Black Garden Ant

Official Name

Lasius

Size

3 to 9 mm

Color

Yellow To Dark Brown.

Geographical Location

Found in North America and Eurasia

Common Household Location

Kitchen, Floor and Pantry

Identifying Characteristics

  • The morphological distinctions between Lasuis and Acanthomyops have always been unambiguous but it has taken a recent molecular phylogenetic analysis (Janda et al. 2004) to settle whether or not these two groups represent two distinctive genera. The latter is well accepted today as a synonym of Lasius. It remains convenient for identification purposes to distinguish Acanthomyops as a distinctive species group within Lasius.

Official Name

Lasius

Size

3 to 9 mm

Color

Yellow To Dark Brown.

Geographical Location

Found in North America and Eurasia

Common Household Location

Kitchen, Floor and Pantry

Identifying Characteristics

  • The morphological distinctions between Lasuis and Acanthomyops have always been unambiguous but it has taken a recent molecular phylogenetic analysis (Janda et al. 2004) to settle whether or not these two groups represent two distinctive genera. The latter is well accepted today as a synonym of Lasius. It remains convenient for identification purposes to distinguish Acanthomyops as a distinctive species group within Lasius.

Notes

Lasius is a genus of formicine ants.The type species for this genus is the black garden ant, Lasius niger. Other major members, which live in drier heath land, are the cornfield ant, L. neoniger, and L. alienus. Other species include the temporary social parasites of the L. mixtus group and the hyper-social parasite Lasius fuliginosus.

Lasius flavus is also a commonly seen species, building grassy hillocks in undisturbed pasture. In the Alps, these mounds – always aligned east to catch the first rays of the rising sun – have been traditionally used by goatherds as natural compasses.