Lasius niger-kidnappers!

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AntsDakota
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Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:22 pm
Location: South Dakota

Lasius niger-kidnappers!

Post: # 37199Post AntsDakota
Sat Jun 09, 2018 12:59 pm

I have a colony of Lasius niger, and they have been accepting larvae and eggs from Lasius neoniger, flavus, and claviger! Then I broke into another Lasius niger colony in search of Lasius niger brood, and there were Lasius neoniger workers in that colony, working (in this case, panicking :lol: ) side by side. I also got what I was looking for. Lasius niger brood. So my only explanation would be that Lasius niger raid other ant colonies and steal their brood. Am I the first one who has experienced this?
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

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Batspiderfish
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Location: Maine

Re: Lasius niger-kidnappers!

Post: # 37234Post Batspiderfish
Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:01 pm

Ants will often accept the brood of other species within the genus, even if this does not happen in nature. Once the ants eclose, they will imprint upon the colony. The normal workers will oftentimes kill the "ugly ducklings" at some later point, unless the alien worker is closely related enough to pass as the same species (an illusion often kept by social parasites).

Again though, Lasius niger is for the most part non-existent in North America, and your dark Lasius are most likely the similar-looking L. alienus.
If you enjoy my expertise and identifications, please do not put wild populations at risk of disease by releasing pet colonies. We are responsible to give our pets the best care we can manage for the rest of their lives.

AntsDakota
Posts: 1153
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:22 pm
Location: South Dakota

Re: Lasius niger-kidnappers!

Post: # 37290Post AntsDakota
Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:12 pm

Batspiderfish wrote:
Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:01 pm
Ants will often accept the brood of other species within the genus, even if this does not happen in nature. Once the ants eclose, they will imprint upon the colony. The normal workers will oftentimes kill the "ugly ducklings" at some later point, unless the alien worker is closely related enough to pass as the same species (an illusion often kept by social parasites).

Again though, Lasius niger is for the most part non-existent in North America, and your dark Lasius are most likely the similar-looking L. alienus.
Lasius alienus have realitively the same size queens as Lasius neoniger, yet the queen is much smaller than my L. neoniger queens that I've caught. She also has a more round body shape, and her colors just shout Lasius niger to me. Antmaps records Lasius niger in every state exept for 17 eastern and southeastern states, Wisconsin, Alaska, and Hawaii. They have been recorded in South Dakota 9 times, North Dakota 3 times, Nebraska 9 times, Iowa 6 times, Minnesota 21 times, and Wyoming 23 times. I doubt these could all be found in green houses. I doubt that is a coincidence.
"God made every kind of wild beasts and every kind of livestock and every kind of creeping things;" (including ants) "and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

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Batspiderfish
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Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:47 pm
Location: Maine

Re: Lasius niger-kidnappers!

Post: # 37310Post Batspiderfish
Sun Jun 10, 2018 6:46 pm

Lasius neoniger are larger than Lasius alienus (in North America, at least) and the same size as Lasius niger (hence neo-niger). Lasius niger has a new, similar species in the US, and seems to be present in the rocky mountains, but I have only seen one positive ID in the past ten years. Nobody goes through the steps to identify Lasius before calling it L. niger or L. flavus just based on its color. I don't mean to be annoying.

Antmaps is a great resource, but it has its flaws. They are stationed in Okinawa and their global data conflicts with much of the information gathered by local scientists. Camponotus pennsylvanicus is another example, a species which only exists east of the Rockies.
If you enjoy my expertise and identifications, please do not put wild populations at risk of disease by releasing pet colonies. We are responsible to give our pets the best care we can manage for the rest of their lives.

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