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Lasius claviger founding

Posted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 11:35 pm
by Cale3459
I have always loved the Lasius claviger for its citrus smell and I want to attempt to found a colony in the near future. I have read up on different founding techniques and I know that the callow method tends to be the most successful, but I am currently only raising a Camponotus pennsylvanicus colony so not really the method for me. I have a large nest of Lasius claviger living under my concrete steps outside my house and thousands of them come pouring out for nuptial flights. Assuming I could capture a queen after the flight that turns out to be fertilized, what are the odds that workers from her original colony would still take care of her if I captured some during the swarm?

Re: Lasius claviger founding

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:13 am
by Martialis
Cale3459 wrote:I have always loved the Lasius claviger for its citrus smell and I want to attempt to found a colony in the near future. I have read up on different founding techniques and I know that the callow method tends to be the most successful, but I am currently only raising a Camponotus pennsylvanicus colony so not really the method for me. I have a large nest of Lasius claviger living under my concrete steps outside my house and thousands of them come pouring out for nuptial flights. Assuming I could capture a queen after the flight that turns out to be fertilized, what are the odds that workers from her original colony would still take care of her if I captured some during the swarm?


Not that great. Also, what tells you they're L. claviger?

Re: Lasius claviger founding

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 7:45 am
by Cale3459
Martialis, I supposed I should have said I believe they are L. claviger based of previous observations of the colony. Just wondering if it could be another method of starting a social parasite off. Since I know where the original colony is and there is a nice sized parking lot across the street if I could get lucky and capture a freshly mated queen of the species and some of the workers that are theoretically from the same colony (obviously there is the chance the queen is from another colony) if they would still take care of her since they had taken care of her before the flight. Obviously it's only hypothetical until someone tries it but I was just seeking opinions.

Re: Lasius claviger founding

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:15 am
by Martialis
Cale3459 wrote:Martialis, I supposed I should have said I believe they are L. claviger based of previous observations of the colony. Just wondering if it could be another method of starting a social parasite off. Since I know where the original colony is and there is a nice sized parking lot across the street if I could get lucky and capture a freshly mated queen of the species and some of the workers that are theoretically from the same colony (obviously there is the chance the queen is from another colony) if they would still take care of her since they had taken care of her before the flight. Obviously it's only hypothetical until someone tries it but I was just seeking opinions.


There's a single species of temporary parasitic Formica that can be started that way, but they live in Eurasia.

Re: Lasius claviger founding

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:59 pm
by Nathant
I have a claviger queen as well! I'm going to be building up some Lasius alienus colonies as hosts. Good luck to you! :D

Re: Lasius claviger founding

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:27 pm
by Batspiderfish
Worker ants from the mother colony will take care of their mated sisters in captivity, so long as there is only one queen. Even if the social parasite is from a different colony, their own species are able to provide the best care to developing brood. There are some people (Nathant and CanadianAnter, for example) who are making attempts at this species, but we are so far waiting for the first Lasius claviger colony to be founded in captivity, despite their abundance. I'm trying to raise Lasius latipes, a close relative with an identical history.

If you are going to collect wild host workers, regardless, know that if you capture a sample of workers and pupae, you can let the workers open the eclosing callows, then remove them to introduce to the queen. I've had decent success in introducing Lasius parasites to mature adult ants under natural conditions, but that is still the riskiest method.

From my observations, Lasius from this group (Acanthomyops) benefit from being fed inside of their test tube (on a tray).

Re: Lasius claviger founding

Posted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:30 pm
by Batspiderfish
Martialis wrote:
Cale3459 wrote:Martialis, I supposed I should have said I believe they are L. claviger based of previous observations of the colony. Just wondering if it could be another method of starting a social parasite off. Since I know where the original colony is and there is a nice sized parking lot across the street if I could get lucky and capture a freshly mated queen of the species and some of the workers that are theoretically from the same colony (obviously there is the chance the queen is from another colony) if they would still take care of her since they had taken care of her before the flight. Obviously it's only hypothetical until someone tries it but I was just seeking opinions.


There's a single species of temporary parasitic Formica that can be started that way, but they live in Eurasia.

This is actually common amongst all polygynous ants, including many Formica. Additionally, all the groups of Formica found in Eurasia are also found in North America. We actually have greater Formica diversity here.