Description of Contents: Test tube with water supply and live sample of fertile and mated Lasius cf. niger queen. There may also be brood and workers present but this cannot be guaranteed.
Shipping Restrictions: Limit of one per order or per nest. We do not ship live animals outside of Europe*
Guarantee: Queen guaranteed to be alive on arrival.
Lasius niger are very commonly found all over Europe and some parts of North America and are a very robust species. Queens of this species are monogyne which means that there is only ever a single Queen in the colony. Lasius niger dominate a lot of the UK and are a very beginner-friendly species. Their nests are usually constructed underground and under stone slabs. The newly mated Queen will begin her life by digging a hole in the soft soil. After the Queen has dug herself a chamber in the ground she begins to lay tiny eggs. These eggs then develop through the larvae and pupae stage. Lasius niger larvae spin themselves a cocoon from in which they pupate rather than there being naked pupae. In the summer, brood is brought up nearer to the surface, underneath stone slabs, to increase the rate of development.
Lasius niger do well at room temperature when kept in captivity but brood development can be sped up slightly by adding a small heat mat to raise the temperature to about 23-25 degrees Celsius. In doing so, the metabolic rate of the ants increases.
Mating flights are usually large and prolific in summertime and many Queens go and found colonies. Lasius niger hibernate through the winter and wake from hibernation around late March. Hibernation can be achieved by reducing the temperature of the nest to around 10 degrees Celsius but not any lower than this.
*Due to shipping regulations and regional laws, we are unable to ship live specimens outside of Europe. Orders from outside the UK or EU will be supplied an empty test tube instead.