Ant Colonies Updates – 27 Jan 20

My ant colonies updates. As is usual; at this time of year, there is very little to update on.

Myrmica rubra

Despite the fact that it’s winter, and the rubras are not foraging, and have not been outside of their nest much this winter, they are still fairly active inside the nest.  I have created a little video of them moving about inside their nest, which you can see on my YouTube channel.

ant colonies update
Myrmica rubra YT screenshot

Lasius umbratus

There has been some foraging of the Lasius umbratus this week as temperatures climbed above 7*C.  I fed them some protein jelly and freshly killed cockroach. No more work has been carried out on the new nest. On fact, I have not even seen any workers in that area. I wonder if they will move in once the spring arrives. I may have to encourage them to move in there by placing a heating mat underneath the new nesting box.

They have been the only one of my captive colonies that have been foraging and eaten any food over the past few weeks.

Lasius niger

Very little activity, though I did notice two or three ants gathering sand from the foraging box and placing it at the entrance to their test tube.  This behaviour I have witnessed in almost every Lasius niger colony that I have initially kept in test tubes.  I am assuming this is done for defensive reasons.  I have noticed that when my past, and present, Lasius niger colonies do this, they never completely seal up the end of the test tube.  All they seem to do is make a little barrier, as it were.  A little “speed bump”.  It’s obviously enough for the ants to be content with. 

The brood within the nest are still in stasis.

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