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Lasius Neoniger, also known as the Labor Day ant, turfgrass ant, cornfield ant, or nuisance ant, is a relatively docile and easy species to care for, perfectly suiting people starting in the ant-keeping hobby.

 

They adapt quickly to different formicarium and nest styles and adjust easily to your keeping style.

 

Very commonly found in cities, this North American species is usually bright brown with a slightly darker head.

 

Newly mated queens will make a claustral chamber, often using test tube setups, and they go into diapause (insect term for hibernation) for some months before laying eggs.

 

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 Neoniger (Labour Day Ant)

PriceFrom C$15.00
  • Scientific name: Lasius Neoniger

     

    Geographical distribution: Found from Mexico to Northern parts of Canada

     

    Queen size: 6-8mm

     

    Drone (males) size: 3-4mm

     

    Worker size: 3-5mm

     

    Natural habitat: Often found in urban areas, the Labor Day ant is primarily on open spaces, under rocks, in pavement areas like cracks and crevices, grassy road strips and lawns. Occasionally they are found inside logs in forest edges.

     

    Circadian activity: Lasius Neoniger ants are usually nocturnal but can also be seen during the day.

     

    Mating flight periods: They fly anywhere from July to October depending on the weather and region, but the main flights occur during August and September, after a big rainstorm. They fly in the hundreds, ant queens can be caught on pavement, roads, and grass. They have been known to fly during Labor Day, thus getting the nickname Labor Day ant.

     

    Queen founding method: Shortly after shedding her wings, Lasius Neoniger queens will dig up a claustral chamber, where she will raise her first generation of workers. In captivity, this is usually replicated with test tube setups. Labor Day queen ants will not require any food to raise the first generation of workers; therefore, it's a fully claustral species. They have all their food reserves stored in their abdomen.

     

    Polygynous or monogynous: In the wild, dozens of Labor Day queen ants will gather together to raise a strong and large generation of nanitics, but once those nanitics arrive, the massacre starts. The ants will decide which queen is worthy of being the egg layer of the colony, and the other queens get discarded. In other words, they get killed. So Lasius Neoniger can start olygynously (with multiple queens), but only one will rule the Empire.

     

    Recommended temperature: The Labor Day ant can adapt to different Temperatures, anywhere from 18 °C to 26-27 °C. About 23-25 °C seems to be the sweet spot for them to boom in population.

     

    Recommended Humidity: Because of its nesting habits, the recommended relative humidity is about 50% to 70%, or in other words, they can resist dryer humidities for some time, but they prefer to be in a wet nest, but don't overwater their nest (they don't require extra moisture inside of a test tube).

     

    Food preferences: The labour day ant eats a wide variety of food, eating most pet store feeder insects like; mealworms, super worms, and hornworms (avoid crickets as they might contain diseases). They can sometimes accept fish flakes as protein too. For carbohydrates, they prefer honey, as it tastes like nectar. Mix some water with honey, so the ants don't get stuck in it. They also gladly accept fruits such as small apple pieces and bananas.

     

    Feeding schedule: Single queens with brood shouldn't be fed, as they already have food reserves. Small colonies should be provided food at least twice a week with carbohydrates and once a week with proteins. A colony of over 50 workers will need much more protein and carbohydrates to survive, and more significant colonies would require to be fed with protein at least 2-3 a week and 3-4 times with carbohydrates. They can survive a week, perhaps a little more without food, but they will need water, so always leave the water at their disposal even if you know your nest is well hydrated.

     

    Hibernation (Diapause) details: In the wild, Lasius Neoniger colonies will bury deep in the soil, a few feet deep, which keeps them at a temperature of 5-10 °C, which is the advised temperature for Diapause in captivity. They should get some rest for at least three months, so the egg production does well in the colony's active months.

     

    Escape barrier: Talcum + isopropyl alcohol can work, but fluon is the best escape barrier. Apply it with a q-tip and do a circle when applying the barrier. Put at least 2-3cm of escape barrier, so the ants don't have a chance to walk through it.

     

    Difficulty rating: Colonies of this species will grow at a rate that the keeper can get more experience as the colony grows. Some species may grow too fast for a keeper to adapt to their care needs, but this species is an exception! Colonies will also need very little attention for the first months (only feeding weekly or twice a week once workers arrive).


    Description: Workers of this species are usually dark brown and have relatively large eyes (at least 12 ommatidia in greatest diameter). The scape has several erect hairs, but the extensor surface of the anterior tibia has fewer than six erect hairs. The penultimate basal tooth is smaller than the two adjacent teeth and may even be absent, leaving a gap between the other basal teeth.

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