Yellow ants

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mothman27
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Postmothman27 on 3/15/2017, 9:09 am

There are thousands of these ants coming into our basement from two places about 25ft apart. Common meadow ants? there are both workers and drones in the photo.
Thanks,
Tim

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Postmothman27 on 3/15/2017, 9:13 am

Sorry the photo is not working right now I will try later.

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Postmothman27 on 3/15/2017, 9:24 am




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PostT.C. on 3/15/2017, 11:53 am

I believe those to be lasius interjectus. A parasitic species. And, those actually are not drones, they are queen alates with workers. Never seen, a mature colony of of these before, although I see the alates every summer.
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Postmothman27 on 3/15/2017, 1:16 pm

Thank you, I kept some alive, do you think anyone would want them or is there even a way to sustain them without a queen? Sorry, I only know about honeybees. Interesting about the alates. What exactly do you mean by parasitic? What do they parasitize?

Thanks,
Tim

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PostNathant on 3/15/2017, 2:00 pm

We cannot be certain this is L. interjectus, but this does seem like a Lasius Social Parasite, or a flavus-group Lasius species (meadow ants).

No reason to give an un-established colony to anyone, unless they are for pinning. They will inevitably die if kept alive without most of the colony and the queen(s). These winged ants are female alates, which are infertile and nearly impossible to get to breed.

Temporary Social Parasites are species in which the newly mated queen searches for host colonies of certain ant species to invade and kill the queen, then tricking the host colony into thinking she is the actual queen. They will then act like a usual colony as the parasite queen lays eggs of her own, and her species slowly outnumbers the colony.
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Postmothman27 on 3/15/2017, 2:13 pm

Okay, that's what I figured about a partial colony. Is there typically more than one queen laying eggs? Honey bees have a single queen so I assumed ants did too. This colony must be very large because as I said they are very active at two drains about 25ft apart that open through a cement floor. We don't want them there so I tried to get rid of at least the ones by the drains by pouring bleach water down and then later dawn dish soap/water.
Anyone interested in some for pinning?

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PostT.C. on 3/15/2017, 2:48 pm

Yeah,  once a colony is matured the queen lays eggs that will be drones and queens, commonly referred to as alates. They will fly from the nest along with several other colonies and mate in the air.  (Nuptial flight)  The queens mate with several males, then the queens fly to the ground. The drones die, and the queens remove their wings a dig a smal, hole called a founding chamber. She lays here first eggs there and looks after them until the first workers. During this time she eats nothing.  (Depending on the species) As well, how many queens in a colony depends on the species. If these are lasius interjectus  then they only have one queen. However species like fire ants can have several queens.
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PostNathant on 3/16/2017, 3:56 pm

Some species of Lasius social parasites are known to be polygynous. (multiple egg-laying queens)

I believe L. interjectus are actually polygynous, like lots of claviger-group species.

The large colony sounds like a social parasite.

EDIT: For some reason I wasn't paying attention to the alates. This is definitely a Social Parasite.
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PostCanadian anter on 3/17/2017, 10:13 pm

I am certain that is Lasius interjectus and those are queen alates. It is imposible to sustain them without them being fertile but I believe no one has succeeded in reaing these yet. These are the largest of the Lasius. Also, they aren't polygynous but pleometrophic. If you try to rear them together they will eventually kill each other
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Postmothman27 on 3/26/2017, 4:37 pm

Thanks for the ID. Do you have any ideas of how to get rid of them? I poured soap water and bleach water down the mound but they returned after two days. I assume the colony is to large for that method to work. Neutral

Thanks!

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PostT.C. on 3/27/2017, 9:06 am

I would try the store bought baits. They do eventually work. Just takes a few weeks unfortunately.

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