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Lasius Brevicornis are often called the short-horned meadow ant and yellow hill ant because of their colour and tiny eyes. They are the North American equivalent of the European Lasius Flavus species. This species has darker heads and a light brown, orange and yellowish pattern in their gaster. The workers have a clear yellowish colour with small dark eyes, distinguishing them from the typical brown Lasius species.


Such queens can be combined to start a new colony (pleometrosis); fights between queens will occur once workers emerge, leaving one queen (monogyne); sometimes, two can survive. In nature, the average amount of queens per colony is one and a half. 


If you buy multiple queens (with no workers) in one transaction, we ship them combined; unless you do not want to, please let us know in the notes section when placing your order. 


Queens have their nuptial flights in late summer/autumn. Newly mated queens will make a claustral chamber and go into diapause for some months (insect term for hibernation); once the weather warms up, they will start laying eggs.


Lasius Brevicornis, in nature, feeds on the honeydew from root aphids, which they breed in their nests. They tend to eat the aphids during winter; consequently, the species only occasionally forage outside the nest. Evidence of their underground lives is their lack of pigmentation and the smaller size of their eyes. In addition, they are timid and will often block their tunnels to fight off invaders.


You can customize or enhance the test tube your queen and colony will ship in; head over to the "Live Queen Ants" page to read the details on each item.


Live ants ONLY SHIP within CANADA.

Lasius Brevicornis (Short-horned Meadow Ant)

PriceFrom C$14.00
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  • Scientific name: Lasius Brevicornis


    Geographical distribution: Found from British Columbia to Quebec and in the United States except for some east coast states.


    Queen size: 7 to 9 mm long.


    Drone (males) size: 3 to 4 mm long.


    Worker size: 2 to 4 mm long. 


    Average time from egg to worker: 

    Egg to larvae: 10-25 days

    Larvae to pupae: 15-35 days

    Pupae to worker: 20-30 days

    Average total time for the first batch of the brood of the year, right after getting out of diapause (at 24-25 °C): 2.5 to 3 months.

    Take into consideration that the subsequent batches of brood might take less time to hatch than the first ones. 


    Average colony size: Couple thousand individuals (not commonly seen with over 10-15k workers) for wild colonies but the most prominent colonies in captivity get up to 1-5k, which takes some years


    Natural habitat: Under rocks and logs, sometimes in dry woodlands, they're also seen on forest edges and deep inside forests (at least in Canada).


    Circadian activity: They live under rocks and logs or underground, so they don't tend to be active according to the moment of the day. But since they live in dark places, they prefer dark spots and nighttime; they are diurnal.


    Mating flight periods: The yellow hill ants will fly anywhere from late August to mid-September after significant rain.


    Queen founding method: The yellow meadow ant is fully claustral, meaning the queens do not require food to raise her first generation of workers (nanitics). In addition, newly caught queens need to go through diapause ("dormancy" period) to lay the first eggs.


    Polygynous or monogynous: Lasius brevicornis is olygynous, meaning they start with multiple queens, but then they usually end up killing each other once workers arrive, meaning they are primarily monogynous. Sometimes, multiple queens will survive after the massacre meaning they can also be polygynous.


    Recommended temperature: The sweet spot for brevicornis ants is anywhere from 23 °C to 26 °C (73 °F to 79 °F), but they can accept down to 18 °C and a maximum of 30 °C (not recommended to keep them at this temperature for a prolonged amount of time). The outworld shall remain at similar temperatures compared to the nest.


    Recommended Humidity: For the outworld, try aiming for a 25-50% humidity (except for terrariums, it's another story!). Keep the short horn meadow ant inside the nest at 50-65% humidity or up to 75% (if kept with good ventilation to prevent fungus growth).


    Food preferences: These ants are generalist hunters, so they will eat most invertebrates, including pet store feeders (avoid crickets OR make sure they come from a reputable source so they don't have any fungus, pathogens or bacteria that might be harmful to the ants). Brevicornis ants usually like smaller feeders, fruit flies, mosquitoes etc. They also eat some fruits and love honey (mixed with water) or special ant nectars commercially sold. In addition to that, the meadow ants tend to neglect sugar with water.


    Feeding schedule: The yellow meadow ant needs carbohydrates and proteins weekly. As the colony grows, the food portions get bigger and they become more frequent. As an example, a colony of 50 workers of brevicornis ants would be getting carbohydrates (a drop of honey) with protein weekly, for example; 7-10 fruit flies, a mealworm chopped in pieces, a grasshopper or a full chopped cricket. Sugar water can also be provided by using a liquid feeder, refilling it as needed and keeping it fresh and clean.

    Hibernation (Diapause) details: Lasius brevicornis nests usually stay at -5°C or above. It is ideal to stay above freezing point in captivity as we cannot easily duplicate the slow cool down into freezing temperatures. Hibernation is recommended between 39F (4C) - 50F (10C).


    Escape barrier: Fluon and talcum powder + isopropyl alcohol methods work fine. Apply a barrier along the top edges in a circular motion covering several centimetres.


    Difficulty rating: We would give these ants a solid 3.5/5; they adapt reasonably quickly to different care styles and diets and don't escape easily. They lose points because they need to live through diapause to lay eggs, and development is somewhat slow. Except for that, the feeding response and everything else are excellent in these ants.


    Bite/Sting rate: The ants are too small to inflict pain, but they produce formic acid, which can be painful if many ants inflict it.

    Description: This is a yellow or pale brown species with a small eye (fewer than 35 ommatidia). The apex of the petiole is either straight or slightly concave.


    Special care or notes: None.

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