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The " Yellow Meadow " Ant.


Lasius flavus

This little ant is very rarely seen, as it spends nearly all its life underground; only coming out for the mating flight, or if the nest is disturbed in any way. It is reddish yellow in appearence, rather small workers, with 1 large queen per nest. It could easily be mistaken for the 'stinging' red ant (Myrmica), except that this ant does not have a sting and seems to prefer not to attack people; but to run back into the nest as quickly as possible. L.flavus build nests that look much like a mole hill covered in vegetation. They live on various insects that they find under the soil; but it is possible that they go out above ground at night to hunt. Either way, they avoid daylight, which does not seem to bother ants of other species. You can keep this ant in an ant-farm; but owing to their feeding habits, I would not recommend them to a novice ant collector.


Another "Meadow" Ant.


Tapinoma

A fast moving, little black ant which has no sting and does not appear to use formic acid either; its only means of defence being, it can outrun any other ants. Of all the British ant species, Tapinoma has surely got to be the cheetah of ants, as like this big cat, it is very fast and agile at running. They are fairly common in the south of England, but does not appear to have migrated to any other region. It has many queens to its nests and can form large colonies. These ants can be kept in a Formicarium easily; but you need to be fast to catch them, as the queens will dissappear into the nest so fast you'll think you had not seen them in the first place!

The best areas to find Tapinoma are open heathland, quite often in the same habitat as Lasius flavus. The two species seem to co-exist well, as Tapinoma hunt above ground, while L.flavus hunts underground; and so the two rarely, if ever, come into contact with each other.


 




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