What is a Social Parasite Ant?

What is a Social Parasite Ant?


Hi guys, what’s up? Welcome to the Ants Canada, ant channel, in yet another ant video, which we upload once a week. Yes, thanks to you guys! Welcome for all of you newcomers, and if you are a returning subscriber, thank you for subscribing! Really appreciate it a lot! So happy you guys are loving these ant videos, and actually its so great to see so many people into ants! I wanted to show you a special queen. This here, is a Lasius queen that I caught. And she’s special because. . . she happens to be Lasius Claviger. Now, she’s a total queen. She has wing scars, all of that, um and all the features you’ll see and hear about coming up later in this video. But, she’s special. And she’s special because this is a social parasite species. Now what does that mean? Well, that means that this queen right here, cannot create a colony by herself. She needs a host colony. What Lasius Claviger do is they essentially seek out a host colony. I believe it’s Lasius Neoniger, or some closely related species. They essentially take over the host colony. They kill the queen, and then they somehow are able to win the love of the rest of the colony. And then, these workers end up taking care of this queen. Whoops, there she goes trying to escape And then, this queen lays her eggs which the host workers, of course, take care of. And those eggs hatch into her workers, which are orange. . . or yellow. And they eventually replace the host workers and that’s how this species starts. So it’s a really kinda weird sorta way for ants to start. These social parasites are really something else. I won’t be able to start a colony of Lasius Claviger, so I’ll probably be letting her go. In the past, in the many years before, I’ve tried so hard. And you know European antkeepers always boasts about, “Oh it’s possible!” “We’ve done it!” “We’ve introduced a host colony to a queen!” “And you have to use the freezer (and all of this) and you make the introduction while they’re cold, etc.” But all twelve times that I’ve tried, it didn’t work. The queens either ended up not laying the eggs, or the queens ended up killing the workers. Now I assume it’s because perhaps I didn’t get the host species right, or maybe the conditions weren’t right. Who knows? Actually the thing about these social parasites is, we don’t exactly know the exact details of how these social parasites start colonies from host colonies. Some people say they go into the colony, and then, they kill the queen, and they rub the queen all over themselves to kinda take on her scent. Some people say these queens just kinda hide out in the nest, and lay their eggs secretly, and later on they end up killing the queen. or they somehow convince the host workers by way of pheromones to kill their queen. There’s a lot we don’t know. I mean how are we supposed to know? Are we supposed to follow one of these guys with a camera? *whispering* oh? who is this? could it be a host colony? time to fulfill my destiny. alright cmon guys i think i found some food over there but im just not to sure hmmm you know i think if we follow this trail we can get to the food, um you know lets go WHOOPIE excuse me, um coming through hey wait a second you not one of us we are not letting you through yeah were not letting you through you’re not one of us! yeah, get her! wait! on the contrary my children i am in fact your queen *farts* *sniffs* hmm…. Mommy? Mommy!? what are you doing here hahaha please accept our apologizes your royally highness we couldn’t recognize you here so close to ground level please come inside its not safe for you out here Yes yes thank you my children… i am your mommy and your true colony queen *antcanada* meanwhile back inside the nest yes, come in my queen your highness there is another ant in the nest closer to the surface, that is claiming she is the true queen! oh, don`t be silly, that`s impossible i AM your queen there is no other see? *farts* *sniffs* hmm yes its true you are our queen please forgive me your highness i shall spread the news attention colony, this is one of your thousands of sisters we have a very important message Our true queen is here and intact, do not believe the pheremones of any strange queen you may smell, no matter how quitty There you are Wha- Who are you? What are you doing here? How did the majors let you in? I do not know what you speak of, you imposter! I am the true queen of this colony. See. *farts* *Gasp* Blasphemy! How dare you speak to the queen like that. *farts* Workers! Seize her! No, I am the queen As for you, you imposter, these daughters have no other queen, but me *farts* No, I am the real queen! *farts* I am queen! *farts* No, I am queen! *farts* I am! I am. *farts* I am the one and only queen! Never! *farts continue* *sigh* Uh… You both… *fart* *sniff sniff* You both… *fart*