit flies. They seem to do well, but I am slowly becoming convinced that for the colony to succeed long-term, aphids could be necessary, in some way.

Yeah, most species, if not all species of Lasius farm honeydew from aphids.

#6 Online PurdueEntomology - Posted February 5 2024 - 2:38 AM

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First, thank you for adding input.  I have after reading some published peer reviewed papers that ants in this group are not for 'beginners' but are for 'advanced' and 'experienced' formiculturalists.  

 

Secondly, these ants are  associated with aphids but, "In general, colonies appear to be large, diffusely distributed in the soil, and are associated with root-feeding coccid Hemiptera." (Raczkowski, J. & Luque, Gloria. 2011. Colony founding and social parasitism in Lasius (Acanthomyops). Insectes Sociaux. 58. 237-244. 10.1007/s00040-010-0141-y. ). Coccid are in the family Coccidae and include wax scales and soft scales.  These fall within a clade with phylogenetic closeness to a Aphidomorpha (Phylloxerioidea (phylloxera bugs) and Aphidea (aphids)) but more distantly related to  Aleyrodoidea (whiteflies) and more distant Psyliodea (psyllid) all within the old Homoptera (defunct Order) now understood as the Sternorryncha the "rear facing" mouth part piercing/sucking Hemiptera. 

 

Studies have shown that coccids that have these mutualistic associations benefit the coccids via the ants by the production of entomopathogenic fungus species via the anti-fungal properties produced by meta pleural glands of the ants. It is well known that the ants actively transfer and guard their coccid "herd" which is a benefit to the coccids by protecting them from parasitoids.  The ants cull their "herd" also as a protein source, like humans "herd" cattle for milk (honeydew) and meat.  As for the actual nutritional/developmental benefits to ants of honeydew I have yet to find specific studies detailing that. 


Edited by PurdueEntomology, February 7 2024 - 11:03 PM.

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#7 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted February 5 2024 - 4:41 PM

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First, thank you for adding input.  I have after reading some published peer reviewed papers that ants in this group are not for 'beginners' but are for 'advanced' and 'experienced' formiculturalists.  

 

Secondly, these ants are NOT associated with aphids but, "In general, colonies appear to be large, diffusely distributed in the soil, and are associated with root-feeding coccid Hemiptera." (Raczkowski, J. & Luque, Gloria. 2011. Colony founding and social parasitism in Lasius (Acanthomyops). Insectes Sociaux. 58. 237-244. 10.1007/s00040-010-0141-y. ). Coccid are in the family Coccidae and include wax scales and soft scales.  These fall within a clade with phylogenetic closeness to a Aphidomorpha (Phylloxerioidea (phylloxera bugs) and Aphidea (aphids)) but more distantly related to  Aleyrodoidea (whiteflies) and more distant Psyliodea (psyllid) all within the old Homoptera (defunct Order) now understood as the Sternorryncha the "rear facing" mouth part piercing/sucking Hemiptera. 

 

Studies have shown that coccids that have these mutualistic associations benefit the coccids via the ants by the production of entomopathogenic fungus species via the anti-fungal properties produced by meta pleural glands of the ants. It is well known that the ants actively transfer and guard their coccid "herd" which is a benefit to the coccids by protecting them from parasitoids.  The ants cull their "herd" also as a protein source, like humans "herd" cattle for milk (honeydew) and meat.  As for the actual nutritional/developmental benefits to ants of honeydew I have yet to find specific studies detailing that. 

This all sounds correct, and those are great studies! They do, however, also tend species of root aphids. I don't think there's much literature on them (which pains me), but they are certainly there. They are commonly found tending coccids, but they do not limit themselves there, from colonies I have personally witnessed. I often see colonies with at least 4-5 species of Hemiptera. I do believe literature regarding them and their associations with Hemipterans is lacking, especially compared to the similar (but not too similar) Chthonolasius. It's stunning how little we know of their natural life cycle beyond the founding stages.


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#8 Online PurdueEntomology - Posted February 7 2024 - 11:02 PM

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First, thank you for adding input.  I have after reading some published peer reviewed papers that ants in this group are not for 'beginners' but are for 'advanced' and 'experienced' formiculturalists.  

 

Secondly, these ants are  associated with aphids but, "In general, colonies appear to be large, diffusely distributed in the soil, and are associated with root-feeding coccid Hemiptera." (Raczkowski, J. & Luque, Gloria. 2011. Colony founding and social parasitism in Lasius (Acanthomyops). Insectes Sociaux. 58. 237-244. 10.1007/s00040-010-0141-y. ). Coccid are in the family Coccidae and include wax scales and soft scales.  These fall within a clade with phylogenetic closeness to a Aphidomorpha (Phylloxerioidea (phylloxera bugs) and Aphidea (aphids)) but more distantly related to  Aleyrodoidea (whiteflies) and more distant Psyliodea (psyllid) all within the old Homoptera (defunct Order) now understood as the Sternorryncha the "rear facing" mouth part piercing/sucking Hemiptera. 

 

Studies have shown that coccids that have these mutualistic associations benefit the coccids via the ants by the production of entomopathogenic fungus species via the anti-fungal properties produced by meta pleural glands of the ants. It is well known that the ants actively transfer and guard their coccid "herd" which is a benefit to the coccids by protecting them from parasitoids.  The ants cull their "herd" also as a protein source, like humans "herd" cattle for milk (honeydew) and meat.  As for the actual nutritional/developmental benefits to ants of honeydew I have yet to find specific studies detailing that. 

This all sounds correct, and those are great studies! They do, however, also tend species of root aphids. I don't think there's much literature on them (which pains me), but they are certainly there. They are commonly found tending coccids, but they do not limit themselves there, from colonies I have personally witnessed. I often see colonies with at least 4-5 species of Hemiptera. I do believe literature regarding them and their associations with Hemipterans is lacking, especially compared to the similar (but not too similar) Chthonolasius. It's stunning how little we know of their natural life cycle beyond the founding stages.

 

 

 

 

True, I amend this statement, there are aphid associations.  Here is a paper to support this:

 

https://bmcecolevol....471-2148-12-106


Edited by PurdueEntomology, February 7 2024 - 11:03 PM.


#9 Online PurdueEntomology - Posted February 7 2024 - 11:04 PM

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First, thank you for adding input.  I have after reading some published peer reviewed papers that ants in this group are not for 'beginners' but are for 'advanced' and 'experienced' formiculturalists.  

 

Secondly, these ants are associated with aphids but, "In general, colonies appear to be large, diffusely distributed in the soil, and are associated with root-feeding coccid Hemiptera." (Raczkowski, J. & Luque, Gloria. 2011. Colony founding and social parasitism in Lasius (Acanthomyops). Insectes Sociaux. 58. 237-244. 10.1007/s00040-010-0141-y. ). Coccid are in the family Coccidae and include wax scales and soft scales.  These fall within a clade with phylogenetic closeness to a Aphidomorpha (Phylloxerioidea (phylloxera bugs) and Aphidea (aphids)) but more distantly related to  Aleyrodoidea (whiteflies) and more distant Psyliodea (psyllid) all within the old Homoptera (defunct Order) now understood as the Sternorryncha the "rear facing" mouth part piercing/sucking Hemiptera. 

 

Studies have shown that coccids that have these mutualistic associations benefit the coccids via the ants by the production of entomopathogenic fungus species via the anti-fungal properties produced by meta pleural glands of the ants. It is well known that the ants actively transfer and guard their coccid "herd" which is a benefit to the coccids by protecting them from parasitoids.  The ants cull their "herd" also as a protein source, like humans "herd" cattle for milk (honeydew) and meat.  As for the actual nutritional/developmental benefits to ants of honeydew I have yet to find specific studies detailing that. 

This all sounds correct, and those are great studies! They do, however, also tend species of root aphids. I don't think there's much literature on them (which pains me), but they are certainly there. They are commonly found tending coccids, but they do not limit themselves there, from colonies I have personally witnessed. I often see colonies with at least 4-5 species of Hemiptera. I do believe literature regarding them and their associations with Hemipterans is lacking, especially compared to the similar (but not too similar) Chthonolasius. It's stunning how little we know of their natural life cycle beyond the founding stages.

 






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