Lasius Niger


This is practically the perfect beginner species !

Ant Species: Lasius niger
(Common Name: Black ant garden)
🌎 Geographic Range: Europe, northern America. 
Colony Size: Up to 10,000 ants
Difficulty Level: Very Easy

Lasius niger is commonly found in temperate regions, making it readily spotted throughout Europe. It's the most abundant species in Central Europe. These ants often inhabit human-altered environments like cities and industrial areas, as well as natural settings such as forests. They build impressive mound-like nests, which can be found underground, under stones, or even in building crevices.

These ants have a grey-brown to brown-black coloration. Workers are typically 3-5 mm in size, while queens are larger, measuring 8-9 mm.

Queens of Lasius niger reach a size of 8-9 mm. They establish colonies in a unique manner, where the queen raises the first generation of workers without requiring food. Keeping the queen in a darkened tube until the first workers emerge provides optimal conditions for colony development.

Colony Formation:
Lasius niger ants are monogynous, meaning they tolerate only one queen per colony. Within the nest, there are clear caste divisions among workers, including cleaners, food gatherers, and soldiers.

In the wild, they primarily feed on insects and honeydew. In captivity, their diet can consist of food insects like fruit flies, cockroaches, and crickets, which provide essential protein for colony growth, along with honey.

Like many European ant species, Lasius niger requires hibernation for 2-3 months during colder months. This can be achieved using a refrigerator or a cool room.

Additional Notes:
Breeding these ants is an ideal choice for novice breeders due to their adaptability to changing environments, the unique monastic colony formation, and their rapid development, with the first offspring often appearing within 1-2 months.