Lasius claviger and a Root Aphid Farm

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TriumphAnt
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:16 pm
Location: West Virginia

Lasius claviger and a Root Aphid Farm

Post: # 55443Post TriumphAnt
Thu Jan 24, 2019 11:52 am

So Lasius umbratus queens were going to be the main idea behind this ant set up however I had also found Lasius claviger queens which give off a citronella-like smell. Now I’ve decided to try to raise a claviger colony in this set up instead, although I think now I’ll probably just make a second one for an umbratus queen. So far with what I’ve read, both of these species tend root aphids.
While out in the woods, I luckily managed to come across and flip over a log with yellow worker ants underneath it. I noticed alongside the ants were some root aphids as well.
So I now have root aphids, a claviger Queen with probably about 15 host workers as well as close to that number of brood(not claviger yet, this is host brood I think.) They have been together a while now and are calm around each other so I’m assuming they have accepted each other.
Ok
So recently I bought a tall square glass vase, really more rectangular. My plan is to first fill the vase with a thin layer of aquarium gravel or something for drainage layer then add in a fine soil on top(probably use soil under leaf litter around where I found a species of yellow ant nesting). I plan on planting a small spider plant I have as well as some other kind(s) of grass(es) or plant(s) that I’ll later decide on. Next, I’d push holes into the soil with a small twig (etc) down next to the roots of my plants ( esp roots that are pressed against the glass - easily observed). I’d place the collected root aphids on and around the plant roots and holes leading to them. I’m hoping they will readily feed on the plants and that I can get them to reproduce relatively easily.
My next goal would be to introduce my queen claviger and crew into the root aphid set up. If all works out well, I’m hoping I will be able to observe L. claviger’s natural underground behavior and their tending of the root aphids. If I can get this set up put together soon Ill try to update with photos.

Anyone else have experience keeping Lasius claviger?
What about root aphids?
If root aphids are in my set up then would the claviger colony remain underground and not come up to forage since they have a food supply in their tunnels?
Any further suggestions, thought, or comments?
Thanks for any replies, it is definitely appreciated!!
Keeping:
•Camponotus
- pennsylvanicus, subbarbatus, castaneous, chromaiodes, nearcticus
•Aphaenogaster tennesseensis, rudis
•Crematogaster sp
•Lasius
-claviger, neoniger, umbratus
•Tapinoma sessile
•Temnothorax sp.
•Strumigenys reflexa
And more

DontSquishTheAnt
Posts: 80
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:00 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: Lasius claviger and a Root Aphid Farm

Post: # 55531Post DontSquishTheAnt
Sun Jan 27, 2019 4:02 pm

The brood would still need protein, so the ants would still need to forage. You will also need to make sure that some of the roots of the plant roots are up against the glass, otherwise you won't actually be able to observe the ants. For that I would suggest using a very thin nesting setup, similar to the old Uncle Milton ant farms. Please experiment with this and keep us updated, I really want to see how this turns out!
First year and already enjoying it!

Founding:
1 Solenopsis molesta colony with ~10 nanitic workers and lots of brood

Genesis 1:24

JoeHostile1
Posts: 310
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:51 am
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Lasius claviger and a Root Aphid Farm

Post: # 55551Post JoeHostile1
Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:20 pm

The yellow workers you found are most likely not host brood they are claviger brood (assuming you did indeed find a claviger queen). Claviger workers are yellow/orange and I don’t believe they parasite off their own species.
Keeping:
Tetramorium immigrans * Lasius Neoniger * Lasius Claviger * Messor Aciculatus * Myrmica Rubra * Camponotus Novaeboracensis * Camponotus Turkastanus * Pheidole Pallidula

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSfFtn6RegZ3F1NdS1g08NA

TriumphAnt
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2019 2:16 pm
Location: West Virginia

Re: Lasius claviger and a Root Aphid Farm

Post: # 55553Post TriumphAnt
Mon Jan 28, 2019 2:45 pm

Hey Thanks for the replies! And sorry it took a while to get back on. I actually have changed a few things, one of which you all mentioned.

I went to target and purchased the thin uncle Milton ant farm. I would have put something inside the vase to prevent the ants from going into the middle and force them to the glass, (like a second plastic container to fill the space in the vase or something) but the thin ant farm is much more ideal I think!

As far as the yellow workers... sorry I was pretty unclear in the first message. So I have close to 10 umbratus and 3 claviger queens I’m attempting to found. Some are already huddled with a few niger workers and so far I think at least 1 or 2 umbratus have laid eggs! (I can’t remember If I gave the second one the brood from my starting up niger nest or not lol) Only one umbratus out of all of those were put with any yellow workers. It was just to try it out but after like 2 months I don’t see the workers anymore
:( They didn’t kill each other as far as I had seen and i even thought I got a video of them interacting but now I don’t think they hosted each other at all. I don’t know. Weird. So I’ll put this Queen with some black or brown lasius workers like the others.

Anyways the claviger queen I decided I wanted to use for my project was the one I put with brood from what I figured to be some species of brown lasius ant. After being with the brood for a day or so, she had piled them neatly on one side and was sitting on them, so I decided to put in a worker and introduction to the queen seemed successful. So I added more. There were probably 15 brown ants with the claviger Queen and they all seemed good. Yesterday I went to the concrete slab in my backyard that the lasius nest I got the brood from was under. I placed a heating pad under it for a while then lifted it up and dug into the ground about a foot... I found alotttt more eggs and brood. And oddly enough this nest also had a different kind of root aphid so I took a few of those as well and I covered the nest back up. I’ve been adding some brood in to the claviger test tube and also two workers from the nest just to see what would happen. After they held down the two foreigners by the antennae and something that resembled cleaning them for a minute they were released. Now everyone is just moving the brood I put in to the back under the queen. So far so good! 👍

One thing I have been curious about is what substrate I should use. Any suggestions or ideas? Thanks in advance!
Keeping:
•Camponotus
- pennsylvanicus, subbarbatus, castaneous, chromaiodes, nearcticus
•Aphaenogaster tennesseensis, rudis
•Crematogaster sp
•Lasius
-claviger, neoniger, umbratus
•Tapinoma sessile
•Temnothorax sp.
•Strumigenys reflexa
And more

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