Friday, September 28, 2012

Lasius neoniger Nuptial Flight

My friend out in Indiana found a Lasius neoniger nuptial flight happening. They're called the Labor Day Ant because their mating season normally takes place around the same time. This video was taken two days ago so they're still finishing up. This is a common grassland ant found all over North America.

Queens in this genus will sometimes band together during the founding stage to better ensure a successful colony. Workers however, will only tolerate one queen in the nest so after 4 weeks or so they'll slowly start killing off the submissive ones. The advantage to a single queened colony is order. Workers will be better able to fatten up the reproductives produced from one queen as opposed to a multi queen nest which won't be able to feed their reproductives anywhere as well.