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
* * * * - 7 votes

AnthonyP163's Parasitic Lasius Journal

lasius parasite lasius parasite

  • Please log in to reply
91 replies to this topic

#81 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted June 12 2020 - 5:47 PM

AnthonyP163

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 884 posts
  • LocationWaukesha, Wisconsin.

6/12/20

 

The large Lasius aphidicola colony is doing amazing. The queen has laid more eggs, the larvae are growing, and pupae are hatching. I figured out that they do still take crickets, they just don't do it when I'm looking. I've been putting in crickets and finding them in the nest the next day. Last night I shined a flashlight on the colony and saw a mix of both species' workers dragging the entire cricket into the nest. They waste no time; the cricket is usually eaten in less than a day. I'm pretty satisfied with the amount of aphidicola workers I see foraging, it tells me they will still be an interesting colony without the hosts. It definitely gets to a point where the 8-12 week egg-worker wait doesn't matter, since there's a steady flow of workers most of the time. I'd estimate 70 (?) aphidicola workers, and I am going to ramp up the amount of crickets I give in hopes that more larvae get fed. 

 

The smaller colonies are doing great. One of the claviger queens who had finally laid eggs has just died, but one of the aphidicola queens has also started laying eggs. One queen has larvae/eggs, and two queens have only eggs. I found a smaller, lighter queen in a sandy part of my county and decided to catch her. I happened to have a 7 worker host force with ~30 pupae on hand. I have seen nurbs talk about how feeding ants the same foods can help give them similar CHC profiles. I had already been feeding the Lasius americanus workers sunburst for a few weeks, so I fed the queen and then waited some time. I connected the queen's tube to the workers, and she was fully accepted in around 30 minutes. I am unsure if the food is the reason for the fast introduction, but I will definitely do more testing for it in the future.

 

Speaking of the future, I am hoping to catch Lasius interjectus queens this year. I don't think I've ever founded them successfully and I want to have a go at it. 

 

Pictures and videos:

 

 

 

Notice the egg batch

 

The queen that was accepted rapidly

 

The small colony that is doing the best, will probably have pupae soon. Only 10 host workers.


  • AntsBC and AntsDakota like this

#82 Offline madbiologist - Posted June 12 2020 - 5:58 PM

madbiologist

    Vendor

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 318 posts
  • LocationOhio
If you're looking to found interjectus, I've got some good info from a friend who's also attempting to found them. From what he has seen, you get best results by leaving queens in an outworld with food, allowing them to drop their wings and group themselves into trios for colony invasion, like they would in the wild. He has found that winged queens kill any workers, even callows, and that letting them become groups of 3 may help them mimic their natural state to invade a colony.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
  • AntsDakota likes this

#83 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted June 12 2020 - 6:18 PM

AnthonyP163

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 884 posts
  • LocationWaukesha, Wisconsin.

If you're looking to found interjectus, I've got some good info from a friend who's also attempting to found them. From what he has seen, you get best results by leaving queens in an outworld with food, allowing them to drop their wings and group themselves into trios for colony invasion, like they would in the wild. He has found that winged queens kill any workers, even callows, and that letting them become groups of 3 may help them mimic their natural state to invade a colony.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

That's really interesting. I've read that L. interjectus have been found with multiple queens, but have never heard of the trio-infiltration you're talking about. 

 

I'd love to hear more about this, if you or your friend could elaborate. 


  • AntsDakota likes this

#84 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 18 2020 - 12:57 PM

AnthonyP163

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 884 posts
  • LocationWaukesha, Wisconsin.

7/18/20

 

On July 2nd, I caught 4 Lasius speculiventris queens. My initial confusion on their identity was silly, as I've learned they fly in mid summer instead of fall like aphidicola. These queens are prettier than aphidicola by far and are a bit easier to found. I got a queen accepted by 30 Lasius americanus workers, another by 1-2 dozen aphidicola workers, and another by a dozen claviger workers. The queen with the claviger workers died. 

 

A fourth queen was trying to be introduced to workers of L. brevicornis. I gave her their pupae to catch their scent, and eventually she started... picking up the pupae and organizing it. This was strange. I tried adding some of the workers to her setup, but she just killed them all. I decided to leave her with the pupae, and feed her every few days. Today, I looked at her and saw 3 pale brevicornis workers in her tube. A Lasius parasite queen just opened host pupae! I got a short video of her taking care of the pupae, and then with her new workers.

 

The large aphidicola colony is doing well, with probably just under a hundred biological workers. In some of the smaller colonies, I've begun to get workers. Most smaller colonies have brood. I didn't catch any interjectus this year, unfortunately. In terms of Lasius, I'm looking forward to August/September. Hopefully I can catch some claviger and latipes and be able to get them some hosts! I have the biggest issue with latipes, who needs L. neoniger hosts. 

 

https://youtu.be/TKSE2mlAaCA


Edited by AnthonyP163, July 18 2020 - 1:04 PM.

  • CatsnAnts, ANTdrew, Antennal_Scrobe and 1 other like this

#85 Offline CatsnAnts - Posted July 19 2020 - 5:22 AM

CatsnAnts

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 999 posts
  • LocationJasper, Indiana
That’s something you don’t hear every day - a Lasius social parasite opening cocoons? Seems like pretty new information, but really cool nonetheless. Maybe I’ll have to try that since I find L. speculiventrus occasionally. Very informative journal!
  • AntsDakota likes this

Spoiler

#86 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted July 30 2020 - 8:53 PM

AnthonyP163

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 884 posts
  • LocationWaukesha, Wisconsin.

7/30/20

 

A disappointing end to the large colony of aphidicola.

 

After a minor die-off in the inception chamber, I moved them into the mini hearth where I could give them a nestmate with sunburst. Long story short, they were doing well in it until my large Tetramorium colony trailed into their water tower and drank all of it. I woke up in the morning and found Tetramorium nesting in the water tower. The entire colony, aside from a few workers, were dead (I think they had been without water for longer than I first thought). I have just been procrastinating updating that, and since then I've gotten rid of the Tetramorium out of concern of them escaping again and harming another colony. 

 

On a much happier note, I went to a forest near me and I found TONS of Lasius americanus pupae. I took some from different colonies, and boosted a lot of my Lasius parasites. I boosted a Lasius cf. aphidicola queen with some pupae recently, and she laid a GIANT batch of eggs. She also has a large pile of biological pupae which is turning into pupae. This will probably be my main colony of this journal, once they get workers, since they'll likely be the biggest colony. 

 

August is soon, and therefore so is the large Lasius flights. I am looking forward to catching Lasius latipes, claviger, etc. I will try my hardest to catch a few latipes queens. 

 


  • AntsBC, CatsnAnts and AntsDakota like this

#87 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted September 10 2020 - 2:49 PM

AnthonyP163

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 884 posts
  • LocationWaukesha, Wisconsin.

9/10/20

 

A decent end to the season.

 

Last weekend, I went out west and escaped the wind and the rain on one of the final warm days of the year. I didn't expect Lasius flights, but as it turned out, western Wisconsin wind had slowed a lot compared to the wind in the east. Suddenly, I found myself in a sandy area with Myrmica and Lasius flying all around me. I had to leave early, since I was over 2 hours from home and it was beginning to get dark, but before I left I managed to find 3 Lasius latipes queens and 1 Lasius murphyi queen. 

 

I knew time was of the essence with these queens. These species tend to be unable to last more than a few days without lots of hosts tending to them. Even if I were to get them introduced to some workers, I couldn't be sure the workers were tending to the queens (There's often a short period where they only tolerate the queen being with them, but do not feed/clean her.) I have theorized that L. latipes could be polygynous, and so I decided to test this. I introduced all 3 latipes queens to a group of ~60 Lasius cf. neoniger workers that I had kept for this exact reason. In the first day, I began with introducing them to workers in tubes, which they quickly gained tolerance from. I then put them in the mini hearth with the entire group of workers. I went to sleep, woke up, and saw 1 queen running around in the outworld, while 2 of them stood with the pile of workers in the nest. I let that solo queen have a few more hours in there, but she seemed to want out. 

 

I collected a few dozen L. neoniger workers from my backyard, and introduced her to them. She got accepted in less than a day. 

 

I introduced the L. murphyi queen to some workers from the same colony, but she was never truly cared for by the hosts and this was apparent when she died. I used her hosts, and combined them with the other queen of latipes. The solo latipes is in a petri dish (because both her and the murphyi couldn't live in a tube without constantly getting stuck to the cotton), but I'm unsure if her hosts are truly tending to her. 

 

The dual queen latipes has been with their hosts for a few days now, and both seem comfortable with their new colony. I occasionally see workers tending to the queens, and although I haven't seen them feed the queens, they must be, since they're still alive. I put a nestmate full of sunburst right by the water tower, so that the queens may drink sunburst, even if the workers won't initially feed them.

 

I am hoping the weather shapes up in my area. Here in Waukesha, we haven't had any Lasius flights. 

 

I'm pretty sure the latipes will need to be hibernated before starting a colony. If this is the case, I will probably hibernate them in a few weeks. I am hoping the 2 queens continue to tolerate eachother!

 

Here's some photos/videos of the two queen group. The workers tend to mostly hide by the sunburst nestmate.

 

 


  • CheetoLord02 likes this

#88 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted September 18 2020 - 5:49 PM

AnthonyP163

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 884 posts
  • LocationWaukesha, Wisconsin.

9/18/20

 

Good news!

 

There was a medium sized Lasius flight here the other day. I caught some Lasius brevicornis queens, a Lasius latipes alpha (latipes x claviger hybrid), and a Lasius subumbratus queen. I haven't been able to get the Lasius subumbratus introduced to any neoniger, but the latipes alpha, which has recently been dubbed clavipes, is with around 30-40 host workers.

 

In addition to these new catches/colonies, the 2 queen Lasius latipes has begun to lay eggs! I guess I will need to keep them out of hibernation for a little while longer. If I didn't mention this in my last post, the solo latipes queen has died. I don't think she was ever 100% accepted into her colony. I have high hopes for both my clavipes and latipes.

 

My new, main Lasius aphidicola colony is doing alright. They have a few dozen biological workers with ~50 hosts. 

 

My Lasius speculiventris queens (have I ever even mentioned them here??) are all doing well. The queen who opened pupae by herself has around 70 brevicornis hosts and has laid a huge batch of eggs.

 

I'll update this journal whenever the next significant event happens. There might be one more Lasius flight this year.

 

 

A photo of the clavipes queen and her hosts.


  • CheetoLord02 likes this

#89 Offline ANTdrew - Posted September 19 2020 - 2:14 AM

ANTdrew

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,651 posts
  • LocationAlexandria, VA
You’re taking this to the next level. Very cool.
  • AnthonyP163 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.


#90 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted October 12 2020 - 2:54 PM

AnthonyP163

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 884 posts
  • LocationWaukesha, Wisconsin.

10/12/20

 

The season is about wrapped up, and I had a pretty decent ending in terms of Lasius

 

The Lasius latipes dual queen colony took some worker casualties, and I decided it would be best to move them to a test tube for multiple reasons. I have a hunch the larvae will hibernate with these latipes, and so I'd rather hibernate them in a test tube. This enabled me to get some better photos. I'm expecting larvae any day now, and they have a ton of eggs, so I'm super excited. In the mini hearth, it looked like they weren't doing so well in terms of worker count. Turns out, they have at least 40 workers still. I'm hoping it stays that way. I got a lot less workers for all of my queens this year than I hoped. 

 

I got a dual queen Lasius claviger group introduced to more than 40 L. americanus workers as well. I will probably hibernate them soon, I'm hoping these ones do better than the last two.

 

The Lasius clavipes queen that I discussed in the last post has a decent pile of eggs. 

 

I'm hoping all these queens do well. Most of my aphidicola and speculiventris are hibernating. 

 

The latipes with their eggs

 

The Lasius claviger with their mass of workers

 

The clavipes egg batch


  • CheetoLord02 likes this

#91 Offline Swirlysnowflake - Posted October 12 2020 - 3:06 PM

Swirlysnowflake

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,153 posts
  • LocationBay Area, CA

Is it just me or do the legs of those queens look “thicker” than other queens? lol


 My YouTube channel :)

 

 


#92 Offline AnthonyP163 - Posted October 12 2020 - 3:13 PM

AnthonyP163

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 884 posts
  • LocationWaukesha, Wisconsin.

Is it just me or do the legs of those queens look “thicker” than other queens? lol

Yes, Lasius latipes queens are known for their chunky legs, which are useful for infiltrating colonies in the wild.


  • CheetoLord02 likes this





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

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users