Lasius flavus (?) colony: June 2021
Colony name: Currently unnamed
Species: Lasius flavus (?)
Queen: Currently unnamed
We found this queen randomly wandering in the grass in about April this year. She was effectively right on top of a very large Lasius flavus nest but within a stone’s throw of several Lasius niger, Lasius umbratus, Formica fusca, and Myrmica sp. (and a few others I haven’t been able to identify yet) nests. As she is quite small and yellowish, my suspicion was that she was a L. flavus, but it had definitely been too cold and early for nuptial flights. I was reluctant to keep her in case she already had a colony, but as the nearby L. flavus colony is massive, I thought it unlikely that she was the main queen, if she is even a satellite queen (the species is generally regarded a monogynae species). However, as there were quite a few very active L. niger worker pottering about, so I scooped her up in a test tube and kept her somewhere warm and dark.
So that’s the back story. She has been doing well and in today’s check, she had two little yellow workers and a pile of brood. They aren’t the bright yellow of most L. flavus I’ve seen, they’re a darker, almost light brown and she isn’t that yellow either, so we’ll have to get in with the macro lens to get better photos to ID her.