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Anyone with Lasius claviger experience?

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:39 pm
by mallonje
So, I was out on a camping trip down in Milton Ma. this month and accidentally disturbed a colony of what I believe to be Lasius claviger. They were a bright sunflower yellow colony living under a rock in a heavily wooded area. I was awestruck by their beauty and fell instantly in love. These are the ants I now aspire to keep.

However I know next to nothing about them as I am new to the hobby. Anyone ever keep these? Is this the kind of species I should work to build up to?

I know they are social parasites but do they "NEED" a host colony to flourish, or can they be raised on their own?

How do you catch their queen? Since they are a woodland ant, I feel I have little hope of catching a queen just walking around post-flight. Could I try and "Trap" one? maybe set out a tarp with wet newpaper or leaf matter and periodically check to see if there is a queen?

Not that I feel comfortable with this at all, but - am I just better off trying to capture the whole colony? Provide a nest site and honeydew and try and draw them in that way.

Re: Anyone with Lasius claviger experience?

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:49 pm
by MaxGen
I'm trying to start a claviger colony this year myself.

In September last year, I caught a load of Lasius neoniger and claviger queens. They were flying at the same time.

All queens went into tubes and then into the fridge. In late February, I took out the neoniger queens and let them start laying eggs.

I have several with a bunch of pupae now, so I put a couple in the fridge for 15 minutes, took them out and pushed out the queen, leaving just the eggs, larvae and pupae. One claviger queen went into each tube with the brood. It's been 4 days so far. I have some more claviger queens and lots more neoniger tubes. I may try a couple more if these first 2 seem to do ok..

Hopefully, the pupae will eclose and be conscripted by the claviger queen...

Re: Anyone with Lasius claviger experience?

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 9:14 pm
by mallonje
Oh that is awesome - please keep me posted on your efforts.

Just curious, how did you come by your queens? I mean its still as cold as a witches...foot here, but I've only found the one colony and they are deep in a wooded area.

Re: Anyone with Lasius claviger experience?

Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 2:22 pm
by antnest8
you can find them post-flight and during flight. they are everywhere at their nuptial flight. for the host colony their are 4 ways you can do it.
1st option (super natural way) for this way you will need a host queen and colony. You put them in the out world and then proceed to add the claviger queen in. the queen will infiltrate the colony(most likely killing a worker and stealing the scent and then it will procced to kill the queen.
  • the most natural way but not much else
  • you need to raise a host queen and colony just to lose it
  • high injury or death chance for claviger queen

2nd option (natural way) you put a bunch of host workers and brood (suggested pupea and larvea) and then put the claviger queen in. the queen will kill a worker and infiltrate the colony
  • natural and no queen killed.
  • don't have raise host (you can get a wild colony fragment)
  • injury or death chance
  • more than one worker can be killed
i've got to go but i'll post the other 2 options soon (it goes worse to best)

Re: Anyone with Lasius claviger experience?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 1:59 pm
by antnest8
3rd option(the normal way) For this to work you will need host workers and brood. first kill a worker and then place it in claviger queens test tube. she will hopefully take the scent and then place her in the out wold with host. she will then take control of the colony.
  • If it goes correctly no or minimal chance of failure,
  • still some what natural.
  • if all goes well only one worker needs to die.
  • you will need to kill the worker yourself :cry:
  • the queen might not take the scent and have to kill the workers herself
4th option (callow workers) This is the option Iv'e head of most professional keepers using. You need host workers and lots of brood(pupae and larvae). you keep the workers with the brood so that they can take care of it. once a worker encloses, immediately put the new (callow) worker in the test tube with the queen. the worker is new and has no colony scent to it thinks the queen is apart of it's colony

for more INFO click HERE

Re: Anyone with Lasius claviger experience?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:08 pm
by antnest8
i my self am not an expert but i have just tried introducing workers (without brood) to lasius umbratus. The results went like this:
  • attach queen to AntsCanada test tube portal
  • attach 2 host workers without brood to portal
  • queen discovers workers and picks up one choking it
  • other worker stays in back of tube
  • queen stumbles upon worker and worker attacks queen on leg and queen puts down now dead worker
  • queen after a hard fight kills second worker
  • queen is left for 3 hours
  • assuming the queen got scent i put in the rest of workers
  • the queen enters worker tube and sits their other workers run around in alarm but don't attack
  • hour later workers groom queen
  • when i wake up the next morning i see to workers got stuck to some drying sugar water and died over night queen has 2 workers left
  • come back from school to see one worker dead in test tube assuming queen killed her
  • the last worker stays with queen for 4 more days then dies (assuming queen killed her)

Re: Anyone with Lasius claviger experience?

Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:10 pm
by antnest8
this is what happened with my other attempt with another queen where the queen kills workers even when they have accepted her.