The Lasius Niger commonly known as the black garden ant or black ant, is by far the most common species across Europe and the united kingdom. It is a very fast moving ant. They can be very active with lots of energy. These are ants a very well known for there yearly nuptial flights. It happens around June to September they are literally everywhere. During the nuptial flight these young princesses aka the future queen ants mate with male drone ants. Once mated the male ant dies and the princess ant starts to look for a place to start her new colony. Continuing the path of the lasius niger.
Common Names of this Species:
Lasius Niger, Black Garden ant, Black ant or even in rare cases Lasius neo niger.
Black Ant Habitat:
Lasius Niger’s can be found just about anywhere in Europe and the UK. They can be found nesting under rocks, wood, bricks, flower pots, flags, pavement, grass, just about anywhere they can nest. In rare cases, they lasius niger worker ant invades our homes in search of food.
Where does this ant live?
You can find the black garden ant species all across Europe, UK, Asia and they can be found in North America.
What do Black Garden ants eat?
Lasius Niger ants will eat just about anything they can find. Fruits, insects, and human food scraps. If you look in your garden for a bush with aphids you can sometimes find the black ants herding / farming them for honeydew. This honeydew provides them with plenty of energy and in return, the ants protect the aphids from predators. Its a win-win situation for both.
How big can a Lasius Colony get to?
A Lasius Niger colony can reach anywhere up to 11,000 worker ants.
What do the Black Worker Ants look like?
The worker ant of the Lasius Niger species is around 3 to 5mm in size. It will be fully black with a yellowish/red colouring to the legs.
What does the Lasius Niger Queen Look Like?
The queen ant of the lasius species is roughly around 9mm in length. She is normally black or sometimes can appear dark brown with yellowish / red legs. These queen ants can live up to 25 years. It has been known for a captive Lasius Niger queen to live for 25 years. This ant species is monogyn meaning they will only have one queen per colony. Where some can have more than one queen.
This Species as a Pet?
Lasius Niger is a prefect ant species to keep for beginners. It is always the best option for people just starting out in ant keeping. They are very easy to find, active, low maintenance, live long and best of all they don’t sting or bite humans. However, they can kill insects if you have plenty of worker ants.
If you would like to see this queen in action. Head over to my YouTube Channel AntManUK and you can see some really nice close-up footage of a Lasius Queen ant.
Thank you for reading this article and best of luck with your ant keeping journey.